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Woody Burns

Photographer - Opaque Visions Photography

So, exactly how does one become a Boudoir Photographer?

In my case it started at a fairly young age...well at birth really. I was born with severe asthma four years after my brother and sister and as a young child couldn’t participate in many outdoor activities. At the age of five my mother had me enrolled in drum lessons, meanwhile my off time was spent hanging out with my mother and sister. Of course most women love to clothes shop so this was my early introduction to women's fashion. It seemed I would have to sit for hours in women's boutiques. I also learned a great appreciation for the female form and women in general. Of course my mother and sister are beautiful, so that goes without saying.

Fast forward about five years. The asthma was pretty much under control and by this time I was a fairly accomplished drummer for a 10 year old. So, instead of joining the Boy Scouts, mom signed me up for TAYB (Torrance Area Youth Band) but the off time was still spent hanging out with mom and sis.  In retrospect of course I appreciate how this helped mold me into the adult I was to become. Also during this time I became fascinated with my grandfather’s camera gear. The camera you had to look down into and everything was upside down and reversed to the one with the single flash bulb to the cubed flash and even a Polaroid with a flash bar.

As intriguing as photography was, music took up almost all of my time. I was still in the youth band as well as every musical ensemble offered in high school, even becoming drum-major of my high school band and received a full scholarship to Chapman College as a music composition and theory major.  The years after college were focused on music and boy are there stories of those years, but that is for another time. (Including a disastrous audition for an unknown singer named Pat Benatar.) Photography had been placed on a back shelf and out of mind while I went through life as a young adult.  After several career moves, including several stints as a retail manager, yes women's attire and shoes, I had a son, got married and spent 16 years in IT at a community college.

Well, the marriage fell apart and left me looking at taking an early retirement to pursue music again but something happened….digital photography.  Not only was photography affordable but it seemed I was pretty good at it.  One day one of the pictures of my favorite bartender went viral.  I was hooked.   I started shooting landscape and outdoor pictures and just about everything I could get my lens on.  One day three of my close girl friends asked to go out into the Angeles National Forest to take some pictures - I’m from Los Angeles if I failed to mention it.   I call this my actual first photo shoot.  It was so much fun and as happens, the clothes started coming off.  When the pictures were downloaded, we all were struck, they were amazing.   I remember telling Nykky that this could be professional art.  (Nykky is one of the models from that first shoot and a good friend who continues to work with us.  In fact, she was the first pregnant photo shoot and she is featured in the galleries here as well).  Thanks all three of you!!!

So, this story comes full circle. The admiration and respect for women that was gained from my mother and sister as well as a strong fashion sense (I actually still very much enjoy shopping with my models), the artistic visions of a musician, my love of photography and the technology and finally an extreme understanding of the beauty of the female body and spirit.  To this day I still get goosebumps when I watch a model review their photos and see them light up and sometimes even tearing up .  I’m still trying to get use to that reaction.  I can’t imagine doing anything else...except maybe a gig with a band now and then.