First Blush

The women behind Blush Boudoir Photography are bringing boudoir photography back. You know you’re curious.

How do we celebrate our extraordinariness in an exaggerated age where drunk 21-year-olds with no inhibitions and a whole lot of spray tanner make the style pages? When naked-girl photos are foisted upon us on Facebook? ¶ How about something that offers a little mystery? Something a little more buttoned-up, a little closer to the chest? After all, leaving something to the imagination can be deliciously naughty and flirtatious.

Like most exhilarating ideas, Blush began with a little tequila and a desert vacation. Photographer Jeannette Nargelenas and her friends decided to snap some boudoir-like photos after a drink or two. “We came away with this stunning set of photos to commemorate what we looked like right then,” she says. Exhilarated upon return, Nargelenas told photographer-in-arms Katie Thering Berger of Kage Imagery that they had to bring back boudoir photography. “I thought, if we had photos of our grandmothers posing in lingerie, we would hang them as art,” Berger says. And thus, Blush was born.

The women coming to Blush are not who you might think they are. Without compromising client privacy, Nargelenas reveals that the women are usually either on the precipice of their wedding day or over 35 with children. They are not young, stick-thin, or even especially bold personalities. Many arrive with the intention of creating something for a significant other, “but usually they leave getting more of out of it than their partners do,” Berger says. Women are also clamoring to document milestones—turning 40, running a marathon, documenting bodies after having kids. “There’s a real sexiness about that,” Nargelenas says.

On weekends, in high-end Minneapolis hotels, Blush sets the stage. Clients bring their lingerie, accessories, and courage. An hour of photography, laughter, and discovery follows. “You’ll never look as good as you do right now, so why not celebrate it?” Berger asks.

Clients walk away their own little black book, and whether they share it—that’s all part of the intrigue.


When clients come for the big reveal—seeing unretouched proofs—there’s one moment that photographers relish. “Always, always, always, the client says, ‘I can’t believe that’s me,’” Berger says. “We live for it.”

For more details, photos, and to book your own session, check out Blush Boudoir Photography at