Copper Key Visuals: Empowerment
Boudoir → Lifestyle Boudoir → Empowerment
Between 2010-2015, I photographed hundreds of traditional Boudoir sessions. A majority of these sessions were the result of “Boudoir Marathon Sessions”, in which I would reserve a room at a historic bed and breakfast or at a high end hotel and then schedule 8-10 hours of back to back Boudoir sessions. Every session was more or less the same - the client arrived with their suitcase containing up to 10 lingerie combinations (with the goal being to narrow down to the top 3-5 favorites with my guidance), I made small talk until it was clear that the client was comfortable enough to change into the first lingerie set, and then I smoothly guided the client through a series of poses utilizing the various furniture pieces in the room until I had them change into the next lingerie set and ran through another series of poses, repeating until the hour was up. I loved every second of it! It only took one day of Marathon Sessions for me to develop my session flow to the extent that I probably could have (and probably still could!) done a full Boudoir session in my sleep.
In July of 2014, I began cutting down the number of Marathon Sessions I scheduled and started reducing the number of Boudoir clients I booked overall. I had graduated from the University of Wisconsin that May and was preparing to begin my first year of teaching Kindergarten that fall. I had no idea how many hours I would be in my classroom well past my contracted hours, and I didn’t want to overload my schedule when beginning my education career. Time went on, and I had totally fallen in love with teaching Kindergarten while simultaneously realizing I no longer had much of a desire to do Boudoir, at least not to the extent that I had been.
This first year of teaching Kindergarten ultimately led to the rebranding of the business from what was once Adrianne Munz Photography to what is now Copper Key Visuals. With the 12-14 hour days I was spending at my classroom 6-7 days of the week, Jerry had stepped into the role of being our primary photographer, as I no longer had the time to commit to sessions. Almost immediately, his work was on level with what mine had been, and it didn’t take long for his work to quickly surpass mine. We completed a very lengthy rebranding period and emerged with a focus on weddings and families as well as a solid grasp on our shift in roles, with Jerry as the sole photographer and with me behind the scenes doing business operations, client communication, and wedding planning (which had been my secret dream for years!). After a couple years, Jerry mentioned that he would like to bring Boudoir back and was immediately met with my resistance. I didn’t have any solid reasoning for why I felt so resistant to doing Boudoir again, but I continued to table the conversation for another couple years.
In 2016, I completed 230 hours of Yoga Teacher Training, and it entirely transformed my whole life. While I could write a book about my personal transformations during this time, the most profound concept that I took away and have since lived every day by is to simply embrace where you are on your journey right now. Following my training, I immediately implemented a daily mindfulness and yoga routine into my classroom. I did not have a desire to teach at a studio, but I continued to feel as if there was more that I wanted to do with my training.
In March of 2018, I was finally able to articulate to Jerry why I felt so resistant to the idea of doing Boudoir again: so many people had not embraced where they were on their journeys. For as many clients as I had, I could have had so many more, but I had such a high volume of inquiries that backed away at the last minute because they hadn’t lost enough weight, they weren’t able to get in for their hair appointment, or the scar from their recent surgery hadn’t yet healed. While I didn’t realize it at the time, it was disheartening to continuously hear stories of how people never felt good enough. Jerry responded that perhaps this is where I was meant to do more with my training, and a new idea blossomed.
Having had already switched a majority of our sessions to be based at home as we had moved fully into photojournalism and lifestyle photography, we immediately decided that we would do all Boudoir sessions also at home and call this new brand “Lifestyle Boudoir”. We wrote a guide, made plans, and booked model sessions to begin building our content for this new launch. Aside from the change in location from reserved rooms to being at clients’ homes, we also decided that we would no longer hop from lingerie set to lingerie set, but rather flow through outfit changes after I shared that oftentimes the first 20-40 minutes of an hour session was spent with me getting the client warmed up to feel ready to pose in lingerie, which resulted in very minimal time actually shooting before time was up. With our new approach, we would begin sessions with the client wearing an outfit that would perhaps be worn running errands or spending time with friends. We would then gradually guide the client through shedding the layers.
Following our first several Lifestyle Boudoir model sessions, we were in shock over how incredibly quickly we were able to jump right into shooting and how visible it was that the clients were so much more at ease with starting fully clothed and being at home. Our clients were happy, and so were we! In fact, we were absolutely thrilled!
We continued shooting model sessions as we were building up our portfolio in preparation to launch. Upon entering the home of another client, it was immediately clear that she did not feel comfortable removing any more layers after getting down to her yoga leggings and sports bra. We decided to flow with it, capturing her baking in her kitchen and then enjoying a cup of coffee in her favorite reading chair by the window. Upon leaving, I told Jerry how much I loved that we simply captured her feeling fully empowered doing what she loves to do without any expectation that she needed to shed any more layers.
With that, we decided to delete the word “Boudoir” entirely and began referring to these sessions as “The Empowerment Project”. Since then, this project has fully felt like coming home.
The Overarching Copper Key Visuals Mission
Our mission is to tell genuine love stories. We capture the in between, unstaged, fleeting moments. We want to create a shift in the meaning and capturing of love.
We want to tell the story of You. Who is “You”? It’s the most raw, pure version of yourself. It’s you in everyday existence, in the day to day experience: unfiltered and unrefined. We capture that and are here to help you tell your truth. At the end of the day, it isn’t about what post got the most likes or comments or who said what. It’s about how you feel; how you have embraced yourself and sat with the most raw version of yourself. That’s what we want to present that to the world. We are seeking to change the notion that beauty is is in the eye of the beholder, as we firmly believe that the beholder is you. We are seeking to change the notion that beauty is done up, perfectly posed, and captionable. We believe that beauty is uncaptionable. It’s feelings, not words. We want to capture you at your purest self and showcase it in hopes of creating a change in the way in which beauty is defined, and there’s no one we would rather have on this journey with us than you.
The way in which we approach all interactions and sessions with our clients is as a collaboration. We want you to be actively engaged from beginning to end to ensure that we are capturing who you truly are as people - in your day to day life.
The Empowerment Mission
Our mission is to empower human beings to embrace who they are and where they are on their personal journeys right now.