Posted on March 03 2020
In this feature, we sat down with friend and collaborator Robyn Buyskes of Buffalo Boudoir Photography Studio, Bubbles & Berries Boudoir. We were intrigued by her recent trip to Vegas for a Do More Photographers workshop. When we heard there was a Kink curriculum our ears perked up and we had some questions...
I would say I’ve always had two sides to my personality. This fun, joyful side that is expressed in my light and airy work. Then there’s this dark and edgy vibe that’s been coming out that’s a result of my deeper, darker desires. I really wanted to step outside my comfort zone and show that I can provide a wide variety of photography styles because it’s important to be able to capture my client’s true self and their fantasies.
We’ve worked together on pushing boundaries a bit. Was our photoshoot one of the first that you’ve utilized BDSM toys for or is that a common request to incorporate?
I think that our shoot was one of the first sessions where we incorporated props. (See the shoot here.) Now, it’s becoming more common and I think it’s because I’ve been portraying it in my work so clients are more comfortable asking for it. As a part of getting to know my clients before a shoot, I ask that they fill out a questionnaire. Some people will drop hints rather than asking for something outright and I’ll follow up with it during our phone consultation to see what they’re really looking for. I try to read between the lines and help them feel comfortable expressing their desires and incorporating props such as handcuffs, blindfolds, riding crops, etc.
You’ve recently started doing couples photoshoots, too. Is the dynamic fun and exciting or challenging to work with?
Incorporating couples photography was a way to get me outside my comfort zone of only photographing women. I wasn’t sure how to begin photographing men as well and diving into couples photography seemed like a good way to overcome some challenges and fears. Couples are so much fun to work with! We have a lot of laughs but I really like being able to capture these beautiful, intimate moments during a session.
While we were in Vegas, I was able to shoot a same-sex male couple and the photos turned out really beautiful! I can’t wait to share that. I’m looking to create an environment that’s welcoming to all so I’m hoping to have more same-sex comes in the studio as well. I want to branch out and welcome all bodies. I think boudoir is a really powerful tool and I want to be able to share that with everyone.
Tell us more about the Kink Workshops. Were the instructors and attendees pretty extreme or more mainstream? Obviously, that’s subjective but we want to envision what it was like being there, so maybe describe the tone a bit.
The instructor for the Do More Photographers Do More on Tour in Vegas the Kink Workshop was hosted and instructed by Taylor Oakes. She’s this 5’3”, tiny little thing, without a filter and a no-bullshit personality. I immediately felt a connection to her since I think I have some of the same characteristics.
The attendees were pretty mixed as far as experience. There were some that had explored kink in their personal lives but their work was pretty vanilla. Others had some experience but were looking to challenge themselves and hone their skills. Everyone was pretty revved up and excited to dive in and explore the scene!During one of the sessions, they performed shibari. It was my second time witnessing that kind of bondage and it’s a really, really beautiful dynamic that I hope to explore more in my work. The way they demonstrated different power dynamics and the aftercare was incredible.
It sounds like a really great experience! What was your biggest struggle and
In another set, we explored some creative lighting techniques with models using props such as a leather mask, riding crop, and flogger. I also had the opportunity to photograph a female same-sex couple who were a Dom/Sub. It was our job to instruct them on what we wanted to see so that was a lot of fun!
Honestly, the biggest struggle was the number of people involved. There were so many bodies that I really had to speak up for myself and push in to get the shots that I wanted.
The best takeaway for me came from advice from Taylor. I shared my fear that even people who are comfortable in the kink community and feel safe there, that same security might not translate over into the studio. Her advice was that they’re looking to you for your ability and trust you and are willing to be vulnerable. That really helped me get rid of my insecurity in being able to make someone feel comfortable in this type of setting.Do you have any tips for someone looking to incorporate more Kink into their life or photoshoot?
Follow Taylor Oakes! She has a Patron account with a lot of great content as well. She gives a lot of really great advice about kink, the community, and mental health. All of these dynamics play together and are really important. I’m currently looking to get more involved in the kink community on a personal level, too. Finding a safe way to explore that and opening my eyes to the lifestyle has been important.As far as photoshoots, I’m 100% comfortable with what my clients want to throw at me. It’s going to be more of a learning curve of exactly how to communicate all of the emotions that I want to really capture. My clients can look forward to having more of a selection of props to incorporate. I plan on investing in some new items for the studio to get more variety. We’re going to update our info sheet as well to help clients think outside the box a bit.
Any ideas that you’re excited to put into action now that you’re getting back in the studio?
Putting the props I just mentioned to use! Also getting some bodies in to model and practice some new techniques. We have a few couples sessions lined up so looking forward to expanding more into that. One of them is with two beautiful men, which is really exciting.Our next adventure is going to be a bit more kink and erotica into our work. I’m not sure if this will stay a part of Bubbles & Berries or it will end up being an extension of that. We want it to be easy to distinguish and the kink community to be able to find and relate to. So that’s something to keep an eye out for on social media!