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Sexy Photography Studio Steams Up TriBeCa

By Julie Shapiro on December 21, 2011 1:24pm 

French Kiss Boudoir Photography transforms ordinary women into models in private photo shoots.
French Kiss Boudoir Photography transforms ordinary women into models in private photo shoots.
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Irina Mednik

TRIBECA — A young photographer who specializes in sexy portraits of nude and semi-clothed women is opening her first studio in TriBeCa next month.

Irina Mednik, 29, started doing boudoir photography — pictures of ordinary women wearing lingerie and posing like models — as a hobby several years ago, traveling to the homes of brides-to-be and capturing provocative shots that they could present to their husband on their wedding day.

"You see clients walk in, a little shy, a little afraid, but they want to do it," Mednik said.

"It's a wonderful feeling when you see the transformation, when you help them see themselves how they want to see themselves."

Mednik liked the work so much that she started her own company, French Kiss Boudoir Photography, and she is now preparing to launch her first studio, at 85 Franklin St., at the beginning of January.

The 500-square-foot studio space, termed "Studio X," features a rumpled antique French-style bed, an exposed brick wall, black and white backdrops and plenty of soft lighting to ensure a flattering glow.

"I'm very excited," said Mednik, who lives in Brooklyn. "I can't wait to shoot here."

Mednik's typical clients are women in their early 20s to mid-30s. Many are about to get married or are planning the photos as a gift for a boyfriend, some want to mark a weight-loss milestone and others just want the pictures for posterity.

"Some clients just want to celebrate themselves and have a fun night," Mednik said.

Most clients bring their own lingerie, and Mednik supplies a few fun additions, like a sheer, off-the-shoulder top, a sequined tank or a poufy skirt.

Those who are nervous can start the shoot mostly covered up, removing clothing as they adjust to the camera and feel more comfortable.

By the end, Mednik encourages all her clients to try at least a few shots entirely nude.

"If you've gone this far, you might as well go for it," she said. "When else are you going to do it?"

Two-hour sessions start at $700 and include a CD of 30 to 60 photos. Prints cost extra, as do hair and makeup styling.

The new studio for French Kiss Boudoir Photography, 85 Franklin St.
The new studio for French Kiss Boudoir Photography, 85 Franklin St.
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Irina Mednik

Mednik said she picked TriBeCa to launch her business because she feels at home in the trendy, artsy neighborhood, and she hopes to draw clients from the area.

So far, all of Mednik's clients have been female, and she doesn't expect that to change.

"I don't think I would mind [photographing men]," she said with a laugh, "but I don't know if my husband would be okay with it."

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