Rachel Tenpenny Oxford and Savannah Grimm
Body Positivity through Boudoir Photography
For Rachel Tenpenny Oxford and Savannah Grimm, boudoir photography gives women an amazing opportunity to celebrate themselves. That can include everything from creating a wedding or anniversary gift for a partner to reclaiming your sensuality after a traumatic event to having a fun lingerie shoot with friends.
Rachel is the founder of Rachel Oxford Collective, a photography company that includes the Brass Penny wedding photography and Bright Eyes Messy Hair boudoir photography brands. Her work has been featured in People Magazine and she has worked with many celebrities and influencers. Savannah is a photographer and associate at Rachel Oxford Collective, and she’s a communications and content manager for Nashville Songwriters Association International.
How did you meet and decide to start working together?
Savannah and Rachel met when Savannah agreed to accompany a friend to her first boudoir shoot. Savannah had done boudoir previously, but she loved seeing how comfortable Rachel made her friend feel, and she knew she wanted to work with her. Savannah also appreciated Rachel’s unique, bright style, which differs from many boudoir photographers’ dark and shadowy aesthetic.
Who are your typical boudoir clients?
In Rachel’s experience, most women do boudoir shoots in one of two conditions: either they’re feeling great about themselves, or they’re needing a reminder that they’re beautiful after a challenging situation.
For example, Rachel shared that one of her clients was a woman who’d recently had two miscarriages and was feeling like her body had failed her. Other women have been shamed for their sensuality and need to take their power back. Rachel also offers maternity boudoir sessions, bridal sessions, and other opportunities for women who want to celebrate their bodies.
Why is boudoir important?
Women, especially in areas like the South, are taught from a young age to feel shame about their bodies and to hide parts of themselves. Boudoir empowers women to stop hiding and embrace the things that make them beautiful. It’s not just about capturing a hot photo, it’s about the unique story of the woman in front of the camera.
What is the craziest photoshoot you’ve ever done?
Savannah and Rachel love collaborating on creative, themed shoots for different holidays and seasons. Rachel often gets in front of the camera for some of their craziest shots, because that way she’s able to share them on social media without worrying about client privacy. For recent shoots, Rachel has wrapped herself in cellophane and even painted herself gold for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed shoot.
What are your most successful marketing channels?
Rachel and Savannah have found the most success in marketing on Instagram with photos and reels. Rachel works hard to take the mystery out of the boudoir process. Followers can feel like they know Rachel personally and have a clear idea of what to expect from a shoot before they even schedule it.
Referrals and word of mouth have also played a major role in growing Rachel’s business. Some women are hesitant to leave a review or admit to other people that they’ve posed for boudoir photography, but others are eager to refer friends after they’ve had a great experience.
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