WI dares to bare for centenary boudoir shoot

Joan Ford, 80, poses for a boudoir shot. Picture by Paula Rosa Photography
Joan Ford, 80, poses for a boudoir shot. Picture by Paula Rosa Photography

The Calendar Girls started the trend for members of the Women’s Institute to cast off their reputation for jam and Jerusalem, along with some of their clothes.

Now members of Longhoughton and Boulmer WI have been disrobing for a boudoir photo shoot of their own.

Photographer Paula Ansley and members of Longhoughton and Boulmer WI.

Photographer Paula Ansley and members of Longhoughton and Boulmer WI.

Among them was 80-year-old Joan Ford, who posed in a hat and silk dressing gown.

WI member Carole Green said: “It’s all about celebrating both the WI and the beauty of all women regardless of age.

“It’s also because we want to push our boundaries while having fun and lots of giggles.

“We will try anything once, within reason!”

Only shoulders were bared and dressing gowns worn in the photo shoot by Paula Ansley, who runs Paula Rosa Photography.

A former science professor at Northumbria University, she took a career break following a family bereavement and channelled her energies into her love of portrait photography.

She is a licentiate member of the Society of Portrait and Wedding Photographers and has been turning her talents mainly towards growing her boudoir photography over the past year.

It has proved so successful that she has now quit her academic career to focus on her portrait photography business.

A few years ago, Paula’s husband booked her into a boudoir shoot as a pick-me-up after having their two children.

“I was initally nervous but the feeling of both empowerment and confidence was incredible and I was delighted with the results,” she said.

“My desire is to provide a similar feelgood experience for ladies who would like a bit of a confidence boost, to give them an enjoyable and fun experience, which is all about themselves, or perhaps as a special gift for their other half.

“My photograpy is sensuous, feminine, classy and certainly not explicit.”

Paula works with women of all ages to celebrate their curves, taking pictures they can chrish in evening gowns, lingerie or less.

The Longhoughton and Boulmer photo shoot helped mark the centenary of the WI.

Paula said: “One lady generously called me the female equivalent of Gok Wan as my desire is to boost a woman’s confidence but through the use of photography.

“I was very flattered by the comparison but that is really, in a nutshell, what Paula Rosa Boudoir Photography is all about.”