Photo studio opens downtown

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

A new photography studio has opened in downtown Suffolk, specializing in beauty and boudoir photography for women.

Leila Wylie, a Suffolk native, poses in her West Washington Street studio recently.

Leila Wylie, a Suffolk native, poses in her West Washington Street studio recently.

Leila Wylie, a native of the Riverview neighborhood just down the street from her new studio, said she wanted to expand to a larger space from the one-room studio in Portsmouth she has operated for the past several years.

Wylie has been interested in photography since she was young. She remembers looking through shoeboxes full of old pictures of family and friends and regrets that many people her age won’t have those to pass down to their children.

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“We’re going to be the generation that doesn’t leave behind pictures,” she said. “I really think women need to exist in photos.”

Wylie got back into photography when she and her then-husband were preparing to travel to Ethiopia to adopt their son.

“I wanted to have really good pictures while they were there,” she said, explaining it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

She obtained camera equipment and “pretty much taught myself how they work,” she said. She later honed her skills taking pictures of her children.

She’s been doing photography professionally for about five years now and concentrates on beauty and boudoir photos. Her studio at 129 W. Washington St. is equipped with a bed and plenty of natural light streaming in the storefront windows, filtered by four layers of white curtains that prevent passersby from seeing inside.

“I love having the storefront with the big windows,” she said. She noted she points clients toward the “great restaurants” and shopping opportunities nearby, and many avail themselves of the opportunity while Wylie processes their photos from the morning session so they can order on the same day.

Wylie said she keeps her 10-year-old daughter’s perspective in mind while shooting boudoir photos, a photography genre that usually involves women in lingerie.

“If I would be embarrassed to show them to her, it’s not classy enough for my clients,” Wylie said. “I think it’s sexier to leave something to the imagination.”