Boudoir Photography is getting a much larger press these days but a lot of people do not know what goes on behind the scenes. You might be a little shy or nervous and don’t know how to find out more. You might be looking to have boudoir images for yourself or as a gift for someone else, or you’re just curious! To help you out, I’ve put together this little guide to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes so you can find out everything you wanted to know about boudoir photography but are too afraid to ask.
What Is Boudoir Photography Really?
“Boudoir” is taken from a French word that, in the late 1700s, meant to sulk. This was the woman’s bedroom or salon where a lady used to retire to when they wished to be alone. Over time, and in a number of literary works, this became linked to an intimate setting where women could ‘frolic or be scandalous’.
Today, a boudoir is where a woman can feel sensual, romantic, sexy or even a little bit naughty. Boudoir photography is the art of capturing all of these feelings.
Who Has Boudoir Photographs Taken?
There are a variety of reasons and motivations for trying boudoir photography. It doesn’t matter what size, shape or age you are. Any woman is welcome. The short answer is anyone and everyone has boudoir photographs taken! As some examples, we have had clients who have reached an age milestone and want to do something different to celebrate, we have had clients who have lost a lot of weight and want to show off their new shape or are maybe in the middle of a weight loss process and want to do something motivational. We have also had clients who want to give the photos as a gift to their partner especially for Christmas, birthdays, valentines or as a groom gift. Or we also have clients who have always wanted to try a boudoir photo shoot and have now decided to just go ahead.
Why would I want Boudoir Photographs?
There are so many reasons to have boudoir photographs taken. Here are a few reasons you might want a photo shoot:
• Valentine’s Day Gift
Have you run out of ideas? What could be a better gift for your partner than some sexy shots of you? Boudoir photographs make the perfect Valentine’s gift.
• Wedding Day Gift
Bridal boudoir photo shoots are an excellent way of celebrating your special day. They also make a great gift for the groom as a fun and intimate reminder of your promises together.
• Confidence Boost
This might sound counter-intuitive, but boudoir photo shoots are an excellent way to improve your self-esteem. Everything about the photo shoot is about you, it’s an excuse to pamper yourself and to hear lots of wonderful things about your body – and then see the reality of that in print!
• An already confident woman who wants some photographs for her own collection.
Maybe you already know how gorgeous you are and just want to document it, for yourself or to show others!
• It’s fun!
You will have fun during the shoot. It’s as simple as that.
For a longer list, check out my blog post Unleash the inner you with a boudoir photo shoot.
Do I Have to Get Naked?
The short answer to this is – NO!
My clients’ priorities are the paramount importance. This means you set your boundaries and we stick to them. If you just want to have lingerie shots or even implied nude, then we follow your lead. We will not encourage or force you to go beyond what you are comfortable with.
If you do want to try out some partial or fully nude poses, we will be happy to accommodate your wishes. After all, this is your shoot. Boudoir is very much a sensual photographic style and we can keep the mystique of this without taking off clothing. We do also send you a clothing guide before your shoot which might give you even more ideas of what to bring – for example, a men’s white shirt.
If I am Stripping Off Who Will See Me?
I have a very small team in order to keep the photo shoot fun and intimate. At your shoot, it will be me and a makeup artist/stylist. Nobody else will see you – unless you bring a friend! I keep my studio locked, so we won’t have any unexpected visitors. This is a confidential service.
Feel free to bring a friend with you to make you more comfortable, I just need to know in advance. I don’t recommend bringing your partner as I have found that people are then less comfortable in front of the camera when their partner is watching. The only time to bring your partner is when you are going to do a couples boudoir photo shoot.
Do I Bring My Own Outfits?
Before your shoot, we will have a discussion about any items you might want to bring with you. It’s a good idea to bring a range with you as we can then discuss what will work on the day for the looks we’re going for. It is better to bring more outfits than less.
Here are some examples of things you may want to consider bringing:
- Lingerie set(s) – these don’t have to all be black!
- A man’s white shirt – this can make a super sexy photograph
- Nightwear – probably not your winter fleecy jammies!
- Corsets – these can be boned or more of a fashion corset. If you are going to try a boned corset, it’s best to try it out beforehand so that you’re used to wearing it
- Stockings and suspenders – you could try different types of stockings e.g. sheer black or fishnets, holdups and those that require a suspender belt. It’s amazing how toned a pair of fishnet stockings can make your legs look. We do have some stockings at the studio if you’re not sure what look to go for.
- High heels – bring your favourite high heel shoes or boot with you. These will give you great posture and make your legs appear longer and leaner.
- Jewellery – if you have a favourite signature piece this could really complete your look
- Fun items – you may have some items that you really want to try out. We have had people bring blindfolds, football shirts, glasses and many more items. Just let us know what you have brought with you and that you would like to especially use some items.
We keep a range of items at the studio for you to try, including slips, corsets, jewellery as well as feathers, masks, flowers and hats. You might feel more comfortable with your own items, but you’re more than welcome to have fun with ours as well!
What Sort of Grooming Prep Should I Do Before My Shoot?
If you wish to be ‘au naturale’ then that is perfectly fine. However, if you want a smooth look then you will need to wax or shave those areas before the shoot. We advise having this done a couple of days in advance so that any redness or reaction has a chance to subside.
If you regularly get your eyebrows plucked and shaped then again, this should be done a couple of days in advance to give any redness a chance to subside. . If there is still redness on the day of your shoot, we can cover this with makeup.
You may also want a manicure and pedicure. You can have the most sensual outfit on but if your nail polish is chipped and your nails are torn then it will alter the fantasy image that has been created. Why not use the boudoir photo shoot as an excuse for an all over pampering session?
Can I Bring Alcohol?
If you want to bring some alcohol to relax then we are happy for you to do that. However, please do not drink too excessively. The idea is to relax, not to get completely sloshed as that will ruin the photographs. If you are looking bleary eyed or flushed from alcohol then that is hard to hide. If you are coming as a bridal party or girls group then a bit of alcohol can be used.
What Happens When I Arrive?
On arrival, we will offer you some refreshments. We will then introduce you to our makeup artist/stylist and we will all chat and discuss the clothing and any props that you have brought with you.
We will talk about the makeup and hair looks that will work with the clothing choices. I will also make suggestions if I think we can improve on the outfits with items from the studio.
Once you are relaxed and the music is playing you will then hit the makeover chair where our makeup artist will work on your look. This will take about an hour, so use this time to chat and relax – it’s a very pampering and relaxing experience. Makeup for photography does need to be a little more dramatic than you usually wear so that it will show up in the photographs.
After the makeup chair, you are now ready for your first outfit and to get in front of the camera! Don’t worry, this is painless.
I Have Never Posed Before
We work with different types of people. Whether you’re used to posing or have never done it before, this isn’t a problem. Some people are naturals in front of the camera and don’t need much coaching. But for the majority of women, posing for a boudoir shoot is a completely different experience from anything you’ve done before.
Don’t worry, we are used to working and coaching people through the poses. I will often show how to do the pose by doing it myself – this is always good for a laugh! Sometimes the pose needs to be exaggerated to get the effect showing up on camera.
We will use a variety of props and we have chairs and a bed to recline over. Trust me, we will end up having a lot of fun.
I Don’t Like My Boobs, Bum, Legs, etc.
A lot of women feel self-conscious about at least one part of their body. Whether it is your boobs, bum, legs or even arms and shoulders. During our initial chat, we will discuss all of this with you. We want to know what you think your best features are and which you wish to hide or cover up a little more. Don’t forget, we want you to feel comfortable so that we can make you look great!
During our shoot, we will then enhance your best features and showcase those which will also draw focus away from those you feel less comfortable with. We can also use a number of props such as scarves, feathers and fans to camouflage problem areas.
We use lighting to sculpt your body and show poses that will bring out the features you love.
What Happens After the Shoot?
After your shoot we ask you to choose a date and time to come in for your reveal – we usually require a couple of days to cull the photos down to about 40-50. The photos at this stage are unedited (there may be slight exposure or lighting changes done). We usually choose a range of the poses and outfits or sets that you have done during your shoot. Usually the reveal takes around an hour (though it can be more or less) and you can now choose any package that you would like as well as which photographs you want edited. We have a range of collection packages available and can offer payment plans. If you have a specific budget in mind then let us know and we will see what we can then offer.
I’m Interested in a Boudoir Shoot – What Do I Do Now?
Just fill in our contact form with your details and what you are looking for from a shoot. We will get back to you pretty quickly. Also let us know if you have any special requirements at this time.