How to Prepare For a Boudoir Shoot
From what to wear to Posing
You’ve finally taken the plunge, or trying to decide whether to take the plunge, and book a Boudoir Shoot but it’s a huge step into the unknown.
So as one of East Anglia’s Top Boudoir Photographers let me calm your fears and doubts and explain everything you need to know from outfits to posing and what to expect from your Boudoir Shoot.
Let's Dive In ....
Here's What We'll Cover - Just click to jump to that section.
Probably the most asked question I get is, "how do I pose during the boudoir shoot?"Let's face it you're not a professional model and probably never done anything like this before so you have every reason to have some questions about posing.
Firstly let me give you a link to a great video that explains boudoir posing.
Secondly let me reassure you that if you've booked yourself in with a good quality boudoir photographer you won't need to know much - they should be directing you for the most part although having an idea of what it's all about will help calm any worries you may have.
The "art" of boudoir posing is, I believe, suggestion
It's all about what's not shown, nothing is obvious but everything is subtly sexy, suggestive and leaves the viewer wanting more whilst as the same time revealing you in a way that you'll look at and think, "is that really me?"
Standing Boudoir Pose
Actually this is the most difficult - you'll feel exposed and vunerable so it's my job to get you relaxed and comfortable quickly. I always use the "Mirror" posing method - I show you what to do and you simply copy. For standing poses it's a case of using the light and body position to slim some parts and acentuate others whilst creating pleasing curves and finally a facial expression the says "who you are". Whilst I'll do all I can to create superb images I want "you" to come through so I'll ask you to say what you're thinking with your eyes and expression.
The second question (sometimes the first!) is "what should I wear - I haven't got anything!"
So briefly here's my top 10 boudoir outfits...
ps. download my guide HERE
One Piece Teddy or Camisole or Nightie
My absolute personal favorite lingerie to photograph. Maybe called a body suit or camisole.
I think these are the most under-rated lingerie there is. It is incredibly flattering on all body types and if you have any areas you prefer to be unseen then these will do the job. There are a million different designs for how it covers you and it is more versatile than you would think. I have so many favorite examples I couldn’t fit them all on one page!
Baggy Shirt or sweater
This is what we most commonly start off shoots with because it is playful, it gives your hands something to do, it is
suggestive and there is something about pulling clothes in all different directions that is so sexy.
Stockings and suspenders
Bet you thought these would make an appearance sooner!
Combined with High Heels they are the pinnacle of sexiness and really do flatter every women for Boudoir photos as they just make legs look inches longer and slimmer. They also provide a great focus for close up shots
High heels (of course!)
They are just so sexyand will make you feel amazingly sexy and make legs look so much longer and slimmer - and you don't have far to walk do you!
It can be hard to style an outfit that isn’t just a bra and panties. Robes can give the idea of lounging around the
house, they can be playful to slip off or can even be worn without a bra underneath and yet something to the
Congrats on your wedding if you are getting married - you don't have to be to wear a bridal boudoir outfit of course. A lot of people think bridal boudoir pictures means your veil is the focal point.
There are so many different white pieces you can wear to get the bridal look without any of the cheese.
The garter is the perfect accessory to match with your bridal lingerie. They are going to be slipping it off with their teeth come wedding day so it is a playfull hint at what is to come.
Simple sexy dress
I love to start photoshoots in a simple dress because it can tell a story of the first part of the date.
When the page turns and you are unzipping or sliding it off it is a beautiful suggest for what we can expect in the next few pages! It is also a great to ease into the shoot if the idea of shooting in lingerie still intimidates you (which it does for most!)
What every happened to corsets?
I get it, you can’t breathe in them, but WOW do they look amazing in photos. They are incredible flattering on every body type and give off a subtle role play vibe that can really add to the mood of your shoot.
The Boudoir Photo Shoot
What actually happens when you arrive for your boudoir shoot?
Of course every boudoir photographer and every studio will have a different approach so I can really only share what I do - however this is likely to be very similar whoever you choose.
If you've chosen to have your shoot at my studio then the day begins with your arrival at the beautiful, detached one bedroom annex in the grounds of a stunning thatched cottage set in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
This is yours for the whole day.
Alternatively you may be happier to have the shoot at home where you feel relaxed and secure.
If you opted to use my hair and make-up artist, she will arrive and work with you to create the best looking you ever. You can be wild and sassy, elegant and restrained - it's your choice and is an important factor in getting the best from your Boudoir shoot - I always offer lots of advice prior to the shoot to helkp you be the right "you" on the day.
We'll begin with shots that aren't at all challenging - some portraits, a few sitting with a negligee or jumper on then gradually move onto some other settings, outfits and poses - BUT ALL YOUR PACE
You can change several times, we can wander around in complete privacy and even get some outdoor shots if you want (and weather permitting)
If you want a break fine. If you decide a particular outfit makes you too uncomfortable then we'll skip that one.
The shoot usually lasts about 2 hours with several outfit changes and many settings.
Lighting is a crucial aspect of Boudoir Photography and whilst I do use flash and artifical lighting I much prefer, where possible, to use natural light. My studio has a huge patio door fully glazed and has amazing light (which is why I chose it!)
This means photos are "created" and not just a quick snap - details matter in boudoir and it's a balancing act between being overly precise and losing any flow and momentum.
I feel it's important to capture the real you so I generally err towards keeping things moving so you stay engaged and enthusiastic.
I'll work on selecting and editing images from the shoot.
This means perfecting the colour, the exposure, darkening some parts and lighting others - every image is crafted to perfection for you -.maybe I'll artificially extend the image - maybe take two images and create one - often I'll modify the background - and of course create black & white images.
The "Art" of boudoir begins with the setting, the light, your outfits and so on - but ends with these adjustments to move from a photograph to a work of art.
Providing you've given the ok I'll possibly use advanced editing techniques to enhance your skin tones and remove even the smallest blemish.
Only then will I upload your images to an online photo gallery where you can see yourself as the beautiful woman you are.
The Boudoir Mindset
Having had the experience from scores (maybe hundreds?) of Boudoir shoots I'm well positioned to at least make a few short comments about your mindset during the shoot even though I'm no psych.
The range of mindsets as women arrive or their shoot is from "oh shit did I really book this - can I change my mind!, to "can I get my clothes off now!" :-)
Niether approach is best.
In my experience the best way to look at your shoot is as you might look at a spa day with massages and other treatments - gentle, relaxing and very enjoyable. There's nothing to be afraid of and everything will be enjoyable.
Of course with the Boudoir Shoot we
want to throw in a bit of sexy too.
Whoa go easy on that!
Boudoir photography (for me anyway) is a chance for me to "create" beautiful photos of the most beautiful thing on the planet - a woman. A good boudoir photo should be intriguing, suggestive yet without any hint of being blatant. The whole purpose is for me to capture that beauty in you in an artistic way.
So whilst sexy obviously plays a part it's never in yer face or anywhere close to rude.
So if you can conjure up a mindset where you feel super sexy, relaxed and confident you'll be able to easily show that in the photos.
Styles of Boudoir Photography
Do you like your coffee rich, dark and bitter, or white, sweet and creamy?
There's no right or wrong and what you love someone else will dislike intensely.
And so it is with styles of Boudoir photography.
Often clients before they book ask me, "what's your style" ?
That's not the right question - it should be, "can you give me photos in the style I want"
See, I believe it's my job as a professional boudoir phototgrapher to be able to create the style of photo you want in almost any situation. In my studio I can easily change the lighting to create dark and moody or bright and airy. We can get soft dreamy shots or sharp black and white.
It's your choice as to what "style" of photos I give you.
However if you do say to me, "do what you think best" then I'll create:-
Light and airy with a blown out or very bright background and
some Dark and Moody ones
and edit some to be black and white
I'll take into account you and your character and your outfits during the shoot.
To be Nude or not to be Nude - that is the question.
Simlpe - it's your choice.
Put simply sexy outfits and clothes give one "look" - it's sexy, it's not too challenging and with different outfits will give you a broad spread of images after your shoot
Nude is a whole different ball game - it's actaully less sexy and more artistic. It's much more about minimalistic photos, using light and shadow to emphasise the beauty of the female form - artists have painted and sculpted the female form forever with good reason - done well nude photos are magical - done badly they're just bad photos.
So whether you choose just topless or full nude be assured that everything will be totally tasteful.
I hope you found this guide useful and maybe one day you'll take the plunge yourself - if you have questions then just get in touch here
Allen is a Full Time Professional Boudoir Photographer with over 7 years experience with dozens of 5 star Boudoir Photography reviews on Facebook
From his studio in the heart of Suffolk he offers top quality Boudoir Photo Shoots. With 3 Boudoir Packages on offer starting at just £165 there's really no reason not to get in touch to book your shoot.