Boudoir Photography can be both an awkward and empowering experience- depending on many factors. However, finding a photographer that you feel comfortable with makes a huge difference. There are also many different ways to prepare for your first boudoir photography shoot mentally, physically and emotionally. So, what should you expect during a boudoir photography shoot? Also, how can you find the best photographer for your shoot? Below are a handful of tips to help you:
First, meet your photographer either in person or via video call (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc). They should also encourage you to bring a chaperone if that makes you feel more comfortable. If they don’t do this, run! Discuss ideas for themes, poses, and what you want to accomplish. Are you about to get married and want something special for your partner as a wedding gift? Are you aiming to spice things up with your partner of many years? Are you celebrating life as a sexy single woman? Are you simply curious and want to try it out? Regardless of the objective, you need to make sure that you and the photographer are on the same page about your photoshoot. They may also have their own set of tips and tricks to help you prepare. If a photographer makes you feel uncomfortable, please do not agree to do a shoot. However, the aim of most photographers is to capture the beauty of the human body- especially the female form. So, this is incredibly rare! A boudoir shoot is not meant to be sleazy, gross, raunchy, or degrading. Instead, it’s meant to be sexy, sensual, empowering and to make you feel beautiful. A boudoir shoot is meant to show off your beauty.
Another great idea is to start a pinboard with your photographer! You can set the pinboard to private and pin any ideas that you have- whether outfits, props, poses, lighting, or other aesthetic aspects. While you may be an excellent communicator, it can help for the photographer to see it. That way, you both can be on the same page regarding the objective of the shoot. You can also provide ideas in regards to lighting, backdrop, props, and other aspects of the aesthetic that you want to achieve in your shoot.
Secondly, do not feel pressured to show more skin than you are comfortable with. Remember, boudoir photography is all about YOU! Whether a gift for a special someone or to make yourself feel good, the objective of boudoir photography is to make sure that you feel sexy and empowered. There are some people who are comfortable with full nudity and others who barely show any skin. There is no right or wrong answer. Show the amount of skin you are comfortable with and know that a legitimate photographer will not pressure you to do otherwise.
Also, practice facial expressions and posing. By doing this, you feel more natural- not awkward and forced. Posing is harder than it looks and some of us don’t have the most expressive faces. By practicing, you reduce the awkwardness that can occur in a shoot. Even if you meet and feel comfortable with the photographer, taking your clothes off in front of someone else can feel awkward! On top of that, even the most confident women can have body image issues. Trust that a talented photographer will make you look and feel your best. Plus, they have seen all different types of bodies.
Thirdly, what should you wear? This is entirely up to you. Lingerie and bikinis are a classic place to start. Are you going for a steamy seductress look or playful and girly? Is your look classic, modern, old Hollywood glamor, or a funky vintage vibe? You can even go for a vintage pin-up look! If you are doing a photoshoot for your partner, do they have a favorite band or sports team that you can incorporate into the shoot? Can you borrow one of their button-down shirts or a hoodie and create a cozier, “mine only” feel? The options are unlimited.
Finally, should you use props? If your photographer is seasoned, they will have a plethora of props to choose from. Similar to outfits, there are many directions in which you can take this. If your partner is really into sports, you can bring a football or other sports-related items to dress up the shoot. If your man is into music, maybe you can have some vinyl records for a vintage feel. If he’s a huge nerd (or you are), you can use some cute glasses, knee socks, t-shirts with your favorite comics, games, or animes. If you want a girly, innocent feel, you can utilize a big sunhat and flowers in your shoot. If your partner feels comfortable, you can also include them in the boudoir shoot as well. They may be the best prop that you can find! You could even get adventurous and use glitter, confetti, streamers, balloons or Christmas lights to create a more aesthetic shoot! Whether grungy, modern, classic, feminine, girly or colorful and fun,
From a more practical perspective, come to your first shoot prepared. If you don’t have someone to do your hair and makeup, bring what you use with you to touch up. Also, bring some water, extra bobby pins and hair ties, extra pantyhose (if using), fashion tape, and a few different outfits. It’s always better to have too many outfits than too few! You want to be as prepared as possible for your first shoot so you can be at ease.
When it comes to a boudoir shoot, you can go in any direction- whether funky, artistic, or classic. By preparing for your shoot and finding the right photographer, your shoot will go smoothly and be empowering! Overall, aim to show off what you love and the best parts of yourself in your shoot. While you can utilize boudoir photography for anything, a boudoir shoot can be an amazing gift for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary!