Boudoir photography is sweeping the photography industry with full force. Boudoir photoshoots are a way for women (and men too!) to embrace their bodies and feel completely empowered. These photos are sensual and sexy in a tasteful manner.
The word boudoir is French and means "a woman's private salon." Boudoir photography is the embodiment of glamour and allure. Clients will wear lingerie, undergarments, or just cover themselves with a sheet during a boudoir photography session.
Many women seek boudoir photoshoots to boost their self-esteem, empower themselves, or maybe they want to give their significant other a seductive gift. Traditionally women look into these photoshoots, but men are also invited to try! Men can also bring out their sensual side and gain self-confidence.
Some clients may feel a bit intimidated at the thought of stripping down in front of you while you snap away. It is your job to help them feel comfortable and empowered, show them they are in good hands. You also want them to have fun! If they are having fun, their confidence will shine through the photographs.
Boudoir Photography Gear Needed:
Camera: You can use either a mirrorless camera or a DSLR camera.
Lens: You will need to have a few lenses handy:
- The best adaptable lens is a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8.
- For wide scenes, use a 35mm f/1.4.
- An 85mm f/1.8 will give you the best close-up photo.
Light Meter & Gray Card: A light meter and grey card will take the guessing game from your manual camera settings. Light meters are great for choosing your aperture and shutter speed. A gray card is perfect for figuring out the white balance and avoiding unwanted color casts. If you take a photograph of the grey card, it will help you during post-processing.
We wrote an entire article dedicated to white balance, you can read it here: White Balance Photography: What is White Balance
Strip Lights: Strip lights are a great way to highlight and accentuate your model's curves.
Strobe Lights: Strobe lights are an excellent source of artificial light. You can control how much light you are allowing into your photographs.
Light Modifiers: Light can be a nightmare to some who are worried about highlighting their faults. You always want to avoid harsh and direct light and stay with soft lights. Look into light modifiers like a beauty box, softbox, or even a beauty dish.
Backdrops: If you don't have a background in your studio, you can purchase a few to use. Some people prefer the minimalistic look that black or white will give. Or you can use a color that you want to exude a certain mood, like a deep red.
Props: To add an extra oomph to your photographs, integrate props. The options are endless and think of props like stools/chairs, satin/silk/velvet sheets, fluffy carpets, flowers, and more.
Extra Makeup: Just in case your client needs a makeup refresh or the off-chance she didn't come in makeup, you should provide a few things.
- Lash Adhesive & False Lashes
- Matte Powder
- Double-sided Fashion Tape
- Makeup Removing Wipes
The Day of Your Photoshoot
You should always prepare your client with a preparation guide. Most of them will already feel a little anxious, and providing them with a cheat sheet will be one less thing they will have to worry about. Here is a sample preparation guide:
Apparel: Bring sexy lingerie and undergarments that you feel comfortable in. Also, bring a robe between shoots if you need something to keep you a little warm.
Accessories: Pack accessories that will compliment your lingerie. This can be jewelry or even hats.
Makeup: You will most likely want to wear some makeup, depending on the look you are going for. You want to bring out your inner Marilyn Monroe! Wear foundation, eye makeup, lipstick, and put on a set of lashes!
Pose Ideas for Your Clients
You want to focus and highlight what makes your client feel confident. Before you recommend boudoir poses to your client, ask them what their favorite body part is.
Have your client lie down in a bed.
When your client lies down, will offer a sultry and nonchalant pose. This pose will also be great for intimate close-ups.
Use chairs or stools as props.
Instruct your client to sit back on a chair or sit on a stool with perfect posture. Once they are sitting, have them look into the camera seductively. Your client can also drape themselves onto a chair for a sultry look.
Always change up your perspective.
Switch the angles you are taking the photographs. You will be surprised at how different a photo can look by just switching your position. Taking pictures from the back always gives off an innocent and curious look.
We wrote an entire article dedicated to this, you can read it here: Photography Composition Techniques
Boudoir photographs are one of my absolute favorites! Have fun while you are taking pictures, and as always, experiment! You'll enjoy pulling out confidence from beautiful women and seeing them glow!
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