Boudoir Photography Explained
At GCPhoto, some of the questions we get asked most often are about boudoir photography - what is boudoir photography? Is boudoir photography revealing? Do I need to be a slim young thing for a boudoir photoshoot? Well, this blog post explains what boudoir photography is and answers some of the most common questions about boudoir photoshoots. It also describes some of the things to be aware of before you book a boudoir photoshoot and a few safety tips.
What is boudoir photography?
“Boudoir” is a French word meaning "bedroom". In photography, "boudoir photography" refers to a style in which women (almost always women, but don't let that stop you if you're not) pose for photographs partially clothed or in lingerie in a "boudoir" setting.
Is boudoir photography revealing?
Boudoir photography images are sexy but tasteful, and nudity is typically implied rather than explicit. Sometimes the boudoir photoshoot will be in lingerie while sometimes there'll be nudity but anything too revealing will be covered (for example, by turning away from the camera) or invisible (by shadows, for example).
Do I need to be young, slim and beautiful for boudoir photography?
No! A good boudoir photographer should be able to flatter anyone and make them beautiful. Don't be self-conscious about your weight, your looks or anything at all - the photographer will make you feel beautiful and confidence is sexy!
How do I pose?
Unless you're a professional model, you'll probably appreciate some direction in how to pose. Fortunately, a good boudoir photographer will know all the poses that will make you look fabulous. Arched backs, lifted legs, and twists of the torso are common and you’ll likely spend a lot of time lying on your back or stomach. A good photographer will direct you throughout and so if you’re ever confused about how to pose, just ask the photographer and he or she will be happy to show you.
Do I need hair and make-up?
Probably. Unless you're very good with hair and make-up, you should get your hair and make-up done by a professional. This can be done before the photoshoot, but ideally, hair and make-up will be done at the studio or location immediately before the photoshoot. Fake eyelashes and nails and hair extensions are commonly used, while make-up styles can be as natural or heavy as you’d like, although the make-up artist will have some ideas too.
What lingerie shall I bring?
The style is up to you - sexy, playful, pin-up or glamorous. Black lace is very popular and works well with most styles. Make sure you have a few different options, as well as shoes (probably high heels!) and layers to go over the top, such as a large man's shirt.
For more advice, take a look at the "what to wear to your photoshoot" page.
Should boudoir photography be done in the studio?
It can be, but that's only one option. If you'd be more comfortable doing a boudoir photography shoot at home, that can often be arranged (although it will depend on the size and style of the room). Alternatively, we can book a hotel room for the shoot or book an AirBnB cottage for the day.
How long does a boudoir photography shoot last?
Typically, a boudoir photoshoot will last a couple of hours, or a bit longer if hair and make-up is being done professionally. Longer photoshoots can be arranged, but photoshoots are surprisingly tiring and experience says that anything longer than a couple of hours stops being fun. If you'd like a large number of images or different styles, it's recommended that we organise a rest-break during the shoot, which will also give you a chance to top up the make-up and re-do your hair.
Choosing your boudoir photographer
Picking the right boudoir photographer is essential. You want your photographer to have experience in boudoir photography and to take photographs in a style that you like. In addition, you want your boudoir photographer to be happy to explain the packages available and the style of images that you'll pose for during the shoot. A photographer that puts you at your ease and makes you feel relaxed is essential!
Before the shoot
So you've booked your boudoir photographer and you're looking forward to the shoot. A few things to keep in mind prior to the shoot...
• Make sure that you have no awkward tan lines - treat yourself to a fake tan if necessary!
• Don't wear anything too tight or that leaves lines before the shoot as marks last for hours.
• Don't eat or drink too much the night before. You'll feel more comfortable if you're not bloated, and no one looks good with a hangover.
• Make a music playlist on your phone. You might not like the photographer's choice of music, so bring your own!
If you're using a professional boudoir photographer, you'll be absolutely safe, but there are a few sensible precautions.
• Use a professional - find a photographer with an established reputation and a portfolio that you can look at to see their previous work.
• Don't use a friend or someone off Gumtree. First of all, they're not a professional and they probably won't be very good, but also you don't know where the images will end up.
• Check with the photographer whether they'll put the images on their own website, on Instagram, etc. If you're happy for them to do so, then great. But if you'd rather they didn't, then the photographer should be fine with that.
• Bring a friend - although many people prefer to shoot with just the photographer, if you'd prefer to have your partner or a friend there, the photographer should be able to accommodate that.
• If the photographer asks you to pose in a way you're not comfortable with, tell them immediately.
• Have fun! The photographs from a boudoir photoshoot are always much better if you're having fun!
• Don't worry about what anyone else would think, this is all about you!
• Be beautiful! Be yourself!
If you have any more questions, just let me know via the contact page. I'll get back to you as soon as I can, and I'll also probably add your question to this page!
See here for the GCPhoto boudoir photography packages page.