7 Tips to Guarantee You Have an AMAZING Boudoir Session
Booked your first boudoir session (or getting ready to book it) and having second thoughts? Are you worried that your photos won’t turn out the way you hope?
I’ve photographed over 800 boudoir sessions since 2016 — so trust me when I say that you’re not alone feeling this way! It’s totally normal to feel anxious before your shoot. Don’t worry. You can overcome your nerves to feel not only comfortable, but confident during your boudoir session.
Read my seven tips below to prepare for your boudoir session…and then go and rock your photoshoot!
Tip #1: Find a photographer with a style you love.
There are three specific styles of boudoir photography, and they all shoot very differently. I highly recommend choosing a style you like and then picking a photographer who shoots that style really well.
The three styles are:
- Light and airy. This style is very bright, white, and often minimalist
- Dark and moody. You see dark sheets and outfits, plus lots of shadows
- Correctly lit. Think timeless, classic style that’s right in the middle (my favorite!)
I have a video about using natural light for photographers to create these styles, but you can watch it to see how different they look!
Also, think about how you want your images to look. Do you want full body images, lots of close ups, or a mix of both? This is a big style preference, and you want your photographer to be able to create the images you’re looking for.
Lastly, remember this: good photographers aren’t cheap and cheap photographers aren’t necessarily good. You’ll likely spend $1500 or more on just your session, so pick a photographer with that in mind. You want someone skilled who will help you feel confident and beautiful, and give you a luxurious experience to remember.
Tip #2: Get comfortable with your photographer.
Once you’ve picked a photographer, what’s next? You can absolutely chat with them before your session!
Don’t be afraid to chat through email, texts, or DMs. You can even ask to talk over the phone or in a video chat. If you’ve picked the right photographer, they’ll be happy to get to know you and help ease your nerves.
A boudoir session is a very intimate experience where you’ll feel vulnerable in front of a stranger. Talking with your photographer beforehand can help you feel more comfortable and prepared for your shoot.
Tip #3: Pick great outfits ahead of time.
Being unprepared for something can make us feel way more anxious than normal. To avoid this, I recommend picking your outfits in advance. Knowing what you’re going to wear — and trying your outfits on at home so you’ll have an idea of what you’ll look like — helps a lot!
I’ve photographed about 850 sessions in my time, so I’ve seen it all. Here are some quick outfit recommendations for your boudoir session:
- Pick a bodysuit. You’ll feel covered and “dressed,” but you don’t have to deal with a bunch of extra material.
- Choose three to four bra and panty sets for lots of variety.
- Use thongs or panties with cheeky coverage for the most flattering look.
- Go one size bigger than your usual size for panties. You don’t want your underwear to look stretched out in your images. A bigger size will help you avoid muffin tops, too.
- Bring high-rise jeans. They are so classic and gorgeous. Think Calvin Klein ad when picking your jeans.
- Bring an oversized button-down shirt, too. Wearing your partner’s button-down in a photo makes it extra special.
- Grab a big, cozy sweater or two. They’re so soft and look so sexy when they’re slouching off your shoulders.
- Finally, bring heels! Stilettos and platform heels always look beautiful.
Don’t feel like you have to follow these rules to a T, though. The most important thing is to wear what makes you feel sexy!
Tip #4: Stay hydrated.
This sounds kind of corny, but I’m serious! Drink lots of water during the weeks leading up to your session. It’ll help your skin glow and look its best. Your makeup will go on more smoothly and look gorgeous. You’ll feel better when you’re hydrated.
We can all use a reminder to drink more water anyway, right?
Tip #5: Decide whether you want to tan.
Personally, I can’t recommend visiting a tanning salon before your boudoir session. I’ve had too many cancer scares and procedures to remove pre-skin cancer areas to do it. However, I would recommend getting a spray tan before your session.
Why? Spray tans help your skin glow. The light bounces off tanned skin in such a pretty way. That’s why I recommend it but keep in mind that every photographer is different. Ask your photographer for their thoughts before you decide.
Tip #6: Bring ideas for hair and makeup to the shoot.
This tip sounds a little weird, right? Your first instinct may be to let a professional hair and makeup artist (or HMUA) have complete control. But my HMUA has told me that it’s actually easier when clients bring ideas instead of trusting her to decide everything!
When you bring your own ideas to your session, the HMUA has a reference point they can start with. That can help them decide what you would like best and what would be most flattering, instead of having to start from scratch.
Just make sure that the ideas you bring are ones you would actually be okay with. Don’t feel like you need to look extra glam or almost bare-faced if that’s not your style. Your boudoir photos should look like you.
Tip #7: Trust your photographer.
Last but not least, I encourage you to trust your boudoir photographer! She’s going to guide you through every pose during your session. You won’t be left wondering what your hands should be doing or whether your facial expression is right. A great photographer will walk you through it step-by-step.
For example, I have four specific poses I guide my clients through at the beginning of the shoot. I call them my icebreaker poses because they help calm their nerves. They’re also designed to flatter every client’s body. After I show my client what we’ve shot so far, she realizes I know what I’m doing…and that I’m gonna make her look stunning.
You don’t need to be a professional model. You just have to be you — and you have to trust your photographer.
Now go have an amazing boudoir session!
To have an amazing boudoir session, it all comes down to three main things: preparing ahead of time, knowing what you like, and choosing the right photographer. When you do these things, you’ll rock your boudoir session with confidence!
And hey, if you’re in the St. Louis area and looking to book a boudoir session…take a look at what it’s like to work with me, and let’s chat!