079. Style Furniture Boudoir Photography Studio
How to Style Furniture in a Boudoir Photography Studio
After photographing 850 sessions over the years, you can imagine I’ve learned a thing or two about running a photography business and even about photography itself.
And one of those lessons? How to style the furniture IN that boudoir photography studio.
There are a lot of things that can make your business successful, but undoubtedly having amazing pictures to deliver to clients can have a HUGE impact. And the type of furniture you use can make a difference!
So today, I’m gonna give you some insight into what makes a piece of furniture a winner in the studio. Then I’ll give you a few examples of pieces that are my must-haves — things that have even become a Boudoir By Tracy Lynn signature!
Ready to find out what they are? Let’s dive in!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Finding the Right Pieces of Furniture for Your Boudoir Photography Studio
Before I dig into what my tried and true favorites are, let’s talk about what may, or may not, make a piece of furniture right for a boudoir studio.
TIP #1: KEEP IT NEUTRAL
The first thing I look for in a piece of furniture is that it’s a neutral color (preferrably lighter-toned).
I’ve tried chairs, love seats, and sofas that were royal blue, deep maroon, and even black. They were beautiful, but here’s the thing…I’m photographing the client, not the furniture. I don’t want anything to stand out more than they do!
And usually, furniture with bright or “fun” colors takes away from the client in the final images.
Plus, furniture or props (like sheets or rugs) with color can really throw things off in the editing process. A blue piece of furniture could easily make things too cool-toned. Or a red one would make things too warm.
This goes back to making sure the client looks their best and is the focal point of the image!
(It also comes down to style preference. I once had a maroon chair and hated it. It reminded me of a “granny-chair.” And that’s when I realized that my preference is neutral colors, too!)
TIP #2: MAKE SURE THERE’S ENOUGH ROOM
When you’re shooting boudoir photos, clients are going to be hitting poses that will require them to extend their arms and legs or lie down. Nothing is more frustrating than having a couch that’s way too small for the client to pose comfortably.
Because you can SEE in their face and body language that they are not comfortable. And obviously, that’s never what you want with your shoots.
To play it safe, buy oversized furniture. That way, anyone, of any height or size, can pose comfortably!
TIP #3: AVOID FURNITURE THAT CREATES OVERARCHING
The third thing I look for in a piece of furniture is that it has an arch, but not too much of an arch.
I’ll use my chaise longue chair as an example. It works so well because it gives just enough arch to really give the clients beautiful curves in several different poses. But not so much that it looks awkward or uncomfortable.
There’s definitely a happy medium here, so look for furniture, whether that’s a lounger or not, that can provide that.
Furniture I Can’t Live Without
Now let’s get into the pieces of furniture that are with me at every session and why!
#1: THE INFAMOUS CREAM CHAISE LOUNGE
This thing deserves its own section — it probably deserves its own post one day because of how much I love it!
Using this chaise longue chair has become a signature in my studio, and next to my clients, is the star of the show. Using it makes it so much easier to pose clients effortlessly and produce the photos that they feel confident, and sexy, in!
It creates the most beautiful curves and the clients ALWAYS choose the photos taken with the chaise lounge. Plus it’s a neutral color so it goes with pretty much any outfit a client can bring.
If you don’t have a chaise lounge, I know the price tag at first can be a little intimidating. But, you’re going to want to invest in this specific piece of furniture for sure. It’s worth EVERY penny!
#2: A CREAM TUFTED BED
The second piece of furniture I can’t live without is my cream-tufted bed.
Remember how I mentioned earlier that it’s important to have furniture that’s oversized? Well, I made the mistake of using a full-sized bed at first. And I guess it “worked” but, everything just ended up looking cramped in the final shots.
Now, I have a queen-sized bed and I can see the difference. Ideally, I would have liked to have a king-sized bed, but my boudoir photography studio isn’t big enough to accommodate that just yet!
THEN, this is where the magic happened. I added the cream tufted headboard with black silk sheets to make a moodier set, but it still has some depth to it.
You can see I kept things pretty neutral so it photographs well. It looks elegant and effortless and really supports the clients when they pose!
This is definitely a style preference, but something you can at least consider while you’re designing your studio space.
#3: HAVE TWO SETS OF BEDS
The third thing isn’t exactly a piece of furniture so much as it’s a way to elevate your photos WITH your furniture. And that’s having another bed set in a totally different room (if you can).
My queen bed is more of my light and airy setup. But that full-sized bed I tried for a little bit didn’t go anywhere. I kept it and turned it sideways to make it look more like a queen-sized bed in this setup.
This helps add some variety to the client’s photos and gives them options to choose which set they like the best during the ordering session!
BONUS: Props That Can Take Things a Step Further
I want to add two more things that help me create stunning photos, but neither are pieces of furniture. However, they do really elevate things in the studio and I HIGHLY recommend them!
BONUS #1: A WHITE FUR RUG
Over the years this white fur rug has become a staple in my sessions. I use it with my cream chaise lounge setup, but over the years, it’s also been used as a Christmas tree skirt for Christmas sessions. And it’s been used as a standalone rug against my gray wall.
It’s been everywhere! And it works because it keeps things neutral, cozy, and simple. Which again, makes the client the focus of the pictures.
A DARK GRAY WALL
I really love having just a gray wall to shoot against. Especially with the right type of light!
I think this setup helps me capture some of the client’s most flattering angles. The gray doesn’t bounce light or absorb it, but keeps everything harmonious.
Plus it’s just classy and neutral and it puts the focus on the client rather than on the setting. Gotta love that!
Make the Right Investments
Remember — all props and furniture are there to support your clients in the photos. Not to be a focal point. They should blend into the backdrop so the eyes fall onto the client immediately when looking at the picture.
So don’t go crazy investing in all kinds of different pieces of furniture. I did that, and I ended up with so many pieces I never used. Talk about a waste of money!
If you can invest a little bit into a few of the right types of furniture (and props), you’re going to save so much time AND money in the long run.
Learn More About Rocking Your Client Experience!
Want to learn more about rocking each session so the client is BEYOND happy with their final image? Grab The Boudoir Photographer’s Playbook! Inside, I guide you in creating an unbelievable and luxurious experience for your clients.
This playbook lays out the entire session experience from start to finish, so you know exactly how to set yours up, including pricing with a business foundation in mind, session consults, sales sessions, and more. I’ve even included my posing guide and icebreaker poses!
Interested? Grab it here!