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Boudoir Photography

Updated on February 25, 2011

Boudoir photography is an increasing popular form of expression for women of all ages.  In the 1700s, the term boudoir referred to a woman’s dressing and bathing room.  Today, people think of boudoir as deriving from the French verb meaning to pout.  Boudoir photography is an art form where women are photographed in various states of undress or in lingerie.  The purpose of the photos is to be seductive, romantic, and sexual.  While sometimes the women are nude, boudoir photographs are not about nudity.  Often, a woman is more seductive and sexy when scantily clad then completely naked.  Women everywhere are participating in boudoir photo shoots and loving it.  Often the experience for the woman is just as rewarding as the picture is for the person she gives it to.

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Who Gets Boudoir Photography?

Women get boudoir photographs taken for various reasons. Probably the most popular is wedding boudoir photography. Many brides to be get their wedding photographers to take boudoir pictures so that they can give them to their future husband in a special wedding album. The second most popular occasion for boudoir photography is post surgery. Many women are feeling confident and beautiful after plastic surgery procedures and they want to show case themselves. Women also purchase boudoir photography portfolios to celebrate a milestone birthday like turning 30, 40 or 50. Reaching your goal weight after a significant weight loss is another occasion that prompts women to want to show off their bodies. One niche of boudoir photography that is gaining popularity with the help of celebrities is maternity boudoir photography. A woman’s body is beautiful during pregnancy and many women want to remember their body during this time and celebrate the gift of life that is growing inside them.

Making Your Boudoir Photography Appointment

There are a few things to remember when you are first setting up your boudoir appointment. Make sure you do some research on your photographer. Most boudoir photographers are reputable, but as a woman who will be in a vulnerable position, it is safe to check a few references. Ask your photographer if they have costumes available or if you should bring your own changes of clothes. How many changes will you be permitted in the time slot allotted for your boudoir sitting? Does your sitting fee include hair and makeup or should you arrange to have them done ahead of time? Arrange where your boudoir photography session will take place. Talk over the outfits you plan to wear and the look you are going for with your boudoir photographer so that you can make sure he or she has the necessary props and scenery. If not, you can book a hotel room or arrange for the boudoir session to be in your home. Finally, ask if it would be OK to bring a friend along.

How to Make Your Boudoir Photography Session Fun

It is very necessary to ask this question and advisable to follow through on the request.  If the photographer refuses to let you bring someone to his or her studio then it might not be a situation you want to walk into.  It is very common for photographers to let you bring someone to the studio but not allow then in session with you.  Having extra people in the room is distracting and slows down the photographers work.  Your friend can make the experience more fun and you will be more relaxed with someone familiar around.  Relaxing and having fun are keys to making sure your boudoir photographs turn out well.  If you are tense or nervous it will come out in the photos and they will not be as good.  A friend is not the only thing that could help you relax.  Ask the boudoir photographer if you can play music to help get you in the mood.

Another way you can be more relaxed during your boudoir photography session is to practice ahead of time.  Try on your outfits at home and practice the poses you want to do.  Try to get comfortable in your skin.  If you are wearing a piece of lingerie for the first time then your unfamiliarity with the garment will be evident in the picture and you will not look nearly as sexy and seductive.  Even though you want to practice before your sitting, it is ultimately the photographer’s job to pose you.  They are the ones who are experts in lighting and angles.  They will know what will make you look the best and you should trust them.

Boudoir Photography Tips

There are a few other boudoir photography tips you should try to adhere to. First, wear loose fitting clothing to your boudoir session so that you do not leave any marks on your body. Sometimes our bras or tight clothing will leave makes on our skin. Waiting for the marks to clear is wasted time with your photographer. You also want to make sure you do not smudge or mess your makeup or hair when you are changing. If possible, you should wear a button down shirt rather than a shirt that has to be pulled overhead to be removed. Remember to wear clear deodorant so that you do not leave marks on your clothing or under your arms. Finally, do not wear perfume to your boudoir photography session. Often they take place in small closed rooms and the scent can bother your photographer. If you do wear a fragrance then make sure it is applied lightly and not too powerful.


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