Boudoir Shoot FAQs
The type of photo shoot that I receive the most extensive questions on are Boudoir shoots… in fact they are the most misunderstood and probably the most intimidating shoot for people to do. With this in mind I decided to put together a basic FAQ page to give you some answers to the questions I receive most often:
What exactly is a boudoir shoot?
Boudoir is French for “sulky”, and a boudoir is typically a lady’s bedroom or dressing room. Boudoir photography is a genre that captures women in skimpy clothing, lingerie, partially clothed or naked. The idea is not to get crazy Penthouse style photos necessarily but more of a sexy, suggestive photo that showcases a woman's natural beauty.
How do you pronounce/spell boudoir?
Boo-dwar. And don’t worry, almost nobody spells it right.
Am I too fat to do this? I don’t think I’m skinny enough. I should try to lose weight first right?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. And also, no. The idea of a shoot like this is to capture your natural beauty and accentuate your best features. Is it a good/fun idea to set a time frame for your shoot and make an effort to look your best? Sure. Get your tan on, bleach your teeth, do some deep conditioning treatments. If it makes you feel amazing to work out on an elliptical machine for four weeks prior then by all means, do it. However, you are beautiful in your own ways, in ways that nobody else can duplicate, so you certainly shouldn’t try to duplicate anybody else’s beauty either. Tall, short, bony or curvy, everybody has something different to offer. A good photographer is going to talk with you about what you like the most about yourself and highlight those features as well as avoid overexposing anything you aren’t comfortable with. Every size and shape can be accentuated with the right poses, outfits, and lighting. P.S. In all of the years I have been doing these shoots, my absolute favorite best shoots have both been with "plus sized" ladies. Both in their mid-30s as well. I have shot women in their 50s and 60s. You are ALL BEAUTIFUL. So NO you do not need to be 20 years old and a size 0!
What about my stretch marks (or cellulite or acne or…)?
Do you really think the models you see on magazines really look like that? No. They have crows feet. They have zits. They have stretch marks and some even have (gasp!) cellulite. While a lot of them might starve themselves to double digit weights, they are still human beings and face the same exact beauty concerns that we all do. Photoshop is our friend! Between our careful planning with regards to location, outfit, and poses, as well as my additional touching up afterwards, you are not going to see or notice stretch marks or that stressful pimple that popped out on your chin.
Should I get a spray tan before my shoot?
No! Even the best, most artfully applied spray tan looks uneven in an intimate shoot like this. Especially in black and white. Believe it or not, the more natural the skin the better when it comes to photography.
Where will we do the shoot?
Boudoir shoots were traditionally done in the bedroom – but with my studio location we have TONS of options! We have two different bedrooms with different themes, a fancy tub with a chandelier, two showers, beautiful wood paneled wall and floor and an upright piano all available for use. If you have an idea of a place you would like to use instead or an outdoor location is on your list of wants, let me know!
What should I wear?
I am a big fan of Pinterest when it comes to figuring out your boudoir wardrobe. You want to keep it in line with your theme – if we are doing an outdoor country shoot at a barn then make sure and bring your cowgirl boots! Push-up bras make almost anyone feel instantly sexy, as do high heels. If we are doing a glamorous shoot you may want to bring some pearl necklaces or blingy jewelry. The accessories can make as much of an impact as the outfits. Some women feel most comfortable starting out with a little bit of clothing (short shorts, a sexy top, or a not-so-sheer baby doll) and gradually moving to the more risqué outfits. And if you are doing the shoot for your significant other, then incorporating a dress shirt, cowboy hat or other favorite item is a great idea! You of course want to avoid anything you feel uncomfortable in or that is too tight or binding. Personally, my favorite looks are the natural pain t shirt and undies or sweater and socks looks.
Here is a link to a Pinterest board with tons of great ideas!
Oh my gosh, is everyone on Facebook going to see my half-naked pictures?!
No way! Any boudoir images that you see me post on Facebook or my website are with the explicit permission of the model and most of them are shoots set up strictly for advertising purposes. Some people are not comfortable with any of their images going public and in those cases they stay completely private. Some like to pick and choose a few that they do want online. The majority of boudoir shoots I do never see the public eye and yours won’t either unless you want them to.
How will I know how to pose? I am not very good in front of a camera.
This is where we will really work together. Almost nobody is comfortable or natural in front of a camera and as your photographer I do my best to lighten the mood and help you feel comfortable. We will try a variety of poses and if something isn’t working or comfortable, we scrap it. If you should choose to book an appointment with both my partner Chris and I shooting in tandem then you get even more elaborate pose coaching.
Hopefully this article answers any questions you may have about boudoir shoots. Please feel free to shoot me an email or a call if you have any more questions that I haven’t covered!