Updated: Apr 17
Hi everyone! Boudoir photography is a beautiful way to capture and celebrate yourself, your body, and your confidence. A boudoir shoot is an intimate and empowering experience that requires careful preparation, and this guide is here to help you make the most of it. After shooting (literally) hundreds of boudoir sessions I know a thing or two about the subject! 😊
Whether you're looking to create a unique gift for a special someone or to simply treat yourself, boudoir photography is the perfect way to capture your inner beauty and confidence. With the right preparation and mindset, you can create a collection of stunning images that showcase your unique personality and style. -And that you will enjoy for years after your session.
To ensure that your boudoir shoot is a success, it's important to consider all the details that go into making it an unforgettable experience. From choosing the right photographer and location to preparing yourself mentally and emotionally, there are many factors that play a role in the success of your boudoir shoot.
This guide provides you with 25 things to consider before your boudoir shoot, so you can feel confident, empowered, and ready to create stunning images that showcase your beauty and confidence. It took a lot of work putting this together, but education is the best tool to help you make the smart choice for your shoot.
So, let's get started with some great boudoir session tips!
1. Research your photographer
Researching your photographer is a crucial step in ensuring a successful boudoir photography experience. When choosing a photographer, it's important to look for someone who has experience shooting boudoir and whose style aligns with your vision and desired outcome. You can start by checking their portfolio and reading reviews from past clients to see if they have a track record of delivering high-quality images. It's also important to consider the photographer's level of professionalism and communication skills, as a great photographer will not only take beautiful photos but also make you feel comfortable and at ease during the shoot. Additionally, be sure to ask about their process, their experience with post-production, and their policy on retouching, so you know what to expect from start to finish. By thoroughly researching your photographer, you'll be able to make an informed decision and feel confident that you've chosen someone who will help you achieve your vision for your boudoir photos.
2. Choose a comfortable outfit
Choosing the right outfit for your boudoir shoot is a critical step in ensuring a comfortable and successful experience. While lingerie and intimate apparel can certainly make for stunning photographs, it's important to choose something that you feel confident and comfortable in. Consider your body type and any areas you would like to accentuate or hide, and choose an outfit that flatters your figure. Lace and silk are popular choices for boudoir shoots, but ultimately, the most important factor is that you feel good in what you're wearing. Avoid outfits that are too tight or restrictive, as these can be uncomfortable and may detract from your overall confidence during the shoot. Additionally, bring a variety of outfits to the shoot to give yourself different options and switch things up. By choosing a comfortable outfit, you'll be able to relax and feel confident in front of the camera, resulting in beautiful, natural-looking photos.
3. Prepare your hair and makeup
Preparing your hair and makeup for your boudoir shoot is a crucial step in ensuring a flawless, polished look for your photos. Whether you choose to do your own hair and makeup or hire a professional, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Experiment with different hair and makeup styles to see what works best for you and accentuates your features. Pay attention to details, such as well-groomed brows, clean and moisturized skin, and a natural-looking flush of color on your cheeks. Consider investing in a touch-up kit to bring with you to the shoot, in case you need to make any minor adjustments throughout the day. By taking the time to properly prepare your hair and makeup, you'll feel confident and beautiful in front of the camera, resulting in stunning, confident photos that you'll treasure for years to come.
4. Practice your poses
Practicing your poses in advance of your boudoir shoot can help you feel more confident and comfortable in front of the camera. There's no need to be a professional model to have great boudoir photos, but a little preparation can go a long way. Take some time to research different types of poses that flatter your body type, and practice them in front of a mirror or with a friend. You can also consider working with a posing coach or attend a workshop to learn some basic techniques. Familiarizing yourself with different poses will help you feel more at ease during the shoot, allowing you to relax and let your personality shine through in your photos. Don't be afraid to try different poses and express yourself creatively, as this will result in unique, authentic photos that capture your true beauty and confidence.
5. Set your intentions
Setting your intentions before your boudoir shoot can help ensure that the experience is positive, empowering, and fulfilling. Take some time to reflect on why you want to do a boudoir shoot and what you hope to get out of it. Perhaps you want to celebrate your body, boost your self-confidence, or mark a special occasion in your life. Whatever your reasons, write them down and keep them in mind as you prepare for the shoot. Setting your intentions will help you focus on what truly matters to you and give you a clear sense of purpose as you step in front of the camera. It will also help you stay centered and grounded during the shoot, allowing you to relax and be yourself, resulting in truly stunning and meaningful photos.
6. Create a mood board
Creating a mood board is a great way to get inspired and get a clear idea of the look and feel you want to achieve during your boudoir shoot. A mood board is a visual collection of images, colors, textures, and ideas that reflect your style, personality, and vision for your shoot. It can include images of lingerie, poses, and hairstyles you admire, as well as colors, patterns, and fabrics that you find appealing. Creating a mood board is a fun and creative way to get into the right mindset for your shoot and can help you communicate your vision to your photographer. It can also help you stay focused and organized as you plan your wardrobe, hair and makeup, and other details for the shoot. By having a clear vision in mind, you can ensure that your boudoir shoot is a unique and memorable experience that truly represents you.
7. Find the right location
Finding the right location for your boudoir shoot can greatly impact the overall outcome of your images. The environment you choose sets the tone for your photographs and can help to enhance the mood and style you're going for. Take the time to consider the different options available to you, whether it be in a studio, in your home, or at a unique and intimate location. You can also consult with your photographer to get their input and suggestions on locations that they feel would work best for your shoot. Keep in mind factors such as lighting, privacy, and overall vibe when choosing the right location. Making the right choice will ensure that you feel confident and comfortable, and that your photos turn out exactly how you envisioned them.
8. Bring props
Bringing props to your boudoir shoot can help you add an extra layer of creativity and personality to your images. Consider bringing items that are meaningful to you, such as a bouquet of flowers, a favorite book, or a special piece of jewelry. Props can also help you create different moods and themes, such as a romantic or playful look. When choosing props, consider their color, size, and texture, as these can all have an impact on the overall look and feel of your images. Additionally, consider discussing your prop ideas with your photographer, who can provide recommendations based on their experience and expertise. By incorporating props into your shoot, you can create truly unique and personalized images that truly reflect who you are and what you love.
9. Communicate with your photographer
Communicating with your photographer is crucial to ensuring that your boudoir shoot goes smoothly. It's important to be clear and open about what you're looking to achieve with the shoot and what you hope to get out of the experience. This will allow your photographer to tailor the shoot to your specific needs and preferences. It's also important to discuss any specific poses or themes that you're interested in exploring. This way, you and your photographer can work together to create a shot list that meets your goals and expectations. Communication also extends to discussing any limitations or restrictions you may have, such as physical limitations or areas of your body that you may be self-conscious about. With open and clear communication, you can feel confident that your photographer will create images that you love and feel proud to show off.
10. Be clear on your comfort level with nudity and lingerie shots
Being clear on your comfort level with nudity and lingerie shots is essential for a successful boudoir shoot. You want to make sure that you're both on the same page with your photographer regarding the level of exposure you're comfortable with. It's important to communicate your boundaries and to make sure that you feel comfortable and confident throughout the shoot. This can help you relax and enjoy the experience, knowing that your comfort is being respected. It's also a good idea to ask your photographer about their own policies and procedures, such as retouching and image use, so that you feel confident in the final results. Remember that boudoir photography is all about empowering and celebrating women, so it's important to choose a photographer who aligns with your values and helps you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.
11. Plan for the right time of day
Planning for the right time of day is an important aspect of your boudoir shoot. The time of day can greatly affect the mood and feel of your images. For example, early morning light can create soft and dreamy images, while late afternoon light can produce warm and romantic images. It's important to consider the quality of light when choosing a time for your shoot, as well as your schedule and energy level. You want to make sure that you're feeling your best and that you have enough energy to fully participate in the shoot. If you're not sure what time of day would work best for your shoot, consider consulting with your photographer, who can provide recommendations based on their experience and expertise. By choosing the right time of day, you can ensure that your images are truly stunning and reflective of the mood you're looking to achieve.
12. Choose the right lighting
Choosing the right lighting is crucial for creating beautiful and flattering boudoir images. The right lighting can help you look your best and highlight your features, while the wrong lighting can create unflattering shadows and emphasize any imperfections. Consider the type of lighting that you prefer, such as natural light, studio lighting, or a combination of both. You can also discuss your lighting preferences with your photographer, who can provide recommendations based on their experience and expertise. Additionally, consider the type of look and mood you're hoping to achieve with your images. For example, soft and romantic images may require a different lighting setup than bold and empowering images. By choosing the right lighting, you can ensure that your boudoir images are stunning and exactly what you're looking for.
13. Get in the right mindset
Having the right hair and makeup is an important part of your boudoir shoot. You want to make sure that you look and feel your best, and having professional hair and makeup can help you achieve that. Consider investing in a professional hair and makeup artist, who can create a look that's both beautiful and flattering. You can also discuss your preferences and goals for your hair and makeup with your artist, so that they can tailor their work to your specific needs and preferences. Whether you're looking for a natural, glam, or something in between, a professional hair and makeup artist can help you achieve the look you're going for. Additionally, professional hair and makeup can also help you feel confident and empowered during your shoot, knowing that you're looking your absolute best.
14. Don't forget to relax and have fun
It's important to remember that a boudoir shoot is a fun and empowering experience, and it's essential to relax and have a good time. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera, which can result in more natural and authentic images. Take deep breaths and try to let go of any nerves or anxiety. Your photographer is there to help guide you and make you feel at ease, so don't be afraid to ask for their support. Remember to have fun and embrace the experience, whether that means laughing, dancing, or simply being yourself. By letting go of any expectations and allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment, you can create truly beautiful and meaningful images that capture your unique spirit and personality.
15. Consider hiring a professional stylist
Hiring a professional stylist can be a great way to enhance your boudoir shoot and ensure that you look and feel your best. A stylist can help you choose the right outfits, accessories, and hairstyles that complement your body type and personal style, and that will look great in the images. They can also provide recommendations on makeup, skincare, and other grooming details that can help you look and feel your best on the day of your shoot. Additionally, a stylist can offer valuable advice and support on posing, movement, and other aspects of the shoot that can help you create beautiful and flattering images. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time boudoir shooter, hiring a professional stylist can be a great investment in your boudoir shoot, helping you create images that truly showcase your beauty and confidence.
16. Consider bringing a friend for support
Bringing a friend along to your boudoir shoot can be a great way to provide moral support and help you feel more comfortable and at ease. Whether it's a close friend, a partner, or a family member, having someone you trust there to support you can help you relax and enjoy the experience. Your friend can offer encouragement and help you feel more confident in front of the camera, as well as provide a fresh perspective on your images and help you choose your favorites. They can also assist with practical matters such as bringing props, carrying outfits, or simply being there for emotional support. Having a friend present can help make your boudoir shoot a fun and enjoyable experience, as well as create lasting memories that you can cherish together.
17. Make sure your skin is looking its best
Having smooth, radiant skin is a crucial part of creating beautiful and flattering boudoir images, so it's essential to take care of your skin in the lead-up to your shoot. Start by incorporating a regular skincare routine that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection to keep your skin looking its best. You may also want to consider scheduling a professional facial or other skin treatments a few weeks before your shoot to help your skin look its best. On the day of the shoot, make sure to hydrate properly and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the skin and cause puffiness. You may also want to bring along any skincare products or makeup that you feel confident using, as well as a moisturizer and lip balm to keep your skin hydrated and looking its best during the shoot. With a little extra care and attention, you can ensure that your skin is looking its best, and that you're ready to create stunning and memorable boudoir images.
18. Get plenty of rest before the shoot
Getting adequate rest in the lead-up to your boudoir shoot is crucial for ensuring that you look and feel your best on the day of the shoot. Lack of sleep can result in puffy eyes, dark circles, and a generally tired appearance, which can detract from the beauty and glamour of your boudoir images. To ensure that you're well-rested and ready for your shoot, aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night in the days leading up to the shoot. You may also want to avoid activities that can disrupt your sleep, such as late-night screen time or heavy exercise, and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. By making sure you're well-rested, you'll be able to feel confident, refreshed, and ready to create beautiful and memorable boudoir images that showcase your beauty and confidence.
19. Consider getting a spray tan
Getting a spray tan can be a great way to enhance your natural beauty and achieve a golden, sun-kissed glow for your boudoir shoot. A professional spray tan can even out your skin tone, hide blemishes and imperfections, and add a touch of glamour and sophistication to your images. When choosing a spray tan, it's important to consider the type of finish you want, as well as the timing of the tan to ensure that it's fully developed and looking its best for your shoot. You may also want to do a patch test before your appointment to ensure that you're not allergic to the spray tan solution. With careful preparation and attention to detail, getting a spray tan can be a great way to take your boudoir images to the next level and create stunning and memorable images that showcase your beauty and confidence.
20. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally
Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for your boudoir shoot is just as important as preparing your physical appearance. Boudoir photography can be a powerful and empowering experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking for some people. To ensure that you feel confident and at ease during your shoot, it's important to take the time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. This may involve practicing self-care activities such as meditation, journaling, or talking to a trusted friend or family member. You may also want to set intentions for your shoot and focus on positive self-talk to help you build confidence and feel more relaxed. By taking the time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally, you'll be able to approach your boudoir shoot with a positive and confident attitude, which can help you create stunning and memorable images that showcase your beauty and strength.
21. Plan your wardrobe in advance
Planning your wardrobe in advance for your boudoir shoot is essential to ensure that you have the perfect outfit for every shot. The right outfit can help you feel confident and comfortable, and can also play a major role in the overall look and feel of your images. When planning your wardrobe, it's important to consider the style of the shoot and choose outfits that match the vibe you're going for. You may want to bring a variety of outfits that showcase different aspects of your personal style, including lingerie, accessories, and props. It's also a good idea to bring multiple options for each shot so that you have plenty of options to choose from during the shoot. With careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your wardrobe is on point and ready to help you create stunning and memorable boudoir images.
22. Take the time to get to know your photographer
Taking the time to get to know your boudoir photographer is key to building a comfortable and productive working relationship. This is especially important because boudoir photography often involves more intimate and vulnerable poses, so it's essential that you feel comfortable and confident with the person behind the lens. During the initial consultation with your photographer, take the opportunity to discuss your preferences, vision for the shoot, and any concerns you may have. This will help you both get on the same page and ensure that you have a clear understanding of what to expect from the shoot. Additionally, getting to know your photographer on a personal level can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during the shoot, which can result in more authentic and stunning images. By investing the time to get to know your photographer, you can create a positive and collaborative environment that leads to beautiful and memorable boudoir images.
23. Practice self-care in the days leading up to the shoot
Practicing self-care in the days leading up to your boudoir shoot is essential to help you feel confident, relaxed, and beautiful on the day of the shoot. Self-care can take many forms, including getting adequate rest, eating well, and taking care of your skin. Taking a relaxing bath or indulging in a spa day can also help you unwind and mentally prepare for the shoot. Additionally, practicing good posture and stretching can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your body. Whether it's treating yourself to a new haircut or spending time outdoors, it's important to do what feels right for you to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated for the shoot. By making self-care a priority, you'll be able to approach your boudoir shoot with a positive and confident attitude, ready to create stunning and unforgettable images.
24. Make sure you have all the details confirmed and in writing
Making sure you have all the details confirmed and in writing is critical to ensuring a smooth and stress-free boudoir shoot. Before the shoot, make sure to double-check the date, time, and location with your photographer. It's also a good idea to discuss and confirm the expected outcome of the shoot, including the number of images you'll receive, their format, and the timeline for delivery. Having all the details in writing will help you feel more secure and confident leading up to the shoot and can also serve as a reference in case of any misunderstandings or disagreements. Additionally, having a written agreement can help you avoid any potential disputes or miscommunications, ensuring that you and your photographer are on the same page and working towards a common goal. By taking the time to make sure all the details are confirmed and in writing, you'll be able to approach your boudoir shoot with peace of mind and focus on creating beautiful and meaningful images.
25. Trust the process and let yourself be vulnerable in front of the camera.
Trusting the process and letting yourself be vulnerable in front of the camera are key to capturing beautiful and intimate boudoir images. The boudoir photography experience is all about embracing your sensuality, femininity, and vulnerability, and allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment. Your photographer will guide you through the process, helping you to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Trusting the process means letting go of any insecurities or self-doubt and allowing yourself to fully open up to the experience. Whether it's through posing, facial expressions, or gestures, the more vulnerable you are in front of the camera, the more authentic and intimate your images will be. By embracing your vulnerability and trusting the process, you'll be able to create images that capture the essence of who you are and celebrate your unique beauty and sensuality.
In conclusion, preparing for a boudoir shoot is a deeply personal and empowering experience that allows you to celebrate your body, your sensuality, and your self-expression. By considering these 25 factors, you will be able to approach the session with confidence, comfort, and a strong sense of your unique style. Remember that open communication with your photographer and thoughtful planning will contribute to a successful boudoir session where your personality shines through.
As you embark on this thrilling journey, always keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to create a stunning collection of images that you will treasure for a lifetime. By following these guidelines, you will not only ensure that your photoshoot runs smoothly but also that the final product captures your true essence. So, take a deep breath, let go of any inhibitions, and embrace this extraordinary opportunity to celebrate yourself in all your magnificence. It's time to step into the spotlight, and create memories that will leave you feeling uplifted, confident, and truly radiant.