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7 1/2 Expert Boudoir Photography Tips To Help You Win Your Session

Updated: May 8

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Boudoir Tips

Hi everyone. My name is Michael, and I'm an expert boudoir photographer who works with women from all over New Jersey and the NYC area who are looking for amazing photography. It's my thing!

I've photographed lots of boudoir sessions, and the amazing part is how its still growing in popularity year after year as a gift idea. --And why not?! It's literally one of the most fun experiences you can have creating a gift. Although boudoir is fun, it still can involve a bit of preparation to get the most out of your session.

Have you been thinking of giving boudoir as a gift to your significant other? We'll, you're in the right place. I thought I'd take a few moments and put together a few expert boudoir tips to help you set out and win your boudoir session.

In no particular order, below are some great tips to help you get the most from your boudoir shoot.

Boudoir Tip 1: Just Have Fun!

I'd estimate 98% of the women I work with have never had a boudoir session before. --And that's perfectly OK! Actually, as an experienced professional, I'd much rather prefer my clients have no experience in front of a camera.

Most women are not born natural models, and it's my job as the photographer to make you feel and look that way. Although there is a lot of behind-the-scenes technical work going on behind the camera, in my book, rule number one is to always make sure my client is having a great time and enjoying themselves.

Many women will only wind up doing something like this once, so relax and just have fun with it. Everyone has a bit of nerves at the beginning, but if you're working with a competent professional, you'll see these jitters are short lived, and soon forgotten. I can tell you first hand that many of my clients have such a great time I can't get them out of the building after the session is done! They want to shoot more outfits and keep on going.

And remember-- No one is perfect. Don't sweat the small stuff. Boudoir is one of the rare experiences where you walk away feeling invigorated and like a new person! Forget the minor imperfections-- in this magical day and age photographers have a fancy tool called Photoshop that zaps away all the lumps and bumps-- so just smile and enjoy the experience. ...After all, rolling around in your underwear isn't really a very serious thing, is it?

boudoir photo of a woman holding a Captain America shield

Boudoir Tip 2: Add A Personal Touch!

Do something to make your session your own. Although my boudoir work is fairly traditional, I still encourage my clients to bring along fun props to make their session their own.

Take a few moments in the process of preparing to think of an item or two that may be a personal favorite of yours or your boyfriend/husband/partner.

Are you coming in for a wedding boudoir session? Bring your wedding veil, garters, bridal lingerie, shoes, etc..

For those looking to take it up a notch: handcuffs, restraints, blind folds, etc,

Other popular props are sports jerseys, hats, husbands work shirts, uniforms. -You get the idea! They are typically not going to be a bulk of your photos-- at least not for me, anyway, but it is fun to include a photo or two to create that intimate connection to the recipient and make it a super personal experience.

Yeah, Mike, but my item I'm thinking of bringing may be a bit! Hmm, well, let me tell you, it's probably not anything I (or your photographer) haven't dealt with before!

Along the same lines, its likely your photographer has seen just as many unique props pass through their doorways and will be just fine with it. Just a small example of some of the items I've had clients bring in include: Live snakes, whips, authentic super hero shields, Star Wars light sabers, baked goods, super hero costumes, and the list goes on and on...

The bottom line is bring it! (...And keep tip #1 in mind.) If you don't like the way the shot turns out, don't put it in your book.

a boudoir photographer and a client smiling

Boudoir Tip 3: Find The Right Photographer!

I've written lots of blog posts over the years about finding the right studio. It's an important step in getting top notch results and having a pleasurable experience from beginning to end.

Take your time and do your homework here. I know it's the opposite of how you are programmed to shop-- but focus on shopping by quality, not the lowest price you can find. Hunting around hours to find the lowest session price in your area doesn't make you the "winner"... and sadly you will often wind up the "loser" in many such situations. Why? You can read some of my extensive advice on this subject on my article Why choosing the lowest priced photographer will be your biggest mistake here. --Just....don't...

Boudoir photography skills and results vary wildly from photographer to photographer. It is a branch of photography which is extremely difficult to master, and few do it well. There's lot of bad boudoir photographers out don't fall victim. Why? Because anyone can buy a camera, put up a website, and state they are a "pro" boudoir photographer.

I know it's hard to resist that link you received from your bestie because she knows someone who knows someone who just started a boudoir photography business. Dig into the quality of results of any photographer. Most will have lots of photos online and on social media platforms like Instagram, so these days its real easy to get a cross sample of work.

As well meaning as your cheap referral may be, if six months ago her life's goal was to be the "cupcake queen" and was running a failed at-home cupcake business, she may not be your best choice. Despite the cash influx from her recently sold stand mixers to get a fancy new camera on Amazon, and the declaration that her new life's goal is to now make women beautiful.... thank Debbie for her offer, but move onward.