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Ask A Boudoir Photographer: What REALLY Goes On Behind Closed Session Doors

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Let's spill the beans! Do you have questions about what goes on in that boudoir studio behind closed doors... and maybe we're a bit afraid to ask... or know?

My name is Michael. I've been a pro boudoir photographer for over 10 years and I've photographed hundreds of women. You may say I know a thing or two about the subject. Boudoir photography is intriguing to many women but at the same time creates a bit of uncertainty for those not really quite sure of what women are actually doing during these sessions. Is everything just super tame? Are women really including nudity... or even taking it a step further?? What's really going on inside the average boudoir session? The people want to know!

I answer lot of client boudoir questions every year-- from the benign, to the down-right NSFW type-- that everyone wants to know! I thought I'd write a blog post to answer a few more these questions that you may have a bit embarrassed to ask, but were always curious to learn.

Although a lot of boudoir sessions are rather "typical" and can be just series of photos in bras and undies, boudoir has changed over the years, and women have become a lot more adventurous about expressing their sexuality. Let's face it, though-- In our world of super defined "roles," a boudoir session is one of the few places where women can express sexuality in a safe, judgement free environment. So, what are they really doing during their sessions?

Let's look at some questions about what goes on in boudoir that perhaps you'd be curious to know.

boudoir photo of women in jeans and black underwear laying in bed pulling down her panties

This looks fun, and I've always wanted to try it, but I'm not a lingerie person and I'm a bit more on the conservative side... Is this still for me?

Well, here's the interesting thing about boudoir. Boudoir photography isn't just one type of session. At it's foundation, boudoir photography is really about beauty, and taking a bit of a voyeuristic look inside a women's personal space. The dirty little secret is that boudoir really isn't about sex. It's not about pushing boundaries. And it's not about taking a series of photos till you get "more and more" naked. (Which I've heard from women more than once in my career.)

Boudoir, at it's heart is very simple...and cute. The idea is to make a women look beautiful, and create photos the view will enjoy for years. The one great thing about a boudoir session is the great sense of freedom and fun that comes from rolling around in your undies for a few hours. It doesn't really seem like a big deal-- but women have so much fun with such a simple activity.

Now, that being said-- as in any type of art form, it is certainly open to interpretation and there isn't just "one right way" to photograph a boudoir session. From photographer to photographer "boudoir" can mean different things, as well. --And some even advertise session as "boudoir," but they really aren't! Over the years, the scope of a boudoir session has widened tremendously. Aside from the traditional cute lingerie shots, there can be nudity, the use of props such as restraints, and even masturbatory type images-- whether implied, or the real deal.

The great thing is it's your session, and it can be whichever way your wish. If your partner is a booty person-- no problem. You can include more photos that show off your best feature. If you prefer to do just a few simply shots laying down in your favorite bra set with a cute smile-- no problem. If your partner loves when you touch your ****, and you wish to give them something that will really turn up the heat in your relationship, your boudoir photographer will know how to do that.

The bottom line is you can still take part in a boudoir session and enjoy all the cute photos without feeling you have to go beyond your personal boundaries.

beautiful blonde woman laying in bed in lingerie

I'd so love to do this, but why is boudoir photography so f***ing expensive???

Great question. Boudoir photography is an experience, and you are working with an artist who is essentially creating personal artwork made just for you. Top boudoir photographers only work with a few clients a month, due to the time involved working on each session. You are paying for their time and talents to create something that will, indeed, be a keepsake for years to come.

You have to think of boudoir as less like a commodity--such as searching for a discount pair of shoes, and more like a special event such as your wedding. Your wedding wasn't about finding the cheapest venue, and serving McDonalds to your guests... true McDonalds is less money-- it's less than paying a wedding venue $50 - $75 per person for an elegant meal, but in a wedding situation no one chooses to spend $2.29 per guest for McNuggets for wedding guests. True... it's cheaper, but cheaper isn't always the best choice in every case. Your wedding is an experience. It's not something that happens all the time, and it's about the memories.

Your boudoir session is the same in may respects. it's not about finding the cheapest option... it's about doing it right and enjoying the experience. Great boudoir photographers aren't going to be cheap... and cheap photographers are most likely not going to live up to your boudoir ideal, and your results may suffer.

That's why it's expensive. Think less McNuggets... and more elegant wedding venue meal. You'll do a boudoir session perhaps once (or more... if you're lucky) and these are photos you want to enjoy for years

sexy photo of woman in black lingerie from behind

I've always thought about doing this with my best friend. Do women really come in and do boudoir sessions together?