How To Throw A Successful Boudoir Party!
Updated: May 10
Hi. I'm Michael. I'm a little bit of a geek, but more importantly I am a long-time boudoir photographer. Boudoir is totally my thing! I totally get it that people can feel uneasy getting in front a camera. I'm that way, too! Good news, though, I'm an expert at making people relax. I think its a necessary skill for any successful boudoir photographer-- and I think it's an ability you either have... or you don't. I guess I got lucky.
What does that have to do with boudoir parties? Well, a lot, actually. Let's take a few steps back... Let's face it, boudoir is really a bit of a party, anyway. Whether there is one person, or six, it's all about having a bit of adult fun.
Boudoir can be a bit nerve wracking for any women. You're there to do something that society has pretty much warned you not to do your entire life-- take your clothes off! Not only that, you're doing it in front of someone (your photographer) you really don't know, and they want you to do whaaat? Act Cute? Hmmm... See what I'm driving at here? It takes a pretty good coach to get past all that, and let the sexy vibes flow.
One thing that has helped throughout the years is a bit of moral support. I've always had women ask if they could bring along a friend, and my response has always been to encourage it. Having a friend along really makes things easier for the client. So, if one friend is good, can four friends be even better?? Of course!
More is better in boudoir. The nerves seem to dissipate, and the women tend to focus more on having fun.
Let's take a look at some great boudoir party ideas...
So, How Did Boudoir Parties All Come About?
Well, I certainly didn't invent boudoir parties, but let me tell you, I certainly turned it up a notch! As I recall, my first requests for parties stemmed out of bridal groups, and that still seems to be the number one group that comes in for a boudoir party. Bachelorette parties are a great occasion for boudoir. Other occasions may be a birthday group, or I've even had ladies celebrating a divorce.
Boudoir parties aren't a big part of my business, but they are fun. Usually, its a situation where I would be contacted by one of the bridal party (who typically seems to arrange everything) and it all starts from there. There are so many variables involved, its difficult to tell you there is one right way to arrange everything, but I'll cover some of the important points to help you guide your way through the process.
How To Throw An Amazing Boudoir Party
Now what you're ready to start, here's where a bit of work will come in. With a little organization though, you'll group will have a great time.
Decide Who Your Boudoir Captain Will Be.
Aye Aye, Captain! Every group needs a Captain. It's best to have one point of contact with your photographer, and in turn its the Captain's job to disseminate all the info to everyone in the group. If there are six ladies all going out independently trying to arrange a session, it can be a bit of chaos. Once your group agrees to having a group boudoir shoot, nominate someone to be the "lead."
I know from my experience, having several people from a group contact you can certainly lead to mix ups in details. It's a big responsibility to be the Boudoir Captain, so choose wisely! It's a tough job.
Get Your Group Together.
Although opinions may vary, a boudoir party can get too large. How many people want to take part? Remember, the larger the group, the less time each person within the group will have for a one-on-one photo time. As fun as boudoir parties are... things needs to keep moving! People aren't going to want to sit around for hours waiting for their turn.
What's the perfect size? I'd say the dead-on perfect size is four to six women. Remember, the bigger the group the less camera time (generally) each person will have. To get through a dozen women is possible... but you'll be moving pretty quick through each person. Even if each women only gets thirty minutes... I don't think you'll want to be there six hours! We'll go over this a bit in the technical details below.. but keep this in mind!
Here's another reality: Not everyone in your group (bridal or otherwise) may be super keen about taking part in a boudoir session. --And that's OK. Don't force them, because well, people who don't want to take part... really look like it in the final photos. (Meaning: they'll look grumpy in your big smiling group of women.) You can always bring these people along if they want to hang with the group on that day, but keep in mind everyone may not want to participate in the photos.
Once you have a good idea who will be participating (Good job, Captain!) you can move on the hardest part...
Find Your Awesome Boudoir Photographer
I'm going to try to cover as much as I can about a super important part of the whole process-- finding an amazing boudoir photographer. This is actually hard work. The world of boudoir photography is a bit of a mess over the past six or seven years. A big mess. You are living in the midst of the "Boudoir Boom" which isn't exactly as fun as it may sound.
What happened? For some reason, starting about six or seven years ago, there were seemingly large groups people that woke up in the morning and suddenly decided they wanted to "make women beautiful." They set off to Amazon and bought a camera, and plopped down a few bucks for web hosting and *BOOM* labeled themselves as "pro" photographers. Imagine, just two weeks earlier they had an at home cupcake business, and now they are a pro photographer! Amazing.
You can spot one of these Boomers because they make a lot of noise about "changing lives," but often offer little in terms of technical skill. Somewhere along the way, the 10,000 hours of practice to become that "expert" fell by the wayside here, and the photography part is often lacking. --And after all, isn't that what it's all about? Many of these Boudoir Boomers have faded away, but it's still worth mentioning. If you get one on the phone, you'll know... they will be less concerned with their skill, and more concerned with telling you how they will "empower" you.
I've written a lot about How To Shop For A Boudoir Photographer, so as time allows, you can read that article full of juicy tips on how to successfully find the best photographer for you. To summarize up the process:
Discover your local options. Do a comprehensive search of available photographers in your area. Decide your travel radius, and stick with boudoir specialist
Immediately discard photographer with low quality and "shady" work. Stick only with high quality boudoir photography.