Ask Mike: I don't know how to pose for a boudoir session. Where do I start?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019


Hi I'm Michael. I am an expert boudoir photographer who works with women from all over New Jersey, and the NYC and Philly regions.


I get asked a lot of questions about boudoir, and one of the questions I hear most often from my clients-- and usually with a bit of trepidation is "I don't know how to do any poses!" Well, although that may not actually be a question-- it is a concern to a lot of my clients.


Don't worry. Your session is about having fun, and getting beautiful pictures-- not about "studying" or "learning" poses. That's my job!


That being said, what I find is that many of my clients do a bit of homework, anyway, and look through sites like Pinterest or Instagram for some inspiring posing ideas. (You can check out some of my favorite boudoir poses in this post.) If this turns out to be the case, I ask them to share any photos they like with me. This is important because it gives you, the client, a chance to get some ideas and see the type of poses you like, and for me, as the photographer, to get an idea of the kind of session you're looking to do.


Boudoir poses are trendy, and seem to come in waves. One year everyone is getting their legs up in the air, and the next its fishnets, fishnets, and more fishnets. And that's OK!

Aside from that, boudoir posing ideas seem to run from the tame to the somewhat daring. Over the past few years I never know what to expect! I've definitely noticed a trend over the past several years of clients doing more and more poses that lean toward the erotic. I have clients bringing in handcuffs, restraints, and other accessories which may not have been as common in "traditional" boudoir in years past. This seems to have started around the beginning of the whole "50 Shades" period.

Being a bit daring is fine! Make certain your photographer is up to the task, however. There can be a fine line between sexy, and well, something that looks a bit raunchy. You need a photographer who is skilled enough to keep it on the side of the former. If handcuffs are your style, then why not!

Nudity has always been a part of boudoir to some extent or another, as well. Although nudity is never required, typically there are at least a few shots in every session that imply some sort of nudity. Whether it be using your hands to cover breasts, or laying on a bed with your bum showing, you can still get the effect of nudity in a shot, without going the full Monty.


Not exactly sure about the nudity, and handcuffs aren't exactly your style? No worries. There are plenty of less provocative posing ideas including: a partners work shirt, or sports jersey. These are always cute to bring along. Big comfy sweaters. This has been an up and comer over the past few years. And my personal favorite-- jeans! I ask all my clients to bring in a pair of their favorite jeans, and these are typically client favorites.


Usually, after a short time you'll have a list of several photos your interested in and can incorporated into your session. Remember, you can always try some posing ideas, and if well, they don't look quite the way you think, you can simply not use them in your album.

Whether you are a pre-session pose collector, or a client who walks in without a clue in the world of what to do, posing is ultimately the photographers task, and is actually super important!


It's something I have personally studied and practiced over the years, and I have the skills to guide my clients to getting it right throughout the session (all the while making is not seem like work.) It really matters! Pushing a hip out here, or sticking an arm across there makes a huge difference in the appearance and overall presentation of your photos-- we want them to be great!


It never hurts to investigate your photographers portfolio to make sure they are on their posing game. Posing actually a difficult thing to learn, and some photographers are great at it, and others can be lacking.


In conclusion, don't worry about "not knowing how to pose." Your session is about having a good time, and getting beautiful photos. It's the photographer's job to sweat the details and do all the hard work. You can certainly, however, take part by finding some fun photos you'd like to incorporate into your session.

Hope you have a great time! Any questions about posing, send me a note.

SLIGHTLY GEEKY BUT AMAZING NEW JERSEY BASED BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER BRINGING BEAUTY TO NJ, PA & NYC AREAS. 

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