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Top 5 "Must Do" Boudoir Poses Of 2018 And How To Do Them Right

Hi everyone, and welcome to the new year! My name is Michael and I am an expert boudoir photographer who works with wonderful women from all across New Jersey and the NYC area. I take part in many photography sessions every year, and one of the fun parts of boudoir is that new boudoir posing ideas are always popping up and working their way into client albums. Some poses seem to really catch on and clients come in specifically looking to publish them in their albums. This is post contains some of what I believe will be the Top 5 "Must Do" poses that will be hot in 2018.

As a posing expert, I can tell you, small details can make or break every pose, so make sure you work with an accomplished photographer who bring out your inner "posing goddess." Not sure how to find one? This is a critically important step in getting great results. Take a moment to read my guide on how to shop for a boudoir photographer.

What will be the top 5 of 2018 be? Let’s take a look and find out. Some are tried and true and have been around for a while, but we also have some new entries this year. Boudoir can be many things– Sexy. Flirty. Beautiful. –Or any combination of those. The fun part about it is you can tailor your session to be uniquely your own. Ultimately, you are looking to create a set of photos that make you feel great about yourself, and possibly to make your boyfriend, husband, or partner drool a bit, too. The difference between an average boudoir album and a great one is all about the posing! If you are working with a skilled photographer, he/she will be well versed in complimentary poses and will guide you throughout your session toward your goal.

It never hurts, though, to do some homework and get a “leg up” on some boudoir posing ideas that really catch your eye. I always give my clients this homework assignment have them looks at sites such as Pinterest for boudoir poses and find some posing pins they'd love to do in their session. Not only does this help them get some great ideas, it’s a great tool for me to get some insight into what's on their minds and the direction of their session may be headed.

From my experience you can never tell what someone is thinking… At first impression, I may suspect a client may be quite demure– but they surprise me with some exciting posing ideas. Conversely, I’ve had pre-session consultations with clients who suggest they want some real sexy poses, and their sessions turn out to be rather tame. Whether wild or tame, there are a few poses that every woman seems to have stored away in their iPhone galleries to show me during their boudoir sessions. These help to give me an idea of what the client's ultimate look and feel of their album may be.

One important thing to keep in mind, not every pose you see online is necessarily ideal for every body type. Very few woman are 5′ 9″ 125lbs., with super long legs, big boobs, curvy hips, and natural pouty gaze that will look stunning at any angle-- no matter what the shot. I know from practical experience which poses will best fit certain body shapes, but first time boudoir-ers will lack the benefits of this expertise and need to rely on an experienced professional. Although I will happily accommodate a client's posing request which may not be the most flattering (a boudoir session is all about having fun, after all!) I know, more often than not, when a client is reviewing these poses after the session, I get a "Yeah, you were right, Mike…" and the photo is typically discarded.

The key is to pick the poses that make you look your best. Below are some tips for the sexiest boudoir poses that not only fit most body types, but clients continually pick these as their favorites. Without further delay– the is my list of the top 5 must-have poses for 2018 you must get in your boudoir album.

5. The “Hangover”

hangover boudoir pose
The "Hangover" boudoir pose

The “Hangover” has been around a long time and is still a popular photo that I get asked to do regularly. This pose is suitable for most body types, and has a low difficulty. Lay square to the edge of the bed with your head slightly over, and let your hair hang straight down. Be certain that your shoulders and hips are in line. Another tip here is to make sure you are wearing the proper bra size. Variations include bringing an arm up to your head, hand placement in the hair, or twisting your head a bit to a side.

How your photographer will screw this up: …By letting your head hang too far over the edge of the bed and photographing you looking at him/her with your eyes rolling back into your head- which is not a cute look (and I see this all the time.) Also, your photographer will fail to keep your body in line, and fail to position your hands properly.

4. The “A.A.H.D.”

AAHD boudoir pose
The "A.A.H.D." Boudoir Pose

The “A.A.H.D.” maybe more explicitly known as, "Ass Up Head Down" is another pose that is coming on strong over the past few years and is super sultry and suggestive. The one caveat here is this is definitely a pose that is not suitable for everyone and every body type, however, it was added here due to the high number of requests and it's popularity. Got a great booty? This is the pose for you! A requirement for success here is a bit of a limber body, and this is the payoff for those who have been putting in some solid time at the gym, or a bit of yoga work. Variations include bringing an arm in front of the body, and turning the head to the side/looking back.

How your photographer will screw this up: The ways are numerous. This is a difficult pose to capture correctly. Improper body position. Client's face is not relaxed and comfortable. Client not wearing the best undies for this type of shot (-works best with thongs.) Depth of field issues. This is one that is rather challenging to get correct-- with the right blend of "suggestiveness" - without going too far.

3. The Laydown “Side Shot"

lay down boudoir pose
The Laydown "Side Shot"

The “Side Shot” is a newer shot that I have developed (invented?), which looks great, and is suitable for most body types, and has been a big hit finding its way into many albums. This shot has a low difficulty, lots of options, and clients love it! This pose can be both demure and sultry– It can be shot in jeans, or not. Variations include several hand positions, including going in for the plunge and getting a hand down the front of the undies. This shot is also adaptable with accessories such as ice cubes, or for the daring, even a vibrator on the belly.

How your photographer will screw this up: Errant posing of the hands. Poor framing. Improper depth of field.

2. The “Legs Up”

Legs Up Boudoir Pose
The "Legs Up" Boudoir Pose

The “Legs Up” is another hugely requested shot for my client’s albums, and has been around for years and years as a perennial favorite. This is another top shot that everyone should be including– for good reason. Its sexy. Suggestive. Dramatic. And, simple to do! Just scootch your butt up to the headboard close enough so your legs will stretch straight up, and viola! Variations include multiple hand positions and leg positions.

How your photographer will screw this up: This pose has its pitfalls for your photographer, and again is not the easiest for them to get correct. This pose is all about leg position. One wrong move and sexy becomes awkward. Additionally, focus and depth of field issues will ruin this pose.

1. The “Cross Body”

Cross Body Boudoir Pose
The "Cross Body" Boudoir Pose

The “Cross Body” has seemingly stormed to the front of the posing world over the past year or so- and for good reason. It doesn’t involve any treacherous posing “gymnastics” and the result is total sensuality. Not only that, there are tons of variations of this pose that can be done, and it is suitable for most body types. Everyone needs a version of this pose in their album. Simply recline on the bed… Variations are numerous and include using arms on your chest (as pictured), and hand on side of head, or hand on the thigh. When done properly, it’s a simple pose with a big impact.

How your photographer will screw this up: This pose is like pizza– a simple product that few make well. This is one that is easy for the client, but fairly difficult for your photographer. Lighting, body position, and focal length are crucial elements that need to be in order to get this to look right. Your photographer will crop your head wrong (or cut it off completely.) Hands will be posed incorrectly. Depth of field too wide. Incorrect point of focus.... the points of failure here are numerous for unskilled photographers. Done incorrectly, and it just appears awkward.

There you go!

The number of boudoir poses are endless(!), but versions of these poses above seem to be client favorites lately and will perform strongly over the next year. Be sure to include a good selection of these basic poses during your session, as well as their variations, to secure a good foundation images for your album. After you’ve got the basics completed, though– have fun and experiment. Improvise. Boudoir is, after all, about having fun during your session and trying some of poses you’ve found online. If you’re not happy with the results when reviewing your images afterward… simply discard them… but you never know– and that’s half the fun!

Have questions for me about posing? Or want to see more? Visit my boudoir site at Mike Cassidy Photography.

What are your favorites? Let us know by commenting below.

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