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What Happens To Your Boudoir Photos After Your Session?

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

Where do your boudoir photos go after your boudoir session? Have you ever that about it?

...Your session was one of the best gifts ever! --And better yet, he didn't suspect a thing! Your long awaited anniversary surprise was an enormous hit. After weeks in the making and lots of surreptitious emails and text messages to your photographer, it all came together for an amazing and unforgettable anniversary gift.

Keeping a surprise is a lot of work. You had to sneak out your outfits. Hide things in your trunk. You even had to create a clever cover story for your session day to account for your absence.

The whole experience was not only fun, but a great success!

He loved the album, your best friend (who HAD to get a peek) loved the album, and it will certainly be something to cherish for years to come. What fun!

After all the fun and surprises are over, what happens to all your photos? There can be hundreds of digital images taken during a boudoir session. For every photo that makes an album, there may be 15 or 20 which don't...

So, what does your photographer do with those?


Although boudoir photography has advanced light years in terms of social approval-- seeing a photo of a bra just isn't an earth-shattering thing in the 2010s-- there are still plenty of boudoir clients who would prefer to keep those things to themselves.

Not only that, there are lots of people with jobs, such as teachers, who can certainly do without photos of themselves finding their way in to the public domain. Not only can this be a source of embarrassment, but in some situations may affect a persons employment.

Have you talked to your photographer about what happens to all your files after your session is complete and they have moved on to their next project? No? Well, you should...

In this day of computer viruses, hacking, and general internet happenings, it can give you piece of mind knowing the status of your digital images.

Good photographers have this situation locked down.


As cameras improve seemingly every year, the size of digital files they create keep growing...and growing...and growing. These days, there are cameras that can produce individual images files in excess of 40MB...each! Lets say you took 200 photos during your session, that would be 8000MB or 8 Gigabytes of photos from one session! Phew! All that data has to go somewhere. (And I remember when PC hard drives didn't even come that big...)

Hard drive space starts to fill up quick at that pace. At this point photographers generally take one of two approaches. Some will purge (delete) photos from their system at some period of time to accommodate newer files, and some invest in expensive storage solutions and will keep and archive all the files from previous customers.

Which does your photographer do?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both solutions. This articles is not intended to get into technical aspects of long term data storage, but its important for you to know, as a client, that after your session is completed your photos may be sitting somewhere... possibly for years. Are they safe?

Busy photographers may have dozens of clients each year and often multiple projects going on at once. All those photos-- copies of those photos-- and edits can amounts to hundreds of gigabytes, if not terabytes, of data over time. We're talking some serious quantities of files!

Let's take a look at some potential strategies your photographer may employ...

The "I Don't Want It You Can Have It" -ers

Some photographers simply do not want to deal with the data mess at all. They don't want anything to do with the files after your project is done. They rip off the band-aid when the project is completed and its no longer their issue. They don't want it-- don't need it-- Not gonna take it. I'm talking about photographers who get rid of everything immediately.

After your project is completed you may receive a USB drive with all your photos as a gentle way of saying "if you want them you can keep them safe." All the responsibility is on your to find a safe place for storage.

When the files are delivered on USB drive to you, the photographer then deletes all the files from the session on his/her own hardware, and *poof* they're gone. They simply don't want the responsibility or the hassle for tending to clients files.

This approach is fine, and certain photographers may follow this practice, but probably not the reality for most photographers or clients. It's safe, in regard to knowing your files are gone, and won't be vulnerable or sitting out there someone in the great cloud in the sky.