What is Boudoir Photography and how should you prepare for a shoot?
I thought it might be helpful to answer some of the questions that get asked in relation to boudoir photo shoots and also produce a short trailer to sum up what boudoir photography means to me. I LOVE to photograph women and truly believe a shoot like this is something every woman should experience once in her life.
1) What is ‘boudoir’ photography and how does a boudoir photo shoot work with you?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question and this is why it is essential to do your research. In the right hands it is the absolute opposite of glamour photography – a celebration and not objectification of female beauty where the aesthetic is inspired by women. There are many different styles of boudoir including studios who specialise in pin up. I would describe my boudoir as being editorial and directly influenced by designer lingerie brands and magazine advertising. A boudoir shoot is an indulgent treat, a journey of self discovery and hugely empowering. Women leave on a high with confidence levels through the roof. I have learnt, with interest, that the end result is only one element of the return in investment and probably the least important. Women choose to do shoots for various reasons but one of the most popular is in order to give their husband to be a completely unique, personal and beautiful wedding gift.
2) What about location – where do your boudoir photography shoots take place?
You have the option of going to the photographer’s own location or studio, book a hotel room or base the shoot in your own home. I have decorated a bedroom specifically for boudoir with a stylish palette of silvers, greys, whites and soft greens. It is important to know what the colour schemes and styling of the location is like so that you can choose your lingerie with that in mind.
3) How do I prepare for a boudoir photo shoot?
Your boudoir photographer should provide you with a tips list of how to best prepare for your shoot. Skin preparation is important, hair should be in great condition and manicured hands are also essential. A tan isn’t necessary but I always recommend some additional eyelashes because they make a real difference to the portrait shots. Also spend some time looking on pinterest, lingerie websites and in magazines to see what inspires you.
4) What should I bring to my boudoir photography shoot?
I recommend that ladies plan around 3 different looks but often they bring more than they need to give us choice on the day. What you choose is entirely personal and I have taken beautifully simple shots with just white vests and knickers, cashmere cardigans etc. I love to introduce some colour if possible and many people finish the shoot with a super sexy suspender and stocking ensemble. I like to start with some natural, gentle shots and work towards the sexier imagery as the women relax and really begin to enjoy themselves. Many brides to be bring their veils, garters and ‘first night’ lingerie with them. Jewellery and shoes and equally important to the final looks – you should be thinking the kind of shoes you love but can barely walk in on a night out!
5) Nerves are natural
Clients are always nervous when they arrive and this is entirely natural and to be expected. Most women have never been photographed in this way before and have no idea what to expect or what they will be asked to do. The photographer should take 100% control and direct you throughout the shoot – once you are ready you just need to put yourself in their hands and trust them. The best results are always achieved through teamwork.
6) Hair and Make Up
I always advise clients to add hair and make up to their collections – It makes a huge difference to how you feel on the day and to the final imagery. I have found 2 or 3 professionals who are talented and that I trust entirely to give each client the look that is right for them. We make changes to hair and make up in line with the outfits and having someone on hand to make sure you are camera ready is a real treat and part of the experience.
7) What does he most love about your body?
All women have issues with certain parts of their bodies and we can be incredibly critical of ourselves. I have discovered that men just don’t look at us like this – instead they celebrate all the gorgeous parts of their woman. That is why I always ask what men most like about each woman’s body because these are the things we should celebrate through imagery.
8) All in the lighting
The word photography translates to mean ‘drawing with light’ and that is exactly what I want to do with boudoir photography. The female form is best explored through light and shadow and working like this means that you can celebrate the best parts of every woman and let other areas drop into darkness. It results in a beautifully subtle, almost voyeuristic feeling to the photographs. Look carefully at the lighting used on boudoir portfolios – it will tell you a lot about the skill of the photographer.
9) What will he think?
Just part of what makes boudoir so rewarding has been the response of the husbands and partners of my clients. Because whilst they obviously get to enjoy the resulting imagery the biggest gain for them is a change in confidence in the woman they love. “My wife has always been beautiful to me but I have learned over the years that how women see their bodies and how men view them are two very different things. The revelation through the boudoir experience, is that for the first time in 14 years, my wife now understands exactly how I see her body. The impact this realisation has had on her has been very liberating and the photos which are tasteful, natural and in my view stunning, are an added bonus”.
10) What will we do with the images?
Not hide them away as you might imagine. A small, tasteful and beautiful album is always a popular choice but clients usually want a single statement frame for the bedroom too.
If you still have questions then just drop me an email or give me a call. I can promise you that you will never regret a shoot like this and in the words of one of my clients: “it will do more for your confidence than anything else in the last 10 years”.
Thanks to Pompadour Couture Lingerie for their beautiful handmade bridal lingerie.