Boudoir Photography In a Nutshell

Photography is an art. It is a perfect way to immortalize a moment, which can be relished in the future. Even though a simple photo does the same, but there is a huge difference between casually clicked pictures and those clicked with great precision, and by abiding by the essential techniques.

In this article we would be emphasizing on a special type of photography technique, called Boudoir and find out all related details and concepts revolving it. Without further ado lets dive in and find out about this fine art called Boudoir photography.

What is Boudoir photography?

The Boudoir photography technique is not a new kid in the block. Rather such photography technique have been practiced since the 1920s. In this technique images of sensual women are clicked in luxurious hotel suits and under different lighting conditions. The models generally provide different erotic poses or are captured in candid moments. In these shoots, models are generally women, but sometimes also involve couples or men. The wardrobe or clothing of choice during boudoir shoots consist of exposing clothes or lingerie. Commercially, these images are often of brides to surprise or rather excite their to be husband, on or before their wedding day. Also, these photos can be the result of capturing someone’s weight loss or makeover. This photography technique can be termed as a subtle amalgamation of fine art nude photography, with a touch of glamour. Currently boudoir photography is getting a lot of attention from the masses and is no longer considered taboo.

Boudoir photography - emphasize Boudoir Photograhy

How to shoot boudoir photography?

While shooting boudoir pictures, you should take care of every minute details. You should emphasize on the subject along with the dress and make up they would be putting on. Also, equal stress should be provided to ambient lighting, furniture, eye position of the model and how to make shadow act to your advantage. When shooting, you should select the perfect aperture so that the focus persists over the model and not the furniture in the room. The model and the bed or bed-sheet should be the priority. The resulting image should be such that it reflects the utter beauty & raunchiness of the subject, and the person viewing the image is able to feel the tension and excitement as if he is in the same room. You can even show off the smooth curvatures of her body and glowing textures of her skin my zooming in at specific points. While doing so, make sure that the viewer is able to make out the subject by looking at the image. As a photographer you should guide and instruct your subject to pose in ways that would be presentable and arousing at the same time.

How to get ready for boudoir photos?

Boudoir photos exuberate eroticism. So, you should pay heed to every aspect of your clients’ body; right from their skin & wardrobe selection, to the amount of sleep and diet they undergo before the shoot. So some of the basic aspects to look out for are:

Skin – You should prohibit your client from overusing self tanner, as it would be a nightmare for you to even out the different skin tones later on. Rather, you should advise the use of a good quality moisturizer to bring out the natural glow in their skin and make it glossy. It will even compliment their muscle definition and showcase the beautiful contours of your body.

Hair & makeup – You must ask for professional help while getting your clients’ hair and makeup done. Also getting a manicure and pedicure is a thumbs up. While participating in boudoir shoots, you should always try to exaggerate their features, especially lips and eyes. So, wearing false eyelashes can definitely be a great option, as they look stunning while your subjects look down or off the side.

Wardrobe – Wardrobe selection alone provides boudoir photography it’s distinct appeal and taste. So, you must suggest the correct wardrobe to your clients. Even if they have some other clothing option in mind, you should present your honest opinion on the same. From the different wardrobe options, you should select an outfit which your client is most comfortable with. Else if they wear some sexy lingerie, which is not at all comfortable, then the reaction would definitely show up on their body language or face, thus in the photos. Some of the most appropriate wardrobe items to choose from are, fall-off-the-shoulder tops, a man’s button down shirt/tie, cropped soft sweaters, simple black and white bras/panties which can be paired with other items as well & lacy underthings. If you desire to look retro or chic, you would never go wrong with vintage stockings or soft over-the-knee socks, along with sexy heels coupled with subtle jewellery.
Also, on the day of the shoot instruct your clients to wear loose fitting clothing, so that markings aren’t visible when you finally strip down for the shoot.

Diet & sleep – A week before the shoot is scheduled, you client should check their carbohydrate and sugar consumption. Such regime will cleanse their system and prevent them from looking puffy or bloated. On the night before the shoot, they should get as much sleep as possible and eat light food on the day of the shoot.

All in all, you must ensure that your subject doesn’t panic and let their inner sexiness do the magic. Play some funky music and treat them with a glass of wine to take the edge off. Be in sync with your client and turn the shoot into a fun experience.

Boudoir techniques

Boudoir photography - techniques while shooting

Picture Credit: Chris Lin

When it comes to techniques while shooting this type of images, you can never rely on a single photography standard. You as a photographer should experiment with your equipments, the wardrobe of the subject and also the ambient lightning. How bright & at what height should the lightings be? What would be the preferred exposure for the shoot? Such questions can only be answered after you have clicked a few dummy snaps. And once you are set and have found the sweet settings, you can start weaving your magic though the eyepiece. So some of the different techniques that can be incorporated in Boudoir shoots is to choose from a array of different lighting source, changing the camera aperture and also play with exposure settings.

Gorgeous backlighting – By shooting your subject backlit, either from natural or artificial sources, tends to flatten women of all body types. Such image captures provides ample luminosity and joyfulness to the image.

Low contrast lighting – Low contrast and low lightning helps you to de-emphasize certain parts of a woman’s body, by shadowing them and also based on her positioning. You can adjust the proximity of the light and the position of the reflector to get desired result.

Short/ broad lighting – By incorporating short/ broad lighting, you can make your subject look narrow/ wide respectively than they actually are. For this you need to position your subject properly and maintain precise camera angles to get the desired result.

Side lighting – Who doesn’t appreciate the beautiful curves of a woman’s body. Her stunning eyes, and mesmerizing lips. Using side lighting you can strictly focus on the curves of a woman and make her enticing features pop out.

How to improve boudoir photography?

Boudoir photography - Boudoir Shoot
Generally clients who participate in a boudoir shoot are not models. They perform the photo shoot to either present it to their better halves or as a personal memoire. So you should maintain high degree of sensitivity and understanding. You should make your subjects feel comfortable while posing, so that awkwardness don’t transcribe into the images that were shot.

Send you client a document which would consist of the basic information and tips for makeup, wardrobe selection and how she would like to be photographed. You should also mention the timeline for participating in the shoot. As the subject would require touch-ups from time to time and you need to setup your gadgets, a shoot can extend from a few minutes to long hours, which can take a toll on your subject’s body. So you should provide breaks between each sessions so that your subject is not exhausted or bored with the scheme itself.

You should appreciate her poses and encourage her during the shoot. This will create a positive vibe and also make her confident for her subsequent shoots. To make sure that you and your client are on the same page, you should let her know the time required for you to edit the images and send them in a presentable format.

How to start boudoir photography?

Boudoir photography - start boudoir photography

To start boudoir photography, you should not only possess good photography skills, but also know how to bring out the best poses and their inner beauty from within your subjects. Also, to ensure a steady onslaught of boudoir assignments, you should also know how to market yourself. So some of the essential steps required for starting a boudoir photography is:

– Unravel the mystery of tasteful posing – You as a photographer should know which pose is best from your client. You should be aware how posing and lighting condition can be integrated to provide the best possible result.

– A diverse portfolio – You should ensure that your portfolio consists of women of all sizes. You can provide free shoots or at discounts to gather subjects for your portfolio. Thus a diverse portfolio would help your clients to relate themselves to the subjects in the portfolio.

– Letting the word out – Once you are done creating a portfolio, it’s time to let the world know of you capabilities. But even though you might have right to publicize these images, given the intimate nature of the images, you should follow some restrain in showcasing these images at the click of a button. You can maintain a different section for your boudoir portfolio or allow only subscribed users access to these images. Also you should make your website search engine friendly by incorporating the latest SEO techniques.

– Create a robust marketing plan – If you want to be successful in the long run, abiding by a robust marketing plan is extremely important. The marketing plan should encompass the best years when you should start your boudoir campaign. You should also know how to attract potential customers and finally create a marketing calendar.

Provide sample products – To potential clients you can provide an album showcasing how their processed images would look like. You can ask for their requirements and choices, regarding how and in which format they would like their pictures to be delivered.

Boudoir photography: Tips for models

For models or clients participating in a boudoir shoot, maintaining a cool composure is of utmost importance. They should relax themselves and calm their nerves while facing the lenses. As the model or client would be skimpily dressed, and would be facing a photographer they might not know, maintaining a casual ambiance is extremely important. This will allow the subject to completely focus on their poses and not worry about the surroundings.

Also, the model should provide as many different poses as possible to allow the photographer experiment and capture candid moments as well. They should try to bring out their best features and make the resulting images as stunning as possible. They should maintain a healthy diet and have ample sleep the day before so they look fresh. The models should take breaks for touch ups and cool themselves off, after posing and facing the halogens for long duration. They should take ample amounts of water and keep the body hydrated. Else the subjects would end up looking tired and exhausted, and there is nothing exotic about them. They should try out their makeup and trim their eye brows a day before, in order to avoid any last minute crisis.

All in all, if you want to be a successful Boudoir photographer, you should know how to market your work and grab the attention of potential customers. You should showcase your best creations in your portfolio and also discuss the various aspects of the shoot. While shooting, you should maintain a calm atmosphere and provide suggestions and opinions to your client so that they can pose without any inhibitions. Different shooting, different techniques should be adopted to bring out the beauty of your client’s body.