Boudoir photography is huge right now. There are so many women out there, who aren’t necessarily models, looking for classy, sexy photos. Boudoir photographs make a woman feel beautiful. They make her feel sensual, and they can, if taken properly give her some newfound confidence. They also make the perfect gift for her partner, so, of course, she’s going to look and feel her best!
‘Boudoir’ is of French origin, meaning a woman’s bedroom or sitting room. So it won’t come as any surprise that most boudoir photography takes place in an intimate setting like a bedroom or hotel. Or if you don’t have access to this, your own boudoir setting within your photography studio.
Romantic, sexy, soft, sensual, and sometimes even naughty…these are all characteristics of what makes a good boudoir picture. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the game for years or you’re just starting out as a boudoir photographer, you’re probably still on the look out for some hot boudoir photography tips.
When it comes to boudoir photography tips for the budding boudoir photographer, you’ve got to remember your primary goal – make your subject feel totally at ease while capturing them in the most flattering way possible. No woman wants to be left feeling vulnerable and unattractive.
We’ve compiled some of the best boudoir photography tips there are to help you get it right from the outset. You need to know your subject well (not too well obviously) and you need to find the right poses that compliment your client’s body type.
Regardless of what people might think, boudoir photographs aren’t sleazy. They’ve been around since the early 1900s and were a favorite amongst the aristocratic women of that time. So keep it classy and shoot your subjects well.
Here are some of the best boudoir photography tips for every boudoir photographer.
1. Her Perspective
One of the most important boudoir photography tips is to shoot from the woman’s perspective. Every woman, no matter if they’re curvy or petite, has body hang-ups. Some women adore their backsides while others detest them. Every woman is different, and you can’t assume one client is like the other.
Learn what she loves about her body and play with that. From there, shoot her, focusing on her best assets. Get the light right and you’re bound to create some sexy photographs she and her partner will love.
At times she might not know what to tell you, which is okay as well. Remember you’ll be seeing her at her most vulnerable. Engage her in a conversation about the shoot beforehand to really get to know how she feels about her body.
- What things does she love about her body?
- What is it she dislike about her body?
- Which are her best assets?
- Which part of her body is she most self-conscious about?
2. Evoke Emotion
Her expression can speak a thousand words. It’s what makes the photo real!
One of the crucial boudoir photography tips you must remember is to evoke emotion. It’s a must! Your job is to bring out her personality because let’s face it no one wants to see a lifeless boudoir model without personality – that’s not sexy at all!
You should be able to get a sense of what she’s like as a person from the pre-discussion with her. You’ll also be able to gauge this from the way she moves. Is she a woman who doesn’t care about bouncing about in her lingerie in front of a stranger or is she more reserved, opting to cover up until the shoot begins?
- How would you describe her character?
- Is she fun, playful, sexual or shy?
As you’re capturing her images, talk to her. Say things that are going to evoke the very emotions you’d love to capture in the photo.
Instruct her and guide her. Use real actions, such as gently brushing her hair out of her eyes. It’s raw, and it’s real!
Be sure you change your speed settings on your DSLR camera accordingly to ensure you won’t end up with a blurred image as she moves.
And remember, building her self-esteem up along the way should be your number one priority as a boudoir photographer – make her feel like she’s the hottest girl in the world!
3. Get the Right Light
Light – it’s one of the key aspects of all good photographs. It’s also the number one culprit when it comes to an unflattering boudoir photograph. Analyze the light properly and ask yourself the following:
- Where’s the light falling?
- What about the shadows?
- What kind of light do I need to use to manipulate the shot?
An unflattering boudoir photo will destroy your subject’s self-esteem. You can control this by controlling the light. Remember the following boudoir photography tips for lighting and get the best photo every time.
Overhead lights create unflattering shadows below the eyes.
Light from beneath will create a gaunt horror movie-like look.
Fluorescent lights are a no-no – no one looks good under them!
Natural soft window light is the most flattering on the bare skin.
5. Variety is the Spice of Life
Every pun intended. There’s nothing more repetitive and boring than looking at the same photograph over and over again with the only difference being your subject’s outfit.
As a boudoir photographer, you’ll need to vary your shots more, so your client ends up with a nice variety of photographs in the end. Take close-up shots to show off her best or favorite features, ¾ shots to shoot the upper part of her body, and of course flattering full body shots.
6. Create Focal Points with her Body
Take a look at any professional lingerie model, and you’ll notice one thing they all have in common. They’re skilled at making beautiful geometric shapes with their limbs.
Study lingerie models arms and legs and have your subject mimic the positions. Careful positioning of arms and legs will help create more balance in the shot while adding a sexy, carefree element to the pic. They can also if placed in the right position, hide any areas that your subject might not want to reveal.
7. Strike a Pose
Perhaps what’s one of the most important aspects in boudoir portraits is the pose. By nature, women are sensitive about what they perceive to be their body flaws. This is where you come in. Using expert poses to highlight her favorite features while downplaying her perceived flaws is an art form.
With practice, you can help your subject create the most sensual pose to stand out in the photo and have her and her partner say “Wow!”
1. Bent Legs – A Look of Pleasure
Conceal any “issues” by having your subject bend her legs. This is one of the favorite poses of boudoir photographers. It works for every single body type, and a woman of any age can pull it off. The results are phenomenal, and will surely please your client.
Directing a subject into this position can be tricky. You should take the lead and give a demo. Walk her through it step by step so she can gain the confidence she needs.
Use a chair, bench or couch as a prop. With feet on the floor, stretch the body backward onto the prop. Drop the hips and allow the upper back to rest on the said couch. Have her bend her inner leg (the closest leg to you) right up, with the foot still on the ground. This will hide any problematic areas in her midsection. The other leg should be slightly bent and extending further out than the other. Heels are a must. The result? A sexy photo that depicts a confident woman who wants more!
2. Legs Up
“Legs up!” It might sound crass, but in the boudoir studio, it’s perfectly normal. This is a comfortable boudoir pose that anyone can master.
Have your subject lie on the bed, her head facing towards you and her legs towards the wall. Her hands should rest above her head, creating triangles (remember the lingerie models?). With a slight bend in her legs, get her to rest them against the wall. Take the shot looking downwards so all you see is her crown and hair. This is one sexy shot; it screams, “I’m ready!”
It’s also incredibly flattering as the pose naturally flattens the stomach area, and it’s not the stomach that’s the focal point – it’s the hands and legs. Just make sure your subject has a nice manicure!
3. The Head Shot
Imagine a profile headshot. Something similar to a LinkedIn profile shot, but without the clothes! Have your woman stand against a plain background. Her shoulders should be slightly back, and her head bowed seductively down. If she has long hair, allow it to hang loosely over her breasts. The slightly arched back will enhance her breasts, making them the focal point of the shot.
Snap this pic from a couple of inches below the bra line to create a “shy” yet “seductive” look.
4. A Casual Pose
This boudoir pose is easy to perfect. After all, your subject probably strikes this one at home all the time without even realizing it. And you don’t need any specific boudoir photography tips to get this one 😉
Have your subject lie on the floor at an angle. Her legs crossed and you can either have her prop them up against something like a wall or have them playfully in the air. Her arms bent at 90-degree angles and her hands in a loose clasp. Shoulders need to be straight and her head tilted towards you.
Take this shot from head on to get the angled body in. This flattering angle will elongate the body, making your subject look slimmer while hiding the stomach area. The clasped hands enhance the cleavage, making this a cute and spirited shot with tons of sex appeal.
5. The Look of Innocence
Sitting on a couch or chair, have your subject bend her knees inwards. This creates a childlike innocence. Furthermore, it’s incredibly endearing. And with these expert boudoir photography tips, you can surely pull it off.
If she’s curvy, no fear, that’s what throw cushions are for. Have her gently hug one, creating a sense of sexy vulnerability. Her head should be cocked slightly to the side as if she’s deep in thought…
Taking the photo from slightly above will create a flattering look that takes away from any areas of her body she might be unsure about.
6. The Back Bra Shot
Such a natural boudoir pose – any woman can pull it off. Fastening a bra is an everyday action and a simple black and white photograph with a blurred background makes for an alluring image.
Your subject should stand at a slight angle with one leg bent slightly in front. It should be so small that you wouldn’t even notice she’s doing it.
Again, her elbows positioned at a 90-degree angle, and her fingers should be obviously holding either end of her bra fastener as if she’s just about to do it up. As a result the final image will be breathtaking while there will still be an element of mystery about it.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of flattering poses for the boudoir model. It doesn’t matter if she’s a size zero or a plus-size lady – every woman is beautiful in her own way. It’s about making them feel special and getting them in the mood. A boudoir photo should be fun, and it’s up to you, the boudoir photographer to make that happen!
Are you keen to learn more great tips for boudoir photography? Start studying today and get shooting to capture women at their finest!
Give them the greatest gift, confidence and some beautiful boudoir photos to match!