A Boudoir photoshoot is a very intimate form of photography that treads a fine line between fashion portraits and typical glamour photography. The word boudoir derives itself from a French word meaning private salon, and is used in this photography niche sine boudoir sessions are usually very intimate, offering a safe space for men and women to explore a different side to their personality.
These shoots are meant to exude sensuality and are intimate in nature and usually involves the subject of the shoot wearing lingerie and posing seductively to profess ownership over their sexuality. Unlike other genres, boudoir’s subjects are often not professional models—anyone can do a boudoir shoot. As such, many clients that are on a journey of self-discovery, in need of a confidence boost, or just want to express themselves unabashedly, will come to a boudoir photographer to have this experience.
As a photographer, this can be a very rewarding niche to get into as not only are you given the opportunity to shoot very sensual and beautiful images, but you’re also able to help your clients discover parts of themselves that they may not have been aware of, and find beauty in their own bodies. If this sounds like your kind of niche, then maybe its time to try out a few boudoir shoots to see how you like them. Of course, before you begin, its important to ensure that you have all the necessary information and tools you need for the shoot, starting with the practical gear required.
The Best Lens Choice For Boudoir Photoshoot
Having a good quality lens will ensure your boudoir photographs come out beautifully, and wow your clients by allowing you to control the light, exposure, and depth of field of your boudoir photos. A 35mm f/2 lens is a great option, as it allows you to capture your subject quickly and effectively. The f/2 feature means the lens will adapt well to low light conditions without creating too much sharpness or contrast, which is perfect for the soft edge you want in a boudoir photography shoot. This style of lens is also great for tighter shots of the face or body and even has a quieter click, which will help to keep the mood intimate and distraction-free for the boudoir session.
Another option that will create great images is a 50mm lens, which is considered a solid standard lens thanks to its versatility in a variety of areas. A 50mm lens is easy to adjust based on the lighting and composition of your boudoir portraits, with little to no image distortion, meaning that its a great lens for shooting your subject in a setting, rather than close up.
Some clients might prefer boudoir photos that show their body and face in a larger environment, rather than just close-ups, particularly if it’s their first time posing for boudoir photography, so if this is the case with your client, then the 50mm lens is a solid choice.
Regardless of the lens type you go for, it is also best to opt for lenses with zoom features as this will increase the versatility of your boudoir images and allow you to capture a variety of shots during the boudoir photo shoot. After all, many boudoir photographers can tell you that nothing will ruin an intimate mood like pausing a shoot to clumsily switch prime lenses will.
The Best Location For A Boudoir Shoot
“Shooting at sunset can create a beautiful, golden look.”
The setting for a boudoir photo shoot will help to create the right mood and tone for the images while also making your subject feel comfortable and sexy so the boudoir photos turn out well. The first thing to consider when choosing a location is lighting. Good lighting can make or break a boudoir photo shoot, especially if you don’t want to worry about a complicated lighting set up.
To keep things simple and flattering, look for a location with lots of natural light, preferably diffused behind light-coloured curtains or blinds, although you can do this diffusion yourself on the day if you have the appropriate materials. Avoid locations with harsh top light or fluorescent lighting, as this style of lighting tends to be unflattering. Shooting at sunset can also create a beautiful look with great golden light adding an extra accent of natural beauty to the boudoir photo shoot.
Make Sure Your Location Is Visually Interesting
Once you have selected a location based on the available lighting to ensure your shots look good in that regard, the next aspect of the shoot to consider is the physical set. The location of a boudoir photo shoot should have just enough visual interest to fill the frame, but not too much to overcrowd your subject. If you, try and opt for a location with a lot of space so have the ability to move around furniture and pose your client in a variety of locations. Above all, the location should complement your boudoir clients and make them feel like they have room to move around.
Consider Asking Your Subject About a Preferred Location
If you dont have a consistent studio or if your client is looking for some more homely-styled sexy photos then consider discussing possible locations with your subject before shoot day. This helps both you and your client feel satisfied with the end product and may even help your client feel more comfortable, as some boudoir client would prefer to take boudoir photos at home, where they feel most at ease. Finding out what location is best for the client is always a key part of the process as it allows you to have a fun, comfortable shoot day no matter what.
How Boudoir Photographers Make Their Clients Comfortable
“Have a consultation with your client before the shoot to ensure they feel comfortable and sexy in front of the camera”
The key to a good boudoir shoot is to have a consultation with your client before the shoot to ensure they feel comfortable and sexy in front of the camera. This is the perfect time to discuss their ideas for the shoot and create a shot list so the client will have a sense of what the boudoir photo shoot will be like, and are comfortable with everything you ask them to do.
You can also suggest that your client try on a few outfits before the shoot to determine what they feel most comfortable and sexy wearing. Advise them to pose in front of a mirror in different outfits to ensure they can move around and can achieve the look they want. Ask them to bring a few different looks for the shoot so you have options to work with, and also make sure to ask your client to wear loose clothing ahead of the shoot so their skin is free of any marks, impressions, or lines.
Discuss Styling and Appearance Beforehand
Your client may arrange for a makeup artist to come in for the shoot or you may offer to provide this service as part of the boudoir photography package. The way in which your client is made up will depends on the shoot as a whole so make sure to have a discussion with them regarding this.
If the boudoir photos are going to reveal a lot of skin, your client might get certain areas groomed or waxed. Determine what your clients would like to highlight during the shoot and ensure they are well prepared on shoot day. Also make sure to suggest to your client that they drink lots of water before the shoot and get some rest to ensure they look their best in the boudoir photos.
Don’t Be Afraid To Give Posing Direction
Perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of a boudoir photo shoot is posing your subject in a way that makes them look and feel beautiful. Every person’s body and comfort level is different, so maintaining strong communication with your client is key. Discuss each pose with your client head of time to make the shoot feel collaborative, and create strong boudoir photos.
If you’re stuck thinking of poses, a good idea would be to consult other boudoir galleries and pick poses from them. For example, a typical starter pose for boudoir photography is on the knees, with their feet tucked underneath them. Have your client place their hands on their body in a natural, relaxed way. If they have bra straps or jewellery on, instruct them to play casually with them for a fun and cheeky look.
Discuss Publishing And Protecting Your Images
“If you intend to publish any of photography work online, you have to ensure that you protect it however you can.”
If your client wants to use their boudoir shoot as more than a simple personal collection, and agrees to publish the work online then feel free to ask them if you could use their work in your photography portfolio.
Of course, if you intend to publish any of photography work online, you have to ensure that you protect it however you can. The best way to this, no matter the niche you decide to work in, is to watermark your portfolio every step of the way. Watermarking is an important part of the process as it protects the copyright of your work and ensures that it cannot be reused or altered without your permission.
Water marking is also an excellent marketing tool as it can act as digital signature, by which potential clients can recognise and attribute you work to your personality as a professional photographer.
The best thing about watermarking, however, is that it is simple and free when using WaterMarquee!
WaterMarquee offers a free online watermarking service where you can simply upload your photos and get them back with a custom watermark in no time at all. WaterMarquee also offers premium services that will really help elevate any work you produce and mark you as a true photography professional. So, what’re you waiting for? If you want to make your publish your boudoir photoshoot online in a safe, professional and stylish manner, look no further than WaterMarquee.