Today's boudoir photography has transcended the unnatural poses of the past. The nouveaux boudoir is all about glamour and female empowerment. It is no wonder so many women are seeking to have one of these sessions. For some of you, the idea of taking off your clothes and being photographed by a complete stranger might sound intimidating, so here is the rundown as far as what to look for or expect from a boudoir photographer.
What is Boudoir Photography? Modern boudoir photographers focus on creating a feminine intimate portrait that reflects your sensual personality. The actual word "boudoir" implies something soft and sensual rather than erotic. Boudoir photography should resemble sexy perfumes ads or sensual Victoria Secret commercials and your images will look like they belong in a magazine.
Who's doing it? Everyone! It doesn't matter the age, figure, or if you are a little less than perfect.
Photographers know how to light, position and direct you to look your best and overcome any body image issues; they have also mastered the art of Photoshop retouching and can produce incredible results. These photo sessions are all about fantasy and it is an amazing confidence boost! Ladies are giving the sessions to themselves (and sometimes their significant others) before they get married as a wedding gift. Newly married ladies are doing it before they become mothers or as a 1st anniversary gift (1st year is paper), or as an "I still got it honey!" anniversary gift after being married for many years. Military wives also give it to their husbands serving overseas.
What to look for in a photographer? First, make sure to research as many reputable photographers as possible and checkout their websites and portfolios. Their esthetics should compliment your style and the type of photography you want. Lastly, it is important that you feel comfortable with this person, especially since this type of photography set in such an intimate setting...if you're not comfortable, it will show in your images.
What happens during a session? Different photographers will have a different approach and a wide range of styles. In my experience, I like to ask the client about their personal interests so I can get an idea of her personality and lifestyle. My most popular shoot is our Couture Boudoir Shoot. I bring sought after hair & makeup stylist in my area, Maria Chang of PMA because I want my client to completely indulge, be pampered and most importantly look and feel fabulous! This session is a production style shoot allowing for several different outfits and complimenting make-up and hairstyles. I focus on making the client feel comfortable at all times; the possibilities for creativity are endless and so much fun to dream up!
Where does the shoot take place? Locations vary between photographers; some have a hotel room or a studio to shoot in. I prefer to shoot in the privacy of my client's home. There is just something so much more personal about it and I'm able to get a better feel for my client's (and their significant others) personality to incorporate in the images. When the shoot takes place at your home, be sure to remove any distracting items from nightstands (i.e. alarm clocks, books, photos, etc.) and tables. Often times we will photograph in the bedroom (of course), and then venture out to a chair, the floor, a window - whatever! As I mentioned, the possibilities are endless and when in your home, we are able to be challenged and come up with something fun and creative that you would have never expected!
What outfits to wear? There are a few lingerie stores, and while at least one piece of lingerie is recommended, don't run out and buy everything in the window at Victoria's Secret. So much can be done with just a simple cute panty or pair of stilettos. Anything can be made sexy! Dig through your closet and find a couple of your favorites items - a chunky sweater with nothing else on but a pair of heels is oh so hot! And don't forget about the jewelry!
Jennifer Skog is a professional photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She specializes in high fashion production style photo shoots, boudoir, and wedding photography.