How to Prepare for a Boudoir Photography Session

September 3, 2023

A boudoir photography session can be the most transformational experience for you as a woman. Do you wonder what are required to get ready for your confidence boosting boudoir photo shoot?

My name is Belinda. I am a London boudoir photographer and I would like to help you prepare for this most uplifting experience you could have treated yourself to.

Related reading: Quiz: Are you ready for a boudoir photo shoot?

Tips to prepare for your boudoir photography session

1. Choose a boudoir photographer you feel comfortable with

I have put this as the number one priority in your boudoir photo shoot preparation. It is important the boudoir photographer you booked is someone you feel comfortable with and you can trust, that are non-judgmental and share your views with you. This is crucial to how you feel, your experience and your photo outcomes!

A boudoir photo shoot is an intimate experience, it is not unusual for women to feel a bit more vulnerable at the beginning of the shoot. A good photographer will be able to put you at ease and help you regain your body positivity during the shoot. If you feel more exposed in front of the opposite gender in your boudoir photography session, an all-female team boudoir photography studio can be an option!

Related reading: How to be comfortable in front of a camera

2. Choose a skilled boudoir photographer

Not all boudoir photographers are equal in their skill sets. Putting you at ease aside, more skilled boudoir photographers can capture much better photos through posing, lighting, better equipment and better techniques. Rather than practising and learning posing as part of preparation for your photo shoots, it is best to hire photographers who can give you posing guidance. Unfortunately not all London boudoir photographers (or elsewhere) give directions when they take photos. It is therefore important for you to understand how your preferred photographers work before you make your booking. You may want to check out their websites, portfolios, reviews and social media credits.

Related reading: Beautiful plus-size boudoir photography

3. Understand your preferred boudoir photography style

What styles are you drawn to when you research for your boudoir photo shoot? Do you prefer a classic, elegant look? Or are you more attracted to a playful and daring aesthetic? Make sure you communicate your preference to your photographer ahead of the shoot, so he or she can tailor accordingly. Let your boudoir photographer know which images on his / her portfolio appeal most to you. You can also show him / her pins or images you have come across that you could envision yourself in. 

Related reading: Why invest in bridal boudoir pictures?

4. Getting your boudoir wardrobe ready

The wardrobe selection you bring to your boudoir photo shoot plays an important part in reflecting who you are. Hence it is important that you bring along outfits that make you feel confident and are quinsensually you. However, don’t be shy if you fancy experimenting with items that are a bit more daring! While lingerie is often related to boudoir photo shoots, everyday wardrobe items like cozy sweaters, jeans and oversized shirts can all give the intimate boudoir flare.  Please find my further reading below for more boudoir outfit ideas! 

Further reading: What to wear for a boudoir photo shoot

5. Introduce props to your boudoir photo shoot

Incorporating meaningful props can add a personal touch to your photos. Consider items that hold sentimental value or showcase your hobbies and interests. Whether it’s a vintage book, a cherished piece of jewellery, or a musical instrument, props can tell a unique story and make your photos even more special. 

Related reading: Empowerment photography: portrait into boudoir

6. Book professional hair and makeup

Professional hair and makeup artists can enhance your natural beauty and provide a polished look for your photos. For me, it is a must and inclusive in my London boudoir photography sessions. If it is not included in the session with your boudoir photography, I will strongly suggest booking an experienced makeup artist who understand boudoir aesthetics. Discuss your preferences and any concerns you might have, so they can create a look that aligns with your chosen style. 

7. Beauty preparations

Nothing prepares beauty and help you glow than a good night sleep! Therefore you may want to avoid having a big night out ahead of your boudoir photography session. Rather you can save your big night out after your boudoir photo shoot. You will walk out of the boudoir photography studio feeling confident and beautiful, not to mention you have professional hair and makeup applied. Let’s make the most out of that day! 

Some clients would like to treat themselves to facials, manicures or pedicures ahead of the boudoir photo shoot which is a great extension for their self-care. While having pre-shoot beauty salon visits are not must-haves, it is nevertheless important to make sure your nails are tidy and polished! My recommended nail colours for boudoir photo shoot are natural or red colours. 

Related reading: Why do we take magazine style portraits?

8. Hair preparations

It is important you love your hair style, colour and length for them to be recorded in your photos. Are you thinking of changing something about your hair? Make sure you allow sufficient time to visit the hair salon prior to the photo shoot. If you colour your hair regularly, make sure the roots are touched up ahead of your shoot. 

Where you have your hair and makeup planned on your shoot day, make sure you communicate with your stylist on the day and let them know how you would like to wear your hair for your boudoir photo shoot.

9. Relax and Enjoy the Experience 

On the day of the shoot, take a deep breath and enjoy the experience. Trust your photographer’s guidance and let your confidence shine. Remember that boudoir photography is about celebrating your uniqueness and capturing your beauty in an artistic way!

10. Positivity is key

A boudoir shoot is about focusing on yourself and appreciating your body as is. It is important to be in a body positive mindset, embrace who you are and the boudoir experience!

Related reading: How long does a boudoir photo shoot last?

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