Boudoir is definitely one of those genres of photography that everyone can feel a bit anxious about at some point.
The clients may feel nervous and like they aren’t pretty/skinny/curvy/tall enough for these types of photos. The photographer might fret that they won’t be able to provide clients with images that truly reflect their beauty because it is such a vulnerable form of imagery. In today’s day and age, the media sets unrealistic expectations of what beauty is and about women embracing their sensuality. So having a boudoir session can create a very empowering experience – giving a woman the gift of confidence and self-love.
Here are some of my tips to help any photographer create an experience that will leave their client feeling like they can take on the world.
Prepping before the session:
1. Do your research upfront.
Learn about the woman. What makes her tick? What does she love about herself? What is she self-conscious about? What do others love about her? When does she feel most beautiful? What is her reason for doing this session?
2. Educate her.
Help her prepare for her session. Provide her with direction when it comes to choosing outfits that are flattering for her…colors, shape, etc. Help her with hair & makeup (I provide a professional hair & makeup artist with all my boudoir shoots).
3. Address her fears & doubts.
Some examples of this are: “I don’t know how to pose.” – My response, “It’s more about an action. And I’ll demo it beforehand.” Another common doubt is “I need to lose 10 lbs before this session!” My response to that, “It’s a never-ending battle. You are who you are. It’s my job to flatter you…I will do so with lighting & posing. I will enhance your shape. It’s not to change who you are, but my job is to make you the best version of who you are.”
During the session:
4. Get her warmed up.
Start with the least revealing outfit or the one she is most excited about. Turn on some music with a fun playlist that you created or is full of music she loves.
5. Lead by example.
Demonstrate actions/poses for her. Give her direction on how to switch it up to continue to create amazing images.
6. Love on her.
Let her know how amazing she is doing! If something isn’t quite right, take a shot and move on to the next pose/action. Show her an image or two that you really love on the back of the camera (no need to scroll through the whole bunch because we know we may have some oddball shots in the mix!). This will give her feeling confident to continue on.
After the session:
7. Know her insecurities and edit for them.
This is also something to keep in mind during the shoot, but it is key in post-production when choosing your favorite images to edit.
8. Keep the edits natural.
While I do edit boudoir images to create flattering images of my clients, I don’t ever go overboard! I want these images to be a representation of the best version of my client, not a fake version of them.
9. Edit for emotion.
It’s human nature to want to connect to images that feel powerful or evoke an emotional connection. Make sure this comes through in your imagery.
10. Under-promise, over-deliver.
Turn over images faster than you say you will. Meet with them in person to deliver the images to see their reactions and guide them with making choices in their artwork. I personally always have a yummy treat and delectable beverage for them to enjoy while viewing their images to cap off the tail-end of their boudoir experience.
I hope these tips prove helpful to you! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Or if you are ever interested in a one-on-one mentoring from me to improve your skills with boudoir photography, feel free to reach out to me HERE.
*This was an article that I had originally written and published for JPEG Mini blog. If you want to see that article, head HERE.