What does a typical boudoir photo session look like?
I don’t know if there is such a thing as a typical boudoir photo session. Most sessions are kind of unique. And it’s not just because the boudoir client is different. It’s also because of the location of the shoot. I do shoot more and more sessions in my own home studio, but there are a number of women that prefer to do their boudoir photo sessions in their own homes. And no 2 homes are really the same. There is a difference in size, different furniture, and most importantly different aspect, which then determines what kind of light we get. However, most sessions have the following parts pretty much the same.
Pre-session posing guide
I do that before every session. Even if the client has been photographed before, I want her to know what I expect her to do. How to pose nicely. What to do with her hands, etc. These short posing guides are invaluable, in my opinion, because it gives me an opportunity to explain and show my client how I pose, which helps improve proper communication during a photo session. There are a few rules of boudoir posing, that can be applied to almost every picture. For example, pointing toes and walking on tippy toes is pretty much mandatory in every shot. Whether it’s a standing or a sitting pose, the toes have to be pointed to make the legs look longer.
I just need to mention and show it to my client once, and they usually remember it for the rest of the session. This short posing guide goes for about 10 minutes, but I think it helps us save a lot more time during the shoot.
The boudoir photo-session
My boudoir photo sessions go for about 90 minutes. I don’t like to rush things. Before each new pose, I show my client where I want her to be and what I want her to do. This is so much easier than explaining them. What I also do is I ask them to mirror my body. I move my arms or legs and they just need to mimic me. This also cuts speeds up the session.
I start my sessions with my clients wearing their lingerie or even some favorite casual clothes. There is enough time in the session to change into about 3 different sets of lingerie. Depending on my client’s comfort level we then move to more daring or risque poses. There may be some topless shots, some implied nudity, or full nudity. Everyone has a different comfort level and I leave it up to my clients to decide how far they want to go.
I shoot most of the images in the bedroom and the living room if that is available. There will be shots on the bed, on the sofa, on a chair, and against the wall. Some more daring clients are happy to pose on the balcony or in the garden if there is privacy.
Most sessions go over an hour, but they also don’t go much over 90 minutes. Boudoir photo-sessions are actually quite physically demanding. There is a lot of stretching, walking on tippy-toes. I warn everyone that they are going to be quite sore the next couple of days. I have to make sure that we have enough shots before they get really tired.
After the session
I don’t show every picture to my clients as we shoot. I believe that a boudoir image is done once it’s properly edited in Photoshop and Lightroom. I may not be doing much retouching, but I do crop all images. I color-correct them if necessary, and do some enhancements in Photoshop. I will show my clients some images after the session, just so they know what to expect. With this the session is over. I usually need about a week to process and edit all the images. Visit my boudoir photography page for more information or to book a session.