How To – Get The Best From Your Boudoir Shoot

January 4, 2013

Boudoir photo shoots have lately become the new buzz word.  More and more photographers are learning the techniques and offering boudoir shoots alongside wedding packages and women are seeing the appeal in having personal photos taken for themselves as much as a gift for the other half.  If you’ve not yet experienced a boudoir shoot, you may be missing out on something.

My first boudoir shoot 2009
Steve Holcroft Photography

The term boudoir isn’t such a new idea, after all, it comes from the french term meaning ‘a lady’s private room’; a personal place where a woman dresses (and undresses), grooms herself and spends time on her own.  What is new is the concept of capturing intimate moments on camera taken in true surroundings.  A bedroom or bathroom becomes the setting for a staged photo shoot made to look unstaged and of the moment where the woman comes into her own and centre stage.

 Boudoir Shoot
Howard Michael Photography

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about.  Well, it’s pretty simple.  A woman is her most beautiful when she is herself, caught in a moment of time, maybe vulnerable, sensual, but always womanly.  Fashions may find us wearing strange shapes and androgynous outfits but stripped down you can’t beat the timeless style of feminine lingerie.  Beautiful bras, basques and corsets, stockings and suspenders embrace the female form, daring to suggest attraction yet maintaining innocence.

Bridal boudoir shoot
Madame Boudoir Photography

The problem with the popularisation of boudoir shoots is that they’re easily taken away from the context they were intended and easily cheapened into nothing less than a glamour shoot.  Glamour and boudoir are polar opposites but often confused.  The difference is between suggestion and availability; the gentle touch of the skin and the squeezing of cleavage, the cheeky glint in the eye and the sexual pout of the lips.  Boudoir shoots properly done are shot within the walls of a house, be it a hotel or true home, and performed using skilled lighting.  The use of a studio is acceptable if a set is staged and genuinely looks real; a badly hung curtain and one highly set light is a poor excuse of a boudoir set.  The smallest detail adds interest and an angle to work from – applying perfume or styling hair sat at a dressing table or fastening up stockings create story.  Scratched and worn out heels instantly delete any glamorous air as does peeled away nail polish.  Boudoir is all in the detail, mood and whole picture.  Without it, at best you have a lingerie shoot, not boudoir.

Pin Up Boudoir
Flobelob Photography

What’s great about having a boudoir shoot is that there aren’t hard and fast rules.  Poses and facial expressions kept natural and soft are the most effective and using the curves you have are loved by the camera.  Cleavage doesn’t need to be squashed and squished to look beautiful, a voluptuous bum doesn’t want to be hidden, curvy hips show artful shape and stockinged legs only know 50s screen siren.  Working whatever you do or don’t have is what exudes confidence, and when you remember to have fun too, it’s the perfect boudoir recipe.  Just don’t lose all the feathers out of the pillow.  πŸ˜‰


  1. It’s up to you which are your ‘best bits’.  If you or your other half love the shape of your bum, make this centre stage.  If you don’t like your thighs, try angles that are more flattering or wear briefs and stockings which will make you feel better about these parts.
  2. You don’t have to make ‘a face’ for the camera, and you definitely don’t need to pout or even look at the camera.  A effortless glance away looks attractive without arrogance.
  3. You can wear your usual lingerie if it makes you feel confident but buying special sets can make the experience more exciting and pleasurable.
  4. A little body pampering the day before can work wonders with your esteem and make you your best – light reflecting body lotion is the best product for gorgeous glowing skin on camera!
  5. And lastly, take back up pairs of stockings, you’re guaranteed a ladder if you forget them!
Becky x

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