Boudoir Photography Ideas and Tips

boudoir photography
Share the Post:

The term ‘boudoir photography‘ is used to describe a number of things, including lingerie, pin up, fetish, tasteful nudes and even just shots that have a hint of a tease or little bit more skin on show! Basically it refers to anything remotely seductive. How far you go with it is entirely up to you.

This blog aims to provide some boudoir photography ideas and tips for your glamorous photoshoot. From a renowned photographer based in London, these boudoir photography ideas are things that we have seen excel.

What to wear for a unique boudoir photoshoot

There is a common misconception that a boudoir photography shoot means totally naked; it can be, but only if that is what you’re going for. The majority of shots have lingerie, stockings and pretty glamorous hair and makeup but at the same time a simple oversized shirt with messy hair and very little makeup is considered Boudoir when shot in the right way. It is very much customisable based on what kind of look you like.

Do you have to have your own outfits?

As the majority of boudoir is lingerie and stockings, it is definitely best to put together your own look for the shoot as quite frankly, some items just should not be shared! Also, with so many different shapes and sizes, a one size fits all approach would never work for boudoir. 

Finding a look for a boudoir photoshoot is all about what appeals to you. Some prefer delicate fabrics that drape off one shoulder whereas others opt for a structured corseted look.

Putting your boudoir look together is great fun, you can dig out your most daring lingerie, grab that corset that you haven’t worn yet or even that dress that’s just a little bit too see through! Take note of images you like and what the outfits are and remember to think about the details. Your boudoir look should be personal to you and the overall feel you wish to create.

Background and setting boudoir photography ideas

This varies based on what kind of images you would like. Sometimes a simple background is used to keep a very clean and classic look and sometimes a giant gold chaise longue is called for! Many photographers and studios set dress for the occasion. 

If you have something very particular in mind, be vocal and very often your photographer can set it up. At our studio, we have a range of backgrounds and sets that are suitable for boudoir and we tailor them to suit the look and style that you are going for.

Boudoir posing guide

With boudoir, people dream up scenarios where they have to strip down in front of a complete stranger, they imagine a seedy photographer making them feel super awkward with extreme poses. They imagine the shots will highlight the cellulite more than the curves and that the photographer may also in some way feel awkward.

Well… In a word… No! None of this happens. Seasoned photographers have seen everything possible and are trained in all aspects of photography. To a photographer, you are the subject and they look at a shoot from the perspective of creating a piece of art with each image. They have an in-depth discussion with you about what kind of look you want so you will not be directed in a way that would be uncomfortable for you.

Also, there are robes and screens if you don’t want to walk around in your sexiest get up! As far as the end result goes, we have NEVER come across a client who regretted doing a boudoir  photoshoot and the typical thing people say after their shoot is ‘It wasn’t scary at all’. The only confidence you need is to get in front of the camera. Once you’re there the rest is so much easier than you might think!

Vintage style Boudoir photography tips

Although the word ‘Boudoir’ refers to vintage glamour, in photography the meaning has evolved to cover anything seductive. Saying that, by far the most popular form of Boudoir photography is the classic meaning. 

This would be stockings, corsets and a classic red lip and liquid liner. As beautiful as the original Boudoir look is, it does not mean that you have to look like a 1950s pin up to do a Boudoir photoshoot. It can be absolutely anything you like.

Makeup ideas for Boudoir photography 

It’s true that photographic makeup is a little heavier than your average day to day look. However, there are no rules about boudoir photography makeup. Many people opt for a heavier look as that’s what works with their chosen outfits so it is what you typically see. Some styles work better with a soft, glowy look. It all really depends on what you’re going for.

The two most popular boudoir looks are of course vintage with a red lip, liquid winged liner and waved glossy hair and the other is a smoky eye. When we talk about smoky eye looks, there is such a huge scale to work with. It can be soft and minimal or heavy and black and still be classed as ‘smoky’. In makeup artistry the word just simply refers to the way the eyeshadow is applied and not the heaviness of it! If you are unsure about what makeup you would like have a look at some images and give your makeup artist a reference to the kind of look you like.

Can you focus on a fetish during a boudoir photoshoot?

You can go as far as you like! It is YOUR shoot. Boudoir photography is about whatever makes you feel good. Ultimately, that is the whole point of boudoir photography! It should be a bold representation of you. Do not hold back if you want to go for it! Most people wish they had brought their most daring outfits when they are at the studio but by then it’s too late! When it comes to boudoir photography you do not need to adhere to your day to day norms… it’s always best to step out of that comfort zone to create images you are sure to love.

Is it best to photoshop Boudoir photographs?

Often images you see in the media and online have had a complete photoshop transformation. Do not be fooled by the flawless look that you see, it is not a true representation of beauty. We believe less is more! When you view your images for the first time you will see them exactly as they are taken. Very often clients are happy with the look of the shots as they are. However, if requested, a light natural edit can be done. The whole point of Boudoir is to showcase you as you are so we believe a heavy overly photoshopped look is not necessary but we can of course do a little tweak if you like!

Boudoir photography tips with a partner

We have done many couple shoots of this nature. Again, these have been everything from going shirtless for a classic skin on skin shot to pulling out the PVC and the props! It’s totally customisable and tailored to you and your partner. It has been quite a popular option for anniversaries and engagements and the results never fail to please.

Boudoir photography ideas for older women

There is nothing more empowering than a woman who celebrates herself at any age. Women have done boudoir shoots to celebrate their 60th birthdays at Vanity Studios. It is a great way to feel fantastic about yourself and to defy the norms! We absolutely love when a client unapologetically owns who they are and boudoir is a great way to showcase this in an image.

Boudoir photography tips for men

Why the hell not?! Boudoir is simply a style of photography and if the style is essentially a sexy photoshoot, it is for anyone! Men in Boudoir has even been referred to as ‘dudoir’ or ‘dudeoir’, which we love! We have done countless suggestive shots with men, everything from underwear to spraying them with water and oil for that ‘just out of the shower’ look. Men’s boudoir is great and actually pretty popular! It just shows there is no limitation on this style of photography.

Related Posts