PREPARING FOR YOUR BOUDOIR SHOOT
Your boudoir photography session is most likely a once in a lifetime opportunity, so there are several things that you will want to do in order to properly prepare. As your photographer, it is my mission to make sure that your boudoir photoshoot is a extraordinary experience. My goal is to help you embrace the beauty within. Here are a few guidelines to prepare for your shoot:
BEGIN TO PLAN YOUR SHOOT
When interest is shown is doing a boudoir shoot, I always ask clients to create a Pinterest board with inspirational photos to get a general idea on what your vision is. Pin anything that reaches out to you and your style. Of course, if you don't want others to see your board, make sure to turn it secret. Also, if you are not a Pinterest user, you are also encouraged to just send photos that inspire you through whichever way of contact (email, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Don't over-think anything while you are searching for your inspiration. People tend to let things, like seeing other images discourage them. Try not to think, "She is gorgeous, but I couldn't ever look like that." or "I wish I could pull that look off." Stop! That's not the point of this by any means. You are going to be your own vision, everything you find during that process is to provide a general idea of what fancies you. Not photos to replicate, because we won't.
So what's your style? After you pin about 20 or so images, I can pick up your vibe of what you are guiding towards. Do you like sweet, innocent, vivid, and flirtatious? Is dark, moody, and seductive your style? Do you prefer full figured shots? Do you prefer the close-up shots that tease? That's the point of it, we brainstorm your vision and direction, together!
At the moment, I currently use my residence as my shoot location. As can be seen in all of my recent boudoir work that you can find over on my Instagram page. It has great natural light, that is active from sunrise to sunset. Boudoir shoots can also happen at another location such as an AirBnB or even your own residence. Those would need to be agreed upon mutually as I prefer to shoot in good natural light situations.
BEFORE YOUR SESSION
Limited sunbathing, you don’t want any awkward tan lines
Fingernails and toenails should be clean, a full manicure and pedicure is not necessary, but a clear polish will look best
Don’t pluck/wax eyebrows before the shoot
Shave/wax at least 6 hours before the session
No spray or self-tanning, these often leave uneven results, and require extra time in post-editing
If tags are visible in see through lingerie, cut them out
Drink plenty of water to ensure your skin is hydrated, this will ensure smooth and healthy skin for your session
DAY OF YOUR SESSION
Come with clean and moisturized skin
Wash hair the day before, day old hair will hold the style better
Use a toothbrush on your lips to clean off any dry skin (no joke)
Lenient use of lotion to moisturize your skin
PLEASE wear loose-fitting clothing the day of the session. Tight clothing can leave marks and indentions on your skin
Consider going without undergarments prior to arrival, this will ensure smooth skin around the bra and waist lines
Drink plenty of water, this will ensure smooth and healthy skin for your session
Eat a light meal before the session, the session will take some time, as you’ll need the energy to hold some of the poses. Don’t be afraid to bring some snacks, as long as they don’t affect your makeup
Use clear deodorant the day of your session
DO NOT show up with red lipstick on
WHAT TO BRING
As part of your wardrobe consultation, you'll receive a custom Pinterest board with wardrobe suggestions just for you, but here are a few things everybody should bring:
Jewelry: Jewelry can add to the outfit, pearls are always a sexy addition
Accessories: stockings, thigh high socks, garters, sweaters and graphic tees can only add to your image
Shoes: Stilettos work best, and they make the legs look great. Black and nude are great choices and go with anything
Colors: Keep it simple, whites, blacks, navy all photograph well, avoid overly shiny or neon colored lingerie
HAIR & MAKE-UP OPTIONS
Unlike most photographers when shooting boudoir, I will let you do your own hair and makeup if you are trying to save money or have a friend that does it for you. One thing that I will constantly say is PLEASE DO NOT show up with red lipstick already applied. It is hard to remove and doesn't go with every look. Usually I save it for the end.
Hair & Make-Up Artist(s) can be provided for on the day of the shoot (possibly an additional fee at artist's discretion). I can assist and schedule one for the boudoir session.
If you know of a HMUA that you would like to use, please contact me before you confirm them, so that we can all get on the same page before their confirmation.
For hair, my suggestion is always loose curls. Now that may not work for everyone, some manage better with it straightened or naturally curly. What suits you the best works for me.
LINGERIE & CLOTHING OPTIONS
I do not provide lingerie for boudoir sessions. I just want to make that clear. Now, lingerie is NOT a must, especially complete sets. Creativity on your end is always welcomed! I love when you come with a mind full of ideas. Like where I am getting with that is mix up clothing, thigh high fishnets with a cropped sweater or graphic tee. A tank top and no pants, a gorgeous bra and a long flowing skirt are other examples.
Don't feel like you're obligated to purchase new lingerie, but I won't tell you not to. Nothing wrong with treating yourself.
Now if the acquiring new lingerie idea freaks you out a bit, I can literally do a whole shoot with nothing but the bed sheets. (see image below)
If you are going to wear thigh-highs, buy them at 1-2 sizes TOO BIG. Buying them in a size that "fits" according to the package size chart, will likely result in the stockings giving a bit of a thigh "muffin top". We can get them to stay up for each pose, or wear a garter belt to keep from slipping.
If you have larger breasts, but lingerie that has SUPPORT! Don't buy lingerie that doesn't have any underwire unless you are have smaller breast.
So if you opted to purchase lingerie, I urge that you go to a local lingerie boutique, that way you can have yourself properly fitted. If you are interested in ordering lingerie online, True & Co. has a great website and quiz that will help you to determine what styles and sizes are the best for you.
CLICK HERE: True&Co. Quiz
Look to incorporate a variety of pieces into your wardrobe selections. Having 5 different bra and panty sets won't show a lot of variety in your images. Instead, have something formal, something casual, something super textured and fun, to something black and sleek. I think you get the idea.
Go ahead and think a bit outside of the box, consider incorporating scarves, sheets, curtains, white button-down shirts or tighter fitting tops.
Possibly consider, implied or artistic nudes as an "outfit" during your boudoir session. They're classy, wall-worthy and EASY!
FLATTERING ALL FIGURES
Here are a few tips based on the most common "complaints" from women and how to enhance those features with wardrobe.
CURVY BODIES: Corsets are great for creating a beautiful hourglass shape. Loose-fitting clothing is a must avoid and disguises curves. They should be snug but not too tight. It should give your body a hug without cutting off circulation or pushing your skin elsewhere. Also, bodysuits are amazing to have. They look great on any and everyone!
FLAT-BUTTS: To help give the visual of a curvy rear, opt for panties that are ruffled on the backside, those tend to add a lot of dimension. Also "hipster" type bottoms, when adjusted properly, will enhance the natural curve of your cheeks. Thongs always make any butt look fuller than full-coverage bottoms. Play around in the mirror with the different styles of bottoms to see what you looks best.
SHORTER LEGS: High heels with a thin heel. Avoid shoes with ankle straps, wedges or a square toe. Nude colored shoes naturally elongate the legs. Black high heels also add a great dynamic.
THIN/NO-CURVES: Again, a corset to create shape! With this we can create a lot of curve with strategic lighting and posing as well! Oh and again, bodysuits.
SMALLER CHEST: If your small chest bothers you, opt for push-up bras, chicken cutlets, and/or lingerie with structure. Just make sure your bras fit properly WITH any of the inserts.
THE "MOM CHEST": Structure, structure, structure. An underwire + push up is a great idea for those who have had a child or more. A properly fitted bra is a must!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
DO NOT OVERTHINK ANY OF THIS! Obviously you are going to be nervous. It is a very nerve racking thing going into. But I assure you, that it is really not that bad. The nerves do wear off quick! Where I help is with communication. While we shoot, I am a very talkative person and just random conversation helps ease nerves. I also help coach and direct with poses.
Just know that it is never a "my way only" type of directive. This is a team effort and ideas are awesome if we can brainstorm together.
Hopefully this helps you feel more ready!