If you are a creative photographer (including wedding photographers), you should be aware of the concept referred to as Boudoir Photography.
Of course, unlike the other photography session – the Boudoir Photography involves a fine line between NSFW and a tasteful presentation.
The concept has been receiving a lot of negative publicity and as such, not many are aware of the exact nature of the photography genre.
So if you are planning to work in this genre, here are a few tips that may be helpful for your requirements…
CHAPTER 1 Boudoir Photography – An Introduction
CHAPTER 2 Understand the Subject and Her Views
CHAPTER 3 Emotion is the Key
CHAPTER 4 The Technical Aspects
CHAPTER 5 Focussing on Her Body
CHAPTER 6 The Poses Play A Major Role
Boudoir Photography – An Introduction
- The Boudoir Photography is what has been in the vogue since the 1900s.
- Contrary to the belief that Boudoir photography is all about showing skin, it can be a completely clothed image capturing without any showing of skin.
Yes, it can be quite different from portrait photography or any other form of formal photography. It can be considered to be slightly an edgier version of the Portrait Photography. How about the ordinary women who are not exactly models, but would love to present themselves as the sexy, classy side of themselves to their loved ones? That is precisely what Boudoir Photography is all about.
What is the significance of Boudoir Photography?
Well, what if you want to present your loved one with a unique Valentine’s Day gift? Instead of opting for those candlelit dinners, overpriced menus, and similar other clichéd options, women have these days turning to Boudoir Photography.
Did we say, women? Yes, Boudoir Photography is all about women and photographing them in most sexy and amoral way. Of course, times are changing and you can now find men as well opting for this kind of the photography, but the genre basically remains a women’s category.
Boudoir is essentially a French term. It meant a woman’s private room where she can have all the time for herself. That would make what Boudoir Photography have a setting in an intimate surrounding.
What is the secret to being the best Boudoir Photographer?
Well, Boudoir Photography may not be just about being a professional photographer. You may know all the tricks and tips of photography, but indulging in Boudoir genre cannot be an easy task given the personal angle involved.
The Boudoir photographs tend to be softer, sensual, sexy, and romantic – many times going towards the edge of being naughty. That’s why you should cultivate the art of making your subject feel comfortable.
You should be an expert at making your subject attractive, but not vulnerable. Getting to know the subject is essential for getting a few flattering shoots.
Boudoir Photography is all about building trust. That is precisely why we focus on building trust and communication between you and your client.
…and that is exactly why we have compiled a few tips on the best possible Boudoir Photography.
So let’s move to the next section now…
Understand the Subject and Her Views
- Boudoir Photography involves getting a few great shots in a romantic and naughty way.
- And at the same time, you need to take care not to move towards being too naughty.
- This can make the woman uncomfortable and thus ruin the shots.
Work from Her Perspective
Understand your subject clearly. What does she like about herself and her body? What would she like to showcase as?
Every woman is self-conscious…
…and they may be self-conscious with respect to certain features. You need to compose your images depending upon what she feels good about herself. You may have worked with several women in your career as a Boudoir photographer, but do remember that not all women are equal. Take into account what they think about their body, and focus on those statistics.
Make Them Comfortable
Boudoir Photography involves the sexy, romantic and naughty shots. Not many women may be comfortable with it.
Talk to the – communication is what should make her comfortable. If she is not sure what she is self-conscious about, begin a discussion. She will be at the most vulnerable state at the time of the shoot. Make her comfortable by communicating fluidly with her. Make sure you catch her best assets and highlight them.
Emotion is the Key
- Boudoir shots will be what will thrive on expressions. More than the body and her assets, it is more about the expressions.
- If you really want your Boudoir shoot to produce really amazing snaps, you should learn to bring in that emotion.
Make The Subject Smile
A smile is what would light up any kind of photography. Evoking emotion should be the key to a great photography. A portrait without a smile or any similar emotion can be quite lifeless.
Of course, your excellence is how you will be able to bring the emotions out. Yet again, a wholehearted discussion is what would help you achieve the best outcome.
Let her explain what she likes about herself or her partner. Make her open up with respect to her relationship with her partner. This should go a long way in opening her up and presenting her best in the photography.
Check Out the Body Language
The key to evoking emotions would be through understanding her as a person. This can be best achieved through the discussions. You can understand the kind of person she is by observing her closely as she moves around.
Does she mind flaunting her lingerie before the strangers, or covers herself right after every shot? These small things can give away a lot about what she feels about herself … or how she communicates with the world around. This can help you capture her as a person than shooting something artificial.
Capture Real Emotions
Keep talking to her while capturing her. And the talk should move beyond just providing directions. Indulge in an informal talk …. this will aid you in capturing the real HER.
Tell her things that would evoke the real emotions from within. That is exactly where sharing a great rapport serves a huge purpose.
Opt for real actions than suggesting the artificial ones. The essence of the Boudoir Photography session should be to help her build her self-esteem. Make her believe that she is the most beautiful girl on earth! That would indeed work wonders with respect to your shots.
Now, let’s understand the technical aspects of boudoir photography…
The Technical Aspects
- Well, photography is about playing with light.
- The Boudoir Photography set up normally involves shooting inside a closed room.
- You need to depend upon the artificial lighting and it can be a concern in many cases.
Get The Lighting Right
We repeat – the light has a lot of bearing on photography. A good shot is a result of how you are capable of playing with the light.
It holds true for Boudoir photography as well. In fact, unlike Engagement and other types of photography, you do not get any natural light during Boudoir photography. The fact that this genre of shooting takes place ideally behind the closed doors, you need to master the light in a better manner.
Light can play a sport in a Boudoir shot if you are not able to get the best light possible. Some tips for an effective use of light can be
- Avoid using overhead light. They can cause shadows under the eyes.
- Lights from below can produce an eerie look akin to the horror movies.
- Fluorescent lights can be another issue that produces bad images.
The best option would be to use the natural light that could be available from the windows. In fact, you can make use of the best use of light to highlight her best features and assets.
The Right Pose
The pose you choose will have a great bearing on the best possible portraits you can get. Almost every woman feels self-conscious of one or the other of her body parts. This is where you – as a Boudoir photographer – need to excel.
Make sure you hide the so-called flaws in her body. Choosing the right pose will help you achieve that.
In fact, choosing the right pose that will highlight her best features, while hiding the flaws is an art in itself and will come with experience. However, we will share a few tips in another section later on in this guide.
Focussing on Her Body
- Focus on the focal points of her body for an efficient shot in terms of Boudoir photography.
- Yes, the outfits can play a major role in bringing her body into a differing focus.
- Variety is the key to success here. Spice up your shots by bringing in as many variable shots as possible.
- Close up shots of her best features and assets can help you provide a varied number of shots for your client.
Bring in a Variety of Outfits
Outfits are essentially what will bring in more variety in your shots. As we stated already, start shooting with the close-ups of her best features and then move on to shoot the upper body shots that cover three-quarters of her body.
Full body shots also have their own effect, but ensure you are bringing up variety in those shoots. Of course, Boudoir photography is about minimalistic clothes, but you can add up the variety using the curtains, bed sheets, and other accessories to create variety. How about using her hair for an enchanting effect?
Limbs and Legs
Well, if you have seen the models advertising for lingerie and bath soaps, you might have seen the effect they create with their legs and limbs.
You can check out the ads for lingerie products, in case you are not able to come up with your own ideas. You can ask your subject to study the lingerie models and their actions and try to imitate them. Of course, you will need to ensure that they are comfortable with the idea. Having a talk prior to the shoot would be essential enough to arrive at a mutually agreeable shot.
You can also focus on the major focal points of her body like breasts and arms. An arched back, for example, can bring up a better focus for her breasts. A good play with light with these shots can produce a few really interesting shots.
Hands can be another interesting focal point in your Boudoir photography session. That said, it should be also be noted that many photographers do not have an idea about how to use the subject’s hands.
You can use these tips to make the best use of the hands…
They can sit in your subject’s lap in a portrait … or can be used to pop up the face to offer that serious look. Jewelry is an aspect that can help you shoot the hands in a subtle manner. One of the best options in this scenario is a wedding ring. You may also use a few other pieces of jewelry to highlight hands and thereby help it to evoke multiple emotions.
Hands can also be used to bring in that sexy look to your Boudoir shots. You can make your subject caress their own skin sensually. A sensual touch on their own lips and playing with one’s hair is another way you can make use of the hands in a seductive way.
Limit Your Accessories
You need not have some kind of extra props for Boudoir photography. In fact, using a whole lot of set can ruin the atmosphere and make it look artificial.
Using a blanket or similar other items with minimalistic texture can work wonders for your shoots. Boudoir photography is more about producing more natural images. Opting for unnecessary elements in terms of set up and accessories can be a setback in many cases.
The basic principle that underlines this genre of photography is opting for a Less is More ideal. Never go overboard with anything as long as you are working with a Boudoir genre. Stay natural and try bringing up the natural beauty of the subject.
The Poses Play A Major Role
- Just as we said in a section above, poses are what would make or break your Boudoir Photography session.
- In fact, the fact that your subject is scantily clad in many of your shots will need you to come up with a few poses that really work wonders in terms of being sexy, sultry and naughty without going overboard.
- Let us check out a few poses that can work wonders in helping you compose a few really sexy images.
The Innocent Look
The innocence is what would appeal most in a Boudoir photography session. Of course, the sultry sexy look is indeed one most desired, but the childlike innocence brings in a more amoral appearance.
Make your subject sit with the knees drawn inside. This pose enhances the innocent appearance still further. If your subject is a little on the curvy side, you can make her hug a cushion to make her exude that sexy look coupled with innocence. A slightly curved head to one side can improve them further.
Your subject is not a model and may not be able to pull off those ecstatic poses confidently. However, a Legs Up pose is so simple and easy that anyone can pull it off quite easily.
It can be a weird option in any other kind of photography, but when it comes to Boudoir photography, it is one of the most common and normal poses one can try … And succeed. Let your subject lie on the bed on her back. Let her head be towards you and the legs pulled up resting against the wall. Her hands should be under her head. Make her create triangles with her hands behind her head.
Now focus on the head and hands and shoot! That should be an incredible shot if you can manage it properly.
Bent legs can be an excellent option among the Boudoir photography session. However, pulling it up and getting ready for it a huge challenge. Of course, a woman of any age can handle it easily, but making them pose can be a little tougher.
The shot helps you shoot your image in such a way that you can hide any discrepancies in the midriff section. Ensure that she wears heels during this shoot. In fact, the bent legs shot are a metaphor for pleasure. Resting on the couch with the back and dropping the hips and bending the inner leg slightly would create a sexy pose. Boudoir photographers consider this pose as one of the best in showcasing a confident woman.
Imagine profile shot you may have used for your social media profiles or professional social profiles. If you can manage a similar shot without clothes, it can indeed be the best one you can pull off!
Let your subject have her head slightly bent – giving that seductive look. If she has long hair, you can make it flow over her breasts. A slightly arched back in a backward direction will provide an enhanced look to her breasts. This can help you shoot the head shot with the breasts as a focal point. Shooting this image slightly below the bra line can give a seductive appearance to the shot.
Back of the Bra
Fastening and loosening the bra is part of the everyday action. That is, in fact, what will give it a more natural effect if shot in an artistic way.
Make your subject stand with her back to you with her legs bent towards the front. With her arms bent at around perpendicular angles, you can make her fingers hold either ends of the bra hook as if she is undoing it.
This will add a mystery angle to the shot and the action. You should definitely end up with a really breath-taking shot. We advise you opt for a black and white shoot to make more seductive.
Focus on the Curves
As a Boudoir photographer, you will definitely focus on accentuating her curves. Ask her to lie n her side with her bottom leg straight and the upper leg slightly bent. The knee of the upper leg should touch the bed.
One of the hands can be rested on an elbow and caress her hair. The other hand can be used to rest on her hips or on the bed.
Well, those were a few great poses you can use for the Boudoir photo shoots. Of course, these are just representative and not exhaustive in any manner. You can come up with many more such poses with an impetus on exuding sexuality without crossing the limits.
Do remember that every woman is different and you should choose a pose that will specifically help her showcase her best part while hiding the flaws. That is a perfect art and something you will need to master if you want to successful Boudoir photographer.
The Post Production
Well, this stage will depend upon the communication between the photographers and clients. We would advise sitting up with the client for a proper retouching and editing tasks. You may need to remove the minor blemishes and use a few skin softening tools.
Never edit an image to make the subject look like someone else. Editing too much can make the woman in the image too much artificial and this can make the real woman- your client- lose her self-esteem. Moreover, almost all women have a distinct feeling about their body. Understanding these feelings and making them confident instead of being self-conscious should be the key to an efficient Boudoir photography session.
Conclusion – Boudoir Photography
Well, as you might have already understood, Boudoir photography is more of an intimate photography.
This can make your subject a little intimidated. Your focus should be on making them comfortable. The right kind of communication is what would help you get the best shots.
If the subject does not trust you, you cannot ensure that the quality of the images shots to be effective.
Make your client comfortable and make an ample use of all the tips we presented here above. If in doubt, share them with us. We may help you out with further inputs.