Some of my friends have asked me to do boudoir photos. While these kinds of photos aren’t really my thing, I can see why it can be so appealing. It can give the subject body confidence like nothing else. I’ve done a few of these now and I have to say, they can go one of two ways: either it’s really great, and the photos come out gorgeous; or it’s really awkward and uncomfortable, and it has a negative impact on the resulting photographs. If it is something you are thinking of doing, here are some tips:

  • Be clear about why you’re taking this type of photo. It doesn’t matter if it’s because you think it will be fun, or if you want to give the pictures to someone as a gift. YOU have to be the one who wants to do them. If someone is pushing you to pose for them, you’re going to be uncomfortable and the pictures will not come out well.
  • Decide what you’re going to wear beforehand. Try everything on and look at yourself. If you don’t think it looks good, no amount of lighting or Photoshop is going to make you change your mind. Pick something that you think you look awesome in, and your pictures will reflect that. Carefully remove any tags so they don’t show. Check the soles of shoes to make sure that they aren’t scuffed to death or have stickers on the bottom. Also, if it’s a professional photographer taking the pictures, find out if they have any rules about what you can wear (or not wear, as it were. I do!). Some photographers have pretty firm rules about that stuff.
  • When you hire someone, do your homework. Preferably find someone who is experienced with this type of photography, because lighting and positioning can do wonders before any editing happens. Make sure they have a legitimate studio and not some horror movie style basement setup. You are going to feel a little nervous and awkward, so it needs to be someone you’re comfortable with. Meeting them in person before the shoot will ease some of your jitters. Explain what you want up front. It’ll help the photographer to know what style you’re looking for. Let them know if there are parts of your body you aren’t comfortable with to help them determine the best angles and positions, so that you will like the end result.
  • Celebrate yourself. Get your hair, nails, and makeup done. If you’re doing any personal grooming, get that out of the way a few days before.

But my biggest piece of advice is my old standby: be positive. It might feel awkward at first, but trust your photographer and let them talk you through it. Stop thinking about the camera and think about why you are taking the photos in the first place. Let that be your guide. Let the shoot take as long as it needs to take. The end result is going to be gorgeous and you’re going to be so happy with them.