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boudoir photo shoot tips

As the famous quote goes, “Preparation is the key to success.” This saying couldn’t be more applicable to boudoir photo shoots — the more you prepare, the more likely you are to end up with images that line up with your vision. Furthermore, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel the day of the shoot, which will certainly show in your photos.

Luckily, we’ve rounded up some must-know tips on skincare and makeup, what to pack, and where to shoot, among other topics.

Follow this guide and you’ll be golden on the day of your boudoir session.

Location, location, location

You’ll likely have a few locations to choose from for your shoot. The most obvious choice is the photographer’s studio, but many photographers also provide the option of doing the shoot in a hotel room or your own home. A hotel room offers the advantage of being able to choose a room that’s tailored to your ideal aesthetic, but will most likely come at an additional charge (many photographers get a sizeable discount, but you’ll still likely have to pay an extra fee). Conducting the shoot in your own abode may make you feel the most comfortable and adds a personal touch to the photos if they’re a gift, but keep in mind that the studio may have better lighting (which is crucial for stunning photos).

Find your true fit

It goes without saying that a boudoir shoot calls for a little lingerie shopping. Before you start your spree for some new lacy underthings, though, definitely be sure you’ve been professionally fitted somewhat recently — after all, only well-fitting undergarments will show off your body best. Most likely your local lingerie boutique offers bra fittings, so consider setting aside an afternoon and swinging by to get fitted before you peruse the store’s selections.


Related: How To Find A Local Boudoir Photographer


Pack with purpose

There are a few items you’ll want to bring along the day of the shoot. These include a small variety of outfit options, depending on how many changes your shoot package allows for. Think beyond bras and panties, and pack a few other less obvious garments that make you feel sexy — whether it’s an off-the-shoulder sweater to pair with a hipster, body-hugging silk camisole, leather jacket to go over your long-line bra or a velvet romper. Also pack some alternate jewelry to instantly switch up a look, some stockings in case you get a run, and a makeup bag for any necessary touch-ups during the shoot.

Relax and recharge

In the couple nights leading up to your shoot, make sure to get plenty of sleep — believe us, exhaustion will show on your skin and around your eyes if you don’t. Consider treating yourself to a little at-home spa experience the night before your session, complete with a face mask, relaxing soak in a warm bath, and a mani/pedi. (Side note: your nails may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they actually makes a big difference in ensuring you look polished in the photos – and you never know when a close-up will include your hands.)

Get glowing

Skip the self-tanner to avoid potential streaks or unnatural skin tones. Instead, be sure to consistently apply body lotion and face moisturizer to ensure your skin is hydrated and you achieve a natural dewy glow. Speaking of hydration, drink plenty of water (and avoid salt and alcohol) in the days before the shoot — your skin will thank you. Avoid using any new skincare products or getting any treatments done (that includes facials, waxing, etc.) the day before the shoot just in case you have a negative reaction.


Related: What To Wear For A Boudoir Photo Shoot


Be sure your beauty bases are covered

Many boudoir photographers offer add-on services or packages that include on-site professional makeup artists and hairstylists. If your budget allows, this is a stellar idea. Keep in mind that doing your makeup for photographs is a whole different ball game than doing it for everyday wear, and the pros are well-versed in precisely how heavy to go to define your features. Consider bringing along photographs to give them an idea of the look you’re going for. And if you opt to do the beautifying yourself, be sure to do a test run ahead of time and snap a few photos to see how it looks on camera.

Find the right mindset

So much of your success during the photo shoot will depend on your psychological prep work. Think about it: Confidence is what exudes sexiness, and confidence is all mental. When you slip off your robe and the photographer starts snapping away, you want to be in a place of total self-acceptance. Invite your best girlfriends over to help give you a boost and cheer you on, re-read complimentary cards or texts from your S.O., develop a self-assuring mantra to say to yourself in the mirror — whatever it takes to psych yourself out and help you to feel totally comfortable in your own skin.

A boudoir photo session is an investment, so you might as well put the prep work in to make the most of it. And trust us, these careful considerations will pay off — after all, it’s the little things that will go a long way in terms of landing jaw-dropping photos that you’ll cherish for years to come.


Featured image lingerie:
Elissa Unlined Wire Babydoll P5018 in Pearl White

Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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