Planning A Boudoir Photography Shoot

Boudoir Photography

A boudoir photography shoot can be a trying time for a woman. With most women being self-conscious about their bodies anyway, be sure to set them at ease by complementing them and keeping to the topic of the shoot. Most women prefer working with a female photographer or at least having a female friend present during the shoot. If you are a male photographer, encourage her to have a friend present.

Prior to the shoot, discuss with your client the feeling that she wants her photos to convey. Be sure to ask her what she thinks are her best features and then work out the poses to accent those features.

Selecting an Outfit

While corsets and bustiers are popular choices, other great choices include well-fitted bra-and-panty sets, sexy leggings, nylons, garters and cute baby-dolls pajamas. Have your client bring three outfits and multiple accessories. Accessories can include jewelry, hats, veils or a sexy pair of heels or boots. Also, to personalize her photos, suggest she brings something her significant-other gave her. Don’t overlook his dress shirts, ties, work clothes, baseball caps. If he is in the construction business, why not suggest putting on a work belt with some tools!

Boudoir Photography

The Location for the Shoot

Although there are other settings you can use, one of the best for a boudoir photography shoot is still a bed. Use a white or light-colored sheet as these create a great contrast against skin tones. You can also use the same color sheet to cover unwanted distractions such as a bed head or foot board.

Keep sheets bunchy and wrinkled. Not only will you fight a losing battle trying to keep them wrinkle-free, but the ruffled look adds to the mood of the shoot. You can do a sexy or sweet shoot depending on the poses your client wants and the amount of skin she is comfortable with exposing.


As far as poses, there are six basic one you can use:

  • Lying on the stomach facing the camera
  • Lying on the back, head toward the camera
  • Kneeling down facing the camera
  • Full length figure
  • Head and cleavage
  • Arms raised above head or playing with hair
  • And of course, variations of the above poses. Use your imagination!

Boudoir Photography

Session Length

For a one-hour shooting session, give yourself at least two hours of working time. Because it takes awhile to set-up and figure out which lighting and angles will work the best, and usually some time for your client to warm up to the camera, total time takes about twice as long as the actual shooting time.


There are two types of lighting used in boudoir photography shoots – natural and artificial. Of the two, natural is best, so if possible, have your shooting location be close to windows or French doors that can let in lots of light. If you don’t have enough natural light coming in, use the ceiling lights and lamps for additional light or bounce your flash off of the ceiling. If you are using multiple light sources, be sure to set your white balance setting accordingly.

If you keep the setting light and airy, boudoir photography shoots can be a lot of fun both for you and your client.

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