Over the past few years, brides have been adding a boudoir photo session to their wedding-photography shot list. What used to be limited to one or two “getting ready” shots has become a full-day photo shoot complete with wardrobe changes, accessories and professional styling. To help you create a sexy (not sleazy) boudoir photo I spoke with boudoir photography experts to get their advice on what type of lingerie to wear, which props to use, and how to get the best photographs at your boudoir photo shoot.
Do you have any tips on how to relax and alleviate any apprehensions about being photographed in lingerie?
It can be a nervous time, leading up to your boudoir shoot. Most women are self-conscious about their bodies and we have had it ingrained in us that “the camera adds 10 pounds.” Perhaps the best way to relieve your tension is to put on your lingerie prior to the shoot and get comfortable in the pieces that you have chosen for your shoot. Pick items that make you feel good, and it is always a good idea to use a photographer with whom you are comfortable and who can work with you to capture you at your best.
What type of lingerie looks great in boudoir photos? Are there any materials, trims or styles to avoid?
I know that corsets are becoming a very popular choice for boudoir photos, but for me, most corsets and bustiers tend to flatten, rather than enhance, your assets. Better choices are well-fitted bra-and-panty sets, sexy leggings and cute babydolls. I find that sets work better than individual pieces for boudoir shoots.
What about props? Bring them or leave them in the closet?
The use of props can be tricky. It really depends on the feel that you would like for the photos. Props can tend to take the shoot on a more “trashy” road, so in most cases, I say leave the props in the closet. Accessories like blinged-out jewelry, hats and birdcage veils, however, can be a great addition to the shoot, so pack a small suitcase of accessories and let your photographer assist you in selecting the pieces that will work best with your chosen attire.
What’s the best setting for a boudoir shoot?
A bed seems to be the fitting choice for a boudoir shoot. You can make it sexy or sweet depending on what poses you chose or the amount of skin you wish to expose.
Are there things a bride should avoid doing during the shoot that turn tasteful pictures into tacky ones?
A popular trend in boudoir photography is the “pin-up” style. I totally get the attraction to this style but you have to be careful. When done well, the photos are stunning, but done poorly, they are more trash than class. Research your photographer’s galleries of past sessions and make sure that they excel in the style that you want for your personal session.
How many wardrobe changes should a bride plan on for her shoot?
It really depends on the length of your session. For a one-hour session, I recommend bringing three outfits and multiple accessories. I also recommend to my clients that they shoot their least favorite outfit first and save their favorite outfit for last. It takes a while to warm up to the camera, so this means that your best shots will probably be later on in the session.
Are there any preparations done in advance, such as style discussions?
You should definitely discuss the feeling that you want your photos to convey and even let your photographer know what you feel your best features are, as well as areas that you are self-conscious about. It will help your chosen photographer customize a shoot best suited for you.
Do you have any advice on how to find a good boudoir photographer – what you should look for, who you should avoid?
Recommendations from friends that have had sessions done in the past are always a good place to start. They will give you an idea of what your session will look like and how the photographer was to work with. I also think that most women would be more comfortable with a female photographer — and if your session is going to be a gift for that special guy in your life, he might also appreciate that another guy didn’t get to see it first!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.