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Most Important Boudoir Poses for Photographers

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Boudoir photography is increasing in its popularity all the time. If you’re a photographer who works with human subjects, you’ve probably had requests to do boudoir photoshoots. And if you haven’t, it’s only a matter of time.

As poses play a vital role in boudoir photography, every boudoir photographer needs to be prepared for them. In this article, we have an excellent collection of poses you can use in your next shoot. And we have examples to get your imagination firing. We’ll also give you some basic info so you can get started with boudoir photography.

© Brian Lawson

What is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography aims to produce intimate, sensual, and romantic photographs. It combines portraiture, fine art, and eroticism and involves beds, lingerie, and suggestive poses.

Boudoir comes from the French word referring to a woman’s private bedroom. This definition gives you an idea of the type of photography you can expect from the boudoir genre—sexy and stimulating but personal and intimate.

Boudoir photography is erotic without being explicit. It’s not as blatant as glamour photography. Boudoir is more sensitive, relying on suggestion rather than demonstration. A boudoir photographer wants to tantalize and tease their audience.

Boudoir is a photographic discipline of its own. But the boudoir style can be used in fashion and product photography. And you can bring boudoir elements into your portrait photography.

© Jesse Shaw

Lighting Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography calls for a gentle approach to lighting. Natural light is commonly used. Boudoir photographers also like to use soft and subtle artificial lights for romantic atmospheres.

Natural light gives you a wonderful effect. But you don’t always have control over it. Reflectors are an excellent tool for harnessing natural light. You can increase the volume and change the direction of the light. They’re an excellent camera accessory to have on a shoot.

Mesh curtains are another tool for manipulating natural light. They let light through, so you’re not in complete darkness. But the dimmed light creates a more private mood. Colored curtains will also help change the atmosphere of the room.

Hard flashes are more associated with glamour photography. But you can use softboxes if you do want a flash. Colored filters are another way of softening the flash. And purples, pinks, and reds give you a romantic ambiance. They’re perfect for boudoir photos.

© Tulika Prakash

The Ethics of Boudoir Poses