Updated: 1 day ago
Boudoir photography is a niche within portrait photography. It consists of portraiture, fashion, fine art, glamour, and erotic photography.
Our Complete Guide to Boudoir Photography will take you through everything you need to know. The guide can help you get started in a brand new photographic genre. Or it can be a refresher for your existing knowledge.
The word boudoir comes from French. A boudoir was an area where the woman could have time to herself. This area, depending on the budget, could be a whole room or an area separated by a room divider.
Boudoir photography is a new trend that has grown to be quite popular in recent years. But the style itself has been around since the 1940s.
When it comes to boudoir photography poses, they offer a sensual, intimate look at a person. The photos focus on their mood, their clothing, and the landscape of their body.
The clients are most commonly women, but male and couples boudoir photography also exist. People are looking for these kinds of photos of themselves to keep and look upon as time passes.
They might even give them to a partner to reaffirm their connection and sensuality. This could be a precursor to a wedding. This is typically one photographic theme that boudoir photos concentrate on.
Boudoir photographs aim to appear candid and unposed. The style is playful and provocative. It enables those photographed to give off a strong presence. Nudity is implied yet rarely shown.
Yet they still need varying degrees of posing, composition, and lighting patterns.
Boudoir Camera Equipment
How to go about capturing boudoir photos starts with your camera gear. What camera equipment do I need? How many lenses? Do I need a different camera or new lenses?
Well, this all depends on what you have and what you want to get from your photography.
Lenses are almost if not more important than the camera body. If your lenses are producing low quality, blurred photographs, there is nothing your camera body can do about it.
The lens is where you can control the light by using the exposure triangle. It also helps you work with movement and more importantly, the depth of field.
For amazing photos, pair your equipment with a few lighting and compositional techniques. Also, use the internet to research poses and identify your favourites.
When it comes to boudoir photos or portrait photography, there is no standard of what you should use. You can use a DSLR with a full or cropped frame, or even a mirrorless system. They all have their benefits and drawbacks.
It only matters what you want to use the camera for, and what you want to achieve.
The next thing you need to consider is your budget. Having a better lens for your medium level DSLR might get you much more content. Buying an expensive camera body, and having to buy a cheaper lens might not be the way to go.
Knowing which lens you need is half the battle. As a boudoir photographer, you are going to capture portraits, details, and the environment the subject is captured in.
This means you’ll need a wide range of focal lengths, the field of views, and apertures. You can opt for a few lenses. Or, one zoom lens might allow you the versatility.
For example, a zoom lens with a range of 24-70mm is a great choice for most boudoir photography. It allows you to get close to the subject while allowing you to photograph from afar.
Less time spent with your equipment means more time focused on your subject. A subject becoming less and less comfortable is difficult to photograph.
When you have your subjects arriving, how do you make sure you are well prepared? You might have all the camera and studio equipment sorted. All your batteries are charged and the props ready. But what else can your photo shoot benefit from?
Look outside the scope of just your work tools. These men and women will be wearing makeup, such as foundation and nail polish. Having something to clean nails or faces after the shoot is a great idea.
Have you thought about snacks and water? Music is also a great way to help people feel comfortable.
These are just a few ways you can make the experience more comfortable for both you and your model. The more comfortable your model, the better your boudoir photos will
Boudoir Posing and Composition
Making the model comfortable at the photo shoot is paramount. Their body language and expressions scream their mood. If they feel out-of-place or nervous, you will see it in the photographs.
Communication is very important, but so is your professionalism.
Creating images that show the subject in beautiful, sensual ways will help their confidence. This, in turn, will allow you to get the most out of your subject and your photographs.
Start with the things that they like about their body. Ask them questions and work with the answers. Slowly, as the confidence and trust become stronger, work with the other areas.
Posing women across all types of photography is very similar. That is unless you feel like breaking the rules and want to try something very outrageous and specific. When it comes to portraits of any kind, communication is key.
You need to build up the trust between you and the subject to make them feel comfortable. This is how you photograph great moods, expressions, and the tone of the image.
Take a look at our list of 30 female poses. They can be used even in boudoir photography. Getting inspiration from this collection is going to help you to come up with new ideas. Practice these poses yourself to see how it affects your body.
Visual instructions are very important. The models might not understand photographic terms and might get agitated if they feel confused. Be clear, kind, and understanding. Show them the poses you would like to see from them.
Boudoir photography can be challenging. Photographing someone who might be nervous or uncomfortable is 50% of the battle, if not more.
Another huge trial comes down to posing the model. Capturing that natural, spontaneous look takes practice, technique, and know-how.
One great asset is ‘flow posing’. This system keeps your model in motion, which helps to keep that natural look to the photographs. It works well because you can take many photographs without excessively moving to and from different settings.
This system keeps a good flow and demands little from your subject. It’s allowing her to focus on that smoky, sultry look.
Take a look at our list, and prepare for the photoshoot by learning which is good when.
What holds true when posing women does not follow when posing men. The keywords for how women want to look could be cute and pretty. This is what photographers look for when focusing on the female body’s curves.
With men, they want to be seen as strong, tough, cool, and tall. So how do we show these things? Boudoir photography poses are slightly different from other portrait poses.
The two things that should be focused on when photographing a man is the ‘V’ frame and jawline.
This article looks at these in great depth.
The trend of “dudeoir” is, in fact, a thing. This means the male version of the classic boudoir photography.
Here are ten ideas to try if you are shooting male boudoir photography.
Do a short brief before the shooting session. This way you are going to know the purpose of the photo shoot, and enhance the different aspects accordingly.
Also, giving your model ideas on the outfit helps him to feel comfortable.
Inspiring your model with posing tips, and playing with the light is crucial for making diverse images.
Using minimal props and photographing silhouettes are helpful for creating a dramatic effect.
Tell stories with boudoir photography. You can even involve his partner in the photo shoot.
Boudoir photography is a more risque version of portraiture, but the same rules apply.
This article focuses more on the technical aspects of portrait photography than the poses.
Apertures are best used at f/8-16 as this will give you the sharpest images. It will also give you a slight blur to the background.
The eye direction of your model is important. Either they look straight into the camera, or they follow the model’s nose. Every other option doesn’t work.
Off-camera lighting is necessary. This plays a big part in showing the form of the model in the best possible light (pun intended). It gives your images depth, and the shadows can be used to extenuate parts of the body.
Having boudoir photos taken by a professional photographer can be daunting. But it shouldn’t stop you from being photographed.
You can photograph yourself. This saves you money and allows you to take your time. You can try a lot of styles and see which one fits you the best.
Also, you might feel much more comfortable, because you are posing for yourself. If you don’t like an image, you just delete it and move on.
Not to mention the improvement you can achieve by practising with yourself. It is going to be easier to shoot other models. You are going to know how they feel, and which pose is comfortable, which is not.
This article shows images of a photographer who photographed herself in a boudoir style. Through the whole project, she overcame challenges on her own.
Every woman is beautiful. Every body, with its unique set of curves and proportions, is a work of art. As a boudoir photographer, it is your job to help each woman feel beautiful, desirable, and confident.
But it is important to remember that there are different body types, with different features that should be highlighted. Hence, everyone also needs to be posed differently.
Here is a guide of 12 simple posing tips to help you photograph voluptuous curves and highlight beauty.
Besides the poses, communication is crucial here too. Make sure to comfort your model, and ask her questions. Starting with more clothes on is also a good idea in this case too.
Couples boudoir photography is about highlighting the intimacy between the partners. You are there to capture aspects of their relationship they might not even know about.
The same rules apply here, as in the one-person photoshoots. You should have a short brief with the couple before the photo shoot. Help them with the outfits. Make compliments.
Make them feel comfortable and loose.
You can get creative with the location, find a place that is close to the couple’s hearts. Telling a story is a nice idea for couples too.
A themed boudoir session can also result in intimate and warm images.
It’s also important to direct their moves. They usually don’t know what is going to look great in images. Try combining their love language with your expertise of poses.
Capturing details also adds to the intimate feeling.
Wedding boudoir is getting more and more popular as it is a perfect gift for the bride or for her partner. Read our ten ideas to learn how to shoot stunning bridal boudoir photography.
Using props that fit the wedding’s theme is a nice idea. If there is no specific theme, using the colours of the decoration is more than perfect. You can include the flowers that are used as a decoration too.
Include wedding accessories. The wedding (or the wedding night) lingerie, the veil or the wedding shoes will make a more authentic look.
The bride’s or the couple’s home as a scene for your session will make your images more personal.
Use props that belong to the groom. This is going to