The Do's + Don'ts of Boudoir Photography

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Earlier this month I was interviewed by Martha Stewart Weddings (going live next week!) on the Do's + Don'ts of Boudoir Photography for girls preparing for their bridal sessions. Here's a preview! 

What percent of your brides are scheduling boudoir sessions? About 50% of my brides are scheduling boudoir sessions with me. I think the other 50% are either a bit more on the conservative side or don't think their bodies are beautiful enough to be photographed in this particular style. I've noticed that the more I fine tune my niche market and attract more of what I consider an ideal bride or couple, that percentage increases. Over the last year or so my brand has exuded more of an off-beat and unique style which attracts a more specific bride; these brides are usually more interested in boudoir than some of my more conservative, traditional brides. As for the percentage of folks that lack the confidence to book a boudoir session, I'm working on that! I think every woman deserves to look and feel beautiful in their own skin, and I love when a client has the ability to see and feel that way about themselves through my work; it's pretty much the only reason I've chosen to explore this style of bridal photography.  The Do's and Dont's I've included are meant to lift up and encourage all brides (and even non-brides!) to have the confidence to totally rock a boudoir session. 

Do...

Get dolled up // Lots of brides are apprehensive about their boudoir session. In order to relieve some of that stress, I encourage my brides to get their hair and makeup done by a professional or someone they trust to make them feel their best. (Lots of my brides treat themselves to the day off from work, too!) Also, be sure to have a fresh mani and pedi before your shoot, even if it's just a clear coat. This is just a little added extra that will make the shoot look and feel complete and polished!

Wear lingerie that makes you feel beautiful //  Choose lingerie that accentuates the parts of you that you want to show off and embrace, and don't forget to stay true to your personal style. If you feel sexy in your fiance's old band t-shirt then rock that! If your more of a classic, bra + panty set girl, that works, too! Bring what you have and let your photographer help you choose what's going to photograph best. And if you don't have anything that you love in your closet, use this as an excuse for a shopping date with your maid of honor!

Choose the right photographer // In order to feel comfortable during your session, you'll need to hire a photographer that you trust. Hire someone that has experience in boudoir, has a rock solid portfolio,  is open to answering all of your questions, and makes you feel like Beyonce before you even step foot in the door. I never push my clients to do anything they’re not comfortable with, but I do ask that they trust me to create beautiful, natural images that make them feel their very best. Developing a relationship with your photographer is key!

Book a room // I strongly suggest booking a hotel room or a cute Airbnb for your shoot (think minimal design and natural light!) to allow for beautiful, clutter-free images. This takes "folding the pile of laundry on my bed" off your to-do list so all you have to do is focus on yourself (for once!) After the shoot, you can surprise your guy with an overnight getaway at the place you rented, complete with new, sexy lingerie! He'll have no idea what you were up to until he sees the album on your wedding night. This adds a bit of anticipation for you, and you'll both end up with a super special hotel in your city to celebrate in for years to come!

Don't...

Go in with a bad attitude // Look, I get it. We weren't all blessed with the body of Heidi Klume, but when it comes to boudoir photography, it's more about how you feel than how you look. Almost all of the girls I photograph walk into their boudoir session feeling a little apprehensive but all of them (and I mean all of them) have walked out feeling like Beyonce. I tell all of my brides to act like they're seasoned models. At first, they usually laugh at me but as soon as they give it a try, the entire mood of the shoot changes. It's so liberating to just let go! Boudoir Sessions allow us to quiet our insecurities by encouraging ourselves to love, cherish, and celebrate our best selves. 

Change your look // You want your boudoir session to be as stress-free as possible, so stick to what you love about yourself and stay away from things like fake tans and the urge to try a new hairstyle. While I do encourage my brides to pamper themselves before their session with professional hair and makeup, I suggest keeping the pampering to what you're used to, whether that's a fresh mani/pedi, a waxing, or a massage for relaxation.

Wear tight clothing to your shoot // Wearing tight clothing such as a thong or ankle socks can leave marks on your skin that'll be visible once you change into lingerie for the shoot. Also, don't skimp on the water leading up to your shoot and stay away from alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate your skin. 

Wait until the last minute // If your boudoir session is a gift for your soon-to-be groom, make sure you schedule your session with enough time for your photographer to edit the images and design + ship your album. You'll also want a chunk of time before your scheduled shoot to prepare by taking care good care of your skin, finding lingerie you love, and booking a hotel room. 

Use Pinterest // You can use inspiration websites like Pinterest to figure out the style of Boudoir you like, but don't compare yourself to what you find online or ask your photographer to recreate poses. Everyone's bodies and personalities are different so trust that your photographer will pose and photograph you in ways that flatter your uniqueness.