Boudoir Photography is a photography style that involves women posing for photos partially clothed or in lingerie. Boudoir photos are intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic image subjects in a photographic studio, bedroom or private dressing room environment, primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subject and his or her romantic partners.

See also: Boudoir photography: An Introduction

Boudoir photos are sensual and sexy as well as classy and elegant. Boudoir photography is becoming more and more popular as more people are buying into the concept. This article will teach you the basics of boudoir photography.


This is key to the success of your shoot. You have to prepare for your boudoir session at least a day before the photoshoot. This style of photography is intimate and can be intimidating for the subject so communication is key.

Communication allows you to build trust between yourself and the subject of your photo. When there is a high level of comfort and trust between the photographer and the subject, there is always only one outcome, great photos! So, you must get to know your subject ahead of the shoot.

You can give her a questionnaire ahead of time to help her organize her thoughts about the session. Ask your subject how she envisions the process as well as what she wants the final photos to look like. Be sure to ask her which of her features she would like to flaunt in her images and which ones she prefers to downplay. You may ask her what her plans are for the final photos.


This information will help you to create the best possible final product. Try as much as possible to engage her physically, i.e. have face-face conversation with her, not just emails and text conversations. This can go a long way in helping her to build trust in you.

Also, put in one last call a day before the photoshoot. Ask her if she has any last-minute questions, and use the opportunity to remind her of the location of the shoot and the time.


It is important that your clients wear outfits that they are comfortable in. When they ask you about what outfits they should bring for the photoshoot, simply tell them to bring something they are comfortable in. If a client brings in a lingerie set that is too far outside of her comfort zone, it will definitely show in her face and body language in the pictures.

Another thing to mention to your client on her wardrobe choice for a boudoir shoot is that she should come in with a clean set of outfits, preferably new and also, such outfits must reflect her style. You can also include professional makeup and hair services to the session to add some more excitement to the shoot. Just like in any other type of portrait photography, professional hair and makeup can make a huge difference in the outcome of your images.

During The Shoot

It is almost certain your client will be nervous at the start and don’t know what to do in front of the camera. It is your job to take charge of the situation and direct her. This may be done verbally and in some cases, you would have to demonstrate the poses yourself.


Also, be sure to give her positive feedback as the shoot progresses. Let her know how she’s faring and when you capture an amazing shot, show her. This will help boost her confidence going forward with the shoot and you will most likely end up with more great shots going forward.

Gear Choices

Your choice of gear for a boudoir shoot should be dependent on some factors such as the location and the lighting situation. The location is important in the sense that the amount of space that you will have to shoot will affect the performance of your camera.

Fast prime lenses are great for boudoir shoots because they let in extra light and the big aperture also allows you to focus on details and create dreamy images. Shooting with this lens in a small room can be quite challenging.

Shooting Tips

You should shoot from her perspective, not yours. This is where getting to know your client mentioned earlier comes into play. What does she like about her body? What makes her self-conscious? You should compose your images and position her so that her best assets are highlighted while things that make her self-conscious are relegated into the background.

Evoke Emotions

Evoke emotion as you shoot. Let her know what you think of her as she is posing. Is she playful? Shy? Sexy? Edgy? Talk to her as you capture her images and say things that will evoke the emotions you wish to capture. Also, be sure to guide her in moving at a speed your camera will be able to capture without blur.

If you are shooting with a DSLR, modify your speed settings accordingly i.e. shoot manual or shutter priority. By sharing encouraging words throughout the shoot, and you will build her self-esteem in the process and you will be rewarded with great images.

Look for The Light

The most important element in photography is light. Most times, light is the main culprit behind unflattering images. You must identify where light is coming from and consequently, where the shadows are. The overhead light is known to create ugly shadows beneath the eyes, while light coming directly from below creates a ghastly haunted look.

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You must pay attention to the light consistently so that you are aware of its direction, colour, and source. Fluorescent light is quite unflattering while soft diffused window light flatters skin like nothing else can.
Watch out for distortions. It is generally known that whatever is closer to the camera will appear larger. This becomes more pronounced if you are shooting with a wide-angle lens. Position her in diagonals so as to minimize and flatter.

Create Interest:

You should use her arms and legs to create interest in an image. A very good way of learning how to position arms and legs is by studying lingerie models. Lingerie models are good at making beautiful triangles and shapes with their arms and legs. You can check online for pictures of lingerie models.

You should vary your shots so that you end up with a nice variety of images. Shoot close-ups that emphasize her favorite features, as well as full length and 3/4 shots (shots showing from her head to her knee, or 75% of her body).

Classic Boudoir Shots
Some Examples of Classic Boudoir Shots are Given Below.

Sitting On Her Knees

You can kick off your shoot with this great boudoir style. Ask your subject to sit back on her feet with her knees slightly apart. Try to keep the hands of your subject engaged regardless of the pose. When striking a pose such as sitting on her knees, you can ask your client to play around with her hair or her bra straps.

If she is putting on a men’s shirt or a cardigan, you can ask her to pull the fabric tight around her body to accentuate her natural shape. Once she is set, you can then go ahead to shoot a variety of images from different angles.

Lying On Her Side

You can easily transition from the above pose to this one. Ask your subject to lie with her bottom leg straight and the top leg bent with the knee touching the bed or whatever she is lying on. This will help to accentuate her curves.

You can have her prop herself up on her elbow with her hand in her hair. She can place her other hand on her hips while tucking the elbow behind her. You can ask her to place her other hand on her midsection instead if she is conscious of her mid-section.

The Booty Shot

Whether your client is curvy or not, you can still achieve a booty shot that she will love. Have her stand, facing away from you at an angle. Ask her to straighten the leg closest to you and bend the leg farther away from you. You can achieve more curve with her body by asking her to pop her bottom back.

Sometimes your subject will bend forward when you ask her to pop her bottom back. If this happens, ask your subject to tilt her pelvis. You should position yourself so that her bottom is slightly above your eye line when photographing this pose.

Lying On Her Back

In line with the theme of boudoir photography, you should ensure that whatever pose your client strikes accentuates her curves and adds angles to your photo. Get your client to lie on her back perpendicular to you with her knees bent and feet together.

Ask her to extend one of her legs without totally straightening it so as to lengthen her legs. Bring your creativity to full bear by adding some detail shots in the mix such as her eyes, lips, the lace on her lingerie and so on. You can also grab a step-stool and shoot some frames of your subject from above. You can end up with over 20 different images from this pose alone if you direct your subject properly.


Post-processing is an important aspect of photography. It is often the difference between a good shot and a great shot! Retouching boudoir photographs vary widely from photographer to photographer. Some professional boudoir photographers opt for magazine-style editing, which can include methods such as frequency separation for that flawless look, while some equally successful boudoir photographers do little to no editing at all.

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Some of the common post-processing actions include removing temporary blemishes, using the liquify tool sparingly for minor tucks and utilizing some form of skin softening or smoothing technique to lessen or eliminate skin imperfections. You should, however, be careful so as to avoid over-editing your image.


Boudoir photography is a style of photography that captures intimate, romantic and sometimes erotic images of subjects. It shows off the subject in ways the ooze sexual appeal by accentuating her curves and showing off her best body assets while hiding her body flaws. This style of photography is gaining wide acceptance today and you can make a fortune taking boudoir photographs.

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Author: Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

About Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

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