Boudoir Photography: Part 1

Boudoir Photography is becoming more and more popular with women all over the world and it’s something that photographers who love portraiture can do.

Boudoir Photography can mean a few things – it can be nude, semi nude or clothed, it’s about women feeling confident and “sexy”, it’s about creating images that have a sensual feel to them.  In a sense, boudoir photography is linked to the tradition of burlesque – the woman can be covered up but there is a sensual feel to the look.  For another hint on how this sort of photography should be approached, investigate the pin up girl style and also images of modern day burlesque dancers, like Dita Von Teese.

It’s important to realize that this style is quite different from anything pornographic – many of your models will be normal women and will want to feel comfortable and attractive at the same time but will not want to expose themselves.

How can you shoot Boudoir Photography?

1.    Speak to women

Find out if anyone you know is interested in boudoir photography.  Many boudoir photographers will photograph people in their own home so that they feel comfortable and completely private and some will have a studio set up.  See who would be interested and find out which environment they’d prefer to be in.  A mobile service can actually be very cost effective for you as you don’t need to hire studio space.

2.    Think of it as portraiture

…but just in a different style.  You need to be just as practical as if you were shooting a portrait for someone but be a little bit more creative when picking your model and setting up the lighting.   The emphasis is on making people look good.

3.    Being a good people person

No doubt, if you are shooting boudoir style photographs you will need to be trustworthy and very good with people, even the shy ones.  Some women who are usually reserved may want boudoir photographs as a confidence booster or some as gifts for loved ones, like their partner for example.

You need to be able to deal with all kinds of people, from seasoned models who are not body shy to your average woman who may not be so confident.

4.    Know the style

Investigate boudoir photography beforehand and look at the styles mentioned above, burlesque and the pin up girl.  The look is sensuous but not overtly sexual – it’s important to realize some woman may want to show the photographs to their friends so the idea is not to look like a stripper – think of it more as an appreciation of the female form.

Practicing is a good idea and if you have a friend or relative who is a willing model then take advantage of this. Also put yourself in the model’s shoes – what would make you feel embarrassed, what things do people say that make you feel confident?  Don’t be afraid to have some confidence boosting lines ready to use!



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