How to Prepare for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

The Boudoir Photo ShootHow does a lady choose her cos­tume for a boudoir photo shoot? Is it to be more romantic than sexy, more flirty, inno­cent, and “pin up” in nature or straight-forward sexy?

You might decide, first, if you want to por­tray your­self as a thir­ties, for­ties, or fifties era movie star, which is extremely pop­ular, or do you prefer a modern look? Will you wear skin revealing panties and bra, garters and stock­ings, a corset or a bustier (more on these items later), or a night­gown which reveals a bit, but is more demure? 

What­ever genre you choose, make it YOU. Become com­fort­able in your outfit before the shoot and make sure it fits prop­erly. Visit a tailor, if nec­es­sary, to have your gar­ments made to fit per­fectly, as you will feel sexier and more beau­tiful if your clothing items do not have to be clipped and pinned for your shoot.

Those who like to shoot “authentic” period looks will need to shop around for the vin­tage under­gar­ments, gowns, etc. of the times. Per­son­ally, I find the gar­ments made and sold today to be far more appealing. The set­ting and lighting for your shoot can be made to resemble another period, though you choose modern lin­gerie. Again, it comes down to taste and what you feel like con­veying in your photos.

The Boudoir Photo Shoot LingerieA bit might be said for under­standing lin­gerie terms. A quick pass through the “Vic­toria Secret” cat­alog or web­site, will show a range of bras and a few select bustiers and garter belts from which you have to choose. Most bras offered are of the padded variety, with varying degrees of push up and lift pro­vided. If you are like me, a padded bra is not your bra of choice, unless your clothing dic­tates a per­fectly smooth appear­ance. I wear an “unlined” bra for the same reason I prefer to wear nat­ural fibers.  I like to allow my skin to breathe.  Padded bras can be a bit warm, espe­cially in hot, humid weather or crowded, unven­ti­lated rooms.

While preparing a friend of mine for a shoot and pulling out many of my sexy bras including padded extreme lift and sep­a­ra­tion, unlined, demi cup lined and unlined, and shelf bras to name a few.  “Oh, I would only wear a padded bra. I don’t want my nip­ples showing through”. Well, there you go. That’s a big reason to choose padded over unlined and cer­tainly the shelf bra. The shelf bra, true to its name, merely pro­vides a shelf for your breasts, while leaving them uncov­ered. Some evening dresses look best with the shelf bra as there is no worry of the bra get­ting con­fused with what it is holding up.

Most of you will be thinking of giving your man sam­ples of your shoot and will want to wear what you think will please him. You might even shop together or send him pix from the dressing room from your cell phone. Trust me, that can be loads of fun. Better to let him help with the plan­ning than to dis­ap­point Mr. Right. Ask him what he wants. Of course, if you know his taste very well, already, you can plan it to be a sur­prise for an anniver­sary, birthday or hol­iday gift. Remember, Christmas is coming up, fol­lowed by Valentine’s Day.

The Boudoir Photo Shoot stockingsIf you choose to wear stock­ings in your photo, you might be aware of a little known fact which even lin­gerie sales people are unclear. Thigh highs are meant to be used without garters. The tops are far too thick for the garters to snap on to. Make sure you check out the tops of the stock­ings. You will have to get the old fash­ioned ones if you want to use garters, and what a fun choice they are. Lots can be done in the photo (playing with garters, etc) which can not be dupli­cated with self-sustaining thigh highs.

If you have decided to go the way of the gartered stocking look, there is more you should know. If you have a bit too much flab in the mid sec­tion, my advice is to choose a bustier which has built in garters. The corset which laces up the back and hooks in the front is a great look, but does not have garters attached and can really deem­pha­size the size of the girls. They were designed in cen­turies and decades past, to present a very tiny waist as the most impor­tant fashion ele­ment. Since it’s just us talking, the good thing about a corset is that the lacing can be loosed or tight­ened to fit you at var­ious stages in your ongoing diet. Tra la la.

The Boudoir Photo Shoot shoesNow, about shoes. I keep a whole wardrobe of shoes in my studio because I just won’t allow any­thing but high heels or bare feet. A wedge heel some­times can work. Your legs will be much more toned and attrac­tive looking if you are wearing high heels. The higher, the better, suits me. Add an ankle strap, and you hit the sex appeal jackpot. Now, if you are talking about walking in them, that’s another story.  Six inch heels are made pri­marily for stunt women. Wit­ness Gwyneth Pal­trow walking out of the room where she and Robert Downey Jr. have just had a con­ver­sa­tion in the movie Iron Man 2. Hilarious!

The rein­tro­duc­tion of the “plat­form” has sup­pos­edly made it easier to bal­ance the height of the heels with your ath­letic abil­i­ties to walk in them, but I found myself tee­tering for­ward about to fall. It was scary. I returned this same pair of shoes to the well known depart­ment store from which I pur­chased them and asked the salesman, “how many women return these six inch heels simply because they can not walk in them?” “Oh, a lot”, he assured me as I self con­sciously placed them on the counter asking for a refund. I am not advising you to do the same. It is only right that, like the queen of Eng­land, you do not con­spire to cheat the store out of a right­fully earned profit on your per­fect photo shoot.

Choice of color is a very impor­tant ele­ment. Usu­ally red, black, white, and some blues and turquoises are a sure bet. Pink can look really lame and doesn’t have the pop that you might like in your photo.

One final word on boudoir photo poses. Prac­tice in front of a mirror. Pull pages out of mag­a­zines and try to dupli­cate the pic­tures you favor. While Pho­to­shop can work won­ders, it is best to remember not to cause your legs and arms to bulge. Arch your back and pull up in front. If it hurts, it looks good! A pointed toe, rather than a flexed foot, always looks best.

The Boudoir Photo Shoot ExpressionsNow, onto facial expres­sions which are a main focus.  A wise man recently told me that if he was get­ting a pic­ture from his wife or girl­friend, he would like her to look right into the camera and smile. Phony attempts at being sexy will only make you look foolish. Be your­self!! Notice the dif­fer­ence in the sex­u­ality between Mar­ilyn Monroe and Jane Rus­sell, in Gen­tlemen Prefer Blondes. I knew Jane Rus­sell, and I can tell you she never tried to look sexy. She just was!!  You will notice in my pho­tog­raphy port­folio the Mar­ilyn look-alike shots I did of model Elise Myers.  She does a per­fect Mar­ilyn.  If you can do it, go for it!!

Now, you are well on your way to the per­fect boudoir photo shoot. Choose your boudoir pho­tog­ra­pher care­fully. Most legit­i­mate pho­tog­ra­phers, not guys with cam­eras looking for girls, will have web­sites. Check their port­folio to see if their work suits you, and then try to arrange a meeting with him or her prior to the shoot. This will tell you if you are com­fort­able with the person, or if you need to keep shop­ping for someone else.

Best of luck to you. Remember, ask your pho­tog­ra­pher to let you see what you look like after a few shots. This way you can make adjust­ments to your pose, expres­sions and garments.

More advice regarding the boudoir photo shoot in my next blog post.

About Barbara Singer

Looking for boudoir photography in Boynton Beach, FL? Barbara Y Singer is a glamour, boudoir and pinup photographer in the Miami area. Barbara has a knack for putting her clients at ease and showing them at their best. Contact Barbara today! Barbara works in her Boynton Beach, FL photo studio as well as on location for photo shoots in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.
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