8 Frequently Asked Questions for Boudoir Photo Shoots

So you’re ready to start planning a boudoir shoot, but still not sure what exactly the experience entails? This helpful guide will aid you in your journey to that self-esteem boost you’ve been looking for, you got this!!

1: What is a boudoir session?

A boudoir session is a photography session where you get your photo taken wearing sexy lingerie, minimal underwear, or nothing at all! The English history of the word “boudoir” simply means a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room, typically where she got dressed. Ooh la la!

2: Why is boudoir so expensive?

Aside from the cost of the hair and makeup artist and sometimes other perks like a relaxing massage or access to their props and wardrobe, the photographer has spent years and lots of money on their equipment such as lighting, cameras, camera lenses, studio decor and advertising. Most importantly, there is a lot of time spent before and after your session. Setup and breakdown of each shoot takes at least an hour each, as well as email correspondence, phone calls, and of course retouching your photos. Photographers also use a third party to provide you your final products, whether it’s printing an album, wall art, individual images, etc. You may only be there for a few hours, but the company you choose spends a lot more time making sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

3: What is the point of boudoir photography?

We often get asked if clients choose to do a boudoir shoot as a gift for someone else, such as an anniversary/birthday present for their husband or a wedding gift for their fiance. While some of them do, most women’s reasons are very personal. Some seek a much needed confidence-boost after a divorce, having children, surgery, or overcoming a major struggle in their lives. Others want to view themselves through someone else’s eyes, or see a side of them they haven’t before. Some want to capture a moment in time when they feel their best, to revisit when they have reached their next milestone birthday, or to just simply pamper themselves amidst their busy schedules. Regardless of the reason, boudoir is NOT pornography. It is a way for someone to celebrate and empower themselves, to feel lifted and confident with who they are.

4: What do I need for a boudoir photo shoot?

Choosing outfits is very important for your boudoir shoot. While some studios provide a client wardrobe ranging in all sizes, most will ask you to bring multiple pairs of different underwear, bras, lingerie sets, and sometimes accessories such as shoes and jewelry. You may need to also bring a robe to wear if the photographer doesn’t have one for you to use. Your outfits will determine the style of your shoot. Always pick styles/outfits that reflect YOU! If lingerie isn’t you, maybe “girl next door” is more your style. But of course you can mix and match styles too! Always make sure you pick outfits that flatter your body type! One-piece body suits or off the shoulder sweaters are fantastic for women who aren’t comfortable with their stomach area. Thigh High Stockings and Stilettos are great for those who want to slim their legs. If your bum is an area you aren’t comfortable with, you may lean towards covering it up! This is actually the opposite of what you want! Cute cheeky panties actually make a bum look much better than covering it up! Make sure to try on all your outfits before your shoot to make sure they fit properly! If you wear glasses and don’t want to incorporate them into the shoot, be sure to bring contacts or put them in before you arrive.

5: How do you pose for a boudoir shoot?

Since most clients have not done any sort of photo shoot before, the photographer will patiently guide you through each pose from the top of your head to your toes, sometimes executing the pose themselves first. It is suggested you visit the photographer’s website and practice some of the poses at home; notice the angle of the face, the placement of the hands, the curve in the hip… It will feel awkward and you may be a little sore afterwards, but if it bends, they’re gonna bend it! A bit of light stretching before you begin is always a good idea.

6: How far in advance should I book?

The shoot may only take half a day, but 6-8 weeks minimum is ideal. Not only does retouching take time, but the production of your prints does as well. The photographer may have your album delivered within a couple of weeks, but just in case the order isn’t correct they will need time to fix the issue with the company they use for printing.

7: How many prints are in a boudoir album?

This depends on your photographer’s pricing guide as well as your budget. Typically ten is the minimum, however the average purchase is between 30-50. Many photographers offer package deals as well as pre-payment plans leading up to the day of your shoot.

8: What do I need to do to prepare for my boudoir shoot?

There are many things to take into consideration before arriving for your session:

-Schedule an appointment with your salon if you need to touch up your roots, freshen up your color, get a hair treatment to smooth out your locks, or get a trim to get rid of split ends. Avoid any drastic hair cuts or color changes before your shoot! Wash your hair the morning of your shoot and come with it dry.

-Gently exfoliate your skin and face a day or two before your shoot. Drinking lots of water, moisturizing, and eating healthy, nutritious meals will give your skin a healthy glow. Don’t worry about bruises, stretch marks, scars, or cellulite. Skin smoothing in post processing will give your skin a beautiful, even glow. But prepping the “canvas” definitely helps!
Come to your shoot with a clean, fresh, moisturized face.

-Shave, wax or trim any unwanted hair before your session.
Wax, trim or thread your eyebrows. ( 3-5 days prior to your shoot)

-Tanning is great for a bronzy glow, but we don’t recommend it unless..
You prefer yourself with a tan OR you have extremely harsh tan lines from being out in the sun. If either of those apply to you, we recommend tanning beds to even out tan lines or to get that bronzy glow.
Self tanners, harsh tan lines from swimsuits or clothing ( faint ones are sexy but you don’t want to be two completely different colors), or spray tans (it does not photograph well and gets all over EVERYTHING).

-Get a Manicure & Pedicure a day or two before your shoot. Pick a color that will go well with all your outfits or go with a french tip or neutral color. A white french tip lends to a classic look, whereas a black french tip adds a bit of modern sass!

Now go on and book that shoot! You might be a bit nervous but that will all fizzle away once you see your fine self in those photos!

To book your own boudoir experience, visit:


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Give us a ring at 615.235.5618 or send us an email at info@hollydouglasphotography.com.

Our Location: 2215B Old Hickory Blvd — Old Hickory, TN 37138

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