What is Boudoir Photography? Boudoir Photo Examples & Tips

You might be wondering, what is boudoir photography? Itching with romance and sensuality, boudoir photography has captured the hearts and minds of many since the 1920s.

But, what is this type of photography all about? And how, as a photographer who's new to the subject, do you walk the fine line between artistic and scandalous?

Luckily, this article will serve as a comprehensive guide to the question of "What is boudoir photography?" Plus, you’ll learn about everything you need to be a successful boudoir photographer from effective lighting to the best camera backpack.

What is Boudoir Photography?

It’s is all about capturing romantic, and even erotic photos for personal and private uses. A majority of clients are women, who're looking to take photos for their partners or other personal reasons.

Unlike glamour and nude photos, boudoir is more suggestive than scandalous. These shoots are FOR the women who decide to participate in them. Therefore, clients don't need to worry about having the images shared with a wide audience.

If you’re wondering: What is a boudoir photo shoot? Well, it’s simply like any other shoot. Though, typically boudoir photos are taken in the living room, bedroom, or studio with related furniture. 

How Do You Describe Boudoir Photos?

What is Boudoir Photography - Boudoir Photography What Is It

When it comes to the question of “what is boudoir photography”, it can be useful to describe it in detail.

Generally speaking, boudoir photography displays a woman in lingerie, or other sexy clothing. However, the purpose of these photos is not pornorgraphic, or for advertising. Instead, boudoir is all about balancing a classy, regal look, with alluring sexuality. Many photos are taken in the bedroom, but that setting isn’t a requirement. 

What is the Point of Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir Photography Definition - What is Boudoir Photography Meaning

Now that you know the answer to “what is boudoir photography”, you might be wondering: why?

Well, women can get boudoir portraits done for a variety of reasons. Some want bridal boudoir photos as a gift for their fiance. Other women might simply want the empowerment that comes with these photos.

Plus, models might want boudoir shoots done to add to their portfolio. 

Why is Boudoir Photography so Popular?

What is Boudoir Photography - What is Boudoir Photoshoot

To understand why boudoir photography has been growing in popularity, we need only look its clientele.

Over the years, women have fought to feel confident in their own bodies (fortunately, knee high dresses are no longer scandalous). With that, many women want to treat themselves by taking part in boudoir photoshoots.

After all, boudoir photography first became popular in the 1920s, which was another era where women felt more empowered. Boudoir photography appeals to many women because it allows them to own their beauty, and express it openly. 

What is Boudoir Photography for Photographers

The idea of doing boudoir photography may seem intimidating at first. After all, you don’t want to make the shoot awkward or take unflattering pictures of your client. However, we’ve got plenty of tips for how to improve your boudoir photography:

Boudoir Photography Gear List

Boudoir Photography Definition - What is Boudoir Photography - Sunny 16

Boudoir photography is all about lighting. If you can use the ambient lighting of the room to your advantage, do so! However, you might find that you need a little help. Flashes, umbrellas, and light stands will be your best friend.

As for cameras, we have a few recommendations:

  • Canon EOS RP
  • Fujifilm GFX 50R
  • Sony A9

You’re also going to want a Zoom Lens, as it will allow you to focus on your model with precision (don’t forget your microfiber lens cloths either).

And remember, you’ll need a backpack to carry all this gear comfortably. We recommend The Voyager. This backpack packs a serious amount of gear for its size, fitting two DSLRs, up to seven lenses, a laptop, a tablet, and other accessories. All this storage makes it easy to pack anything and everything you’ll need for your boudoir photoshoot.

What do you Wear to a Boudoir Photo Shoot?

What is Boudoir Photography - What is the Point of Boudoir Photography

What is a boudoir photography session? And more specifically, what do you have to wear to one?

Don’t fret, we have a list for models and photographers alike. (though, we don’t recommend you wear the sexy clothing if you’re the photographer):

  • A form fitting or short dress
  • High heels, boots, or no shoes at all!
  • Jeans or leggings
  • Button up shirt, sweater, etc. if you can undo it a little bit or pull it off your shoulder, it’s likely a winner
  • Leather jacket or blazer
  • Lacey or cute undergarments
  • Fun and fitting jewellery
  • Fishnets

How to Pose Your Models

What is Budoir Photography - Whats Boudoir Photos For

To capture a genuine sensual feeling, you’ll want to master the art of posing your model.

Consider curves and posture, and try to compose your shots in a thoughtful way. For example, a messy bed might be more sexy and dynamic than a clean one.

But, for female poses, we recommend leaning in a chair or against a wall, as well as laying on a bed or the floor. Though, don’t be afraid to experiment. Have your model move her hands and arms in different ways to capture that sense of longing.

And don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the guys. Male poses are all about balancing their masculinity with their sexuality. Think brooding poses, suggestive hips, and more. 

Up Next: How to Start a Photography Business

Now that you know the answer to the question: “what is boudoir photography?”, you're ready to start shooting! Let us know in the comments what ideas you have for your first boudoir shoot.

And, if you want to learn more about how to start a full-fledged photography business, check out our article on just that!

Up Next: How to Start a Photography Business →

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