First, let me start with how much I love photographing boudoir sessions, and I am SO happy you have decided to take part in this experience!
I believe that every woman should have a session like this to look back on, a moment when she was fearless and courageous and did something just for herself. This is what boudoir means to me. I believe that boudoir is for every woman. No matter your size or your shape or your age. You are beautiful, and deserve to feel it. To acknowledge it. To revel in it.
But you did it! You took the plunge and finally scheduled the boudoir shoot you've been dreaming of! Now what? PANIC? DISTRESS? ANXIETY? Because you have so many questions, you're worried about what you are getting yourself into, and you want to feel and look prepared so you can slay your boudoir session!
This guide is for you!
Preparing for your shoot
First- Start getting pumped about your shoot! Inhale Confidence...Exhale Doubt! You've got this! And we're going to be there to coach you through the entire experience, so you're not out there walking a tightrope without a net. You are going to have fun! And you are going to love the YOU in your photos!
Next - Look online and see what kind of photos and looks you like. Also, flip through your favorite fashion mags to discover ways to pair colors and fabrics. Visualize the clothing, accessories, heels and props you will want to wear.
- When it comes to choosing what to wear - or not to wear - for your session, the most important rule is Do Not bring pieces that you do not love! I can't tell you how many women have come in for a session with outfits they comment about, 'I'm not sure about this one, but I'll leave it up to you.' Ladies, if you don't like the outfit, its likely you wont like photos of you in the outfit. Leave it at home and focus on pieces you absolutely adore yourself in! The most important thing is that you are selecting the pieces that flatter your body and highlight your best assets!
- Shop your closet for the items you instinctively select when you want to feel (and look) your very best. You may actually discover you have some hidden gems in there perfect for this occasion that make you feel beautiful.
- Grab a style savvy friend, fun loving friend and brainstorm some ideas together for your upcoming shoot. Then take a fun shopping trip to bring those ideas together.
- Pick out lingerie that highlights your every lovely curve, but please remember sometimes a tight T-shirt, soft sweater, or over-sized button-down shirt can be even sexier. Let your own personality shine through.
- Bring something meaningful to you or your significant other; this serves as a great way to personalize your shoot. It may be lingerie your husband gave you on your first anniversary, for instance, or a vintage charm bracelet you found on a scouting expedition while on vacation. We’ve had clients pose with their guitar, records that were special to them, and sports jerseys.
I recommend bringing more than 3 separate styles, so that you have a variety of images to choose from and you also step out of your comfort zone a little more... I know I know, you're already getting half naked in front of a technical stranger is already out of your comfort zone, but trust me, you will thank me when you have more than one type of look to choose from!
- Feminine & Light: If you're getting married, think of this as your 'bridal look'. Think whites, creams, pastels, etc.
- Moody & Dark: Black, Black, Black! Something dark and sexy is a must-have. If you're not a fan of black , try a jewel tone that flatters your skin color.
- Personal & Playful: choose an item that has personal connection to you and/or partner. Think, favorite sports team or movie series, one of your partner's shirts, or even your favorite pair of booty shorts. We’ve had clients pose with their guitar, records that were special to them, and even a significant other's hat. We've had ladies wear their husband's work jacket, replicate an ESPN Body Issue cover using a soccer ball (their husband was a huge soccer fan), and we even had someone bring in a beautiful vintage apron their grandmother made for some pinup style photos. Personal touches like that allow your personality to shine through. Think outside the box and make your photos unique to you!
But whatever you bring in, we go through it and determine what are your absolute favorites, must haves, and then we will save them for last. We usually start with what we call a White Sheet set. They are Marilyn Monroe-esque photos of you on the bed wrapped in a just a sheet. I learned this trick about 10 years ago from a female photographer who did a boudoir session of her own, and I've used it to great success ever since. The White Sheet set serves two purposes:
- First, it has you jump into the deep end right at the beginning. Boudoir sessions operate on a time limit, and we need to get you comfortable as quickly as possible. So we take a "just rip the band-aid off fast" approach. We get you in front of the camera as exposed as you're going to be immediately, so when it comes time to put on those special must have outfits, it's no big deal anymore.
- Also, since the sheets aren't an outfit that is important to you, if you make a few funny faces while we're getting you into the flow of the session, it's not a big deal. You'll be nailing poses and expressions in no time, and that's when we do the outfits that really matter. So, in a sense, the White Sheet set is disposable, though I've yet to have a client not pick a few out for their album. They really are a beautiful, classic look.
The do's and do not's of wardrobe :
- Tiny busy patterns as well as neon colors are often to harsh on camera.
- Avoid lingerie that is loose or baggy. If you're going with an over-sized sweater with nothing underneath, or your partner's fave sports jersey then yes, it should be baggy. but a flowy nightie will have to be pinned back to show off your curves.
- Bring several outfits and accessories to choose from so we can go through them together before your shoot to determine which will photograph best. This also gives us the opportunity to mix and match things you may not have thought of together.
- Make sure your pieces are not wrinkled and cut all the tags off!
Flattering all figures with wardrobe:
All women are beautiful in their own unique way, I fully believe this. Whether curves or no curves, butt or no butt, etc. I get a lot of questions about what type of wardrobe flatters who. So here are some tips based on the most common 'complaints' I get by women and how to enhance those features with wardrobe.
- Curvy: Avoid loose fitting clothing which mask curves. items should be snug but not to tight. Also BODYSUITS! BODYSUITS! BODYSUITS! I can not say this enough, they look amazing on everyone!
- Flat Booty: Opt for panties that are cheeky cut or ruffled on the backside, those tend to add a lot of dimension, Thongs always make a butt look fuller than a full coverage panty. Play around in the mirror with different panty cuts. But don't worry, I am a pro at creating curves in posing!
- Shorter Legs: High heels with a thin heel rather than chunky. Nude shoes naturally elongate the legs. No thigh-highs! Thigh-highs only emphasize your shorter legs, working against you instead of flattering you.
- Thin/No Curves: Again, I am a pro at creating curves in posing and lighting. BODY SUITS! I love them for all figures.
- Small Chest: Opt for push up bras with support, chicken cutlets, and lingerie with structure. Just make sure your bras a fitted properly with any inserts you have in mind.
- Large Chest: If you have large breasts, or motherhood or time are trying to drag you down: A well-fitting bra with plenty of support is a great idea.
Practice Your Expressions:
Good facial expressions can create a major wow factor in your photographs. During your photo session, I will always help coach you into not only specific poses but also into trying different expressions. Here are a few tips you can try on your own too!
- Before the shoot practice expressions for different emotions: dreamy, flirty, pouty, fierce, sexy, happy, passionate, confident, sassy.
- Pay attention to models expressions when looking through your favorite magazines or even the Victoria’s Secret website.
- Have a strong focus on whatever you are gazing upon, whether it be directly at the camera or across the room.
- Smile with your eyes.
- Act like you are about to say something. (Leaning forward, open mouth, inquisitive eyes) Practice saying A E I O U and changing your expression each time.
- Breathe through your mouth. Inhale and exhale deeply. Parted lips can relax your mouth and keep your lips from looking tight and giving you an agitated expression.
Don’t be afraid to show some personality in your pictures. A beautiful laugh can often be the perfect expression.
The whole day is yours! Come to the studio ready to be pampered in a relaxed and fun setting. The day starts off with a glass of wine or champagne while you receive a fabulous makeover by a professional hair and make-up artist. A few reminders on how to prepare:
- Use clear deodorant, please.
- Skip the socks, tight underwear, or bra prior to your session to prevent lines and marks that can sometimes take hours to disappear.
- Eat something light but filling before you leave the house.
- Arrive with a clean and moisturized face and dry hair. This is important for getting the most out of your professional hair and makeup.
- Most important: Take a deep breath and RELAX. It’s completely normal to be a bit nervous before your shoot, but please don’t worry, because you will be in very good hands. All you need to do is show up to your shoot, and we take care of the rest. Once you arrive, professional hair and makeup will be ready to pamper you, we will help you choose your outfits, and when it's time, we will also be directing and posing you right down to your fingertips.
While you are being made over, we will go through your outfits, the things you love about your body - what areas you want to show off and what you want to de-emphasize in your images - and any last minute questions.
Then we will bring out your inner sexy with a fabulous and fun photo session! We will guide you every step of the way so you'll be able to just relax and have a blast!
Afterward, you'll go get coffee or lunch while we go through your images and get them ready to see. That's right! You'll get to see your images the same day!
After lunch is the time to ‘ooohhh’ and ‘aahhh’ over gorgeous and sexy you! We will look at your absolute best images that have already been lightly edited and retouched. Then we will narrow them down and choose your favorites to help you decide on the prints, wall art, and albums that work best for you.
Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.
The Nixons Photography