Do your research! Make sure you find a professional boudoir photographer to work with. Boudoir is a specialty and you need to be sure you are getting someone who understands the requirements. They’ll have worked with different people with different body shapes so they’ll understand how to pose you to make you look your absolute best. Also how to use lighting (natural or artificial) to ensure that you look your best. A photographer can make you look 20 pounds lighter with the correct posing or add 10 pounds or with incorrect posing – you need someone who knows which is which! Check their Boudoir portfolio!
Boudoir is not just lingerie and hot shots, make sure when you select a studio you select one that understands beauty photography, lighting, posing etc. It’s great to get the nice sexy shots but they need to show your beauty as well. There is a difference in the two genres and you need to make sure your photographer understands both.
Use the studio’s hair and make-up artist. It’s the best decision you’ll make. The MUA will generally be present for the whole shoot and serve as an assistant in a lot of cases. You’ll get constant attention and touch ups as needed and it will just add to the experience. Go into the session with an open mind and enjoy the experience. You’ll probably be a bit nervous to start but with the right people on your side, and they are on your side, you should have a great time and come away with beautiful images.
Check out the photographer’s website and also check to see if they have other social media accounts. In this very connected world you’d expect them to have at least an Instagram and a Facebook account which they take the time to update. Check the images and see if they are they match your style and expectations. There are a lot of different types of boudoir, from very modest to implied nudity and even fully nude. Some photographers specialize in one type or another so if a portfolio shows all nudes and you are more of a modest kind of girl… It’s all a case of what you are comfortable with and what style you like.
Do go on Pinterest (many photographers will have inspiration or mood boards for you to look at) but don’t treat these as a menu. “I want this shot and this shot…” Your photographer will try to be as accommodating as possible during the session but they’ll have a plan and it generally won’t be spending hours copying other shots from Pinterest. Having said that, if there’s a shot you really love, let them know.
Ask about Photoshop! Ask what the policy is for retouching and look at examples from social media. In the 80’s everything was soft and blurry but now there’s generally a more honest approach with less retouching. However, ask about specifics, cellulite, stretch marks etc. They may be a proud part of who you are but they may be something you want touched up. Find out if this is part of the service or if there are extra charges. Does your studio do their own Photoshop retouching or do they send it out? Do you want your photos sent somewhere you don’t know about?
Look for pricing information and look carefully. Now, some (indeed most) sites do not advertise their prices and that is not a bad thing. It’s a great way for them to get to discuss your requirements and, for a professional boudoir studio, to find out if you are a good fit. Studios have a lot of different price structures and you’ll probably end up paying anywhere from $700 to $2000 depending on the options you choose. Make sure you get the information up front so you do not get sticker shock when choosing the final options.
Be wary of Groupons and cut-price deals. You will get what you pay for.
Ask if you can take a friend if you need moral support. While some people will be perfectly happy to go alone some of you may want the reassurance of a friend being with you. Most professional photographers will have absolutely no objection to this but you should not expect your friend to be taking part or trying to direct the session! Yes, we’ve seen it happen. If you both want to do a shoot, ask about a discount.
Wear clothing that fits. It sounds straightforward enough but it’s not always the case. The right sizes are vital so get measured before you shop (and we’ll just assume that you are going to shop!). Don’t try and squeeze into something to make yourself look thinner or smaller, you won’t. Before you make a selection for your session (depending on the shoot you’ll generally have two or three outfit changes – take at least two more than that for last minute changes of mind) wear the outfits and look at yourself in a full length mirror. If you don’t like it at home you won’t like it in the studio.
Check if the photography studio has clothing you can wear. Some will carry items which you may not want to buy as a one off. Corsets, bustiers, robes etc. They should also have a selection of accessories that are available (check if there is a price attached to these). You should not be embarrassed to ask about their cleaning regime for any clothes!
Cut out tags and remove labels! If you are wearing something beautiful and you have a big tag showing through it ruins the effect. Now, it may be that it can be removed in editing but it’s much simpler if it is not there to start with. The same rule goes for all tags and labels – remove them before the session from clothes, shoes etc. to save adding additional work afterwards.
Work with your photographer to ensure you are on the same page before the shoot and come up with a target for the sessions outcomes. Do you want to be Sultry, Sexy, Smokin’ hot, Demure etc? Make you define what they mean to you to avoid confusion.
Get a manicure and a pedicure before the session. Make sure to take care of any waxing at least a week before the session and don’t get a new hair cut or spray tan within a week of the session. You want to make sure you have time to live with any changes before you have the photographs taken as there’s nothing worse than getting a hair ‘surprise’ with just a day to go before the big day!
Boudoir is what you whatever it to be, you may want to be very modest in boy shorts and a top or you may want to go full on ‘Agent Provocateur’. You may want implied nude or topless shots or you may want fully nude pictures. Whatever you want, decide beforehand and discuss it with the photographer. Make sure they understand your level of comfort. While you may find, after you relax and get into it you want to push the boundaries a bit, you should agree your limits before you start.
A shot does not book itself! Now that you’ve read this you are armed with what you need to take the next steps and book a boudoir session. At the end of almost every session, there are two things said. 1. “Wow, that was fun!!” and 2. “I wish I’d done it earlier”. Booking a boudoir session is the hardest part of the process. From there on it’s all downhill and the anticipation and excitement of the approaching day make it super special. Get in contact with us at http://www.burfordstudio.co.uk or via our Facebook page to start, remember, this is a day you’ll always want to remember and the memories last a lifetime.
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Prepare to be pampered and be a supermodel for the day!