Getting Ready for a Boudoir Session | Swansboro Boudoir Photography

You’ve decided you’re ready to book your boudoir session, but what happens now?!

First thing that needs to happen is booking your session. When you should book totally depends on when you’re looking to have your final products ready. Anniversary in October? Plan your shoot at least 4 weeks before! Big holiday like Christmas or Valentine’s Day? We start shooting for Christmas in October, Valentine’s Day in December. Christmas is the busiest time of year for most photographers and sessions book fast! Add in a bad flu season and you definitely want to try and get everything done earlier just in case.

To book, most boudoir photographers require a non refundable retainer, or booking fee, to confirm your spot. In my case, this is also when I book the hair & make up artist for your session as well as putting it on my team’s calendar so we can all plan ahead.

Next comes shopping! As part of your confirmation email once I receive your retainer, I send out a lingerie guide. This goes over different types of lingerie that will showcase or minimize certain body shapes, depending on what you are looking for! It also has some great non lingerie suggestions for your shoot. We’ll also look through your outfits once you arrive and make a plan for your shoot. It may sound strange, but not everything that looks great in person photographs well and I’ll tell you this on set.

If you’re thinking of theming your session, definitely talk about it with your photographer! I’ve done things like Star Wars, Harry Potter, bridal, red room, it comes down to what you want out of your session. Planning ahead with your photographer opens up more creative options that may not have been possible without that preparation.

If you’re planning on getting waxed, which is totally your call, definitely give yourself a few days between your waxing appointment and your shoot, this allows any redness to fade. Two days is usually enough time, but if you haven’t waxed before stretching that to three or four isn’t a bad idea.

If you’re planning on spray tanning…please just don’t. I don’t know WHY, but spray tans and photography lighting just aren’t friends. You could look great in person but you will photograph a really unflattering shade of orange. Also, depending on how long you wait between your tan and your shoot, you could leave orange streaks all over my bedding and furniture as well as your own.

Pamper yourself and get a manicure & pedicure before your session! French nails look amazing with most outfit choices or you can go for a color that will match or complement your wardrobe pieces. Plus your feet will feel AH-mazing.

Look through your photographer’s website, blog, social media for ideas! You can do pinterest, too, but looking through and seeing what your photographer has already done definitely gives you an edge for getting the same photo. It’ll also give you a realistic idea of what your photographer has in studio in regards to furniture, sets, even wardrobe pieces! Some photographers may or may not allow pinterest boards. Personally, I will use them as inspiration but not necessarily give you the exact same shot.

The day of your session, unless told otherwise, you should arrive with clean, dry hair. Back in the 90s/early 2000s I was always told by hairstylists to have “day old hair” for updos. Ignore that advice for your session unless told otherwise. Also, you should avoid hair products if you can. This gives the hair stylist a clean slate, so to speak, and more flexibility with your hair. Your face should also be clean and moisturized, no make up at all unless told otherwise. The makeup artists I work with are amazing and I promise they’ll cover whatever you want covered much easier if they’re starting from the beginning!

If you have any questions about your upcoming session, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! I promise, I’m really easy to get a hold of and don’t mind answering your questions.


  3 comments for “Getting Ready for a Boudoir Session | Swansboro Boudoir Photography

  1. Tammy Z
    April 16, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Wow, that is a lot of great info. Who knew what goes into a Boudoir Session. I sure did not know for never did one. #BoudoirSession #Photography

  2. Brooke Hamilton
    April 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I tried to comment earlier this week but don’t see it came through so here is another try! I think you have some amazing tips for clients looking for bouidoir portraits! I agree, spray tans can look so awful. Helpful bouidoir information about looking for inspiration on your blog instead of through other artists on Pinterest! Great content!

  3. April 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information Ashley!

Leave a Reply