Boudoir is a French word meaning “woman’s bedroom or sitting room” and that is the starting inspiration for boudoir photography today. Typically given as a gift, or to celebrate a milestone, these images are classy & tasteful images of women in various states of undress. There are people who will classify these images as the “P” word* but there is a definitive line between the two. Boudoir is about the tease and implication of nudity & pleasurable acts whereas the other are those acts fully on display. There is nothing wrong with that; it’s just not what we do.
Boudoir photographers come to their own definition, classification and intention of boudoir. I have seen definitions that range from simply “women in lingerie” to “sexy women portraits”. Some will only see images as boudoir if they are in a bedroom, while others agree that boudoir can be anywhere. There are some photographers who use having a camera to get women naked (unfortunate but true, but very fortunately not at all common!). Some who want to take super sexy images for the sake of taking super sexy images. Then there those of us who do it to remind a women how gorgeous, beautiful, and sexy she is and empower her. When you’re choosing a boudoir photographer, don’t be afraid to ask your photographer their viewpoint on boudoir and what it means to them. Also be sure to really look through their images and love what you see. Boudoir can be absolutely amazing if the person behind the camera knows what they’re doing but it can turn really bad really fast. Learn from my mistake.
Boudoir is traditionally given as a gift, often from brides on their wedding day, as a modern twist on the first anniversary tradition of “paper”, Valentine’s Day, birthday, anniversary, promotion, deployment, you name it, it works as a gift. However, more women are realizing they don’t have to have these sessions done for anyone but themselves which has been an amazingly empowering thing to see happen. They get to do what THEY want during these sessions and trust that IF they give them to someone, they’ll appreciate them even more because she’s being totally herself and really it’s that confidence that’s sexy. And no, you don’t NEED confidence to have a boudoir session. Boudoir itself can be an extremely empowering & confidence boosting experience with the right photographer.
My boudoir goal is to empower women to be shamelessly themselves. We include hair & make up in our full packages because not only is photo session makeup different from how you normally wear it, it’s fun to have someone else take the time to glam you up and play with your hair. (It also gives us time to chat so you’re more comfortable when you’re walking around my studio in your underwear!) Whatever your version of sexy is, that’s what we do! You want to be full on glam and lingerie? Absolutely! Want to be a bit more natural and wearing knee socks and a sweater? DO IT. Want to incorporate pizza? Or cookies? Or doughnuts? Hell yeah! Just remember that sharing is caring. We have a bedroom set, a sitting room set (my couch is gorgeous!), AND the red room, which has one red wall and one pure black wall and we can do some really fun things in there.
But what do I wear?! Ask your photographer! I provide my clients with a lingerie guide prior to their session with all kinds of suggestions, some aren’t even lingerie! I also have an amazing client wardrobe you can wear pieces from, just bring your own undies to wear underneath (and everything gets washed once worn!). Should I bring ________? Yes. I’ll tell you if something will work for photos or not. Bring all the options because you might be surprised at what we pick.
You’re on the fence about having a boudoir session when you realize, what do I DO with these images?! Well, that totally depends on what you want to do with them. You can get them in a black leather bound book and look at them whenever you feel an urge. You can hang a canvas in your bedroom, or walk in closet (I’ve had many clients do this). You can get custom playing cards and pull them out to play card games with your significant other or even your close friends! Put them on a wall calendar so there’s a practical aspect. Have them on an image cube that can be discreetly put in a drawer when your brother in law visits. Like pretty much everything else with boudoir, it’s all about what YOU want.
*You know what it is, I don’t want Google to pop this article up for people looking for it, they’ll be disappointed 😉
I learned so much from your blog post info! Thank you so much sharing, and for producing such amazing work for women!!!!