We recently introduced Boudoir Photography as a new vendor category on lovemadisonweddings.com, and excitedly welcomed our first featured vendor in the category too – Blue Swan Boudoir! During our initial meeting with owner Amanda, she shared insight into the overall process and she’s sharing the answers to some of her FAQs with you today. If you’re interested in a boudoir session but there’s just something holding you back, perhaps Amanda can address that in this article. And if not – contact her directly for more information!
So, let’s start out with the basics. What does “boudoir” mean? The word is a French term for a woman’s private dressing room/bedroom. You know the classic image of a handmaid lacing up a woman’s corset? That would take place in the boudoir. Therefore, boudoir photography is a natural label for photos of ladies in various states of undress, usually taken in a bedroom setting. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to other frequently asked questions!
Q: “I’M NO PROFESSIONAL MODEL, HOW WILL I KNOW HOW TO POSE?”
A: Honey, most of us aren’t professional models. Even the images you see in boudoir portfolios are usually just regular ol’ people. Your photographer will take the lead and tell you exactly what to do. I personally will even lay down on the ground and do the pose myself!
Q: “I’M NOT AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT (AGE, HEIGHT, BLEMISH-CLARITY, ETC.) CAN YOU STILL GET GOOD PHOTOS OF ME?”
A: We truly are our own worst critics, aren’t we? Boudoir is a wonderful type of photography in that it is truly about showcasing you, just the way you are, and reminding you that you are beautiful because you’re YOU. The funny thing is, most of the women in portfolio images that you see have asked the same questions. The most frequent comments I get from my clients are, “I can’t believe that’s me!” and, “Wow, I’m hot!” when they finally see their finished photos. As far as blemishes, scars, or stretch marks are concerned, the cost of retouching is usually included in your session fee with most photographers.
Q: “WHAT DO I WEAR?”
A: Although the good ol’ bra and panty set is a staple, you can really get creative with what you wear in your boudoir shoot. A sheer top, your fiance’s button down shirt, or even nothing but pearls are all great items to create a unique look. If you have your wedding dress, definitely bring that, and whatever veil or headpiece you plan to wear on your wedding day. Heels are an absolute must, the taller the better. Avoid platforms and wedges, as they don’t produce the same allure in photos. Work with your photographer to brainstorm your ideas, he or she should be able to tell you what would be flattering for you.
Q: “DO I HAVE TO DRESS DOWN TO MY BIRTHDAY SUIT?”
A: You absolutely don’t need to wear (or not wear) anything you are uncomfortable with. Your shoot is basically commissioned artwork, and while your photographer may lead you during the shoot, you are ultimately in control. Discuss with your photographer beforehand what your comfort level is, and never feel pressured to show more than your are comfortable with. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, don’t be embarrassed to tell your photographer exactly what you’re looking for. He or she is a professional and will help you create the artwork you have in mind.
Q: “CAN I BRING A FRIEND? HOW ABOUT MY BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND (OR GIRLFRIEND/WIFE)?”
A: Every photographer and studio is different, and you should ask your photographer his or her policy. With Blue Swan boudoir, you are more than welcome to bring a friend (we even offer boudoir parties for three or more people!). However, we discourage our clients from bringing their partner, as it changes the entire atmosphere of the shoot and can actually make you more nervous.
Q: “WHAT DO I DO WITH THE PHOTOS?”
A: Boudoir is unique in that you may not always order a large print to hang in your living room (although they make great bedroom and bathroom portraits). The best way to showcase your images is in an album or image box. Each photographer will offer different products, and will guide you in the right direction in terms of what products would be ideal for you.
Q: “DO YOU SHOOT GUYS?”
A: I get this question all the time. Ever heard the term, “Dude-oir”? Yep, it’s a thing. Although most clients are female, men are definitely encouraged to try it out! You may also consider booking a couples session; intimate portraits are a really special way to capture your unique essence as a couple. Couples sessions are often sensual and artistic, and a great memory to have in 40 years!
Once again, every photographer will offer different prices, photo-shoot lengths, and services. Generally speaking, you should plan on around 1.5 hours for hair and makeup, and between 1-3 hours for your shoot. Some photographers shoot only in a studio, some photographers will shoot in a hotel or AirBnB. Photographer tip: If you are getting your hair/makeup done for your wedding, you may want to consider scheduling your trial on the same day as your photo session!
Overall, boudoir photography is a fun and unique experience, and extremely empowering. It is great for all shapes, sizes, and genders, and the resulting images make for an incredible, personal and intimate gift for you spouse-to-be!
For more information about Amanda and Blue Swan Boudoir, visit her Featured Vendor Profile Page.