Everything about Boudoir Photography

Learn everything there is to know about becoming a boudoir photographer.

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The Best Boudoir Photography Portfolio Examples of 2022

Whether you already have a boudoir photography website or are building one from scratch, it’s always worthwhile to look at other inspiring portfolios and get ideas for your own. As a best practice, we recommend reviewing your site at least 1-2 times each year to see what content or design might need to be refreshed. We’ve found a beautiful and artistic boudoir photography portfolio example that you can click through for inspiration; you’re sure to find some fresh ideas for how you can design your own.

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The Best Boudoir Photography Ideas for Your Next Photoshoot

There is a wide range of boudoir photography ideas that can end up in images that both you and your subjects will be proud of for years to come

Boudoir photography is taking the world by storm, with many women (and men) clamoring to have their own empowering, sensual portraits taken in lingerie, swimsuits, and other fashionable attire.

If you’re just starting out or are in a bit of a creative rut and aren’t sure what to do during a boudoir photo shoots, read on for inspiring boudoir photography ideas. This article gives some ideas about how to make your boudoir photography session perfect for you and your subject, and are sure to add variety to your boudoir portfolio website.

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Black and White Boudoir

Vintage lingerie is a great idea to include in black and white boudoir photography sessions. There’s something so sensual about lace lingerie combined with fishnet stockings or garter belts.

There is something incredibly elegant about black and white boudoir photography. It’s classic, sensual, and artistic compared to a bright color image. Color carries with it a lot of meaning and evokes different emotions compared to shooting in black and white where the image is devoid of that extra, often distracting information. It allows the photographer, and the viewer to focus on the tones, light, composition, and the shapes your subject’s body is making. And black and white photography carries with it a timeless element.

The easiest way is to create three versions of the same image: one in color, one in monochrome, and one in a sepia tone. You can then offer your clients a choice on which they prefer.

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High Key Boudoir Photography

High key boudoir photography is an excellent option for those not comfortable being photographed with dark shadows highlighting their facial features.

High key boudoir photography softens any wrinkles or imperfections in a more flattering way than other lighting styles would have it. The resulting image has less contrast, which also helps make skin appear smoother.

Consider having your subject stand in front of a bright window. It’s a bonus if the sun shines through it, so you get a flare shot simultaneously.

Comfort is what you want to focus on here. If you can, have the high key boudoir photography session in the subject’s home.

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Low Key Boudoir Photography

Typically, low key boudoir photography entails using less harsh light sources and a more natural look. Low key photography is considered more gentle on the eyes than high key photography because it’s softer, darker, and less contrasty.

With low key boudoir photography, ensure that the background has no clutter. While this style may have less light and softer tones, it can be easy to overlook the background.

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Silhouette Boudoir Photography

To get the best silhouette boudoir photography, it’s recommended to get your subjects wearing a formal dress or piece of lingerie that’s sophisticated and light.

Layer with a blazer, scarf, or wrap for added warmth and attitude. Your props can play an important role in this type of shoot to set the mood and create your desired feel, so think about what you want to come across.

Candles are always sexy and sensual, but if you have another idea (think: hats, aprons), go for it.

Make sure you place your subject between the camera and the light source and set your exposure settings to expose for the highlights so your subject will be silhouetted by the light behind, without showing detail in the shadows.

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Natural Light Boudoir Photography

The best time to take natural light boudoir photography is in the morning when the sun is high and bright. When the sun shines through a window, you’ll get a beautiful, natural glow on your subject. If you find the natural light is creating too much contrast you can use a reflector to fill in some of the shadows for a softer, more even look.

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Low Light Boudoir Photography

Low light photography is perfect for boudoir photographers who want to use natural light sources or have dark settings, such as a bedroom.

With low light boudoir photography, the right poses are everything. Lingerie can appear much more revealing in low light than during daylight, and because of that, you may want to let your subject know. They might have a few different attire options in mind once informed about that.

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Bed Boudoir

A bed boudoir photography session will not only make your bedroom look beautiful, but it can also bring out some of your intimate feelings and memories.

The bed is part of the scene but think of it more as a prop. Your model can interact with the sheets or hold a pillow. Also, think about how you pose your subject on and around the bed. There are many beautiful and flattering poses that can be used when shooting with your subject on a bed.

Consider adding a fluffy blanket or other fabric for an additional pop of color to add detail and create interest.

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Bathtub and Shower Boudoir

One of the most timeless and classic boudoir photography ideas is the bathtub and shower boudoir combination.

Your subject can be photographed on the edge of a bathtub wearing a lace top or in the shower, kneeling with her head leaning back to get wet and rinse off.

This type of setup has many benefits: it provides sexy coverage of your subject’s body and also allows for beautifully executed shots from multiple angles.

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Luxury Boudoir Photography

Is your subject having a birthday, anniversary, or even a wedding? What better way for them to commemorate the moment than with a luxury boudoir photography session?

Luxury Boudoir Photography is a boudoir experience that focuses solely on the subject and allows them to feel special, pampered, and, dare we say it, luxurious. With luxury boudoir photography the subject will enjoy a premium experience from arrival to the end of the shoot, including things like makeup and hair, and maybe even some champagne. Location and props are really important as well in order to really sell the luxury look and experience.

Website Templates for Boudoir Photographers

Our easy-to-use templates can be personalized into thousands of different design iterations uniquely suited for your business.

Our new District template features bold fonts and a neutral palette designed to perfectly complement your photos. This template provides an ideal background for any photographer.

A unique carousel with character to showcase your work in minimalist frames that perfectly present your session types and specialized genres.

A striking gallery designed for universal, modern, well-arranged photography images.

After you perfectly capture life in the camera, show its many angles in this grid view design.

Let your images make a big statement in the space of a gorgeous single page site design.

Romantically tell the story of engagements, weddings, and maternity.

A striking template to capture powerful boudoir photography.

A soft color palette and elegant script font are the perfect way to display romantic engagement and wedding photos.

Southwest

The black canvas background sets the stage for high contrast photos while evoking a moody style.

Check Out Website Templates for Boudoir Photographers

Make A Living

Professional Boudoir Photography

Professional boudoir photography is one of the fastest-growing trends in the photography industry, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. If you’re considering this type of niche photography, you’re in luck – there are many ways to get started and make money from your passion.  This guide will show you how to make money from professional boudoir photography and start doing it yourself.

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Learn It All

Boudoir Photography Tips

Boudoir photography tips, shared by successful boudoir photographers, are in high demand as budding boudoir photographers turn their attention to this specialty photography genre.  

Boudoir photography empowers women (also, everyone) to feel comfortable in their own skin and helps viewers to appreciate the beauty of the human form. Boudoir photos are intimate, private, and sometimes… mysterious.

In this article, we have compiled helpful boudoir photography techniques shared by photographers that will help you kick-start your learning in boudoir photography.

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Simple Boudoir Poses.

  • For simple boudoir poses, tell the subject to take her right leg and cross it in front of her left, then lean her chest forward. This will create a beautiful look that accentuates the curves of her thigh and hips.
  • Another pose is to have the subject turn and face the side, take one step forward and point one toe, then tilt her head by looking up with her hand reaching to touch her forehead. 
  • The last simple boudoir pose is to have your subject crisscross her steps, pulling the robe off her shoulders but caught in her wrists as she strolls slowly away from your camera. 
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Edgy Boudoir Photography Poses.

  • One edgy boudoir photography pose is telling the subject to get into the “cat position” with her upper body lowered down, hips arched and tilting up her calves in high heels. Shoot from the angle of her hips at eye level.
  • Try asking your subject to lean her back against the wall, toss her hair to one side, cross her legs, pop her hips, and bring her arms up by holding her wrists with her eyes looking away/down.
  • Guide your subject to sit on her knees with thighs slightly parted, left arm behind her body, back arched, head tilted to the left with right finger touching lips. Take the shot at eye level.
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Couples Boudoir Photography Poses.

There are many sensual poses for couple boudoir photography.

  • Ask the couple to hold each other like they would on a dancing floor. Have the man pull up the woman’s dress, pull the straps off of her shoulders, or lean in for a kiss.
  • Another sensual couple boudoir photography pose is to have the woman leaning against the wall with both of her arms up and holding her wrists. Ask the man to lean in to hold her hand while lifting one of her legs up and holding her thigh. 
  • Switch positions so that the man’s back is against the wall and the woman leaning towards him. The man places his hands on her hips and looks into her eyes as she looks away at the camera. 
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Plus-Size Boudoir Poses.

  • One of the best boudoir plus-size poses is to have the client leaning on her back against the edge of the bed with hands held together with her wrists over her head.
  • Another pose is asking the subject to sit on her knees with her thighs apart, her body arched slightly back while holding both hands together by the wrists in front of her groin.
  • Tell your client to move her arms away from the camera and push her elbows back while standing.
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Boudoir Poses on Bed.

Another popular way to pose your subject to get some really stunning boudoir poses is to have your subject posed on the bed.

  • Tell the subject to bring her knees up, her feet flat, and her toes pointed. This will make her legs look longer and tone up her muscles. 
  • Direct your subject to lie on her stomach, ask to bring her feet up, and point her toes. Then ask her to slide her elbows out & forward while running her hands through her hair. 
  • Another bed pose you can try is to tell the subject to lie on her side, cross & bend one thigh over the other while propping the rest of her body up by leaning on just one elbow.
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Boudoir Poses that Hide Stomach.

Boudoir photography is all about empowerment and helping people feel comfortable int heir own skin, but that being said, a lot of people do not like the look of their stomach. Despite the aim of boudoir to embrace your body, some people may ask that you try to minimize the look of their stomach – so here are a few poses you can try that will hide your subject’s stomach.

  • Get the subject in a sitting position on a bed or a couch with her knee bent on the same side that you’ll be shooting from. 
  • Place things like pillows or foreground items in front of her stomach before snapping that shot would also hide her belly. 
  • You can also have the subject straddle a prop (pillow or chair) and have her lean back into a sexy pose. That’ll hide her stomach, too.
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Boudoir Props.

Bringing props to a boudoir shoot will enrich the photography and highlight the details you want to draw attention to in the photos. Items like tasteful (not cheesy) veils, high heels, foreground elements, mirrors, and robes are great boudoir props.

Try bringing some extra visual interest to the background of your scene. Adding a couple of plants to add some greenery to the environment will add context and help make it look interesting. Blankets, art, and other decorative elements can liven up the background without feeling intrusive to the images. Scented candles are another great prop to keep around as they add a relaxing and sensual aesthetic and help clients relax and liven up the experience.

Top Boudoir Photography Hashtags for 2022

Boudoir photography is an intimate and evocative type of photography that focuses on personal expression, lighting, form, glamor, and fashion. The word boudoir is French, and translates to a woman’s private dressing room – often where you’ll find boudoir photo shoots taking place, but not always. Many portrait photographers take up boudoir photography, but the genre spans many specialties–from fashion photography to fine-art photography. These photos are typically commissioned on behalf of a client, and if you have permission from your client to share their photos on social media, make sure to use hashtags! This way your content will go far and your business has a better chance of growing.

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General boudoir photo hashtags.

A great place to start when hashtagging your work, we recommend adding a handful of these boudoir photography hashtags to your caption. These are all general boudoir photography hashtags that will be a great starting place in getting you some traction for your posts, and ensure your images start to reach the right audience.

#boudoirphotography #boudoir #boudoirphotographer #boudoirphoto #boudoirposes #boudoirshoot #boudoirinspiration #boudoirphotographers #boudoirsession #boudoirphotoshoot #somethingboudoir #boudoirvibe

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 Boudoir portraits.

Once you’ve started with some general boudoir photo hashtags, you can throw in hashtags that are more narrowed into the type of boudoir photography that your content reflects. In this case, if your boudoir photography is also classified as portrait photography, you’ll use hashtags that are relevant to both genres. Here are a few to consider.

#boudoirportrait #portraits #photoshoot #portraitphotography #greatshots #bwportrait #model #portraitmood #discoverportrait #portraitstudio #portraitperfection   

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Black and white boudoir photography.

Many clients will appreciate having shots done both in color and black and white. You’ll likely frame and shoot these differently, as different feelings are evoked with black and white imagery. When you go to post your black and white boudoir photos, be sure you have the right hashtags! 

#blackandwhite #bnw #blackandwhitephotography #monochrome #bw #bwphoto #bnwphotography #blackandwhitephoto #bnwmood #bnwphoto #monochromephotography #blackwhite #instablackandwhite #blackandwhitephotographylovers

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Boudoir maternity photography.

Boudoir photography can capture moments in clients’ lives that are particularly important, such as an anniversary, the lead-up to an event like a marriage, or in this case, a pregnancy. Capturing your client when they are pregnant helps them savor and document an important moment in their lives, and may help them further embrace their changing bodies.

If you’re sharing your boudoir maternity photography, we highly recommend throwing in some of these hashtags.

#maternityphotoshoot, #maternityshoot, #pregnancyphotoshoot #maternityphotographer #maternityfashion #pregnancy #maternityphotography #maternitypictures #maternitystyle #maternitywear #maternitysession #maternityphotos #maternityportraits

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Boudoir couples photography.

As you’ve probably noticed, the genre of boudoir photography has expanded over the years. So much so that your client may be more than one person – like a couple. If you have a couple that’s doing a boudoir photoshoot with you, you now have a whole new set of hashtags you can use when you go to post!

#lovebirds #coupleshoot #boudoircouple #happycouple #couplegoals #boudoircouplesession #couplephotoshoot #couplephotography #couplephotographer

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Fine art boudoir photography.

As a fine art photographer, you’ll have a particular point of view and aesthetic associated with your art. Your images will be distinct and created for the purpose of being expressive or creative. In many instances, in order to capture aesthetic qualities and show off a higher caliber of photography, your boudoir photography may be black and white or even nude. 

If you’re posting fine art boudoir imagery, try some of these hashtags to attract people to your boudoir photography. 

#finephotography #finephotograph #artisticphotography #fineartphotograph #fineartphotographer #fineartphotos #fineartfilm #filmphotography #photographyart #art #noiretblanc #fineartphoto

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Bridal boudoir.

Similar to what we mentioned when speaking about maternity boudoir, your client may want to capture a special occasion or memory, such as a wedding! Bridal boudoir photography is a fun shoot, and many social media users (likely soon-to-be brides themselves) will be researching how to make their own day special. By posting and hashtagging your bridal boudoir shoots, you’ll have a greater chance of finding new clients. Be sure to incorporate the right hashtags when you do! 

#weddingphotographer #theknot #bridalboudoir #weddinginspo #bride #bridalstyle #weddingphotography #wedding #weddingday #love #weddingphoto #couple #instawedding #beautiful #bridalfashion #bridalinspiration #bride #bridetobe

Professional Boudoir Photography Guide

Whether you’re just stepping into the world of photography or you’re an experienced photographer looking to switch things up, boudoir photography is a growing style that not only provides you with an in-demand career option, but you also have the pleasure of working closely with subjects. In fact, boudoir photography can capture some of the most intimate and raw moments of a person’s life.

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Boudoir Photography FAQ’s

Why is boudoir photography so popular?

Boudoir photography gives people the chance to feel sexy, confident, and empowered during a photoshoot. While it can take some courage to reveal that much of oneself on camera, once a person does, it often results in a major confidence boost. Not to mention, boudoir photos make for excellent keepsakes both between couples and individuals. 

 

How is boudoir photography pronounced?

Boudoir is traditionally a French word, but don’t worry, you don’t need to be French to properly pronounce it. Boudoir is pronounced “boo-dwar.” It rhymes with “too far”, and in French it literally translates to “pouting room.” Popular in the upper class in the 18th century, a boudoir was generally a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room.

What does boudoir photography mean? 

Boudoir photography is a style of photography that is typically sultry and sexy in nature. In some cases, it will involve a certain level of nudity, but it can also be accomplished without nudity. For instance, the use of lingerie, lighting, poses, and intimate settings will all help create a powerful boudoir shoot.

What is the point of boudoir photography?

The point of boudoir photography is whatever the subject wants it to be. For some, a boudoir photoshoot is all about self-empowerment. It is a chance to celebrate your body, feeling empowered in your own skin. For others, boudoir photography has a more sensual element. You might take the photos for a significant other, or you might take the photos with a significant other. Whatever your reasoning, boudoir photography is always meant to be empowering. 

What is couples boudoir photography? 

Couples boudoir photography involves two people in the photos. In most cases, this couple will be in a romantic relationship, looking to capture sexy/sultry images. In some cases, this will be accomplished through suggestive poses and intimate lingerie. In other cases, full nudity might be requested. At the end of the day, you can work with couples in any way that you and your client feel comfortable, but in general, with boudoir photography, there is always some sultry element present.

Boudoir photography— why do women do it? 

Of course, boudoir photography is not only for women. There are many photographers that offer boudoir sessions for all genders, with the same aim of empowering their subjects through the boudoir experience and the final photographs. Having said that, boudoir photography is much more popular among women. This is likely because the traditional boudoir look is very rooted in a feminine style. Women choose to embrace this style for their own personal reasons, but more often than not, it is a way to feel strong, confident, and sexy in photos. 

What is a boudoir photographer?

A boudoir photographer is a person who shoots in the boudoir style. Traditionally, this means shooting sexy and sultry images that can involve individuals, couples, nudity, and/or element of fashion/glamor photography. 

A boudoir photographer can choose to specialize in one style of boudoir photography, but they can also work within the vision of the client. Either way, almost always, a boudoir photographer will be shooting photos that have some element of sex appeal to them.

What is bridal boudoir?

Bridal boudoir is a type of boudoir photography that usually involves a bride before her wedding day as the model. The images often have that sexy and sultry aesthetic that is so key to the boudoir aesthetic. Most commonly, this means that plenty of white lingerie is used throughout the photoshoot. 

What is the difference between glamor and boudoir photography?

There is some overlap between glamor and boudoir photography. In other words, you can have glamor photography without having any elements of boudoir photography, but it is much more unlikely that you would have boudoir photography without any elements of glamor photography. This is because boudoir photography is innately glamorous, but glamor photography doesn’t necessarily need to have that sexy element that is so key to the boudoir style. 

 

How to become a boudoir photographer?

To become a boudoir photographer, you must learn how to shoot boudoir photos, which will mean learning how to connect with people and make them feel comfortable in front of the lens. This is especially true of boudoir photography where subjects are in a certain state of undress, and in a vulnerable position. As a photographer, you need to be mindful of this dynamic and ensure your clients are completely at ease in order to deliver those incredible, sensual photographs. 

There are many different styles of boudoir photography, and finding your niche in a specific style will make you stand out from the competition. Focus on marketing, gaining a steady base of clients, and most importantly always keep practicing your craft.

How much do boudoir photographers make a year?

The average boudoir photographer’s salary is approximately $52,000 per year. That being said, this will vary depending on your level of experience, location, and other factors. When pricing your work, do so with your target annual salary in mind, keep the comparative local market in mind, and then work out how many jobs you’ll need to book to reach that salary.

 

What lens Is best for boudoir photography?

In our experience, the best lenses for boudoir photography are the 35mm f/1.4 lens, the 50mm f/1.4 lens, and the 85mm f/1.8 lens. 

The 35mm lens is the perfect wide-angle option if you want to include more of the background or if you want to get up close and personal with your subjects while you’re working together. The 85mm is the perfect portrait lens, and a favorite for photographers everywhere. While it requires a slightly larger space for shooting, it is ideal for sessions where you want to really highlight the subject and create some separation from the background. The 50mm lens is a staple in almost every photographer’s bag and for good reason. It is a beautiful focal length that gives the photographer a lot of flexibility for framing while delivering stunning portraits.

What Is the best camera for boudoir photography?

There are many formidable cameras on the market and ultimately the best one is what works for your photography practice. That being said, ultimately you will want to get a camera that gives you the creative freedom and control to excel at your craft. We recommend a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera. Full-frame cameras will give you more resolution to work with, as well as better low light performance for darker scenes, which is ideal as sometimes you may be shooting with available, or natural light.

How to advertise boudoir photography?

Social media is one of the easiest ways to promote your boudoir photography. Share your photos, talk about photo shoots, and answer any questions you may have. 

Be sure to stay active by following others and sharing comments and pictures. Eventually, this will lead to advertising for free. 

You can also sign up for other advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, or even go old school and post flyers around town if that is a possibility for you.

How to market a boudoir photography business?

Getting started in the boudoir photography business can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. When entering a crowded market, you must find your niche and what makes you different from other photographers. 

Decide if you want to focus on high-end photoshoots for private clients or offer budget-friendly rates to do sessions for friends or other events like bachelorette parties.

As mentioned, get on social media and use your portfolio website to showcase what you can do. When people see a quality product or service, they talk about it. Eventually, your client base will grow to the point where you may even need to hire employees for assistance.

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