Professional boudoir photography FAQ’s.

Getting started in professional boudoir photography can feel overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions asked when learning about how to become a professional boudoir photographer. Read on for all you need to feel prepared to take the leap!

boudoir black and white

Frequently asked questions.

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. 

2. How to pronounce boudoir photography?

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.

3. 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.

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

6. 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 most 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. 

7. 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.

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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. 

13. 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. 

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. How to prepare for a boudoir photography session?

Build an equipment checklist and tick each item off as you prepare for each session. Set up reminder alerts to keep you on top of things without missing a photo session. Write preparation guides when your lists of to-dos grow longer and have food and water in case your session takes longer than expected. 

17. Where to shoot boudoir photography?

Boudoir in French means ‘private bedroom’ hence, boudoir photography typically takes place in indoor spaces with plenty of privacy. Places like hotels and Airbnb rental places with elegant and tasteful furnishings are great locations to shoot boudoir photographs. Private balconies or backyards are also nice locations.

18. What is a boudoir photo shoot?

A boudoir photo shoot is a form of intimate portraiture, and it combines other genres of photography like glamour and artistic portraits. It’s about creating new comfort zones, empowering the subject to show confidence in their skin. Intimacy, sensuality, privacy, and an occasional dash of sexuality are often found in boudoir photography.

19. How to take boudoir photos?

You can make interesting boudoir photos by shooting them through a side of the wall, curtains, couches, greenery, or other objects in the space. Let your creativity and imagination run wild and direct the subject towards making those poses meet the definition of sexy in your mind.

20. How to edit boudoir photos?

Editing photos to your specific style is a very personal task, that will be unique to you. That being said the most popular tools for editing are Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to edit boudoir photos. First, straighten up the photo, adjust the exposure, white balance and tones to ensure the skin tones look how you want them, and if necessary, touch up the subject’s skin if you find any minor defects.

21. How to get into boudoir photography?

First, you need to determine what type of boudoir photography you want to do, then figure out where to get those clients. Do market research to find where your potential customers hang out, and offer them a free or discounted rate to build your portfolio and accumulate experiences.

22. How to take tasteful boudoir photos?

Tasteful boudoir photos begin with good space and location. Make sure there are elegant outfit options, robes, and things you can add to the shot. Tell your client to play with her sheets, or ruffle her hair; these are tasteful elements to add to a boudoir photo shoot that can also add playful touches. 

23. How to pose plus size boudoir?

Typically you would direct your subject to move the larger body parts away from the camera to make them appear smaller in size. Avoid facing the camera directly; instead, keep one of the subject’s feet at an angle of 45 degrees with the other placed right in front of it. However, this is not always be best approach. Encourage body positivity and encourage your subject to flaunt their features. This will help your subject feel powerful and attractive in their own skin. This is what boudoir is really about. 

Create your photography website in minutes.