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.
Unique boudoir photo shoot lighting, exposure, and mood.
When setting up a unique boudoir photo shoot, it’s about creating that dramatic look that attractively accentuates your subject. Using the proper lighting can go a long way in bringing out the detail in your subject’s eyes. You can also use a high dynamic range and adjust the shutter speed for a more dramatic effect.
Here are some unique boudoir photo shoot ideas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Black light boudoir photography.
Black light boudoir photography is a great way to get some of your best photos, and it’s easy to do. Black light is a great way to add a touch of glamour and elegance to your boudoir session. It makes everything look fuller, richer, and more beautiful than it ordinarily would be in natural light.
Create a dark room by putting dark curtains over your windows. The curtains will block out the sunlight, allowing you to take amazing photos without any other light source.
Set up your props in advance so you don’t have to worry about them when it’s time to go on location.
Indoor boudoir photography ideas.
One of the most popular types of boudoir photography is indoor. The idea here is to bring your environment and style into the shoot.
There are a number of indoor boudoir photography ideas you’ll want to keep in mind.
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.
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.
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.
Outdoor boudoir ideas.
One of the best places to take boudoir photographs is outdoors. The natural light and breathtaking scenery make for stunning photos that will showcase your subject’s personality in a beautiful way.
At the same time, the sheer beauty of the surroundings will magnify the image even more.
Woods outdoor boudoir photography.
Woods outdoor boudoir photography is perfect during the summer and fall months of the year.
Head out to a forest with leaves falling down from the trees around your subject. Some outdoor boudoir photographs taken with fall leaves are absolutely breathtaking.
Have your subject dress up in flannel and lace jeans and snap some shots of them in the middle of the woods while they are in their bare feet.
Follow these nature boudoir photography ideas for stunning results:
- Create an intimate feel by using trees and other foliage to provide shading while shooting.
- Shoot outside in the forest on uneven ground with soft moss or leaf-covered ground.
- Bring back your childhood memories of playing outdoors by capturing yourself among flowers, berry bushes, colorful leaves, and stalks of wheat.
- Explore the rustic look of nature with photographs up against logs, rocks, old barns, bridges, and anything else that offers texture to your images.
While many boudoir photographers enjoy a studio-style boudoir shoot, beach boudoir is also becoming an increasingly popular choice.
Some beach boudoir photography ideas include long walks on the beach, waves crashing in the background, and close-up shots of bare feet. This causes the images to come to life with a soft, romantic feel.
Another idea for beach boudoir photography is incorporating flowers into your pictures. When choosing what type of flower your subjects want in their photographs, it’s important to know that some flowers are more photogenic than others, such as roses or daisies.
Snow boudoir ideas.
Snow boudoir photography can be a beautiful way to make memories for your subjects and their loved ones, no matter the time of year.
Here are some snow boudoir ideas:
- Take a shot of your subject looking out the window over the snow.
- Have your subject get cozy on a porch swing with their significant other.
- Have your subject try some sexy poses in front of a mirror in the room while admiring the snowy surroundings.
- If you have a really brave model, try getting more adventurous and get them to pose in the snow.
Country-themed boudoir photos.
Country-themed boudoir photos should focus strongly on the landscape and props.
It will look like a dream come true if your subject has horses or livestock. It’s also easy to find props that fit this theme — hay bales, tack, farm equipment, and boots all work great.
You could also choose to shoot on a farm or ranch if you live in an area with farms nearby. If you’re living in an urban setting, take advantage of parks and abandoned buildings. This will add an interesting element of mystery to your photos that’ll make them stand out from the crowd.
Pool boudoir should incorporate the use of water as a backdrop or even part of the photo. It’s super feminine, and the pool can provide some beautiful reflective light. The water should feel soothing, whether it’s a pool or bathtub shot.
For a pool shot outside of the water but still near the pool, you can use some more modern pieces of furniture, such as a white minimalist couch or chair.
Curvy boudoir photography ideas.
There is no one set standard of what beauty should look like, and there are few things more empowering than a woman exploring her sensuality.
Here are some curvy boudoir photography ideas:
- Help boost confidence: If your subject is feeling a bit nervous, it’s best to start with something simple. If they have curves in all of the right places, help them embrace them. Curvy boudoir photography doesn’t have to be full nudity; a lacy G-string and bra, with a sheer robe can add just as much sex appeal as a look that involves more nudity.
- Amp things up: After getting your subject comfortable with her body, it’s time to go for something a little bit more risqué. You can have them wear lace gloves or stockings or have their hair in tight curls. Curvy boudoir photography doesn’t always have to be very revealing if you aren’t comfortable with it; there are other ways to get your message across.
- Get your subject to feel like a goddess: Your final images should reflect how gorgeous your subject looks. Help them feel like a queen by getting creative with their clothing, accessories, and set design. Curvy boudoir photography ideas are about helping women love their bodies and celebrating them in whatever way makes them feel beautiful.
- Capture the right moment: Try to get shots of your subject in an unguarded moment or a playful pose. Curvy boudoir photography ideas are all about letting a woman shine. Whether you’re taking pictures to celebrate a wedding anniversary or for a little bit of fun, curvy boudoir photography can make a woman feel like she’s in charge.
- Capture a subject’s natural beauty: You can always take things up a notch with makeup, but make sure your subject still looks like herself. Don’t go overboard! Curvy boudoir photography is all about celebrating how you see yourself and being proud of it.
It can be a really powerful thing for a woman to celebrate her body in a way that makes her feel beautiful, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Couple boudoir photoshoot ideas.
Several creative couple boudoir photoshoot ideas are more tailored to couples. These often revolve around masculinity and femininity, with photo subjects dressed in different clothing while holding specific props or posing with them.
- One shoot idea is to have the couple wear all white against a pure backdrop, then show off their personality by being humorous or romantic in their poses. This eliminates distractions and puts focus on the subject’s face and body.
- Another idea is to have both subjects wear black and white outfits, in which one partner wears all black and another partner wears all white. In many boudoir shots, particularly from a sensual standpoint, you want to draw focus to each subject’s face.
This can be accomplished by creating an extreme lighting contrast where you emphasize their skin while darkening every other portion of their bodies with makeup or clothing.
- Include candles and roses: Nothing spells out a romantic couple more than having candles and roses as props in the image. While it might take a little more work, you can also use the rose petals alone as props on a bed, along with the subjects.
- Kissing: Displays of kissing and affection are the backbone of couple boudoir photoshoot ideas. Encourage the couple to get playful with each other while you do your work with the camera. Sometimes the moment right before a kiss is the most powerful. Try getting your couples to not kiss each other for the first part of the shoot. This will create a lot of sensual tension between them which will make for really strong emotions and images.
- It’s all about the intimacy: Make sure you’re allowing space for the couple to connect with each other. You can give them guidance for some poses but it’s also a good idea to give them some leeway to just be themselves. Capture that rawness on camera and see how it takes your couple’s boudoir photos to the next level.
Tasteful, classy boudoir photography ideas.
There are countless tasteful, classy boudoir photography ideas. How your subject is positioned in front of the camera matters here.
- In general, avoid poses that put your subject’s head below their waist and any close-ups that make them appear too large. For a couple, you can have him stand behind her so that she feels protected, and he is positioned in such a way that reveals this throughout the shoot.
- For women putting their own twist on classy boudoir photography, try to avoid too much skin. Understandably, boudoir photography is all about confidence in the body, but an ultra-revealing shot doesn’t always make it to the tasteful, classy boudoir photography ideas list.
- Create a unique atmosphere by setting the mood with candles or music in the background. This can help set a romantic tone for the entire shoot. If desired, have your subject invite a few friends over to celebrate with them after the session is over.
- Suggest the right poses: To create a tasteful and classy boudoir image, your subject should typically be in poses that reflect that. Some suggested poses for this are on the knees, laying on the back, legs up against the wall, or simply leaning against the wall.
- Lingerie choices: The right attire will create a tasteful photo. Encourage your subject to bring an assortment of lingerie and help them decide on ones that will look the classiest.
Bridal boudoir photography ideas.
Bridal boudoir photography ideas are becoming more and more popular. The idea of taking bridal boudoir photos is very romantic and intimate. It can also a great way to get some great pictures of your subject and their spouse before they say, “I do!”
- Location: Choose a location significant to your subject and their partner (ex. their home, honeymoon destination). The physical setting of the shoot will be an important part of the experience. It will also help your subjects relax and become more comfortable during the photography session.
- Choose the right props: Use props or backdrops that make sense for the location (ex. chandeliers, flowers). Props might also be location specific. If you’re doing a bridal boudoir photoshoot on the beach, the props should reflect that type of setting.
- Keep it sexy: A boudoir session can be full of emotion for your subjects and lots of fun! Encourage your subjects to get creative with poses and use lingerie, jewelry, or other accessories as props. Make sure to get your female subjects to freshen up her lipstick before posing for shots; ideally the couple spent time with a hair and makeup artist before the session so they look and feel their best.
- Set up an area for wardrobe changes: Boudoir photography requires wardrobe changes and will often involve outfits that are revealing or provocative so it’s important to set up a private area for your subject(s) to change. You can use a curtain or screen as a makeshift dressing room. This can help keep your subjects relaxed, especially if you’re shooting at home.
- Don’t forget to capture hands: The posing may be similar between boudoir photography ideas and other types of portrait shoots, but there are also important differences in terms of the focus and intent. For instance, hands are a very common element in boudoir photography.
Pose your subject’s hand in front of their face, covering one or both eyes (ex. pushing hair back from their face). Remember to keep your subject’s hands relaxed. This will add an element of softness and sensuality in a very simple and understated way. When done well it’s not something people will automatically notice, but if the hands look rigid or strained in the photos, that will stand out (not in a good way).
Sexy boudoir photoshoot ideas.
If you want your subjects to feel beautiful and powerful, you have to help them get in touch with the sexy side of themselves.
- Barstool: The barstool can make for an extremely sexy prop for a boudoir photoshoot. You can either have the subject standing in front of the bar stool or sitting on it. While this prop seems minimal, it can have the photo standing out with elegance and uniqueness.
- Beds and roses: Have your subject set up a living room-style photo shoot in the bedroom with candles, roses, and pillows on the bed. In addition to this, have them bring red lingerie along with them. This works especially well if it’s a Valentine’s Day boudoir photoshoot.
- Bathtub with bubbles: This sexy boudoir photoshoot idea might require a little more confidence than some of the other options, but it’s one that spells confidence and boldness. The more vintage and unique the bathtub, the better the effect. Clawfoot bathtubs are trendy throughout the boudoir industry due to their size and shape.
- Nude in nature: This is another sexy idea that requires a bit of confidence, but it will have your subjects feeling liberated once the photoshoot is done. Consider going to a private, wooded area or field on a warm day and taking some shots with the sun glistening.
- Allow your subject to be themselves. The whole point of boudoir photography is that it’s a way for women to be proud of who they are and how they look. Suggest your subjects let their hair down, remove their clothes, and show off their body. Encourage them to take control of the situation by taking charge of their own self-image.
With enough preparation, patience, and understanding between the two of you, anyone can do a boudoir shoot and come away feeling empowered and satisfied!