How to Prepare for Your Boudoir Photography Session – Part 1

You’ve booked your sexy photo session and then it hits you…. what in the world do I bring? What do I wear? What about Make-up? My hair?

I know these thoughts are racing through the minds of our clients the moment they make that decision to finally book their boudoir session.  At my Studio we want our models to come in and have a face to face planning meeting.  With everyone living such busy lives this isn’t always possible and for those of you who live in some far off part of the world I thought it might be helpful to give you a bunch of professional tips. Having worked with fashion models, entertainers, movie stars and the professionals who style and dress them for almost my entire career I can assure you there are quite a few tips that can make or break a photo session.

First and foremost you need to give some thought to the basic idea – “What Image Do You Want to Project in your Portraits”? Are you wanting images that are going to impress your sweetheart or images that are more for YOU? Women see sexy as more a state of mind with the photographs being more about what is hidden rather than revealed. Women think of sexy as more romantic such as a place, the smell, the mystery, and even the taste. The male point of view is much more visual. The man is looking forward to seeing the graceful curves, the pouty red lips, the shapely legs. With this in mind you need to think about and then communicate your ultimate goal to your Photographer.

Talented “beauty” photographers will know how to capture you looking either more mysterious or more bold.

Your next assignment is to size up your strengths and weaknesses with regard to your appearance.  Everyone has one or two exceptional feature and others have quite a few.  Just about every woman has looked in the mirror and said to herself  “I have really nice ……… “.  No matter what – you always play up your assets and play down your weakness. This is the entire premise behind make-up. Make-up by definition is making up for something missing.  Don’t fight the facts.  Keep it simple for both you and your Photographer.

Let’s talk some specifics.

  • You need to decide and communicate how much skin you want to show in your boudoir portraits. Perhaps you simply want beautiful close-up headshots. Or maybe a collection of  photos of your legs in pinup style stockings and garter. At my studio we have quite a number of ladies who want portraits of them in just a man’s dress shirt and tie or their sweetheart’s football jersey. There is no limit or rule as to how much skin you must show in a sexy portrait. The sky’s the limit! My only caution is that you need to try to explore outside your “comfort zone”. Many of the best portraits I have done are when my model took a chance. Tell your Photographer what you’re looking for and let him/her make suggestions and recommendations.
  • Now it’s time to look through your closet to see what “looks” you can put together. 80% of my Clients will do some or a lot of shopping to find the right wardrobe selections. Just remember that best wardrobe might be right there in your chest-of-drawers or in your man’s closet. Be creative with possibilities and be open minded. Once again try to explore outside of your comfort zone.
  • With most photo sessions you are going to want to go a bit over-the-top. In other words you’ll want to be more bold – more colorful- more daring than you might ordinarily be accustomed to. Your black lingerie might be OK but how about trying crimson or fuchsia? Soft pink lipstick is pretty but maybe it’s time to try Ferrari Red! This photo session is going to be a big deal for you. There is no better time to treat yourself to playing “dress up”. I always tell my Clients to bring anything and everything that is a possibility. We’ll spend the first 60 minutes after they arrive for their photo session just looking through wardrobe selections. YOU CAN’T BRING TOO MANY CHOICES.
  • Some clients ask me if my studio provides wardrobe and lingerie,etc. Although we do have lots and lots of lingerie I strongly urge ALL clients to bring their own wardrobe. Boudoir sessions are all about You and Your personality and taste. Not to mention that every woman is a different size and shape. Wearing something from our studio’s wardrobe is only a last resort or if we see the “perfect” opportunity.

This article is beginning to get a bit long.   Make sure to come back and check out my my next article –  I’ll be expanding on how to prepare for your Boudoir Photography Session including tips on Make-up/Hair Style and some very specific wardrobe suggestions.

Live – Love – Laugh


Don Sparks – senior Photographer –

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