In my last article I talked a lot about planning your wardrobe and opening a dialogue with your Photographer. Now I want to go into more detail with suggestions on quite a number of tips and “tricks of the trade” that can (and will) make you look your very best in your Boudoir Portraits. It’s time to pack your bag… here are some suggestions on what to bring (and what stuff to leave at home).
I know you’ve heard this upcoming recommendation before but in my opinion this is the grand daddy of all the Tips and Tricks in Portrait Photography. Here it is – Dark Clothing makes things look smaller and Light Clothing makes things look bigger. No matter how simple and boring that may sound it is quite often the difference between a great photograph and one that goes immediately into the trash! I harp on this basic principle time and time again in my Articles because it is SO important.
Let me just give a few examples. If you want your waist to look as small as possible in a photograph you do not wear light colors at or near your waist. This means no white jeans, no pink panties, no light colored belts or scarves tied at your waist. Light colors expand and are usually a no no. Now with this same principle if you want to look 1 or 2 cup sizes bigger in the bosom then yes you would wear a light colored bra. Following this concept – dark colors shrink and hide whatever they touch. Just about everyone knows that wearing black makes you appear thinner and slimmer.
Now let’s move on to a few magical tricks to help you plan your Boudoir Session. Many of my models want to look more curvy. One of my favorite suggestions is for my models to wear a bra that is 1-2 cup sizes smaller than you normally wear. I know this may seem obvious but by wearing the smaller bra there will be a lot more skin showing and with the right pose and angle this can do wonders. With this same basic idea, wearing a thong or booty shorts will show more skin – giving you more curves. Continuing with this “Big vs Small” premise if you want your feet to appear smaller you would wear a shoe that is a size big on you. Toes hanging out the end of a pair open toed heels does not flatter!
As you collect your wardrobe selections don’t forget the basics that could come in handy in just about any beauty photo session. These include the infamous “push-up” bra, high heels, false eyelashes, bright colored lipsticks, stockings & garters, fantasy costumes, way too short skirts, your sweethearts button down shirt with his favorite tie, etc. In general the idea here is so be sexy and to show off your figure. Skimpy, tight, lacy, dark solid colored wardrobe will be best in 90% of all photo sessions. Patterns such as florals and stripes do not usually flatter the model unless you are very slim and rather tall.
I just stated that “tight” is good. Snug or form fitting might be more to the point but there are several things that should not be too tight. For example if you wear stockings and a garter for that retro pinup look make sure the stockings fit snug but DO NOT dig into your thighs. This is never flattering! Another TOO TIGHT no no is a bra that’s too small in the straps. You Do want the cup small to push you up and out but you DO NOT want the straps digging into your back and shoulders. Make sure to try on your wardrobe and watch for unpleasant bulges.
Here’s another Big Tip! Come to your photo session wearing loose clothing and loose fitting undies. Tight jeans, sock elastics, bra straps, pantie waistbands, and the like take forever to go away.
Delicate – strappy – high heels are a must for everyone. That tall heel adds a few inches to the shape and line of your legs for an amazing look. Just make sure these high heels are delicate and NOT big and clunky. If your shoes are rather bulky they will make your feet look big. Don’t forget the darker colors will also make your feet smaller and thus show off your legs.
Make sure to bring along props and accessories. Must haves are ear rings, bracelets, and jewelry. Long gloves for that classic pinup are very cool. Cute sexy dress up costumes are very popular. Hats, scarves, feathery nightgowns, fluffy heart shaped pillows, red satin sheets, etc. The more choices the better for you and your Photographer to create super sexy and personal portraits. This is your photo session and it should be all about you and your unique beauty.
Make-up is a big part of any portrait photography and a must for Boudoir Photography. In future articles I will talk in detail about make-up and hair style tips. For now I simply want you to make sure you are comfortable with some eye makeup and some color on your lips. Plus for the best results, false eyelashes are fantastic !!! With Beauty Photography this is the time to pamper yourself with a Professional Make-up Artist. Not only will having a professional apply your make-up make you feel special (and beautiful) but the results will be astonishing. If you are god at make-up or on a budget simply make sure to have color on your eye lids, mascara on your lashes and color (and some gloss) on your lips. Red or bright pink lipstick is a favorite at my studio.
Many of our models have questions about getting a suntan or visiting a tanning bed before their photo session. We recommend a light natural suntan or a professionally applied chemical tan. Just make sure you DO NOT get a sunburn. Red sunburned skin is almost impossible to make pretty in photography. The suntan is not necessary – Your Photographer is going to be able to add a golden warmth to your skin-tone with lighting and computer enhancements.
Lastly I want to see that having Boudoir Portraits is an “experience”. The very best beauty Photographers are going to pamper you – guide you – make you feel beautiful. Make sure to bring along your favorite music (on CD or iPod), bring a bottle of wine, your comfy silk robe to relax in while having your make-up applied. These things are going to make you more comfortable and relaxed. Enjoy the experience and try some things that are outside your comfort zone.
Have Fun and Experience Sexy !!!
All My Best,