female lying on bed boudoir Photo by Thiago Rebouças on Unsplash

Boudoir Photography: How to Prepare Your First Boudoir Session?

February 16, 2023

Preparing for a boudoir session can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it's essential to get your head around the various elements of your boudoir photo shoot before you have your first session.

Learning as much as possible is key to obtaining a great image and giving yourself the best chance of capturing what you want. This article will outline some key points to consider when preparing for your first boudoir session.

What is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography is a cross between fashion portraiture and glamor photography. Boudoir is a French word generally used to describe a woman's private dressing room or sitting room. Boudoir shoots are typically reserved for women, but men can also participate.

boudoir photo of a woman's playing her hair

Photo by Luke Jeremiah on Unsplash

The subjects wear lingerie, robes, or other intimate apparel and are typically photographed in seductive poses. The point of boudoir photography is to capture the subject's sensuality and femininity and to create alluring and empowering images.

Boudoir photography has become increasingly popular recently as more women embrace their sexuality and celebrate their bodies. The rise of social media has also helped promote boudoir photography, as people can share their photos with a wider audience.

Equipment for a Boudoir Session

You'll need a few critical pieces of equipment for a successful boudoir photo session.

girl lying on sofa

Photo by kayvan jabbarian on Unsplash

Boudoir Shoot Gear


When choosing a camera for boudoir photography, you will need a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

Some of the best cameras are the Sony a7R III, the Nikon D850, and the Canon EOS R. They are small, light, and modern, with excellent autofocus and high ISO performance.


It would be best if you had clear lenses that have fantastic bokeh and let in a lot of light. A lens between 35mm and 85mm is suitable.

close-up boudoir photo of women lying on bed

Photo by kayvan jabbarian on Unsplash

For example,

  • Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM Lens. It's an inexpensive, fast, and sharp lens that will let in a lot of light.
  • Nikon Nikkor Z 85mmf/1.8s. This is a bit more expensive, but it's an excellent lens. The focal length is perfect for portraits, and the bokeh is fantastic.
  • Mitakon 35mm f/0.95. It's an excellent choice if you want a fast, wide-aperture lens. Its length is perfect for environmental portraits or full-body shots.
  • Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 standard lens is light, compact, and has a great focus.


Good lighting is essential for any photography, but it is vital in boudoir photography. The proper lighting can distinguish between a sensual and romantic image and a harsh and unflattering one.

charming woman sittign on sofa with window lighting on face

Photo by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

There are many different ways to light a boudoir session, but some of the most popular methods include using softbox lights, umbrellas, and diffusers.

  • Softbox lights create a soft, diffused light. This is an excellent option for boudoir photography, as it can help to minimize shadows and create a flattering, romantic look.
  • Umbrellas can create a soft, diffused, or more directional light, depending on their position.
  • Diffusers are a great way to soften the light from any artificial light source, such as a softbox or umbrella. They can be placed between the light source and the subject or between the subject and the camera to help reduce shadows and create a more flattering light.

Props and Accessories

Props and accessories can help to set the mood and create a certain atmosphere for the boudoir session. They can also help the subject to feel more comfortable and to feel more like a model or a star. Some common props and accessories used in boudoir photography include:


They add a touch of romance and femininity to the shoot. Roses are a popular choice, but any flower can be used. You can spread flowers around you, place them in your hair, or hold them in your hands.

woman sitting on floor with flowers in hands

Photo by Samanta Sokolova on Unsplash

Blankets and throws

Blankets and throws can be draped over furniture or hung on walls to create a backdrop for the images. They can also cover the floor or bed or create a cozy nest for the model to lounge in.


You can use ladders to create different looks, such as a sultry and smoldering image, by having your client pose on the ladder. You can also use ladders to add variety to your client's wardrobe by draping fabric over the rungs or using the ladder to hang clothing.

Hats and headbands

You can wear hats and headbands during a boudoir session to enhance the style and character of the photos. For example, a lacy headband can add a touch of elegance, while a straw hat can give the images a more playful feel.


Heels can help elongate the legs and make the subject appear more confident and powerful. When selecting heels for a boudoir session, it is important to ensure they are comfortable, as the subject will likely wear them for an extended time.

woman in black and touching her ankle

Photo by Simone Perrone on Unsplash


Adding some elegant earrings, a bracelet, or even a necklace can help create a truly stunning and one-of-a-kind look for your photos. A necklace is perfect for drawing attention to your neck and shoulders. Or, if you want to add a touch of glamor to your photos, then some sparkly earrings or a bracelet would be ideal.

Preparation Checklist for Your Client

Preparing for your boudoir session should be an exciting and fun experience. Here is a checklist to help you achieve an extraordinary boudoir session:

Self-care: This is your time to relax and pamper yourself! Get a manicure and pedicure, shave your legs, and take care of any other beauty treatments you want to do.

woman lying on bed by putting her legs on wall

Photo by Simone Perrone on Unsplash

Outfit: Choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and sexy. If you're not sure what to wear, your photographer can help you choose the perfect outfit or outfits for your session.

Hair: Style your hair in a way that makes you feel fabulous! If you're unsure what to do, consider hiring a professional hair stylist to help you achieve the perfect look.

Tips for Stunning Boudoir Shoot

1. Let Your Subject Communicate Their Vision

You need to be open to hearing what they want and then translating that into amazing images. Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street.

In addition to letting your subject communicate their vision, you must be clear about your vision for the shoot. This helps ensure that you're all on the same page and everyone is happy with the results.

2. Bringing the Right Wardrobe

female  looking herself in mirror with lace dress

Photo by Simone Perrone on Unsplash

Clothing can make or break a shoot, so choosing items complimenting their body type and making them feel confident is essential. Lace and satin are always good choices, but don't be afraid to experiment with different fabrics and cuts.

3. Choose a Good Location for Your Boudoir Shoot

Here are things to consider when choosing a location for your boudoir shoot.

  • Ensure the space is private and comfortable for you and your client. A hotel room or Airbnb is a great option for this.
  • Consider the lighting in the space. Natural light is always best, so a room with many windows is ideal.
  • Think about the background and how it will complement the shoot's mood. A plain white wall or a cozy bed can be a great option.
  • Ensure you and your client are on the same page about the location before the shoot. This will help the process go smoothly and ensure everyone is happy with the results.

4. Shoot from a Distance to Avoid Distortion

For example, if you're shooting a full-length photo, stand far enough away from your subject so that their body appears in proportion.

5. Use Different Poses

attrative women keel sittign on bed

Photo by Simone Perrone on Unsplash

The pose is one of the most important aspects of a stunning boudoir photo. Be sure to experiment with various poses to find the ones that flatter your subject the most. Have your subject try different positions and angles until you find the perfect one.

Some of the poses you can try are;

 Hands up Fixing Hair

This pose is great for showing off your subject's curves and adding a bit of sultriness to the photo. To achieve this pose, have your subject raise their arms above their head and fix their hair. They can then lower their arms and place them on their hips.

 Sitting on the Edge of the Bed

woman holding a grass of wine by sitting on the bed edge

Photo by Shchus on shutterstock

Have your client sit on the edge of the bed with their legs crossed to strike this pose. Then, they can put their hands behind their backs or thighs.

 Laying on the Bed

Your client lies on the bed with their legs slightly apart to achieve this pose. They can hold their arms at their sides or above their heads.

 Kneeling Pose

Have your subject kneel on the bed with their legs slightly apart. They can place their arms behind their back or keep them at their sides.

 Sitting on a Stool, Leaning Forward

woman sitting on chair and holding a white sheet in front of her

Photo by Simone Perrone on Unsplash

Pose your subjects, so their legs are slightly apart while sitting on a stool or chair. Afterward, they can lean forward and rest their arms on their thighs.

6. Avoid Empty Expressions

Lastly, capture your subject's emotions and expressions to create stunning photos. You can do this by having them think about something that makes them feel happy, sexy, or confident.

You can also try using prompts to get them to express a particular emotion. For example, you can ask them to pretend they're in a romantic situation or to think about something that makes them feel sexy.


Boudoir photography is a type of art that many women want to embrace new attitudes toward body image by capturing their sensuality and personality. With this said, we hope this article helps gives you an idea of what is involved in a boudoir photography session.

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