The word “boudoir” – pronounced “bu-dwah” – originates from the French meaning for a lady’s private rooms and the “private” entertaining done there. How it came to be associated with photography is anybody’s guess, but we’ll leave it there. Mention the phrase “boudoir photography” to most people today and you’ll probably get a request to pronounce it again (with a look of confusion). Explain it as intimate, sensual photography for women and more than likely you’ll get a slow look of understanding (followed with a little blush). If you’re a modern day bride, chances are you know exactly what it is and might even have a plan for a session of your own.
Who is boudoir photography for?
In a nutshell, boudoir photography is for all women, but has become especially popular with brides looking for the perfect groom’s gift. If you’ve racked your brain trying to come up with something he’ll adore, won’t put at the back of the closet after a week, and will create an amazing memory – boudoir photos might just be it. The bonus for you is that you’ll spend a day being pampered, catered to, and fussed over. All in beautiful lingerie and clothing you’ve picked just for your session. The outcome will be classy, sexy, yet provocative images to share on your wedding day with the one you love.
Boudoir photos are the ultimate gift for a bride looking to express her affection and playfulness for her soon-to-be other half. It’s also a great way to boost self-confidence and have a day away from wedding planning, per se, to focus just on you. Do you realize how much fun this is, too? If you’re overwhelmed with wedding details and worried about whether your day will come together after all the planning you’ve done…worry no more. A boudoir session is a great way to release a lot of pent up pre-wedding feelings and emotions and let it all go (at least for the day!). Chances are your photographer has worked with a few brides along the way and will be able to calm your nerves and reassure you that all will be well…with a stunningly sexy set of images to hand over at the end of it all.
How do I find a boudoir photographer?
Ask your wedding photographer! If this is not something they offer as part of their services, without a doubt they know someone. Also, check with your friends (especially your married friends!). Chances are you know someone who has already done this or they know someone who has. Word of mouth referrals, as with many things, is a great way to start. You want to hear first-hand details of someone else’s experience to get an idea as to whether that photographer might work for you. Also, as with all photography, you want to make sure your photographer has experience, skills, and a portfolio to stand behind. Boudoir photography is a very specialized niche. It takes a good eye and knowledge to know how to pose women and since we all come in different shapes and sizes, not every pose works for every woman. Coaching and posing instruction are key to a successful session. You’ll want someone you feel comfortable with, as well. Ask for a pre-session consult.
I want to book. Now what?
If you have a consult or are confident enough in your photographer’s services and portfolio to forego one, how do you get booked? More than likely you’ll need to put down a retainer, book 3-6 weeks in advance (minimum) and take a look at a choice of packages and/or products. Some photographers offer pre-set packages and some offer a sitting fee with products on an ala carte menu. A few things to keep in mind when making your agreement: a deadline to have your product in-hand, the package price and products you are purchasing, and a confidentiality agreement to detail how your images may be used (or not) by the photographer. Also, does your boudoir photographer work with a professional makeup artist? Hair and makeup are one of those things that take these images to the “next level” and shouldn’t be minimized.
Saucy or sexy, glam or natural…make it a fantastic session and enjoy the experience! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to do it again!
Words and photos by Cindy Alderton of Heart of Boudoir Photography – Sexy, intimate, and beautiful photography for women. Heart of Boudoir Photography is located in historic downtown Frederick, MD, and serves women from all over the metropolitan area, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania.