Boudoir photography is growing in popularity rapidly, and it's not hard to see why: it can boost confidence like crazy and can be a very empowering and liberating experience. A lot of women think that they can't do boudoir photography, however. They think that they're too big, too old, too awkward, not pretty enough, etc, but that's just not the case. Absolutely anyone on the planet can do boudoir, it's all about getting the right lighting, angles, lingerie and photographer. No matter what stage you are on your body positive journey, doing a boudoir shoot can help boost your confidence! Here are my steps to having a successful and awesome boudoir shoot:
1. Choose A Good Photographer
When choosing a photographer, be sure you get to see their portfolio so you can choose one whose style you want to be shot in, and don't be afraid to ask for references. Talking to their former clients can help you to decide whether or not they're the photographer for you. Some other good questions to ask are, "Do you have a lot of experience shooting boudoir?", "When will I get my images back?" and "How many images can I expect to get?" Some photographers take a lot longer than others to give you your pictures, so these questions are especially important if you're looking to do something special with these photos (like give them as a gift to a significant other!) by a certain date.
2. Buy Yourself A Killer New Outfit
Treat yourself to some new lingerie! Nothing makes me feel more glamorous and goddess-like than a new silk chemise or sheer robe. Whenever I do boudoir shoots, I buy new lingerie specifically for the shoot. It makes the shoot feel more special than using items I already have, and who doesn't want an excuse to go lingerie shopping? My favorite items are Kixies thigh-highs, which, magically, don't roll down my enormous thighs like other thigh-highs do, and Coquette brand lingerie. I'm a size 22, and Coquette seems to be cut bigger to fit me well. If you're plus size, buying lingerie can be a nightmare. The only brick-and-mortar plus size lingerie store is located in Silicon Valley, and if you don't happen to live there, ordering online is probably your best option. I get a lot of my lingerie through Curvy Girl Lingerie; they're more than willing to accept phone calls to their store when I have sizing/fit questions on a piece, and they have an exchange policy so I can try something different if a piece doesn't happen to work out for me. Lingerie gives me the confidence I need to look and feel great in boudoir photos, and it's an absolute staple in my wardrobe.
Pamper yourself before the big shoot. Get your nails done, maybe have your hair and makeup professionally done if you feel like it, take a candlelit bath or a nice hot shower, etc. Making yourself feel beautiful will help to relax you about the whole thing. If you're nervous or uncomfortable, it'll show in the pictures, so do what you have to do for yourself to feel comfortable and at ease. During the shoot, request to have your favorite music playing. That always gets me in the right mindset and relaxes me enough to let loose and enjoy myself!
4. Trust Your Photographer
Choose a good photographer and trust them. If you've chosen to work with a good, professional photographer, don't worry or feel self-conscious about them seeing your body. Relax. They're not critiquing you, they're looking at your body like art and figuring out how to capture the best lighting and angles to really show it off. If they pose you in a way that feel awkward or unnatural, trust them- it probably looks amazing on camera.
5. Listen To Your Gut
Go into this with a clear idea of the kind of photos you want and how much skin you'd like to show. If your photographer wants you to show more skin than you're comfortable showing, or wants you to pose in ways that you don't feel comfortable posing, don't! Remember that you're in control, this is YOUR shoot and you call the shots! If at any point you're feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, don't be afraid to tell the photographer or leave. This should be a fun and empowering experience for you!
Boudoir shoots can help boost confidence and empower people of all sizes, ages, abilities and shapes. I highly recommend finding a good photographer with references and a credible portfolio, then trusting them to do their job. Pamper yourself before the shoot so you're relaxed, treat yourself to some new lingerie, and remember to stick to your boundaries. You're the one in control. If you follow these simple tips, you're sure to get some killer images and have a blast doing your boudoir shoot!