What is Boudoir Photography? Everything You Need to Know

In the world of photography, numerous styles, and genres cater to various preferences and desires. One such genre that has gained popularity over the years is “Boudoir Photography.”

Boudoir photography is a tasteful and intimate form that captures a subject’s beauty, sensuality, and vulnerability, typically focusing on women but not limited to them.

boudoir photography

In this article, we will explore what boudoir photography entails, its purpose, differences from glamour photography, what to expect during a boudoir photoshoot, safety considerations, and tips for starting a boudoir photography business, as well as how to take boudoir pictures with your phone.

What is Boudoir?

The word “Boudoir” originally comes from French origin, referring to a private space where a woman can retire for relaxation and self-reflection.
Over time, the term has evolved to hold a style of photography that desires to capture a subject’s most private and sensual moments.

Boudoir photography is about empowering the subject and celebrating their beauty and confidence. It embraces vulnerability and strives to create images that make the subject feel empowered and comfortable in their skin.

What is the Purpose of Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photoshoots have several purposes and can be a unique and empowering experience for the subject. Some common reasons for engaging in a boudoir photoshoot include:

1. Boosting Self-Confidence:

Boudoir photography allows individuals to see themselves in a new light, embracing their bodies and appreciating their unique features. It can help boost self-confidence and promote a positive body image.

2. Celebrating Milestones:

People choose Boudoir photo shoots to celebrate significant events like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or personal achievements. These photos serve as a timeless reminder of these events.

3. Intimate Gifts:

Boudoir photographs can be a thoughtful and intimate gift for a partner, especially during special occasions like anniversaries or Valentine’s Day.

4. Empowerment:

Participating in a boudoir photoshoot can be an empowering experience, allowing individuals to express their sensuality and embrace their unique identity.

What is the Difference Between Glamour and Boudoir Photography?

Though boudoir and glamour photography share some similarities, they are distinct in their focus and approach.

Boudoir Photography:

Boudoir photography emphasizes intimacy and vulnerability. The images captured are often more private and suggestively sensual. The setting is typically a bedroom or a cozy, intimate space.

Boudoir photography

The subject’s natural beauty is emphasized, with minimal retouching to maintain authenticity.

Glamour Photography:

Glamour photography, on the other hand, focuses on showcasing the subject’s allure and beauty with a touch of sophistication. The images may be more polished and stylized, often featuring high-fashion elements.

glamour photography

Glamour photography is more about creating a glamorous and idealized version of the subject.

While both styles celebrate beauty and confidence, boudoir photography is more private, while glamour photography leans towards a more stylized and glamorous portrayal.

What to Expect at a Boudoir Photoshoot?

Before a boudoir photoshoot, you must communicate with the photographer to understand what to expect and ensure you feel comfortable. Here’s an overview of what typically happens during a boudoir photoshoot:

1. Pre-Shoot Consultation:

A pre-shoot consultation is crucial to discuss the vision and expectations for the photoshoot. This is an opportunity to address any concerns, discuss wardrobe choices, and set the tone for the shoot.

2. Professional Hair and Makeup:

Most boudoir photoshoots include professional hair and makeup services to enhance the subject’s natural beauty and create a polished look that complements the chosen wardrobe.

3. Wardrobe Selection:

The subject will typically bring a variety of outfits to the photo shoot, ranging from lingerie and sensual dresses to other attire that reflects their personality and preferences.

4. Posing Guidance:

During the photoshoot, the photographer will provide guidance on posing and expressions to capture the most flattering and empowering shots.

5. Comfort and Consent:

A reputable boudoir photographer will prioritize the subject’s comfort and ensure they feel safe and respected. Consent is paramount, and the subject should feel free to express any boundaries or discomfort.

6. Editing and Final Images:

After the shoot, the photographer selects and edits the best images to ensure a polished and stunning final product. The subject will typically be able to review and choose the photos they wish to keep.

Is Boudoir Photography Safe?

Safety and comfort should always be a top priority during any photography session, especially intimate ones like boudoir photography. Take into account the following to guarantee a safe experience:

1. Choose a Reputable Photographer:

Do thorough research before selecting a boudoir photographer. Look for reviews, testimonials, and examples of their previous work to ensure they have a professional and respectful approach.

2. Communication and Boundaries:

A good photographer will always communicate openly with the subject, establish boundaries, and seek consent throughout the shoot.

3. Chaperone Option:

If it makes you feel more comfortable, inquire about having a friend or partner accompany you to the photo shoot.

4. Private Setting:

Ensure the photoshoot takes place in a private and comfortable setting, such as a studio or a rented space.

5. Signed Agreement:

Sign an agreement highlighting the photo shoot’s terms and conditions, including image usage rights and privacy concerns.

Taking these precautions can make boudoir photography a safe and empowering experience for all involved.

How Many Outfits for Boudoir Photography?

The number of outfits you should bring to a boudoir photoshoot depends on your chosen package and the time allocated for the session. You may want to consider the following as a general guideline:

1. Three to Four Outfits:

Bringing three to four outfits is a good starting point. This allows for a variety of looks and styles during the photoshoot.

2. A mix of Styles:

Include a mix of styles and outfits that reflect your personality and comfort level. Consider lingerie, a casual yet sexy outfit, and something glamorous or elegant.

3. Accessories:

Remember to bring accessories like jewelry, scarves, or props that might add a personal touch to your photos.

Remember that the number of outfits can vary depending on the photographer and the package you opt for, so discussing wardrobe options during the pre-shoot consultation is essential.

Why Are Boudoir Photos So Expensive?

The cost of a boudoir photoshoot can vary depending on factors like the photographer’s experience, location, the duration of the session, and the products included in the package. Some reasons why boudoir photography might seem expensive include the following:

1. Professional Services:

A reputable boudoir photographer often invests in professional-grade camera equipment, lighting, and editing software to ensure high-quality results.

2. Experience and Expertise:

Experienced boudoir photographers possess a unique skill set to make their clients feel comfortable and confident during the shoot, resulting in exceptional images.

3. Pre-Shoot Preparation:

The photographer’s time and effort go beyond the actual photoshoot, including pre-shoot consultations, wardrobe guidance, and image selection.

4. Professional Hair and Makeup:

Many boudoir packages include professional hair and makeup services, which add to the overall cost.

5. Editing and Retouching:

Post-processing and retouching are essential to create polished and flattering images, which requires additional time and expertise.

While boudoir photography may seem expensive compared to standard portrait sessions, the experience, empowerment, and cherished memories it provides are often well worth the investment.

How Long Do Boudoir Photography Sessions Last?

The duration of a boudoir photoshoot can vary depending on the photographer’s package options and the complexity of the session. On average, a boudoir photoshoot can last from 1 to 3 hours. This time includes hair and makeup preparation, wardrobe changes, posing guidance, and breaks if needed.

Some photographers offer shorter mini-sessions, which may last around 30 minutes to an hour, while others offer extended sessions for a more comprehensive experience. The duration is typically discussed and agreed upon during the pre-shoot consultation.

How to Start a Boudoir Photography Business?

Starting a boudoir photography business requires careful planning, dedication, and creativity. To get you started, follow these steps:

1. Gain Experience and Skills:

Start by gaining experience in portrait photography and specializing in boudoir through workshops, online courses, or mentorship with established boudoir photographers.

2. Create a Portfolio:

Build a strong portfolio by conducting photoshoots with friends or volunteer models. Showcase a diverse range of styles and body types to attract potential clients.

3. Set Up a Professional Website:

Make a business website with your portfolio, services, costs, and contact details. Utilize social media channels to market your business and draw in new customers.

4. Invest in Quality Equipment:

Search for essential features when buying a camera, and invest in a high-quality camera, lenses, lighting equipment, and editing software to produce stunning images.

5. Focus on Marketing:

Create a marketing plan to connect with your target audience. Consider collaborations with local businesses and offering special promotions to attract clients.

6. Pricing and Packages:

Determine your pricing structure and create packages to cater to various client needs and budgets.

7. Client Experience:

Focus on creating a positive and empowering client experience, ensuring your clients feel comfortable and valued.

8. Legal and Administrative Considerations:

Register your business, obtain any necessary permits, and secure liability insurance to protect yourself and your clients.

Starting a boudoir photography business requires persistence and dedication, but with a passion for empowering others through photography, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding venture.

How to Take Boudoir Pictures with a Phone?

Taking boudoir pictures with your phone is possible, especially with the advancement of smartphone camera technology. While it may not replace the expertise of a professional boudoir photographer, you can still capture intimate and tasteful shots with these tips:

1. Good Lighting:

Ensure you have ample natural light or use soft, diffused artificial lighting to avoid harsh shadows and create a flattering look.

2. Clean Background:

To retain the audience’s attention on the subject, choose a background that is clear of distractions.

3. Use Portrait Mode:

If your phone has a portrait mode, use it to create a shallow depth of field which helps to blur the background and make the subject stand out.

4. Find Flattering Angles:

Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering ones for the subject.

5. Editing Apps:

Use editing apps to enhance the images, adjust brightness and contrast, and apply filters for a polished look.

6. Respect Privacy:

If you’re taking pictures of someone else, always respect their privacy and seek consent before taking intimate shots.

Remember, while smartphone cameras have come a long way, they have limitations compared to professional cameras. Hire a professional boudoir photographer for the best results and a more comprehensive experience.


In conclusion, boudoir photography is an art form that celebrates beauty, empowerment, and intimacy. It offers a transformative experience for clients, empowering them to celebrate events, express their sensuality, and cherish timeless memories. While professional boudoir photographers provide a safe and respectful environment for the photo shoot, individuals can also explore capturing boudoir-like images with their smartphones.

Whether you’re considering participating in a boudoir photoshoot or starting a boudoir photography business, the key is approaching it with respect, professionalism, and understanding its significance for those involved.

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