The Secrets of Successful Boudoir Photography
Portrait photography is a collaborative art between photographer and sitter, and never more so than when it comes to boudoir photography.
…your model’s checklist
Expectations are high and your subject wants to look beautiful and glamorous in her special pictures. Of course, part of that will be down to your skill as a photographer but just as important is your model’s preparation for the shoot. And few small details can make all the difference to the outcome…
It’s hardly rocket science, but a woman who feels prepared and looking her best will be more relaxed when it comes to the actual shoot. And if your subject’s feeling good about herself, it will show in the pictures. Conversely, if she’s nervous or tired or overly self-conscious, it makes the photographer’s job that much harder.
So from your point of view, as the photographer, it makes sense to ensure your sitter has done everything she can to prepare for the shoot. Our suggestion is that as soon as the session is booked, you give her this handy list of tips to make herself photo-ready. Then she’ll arrive on the day looking gorgeous and the camera will fall in love with her.
Preparing yourself for boudoir photography:
• Book a hair appointment a few days before the shoot to make sure your hair colour and cut is exactly as you like it.
• If you want to appear tanned in your pictures, be aware that the camera can make you look more orange than you appear in real life. Book your fake tan several days before the shoot and make sure it’s done by a professional – you should be aiming for sun-kissed, not sun-blasted.
• Avoid crash dieting in the lead up to your shoot – it’s more likely to make you look tired and haggard than super slim and sexy.
• But do work out – if you can improve your muscle tone just a little, it can work wonders for your picture. In fact, working out the morning of your shoot will help your muscles look more defined later in the day.
• Make sure your teeth are looking as clean and as bright as they possibly can, even if this means booking a trip to the hygienist.
• Drink plenty of water in the few days leading up to the shoot: your skin will look soft and hydrated and it can help minimise dark rings under the eyes.
• Book a manicure and pedicure for the day before the shoot. Even the most perfect model can be let down by broken nails or chipped nail polish. A simple French manicure will look most classy; or choose fiery red for ultimate sex appeal.
• Go to bed early for a few days. Looking well rested rather than tired is incredibly important. If you arrive looking tired, you’ll end up looking older in your photos.
• On the day of your session dress in your loosest clothing and, if possible, wear little or no underwear – the red elastic marks left by bras and pants won’t fade and they’re the last thing you want to see in your picture.
• Book a professional make-up artist, or ask your photographer to organise one for the shoot. Making up for a photographic shoot has different requirements to the sort of make-up you wear on a daily basis and is best done by a pro. Things like false eye lashes that might look over the top on an ordinary day can make your eyes look fantastic in a picture.
• Be careful what you eat during the 24 hours before the shoot. If certain foods make you bloat, avoid them – and avoid alcohol for the same reason.
• Choose a selection of sexy lingerie to take to the shoot, along with jewellery and any other accessories that might prove useful – gloves, high heels and boots, hair accessories or a hat…
• Practical items such as a robe, moisturiser for your body, a hairbrush or comb, extra make-up, a snack and some water. Also, why not bring a CD of your favourite chill-out music – anything that helps you feel more relaxed in front of the camera has to be a good thing.
• Remind your photographer to make sure the studio is warm enough for you – goose bumps are not a good look for a glamorous photo!
If your model follows most of these suggestions, the session should turn out to be relaxed and fun. Make her feel like a million dollars – after all, enjoying the studio session is a big part of the experience and will have an impact on the final results.