How to Get Ready for a Boudoir Photo Shoot


Have you ever considered doing a boudoir photo shoot but don’t know where to start? Maybe you think that you don’t have the perfect body, so you’ve felt intimidated. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I have been considering doing a boudoir photo shoot for myself, and in just a few weeks I’ll be in front of the camera in my very first boudoir shoot. While I know my body isn’t perfect, this is a way for me to embrace myself. A way for me to love my body and to build my confidence and self-esteem. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “Well, where do I start?” Today I want to share with you a few ways that you can stay confident during a boudoir photo shoot.

Find a photographer you truly feel comfortable with.

If you can’t relax with this person with your clothes on, it’s not going to get much better the more layers your shed! Make sure you hire someone with great reviews, whose work you’ve seen and love. He or she needs to have experience with boudoir photography specifically, not just portraiture. They will need to know how to work with someone who may not be super comfortable at the time pictures are being taken. And consider it a red flag if they won’t make time to meet with you for consultations ahead of the shoot.

Visit the location.

You need to see the set where you’ll be taking pictures in advance. Assess the atmosphere of the space so you aren’t going in blind. Ask the photographer about adjusting the temperature for you. What are the lighting possibilities? Check out what props and backgrounds are available, so you won’t be winging it the day of.

Know your limits.

Establish what kind of pictures you want in the end. Are you looking for black and white nudes? Or do you want more of a sultry, calendar-girl, lingerie shoot? Decide what you are comfortable and stick with that. Tell the photographer in advance and provide examples of his or her past work that you really liked, along with some other artists’ work you may be gravitating toward. If you have a plan and know you won’t be pushed past your limits, you’ll be more comfortable the day of.

Do some prep work.

You will likely feel sexiest after you’ve had time for physical self-care. If you can work out in the months leading up to the photo shoot, do so, but if you don’t have time, don’t sweat it. Find ways to accept your body, flaws and all, exactly as you are. Avoid salt (which leads to bloating), drink enough water, and get plenty of sleep the week of the shoot. Take care of your skin, but don’t pick at anything! (Photoshop can work wonders on minor imperfections.) Topically applied caffeine temporarily reduces the look of both cellulite and under eye puffiness, so use some products containing this ingredient regularly in the month before. Get your hair done, make sure you do all of your shaving/waxing in the appropriate amount of time beforehand, and get a mani-pedi.

Go shopping.

Have fun choosing what (if anything) you’ll wear. Don’t limit yourself to popular chain lingerie stores. Mom and pop places usually have beautiful options for women of all shapes and sizes. What you’ll wear includes your makeup. Allow yourself to be pampered at a local makeup counter and purchase a few items you’ll be able to apply for yourself on the day of the shoot. If possible, make an appointment to have your makeup done the day the pictures will be taken. There is no cost for this, but a purchase from the makeup artist is in good taste.

Check out the competition.

If you’re feeling less than confident, even after all of this, take a look at boudoir photos of real women. Find pictures of strong, confident women of all ages, shapes and races, who have posed nude for magazines, but not in a gratuitous way. You’ll find some with scars, wrinkles, extra weight, and missing limbs. If they can own and accept their beautiful and powerful bodies, so can you!

Have you considered a boudoir photo shoot? If you’ve done one, what tips can you share? 

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