A boudoir photoshoot is a luxury experience that is out of the ordinary. You may have no idea what to expect, what to ask, what to wear or what to do. Don’t worry, just read this beginner’s guide to working with a boudoir photographer!
Before you reach out to talk to a photographer, understand why you want to have this experience. There are a lot of reasons why women want boudoir photography. Knowing your reason and thinking about it if you get nervous is important. (And trust me, every client gets nervous!)
Because most people have no idea what to ask, they start with:
How Much Do You Charge?
A boudoir photoshoot is a luxury experience and hiring a professional is not cheap.
Most boudoir photographers charge for the shoot itself, which may include hair & makeup, and up to two hours in front of the camera. Some studios provide drinks and refreshments. This fee covers the makeup artist, the studio time, utilities, insurances, etc.
Images are generally sold separately.
Remember that every studio is a unique business, so understand what is involved going in.
Shopping for the cheapest boudoir photographer isn’t always the best deal. They may be a beginner or someone who does these types of shoots on the side. Their work may not be the quality you expect. They may not have precautions in place to protect your privacy.
At my studio, the deluxe shoot is $495.00 and the minimum investment in images is $795. While some stop there, many of my clients fall in love with more of their images. Depending on the number of photos and the style of album or products they want, some spend upwards of several thousand dollars.
For more information on my products and pricing, reach out using the contact form at the bottom of this article.
Again, each studio is different, but I will share how I operate.
A boudoir experience requires planning on the part of the client and the photographer. Don’t expect to call on Monday and come in on Tuesday. My studio usually has a busy schedule and it can take up to three months to fit your shoot in.
I prefer to provide a high quality, personalized service to my clients. Because this is important, I limit the number of shoots I accept each month. You may only be in the studio for three hours (1 for hair & makeup – 2 for the photoshoot) but my work starts well before and takes up to two weeks after!
I personally select and edit the images from your boudoir shoot. This is done in house to avoid any outside eyes from seeing your images. My editing schedule means I can’t take as many clients as some other studios who use outside editors. But this guarantees you will get my best work.
At my studio, once the shoot is scheduled, you can plan on your photo reveal and ordering session being about two weeks later. We schedule your ordering session the day you come into the studio.
Client albums can take another 4 to 6 weeks from the date of your ordering session.
So as you see, it is good to plan early!
Important questions to ask a boudoir photographer are:
- Their timeline for getting you in for a shoot,
- How long it takes before your ordering session, and
- How long it takes to get your products.
What Should You Wear?
Your boudoir photographer should provide insights on what to bring for your photoshoot. Selecting items that mean something to you, or if the images are to be a gift, to your significant other, is important.
Most boudoir photographers have a list of suggestions. At my studio, we offer a free guide: 26 Perfect Boudoir Outfits & Ideas. I encourage you to get a copy. Even if you end up going to another photographer, it will help you plan your perfect shoot!
(BTW – when you sign up for the guide, you also get a link to our investment guide to give you an idea of pricing and the products we offer.)
Talk To Your Boudoir Photographer:
It is always a good idea to schedule a phone conversation with your photographer. Some women prefer to handle everything by email, but the phone call is important.
Make sure to read client reviews and then talk with the boudoir photographer. A conversation gives you a chance to discuss your shoot and become comfortable with each other. That is something you can’t achieve in an email.
If you are unsure, arrange an appointment to visit the studio and meet in person. This can help you determine if your choice of photographer is right for your photoshoot.
What Should You Expect At The Studio?
Again, each studio is different, so I will share what happens when you visit us.
When you arrive, we will place your garments in the boudoir studio. We can take a few minutes to see what you brought and discuss what may work best for the shoot.
Then it will be time for hair and makeup. This takes about an hour and is extremely relaxing. Caitlin or Emily will have you looking spectacular! You may want to schedule a date night for after the photoshoot.
With hair and makeup ready, it is time to start having fun. I will go over some simple instructions on how you will pose for the photos.
Your boudoir photographer should NEVER touch you without permission. Sometimes helping you arrange your hair may make things easier on you, but they should ALWAYS ask first. And you can say NO!
In my studio, I teach you the mirroring techniques and verbal instruction to coach your poses. I’ll also share secrets on getting that dreamy sensual look that you see in so many boudoir photos.
After the instructions, you will go to change in the boudoir while I prepare the portrait studio. That is where we start.
Depending on the session you have scheduled, we will shoot several outfits with different looks. You may be nervous at the start, but by the time you finish you will feel like a super model!
Do I Have To Remove My Clothes?
NO! Every client determines her own comfort level.
Some stay clothed. Others pose in lingerie. Some clients go for implied nudity while others want topless or more.
Your boudoir shoot is about you and should reflect your style and tastes. In some cases I may make suggestions on ways to improve a photo, but you always have the final say on everything!
Will You Share My Photos?
This is an important question to ask! A reputable boudoir photographer will instantly answer:
“No. Not without your written permission.”
Some clients are so proud of the way they look, they allow us to share their images on social media. Their image may inspire someone else to give boudoir a try so that person can experience the confidence boost too!
It is my policy never to name or tag a client in a shared image so it can not be found if someone types their name in a search engine.
So rest assured that your images are private and you make the decision of what, if any, can be shared.
How Do You Protect My Privacy?
Another important question for your photographer!
As I mentioned above, your photos are edited by me in the studio.
If you order an album or prints, they are sent to a professional lab that specializes in boudoir albums. They understand confidentiality and have a solid reputation in the industry.
Finally, after your ordering session, any images not purchased are deleted from our drives. Once your albums/products arrive, your ordered images are deleted from my hard drives and backups.
How Do I Start?
Use the form below to contact the studio and I will schedule a call with you!
I hope you found this Beginner’s Guide To Working With A Boudoir Photographer helpful. If you have any other questions, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact the studio and I will be happy to answer them!