A Wedding Boudoir Photography Primer To Help You Get Started


What is a boudoir wedding shoot?

Wedding boudoir, also known as bridal boudoir, is a way for brides to capture a significant moment in their life. It has become very popular in the past few years for the benefits it provides.

On the surface, a boudoir photo experience appears to be women, posing in lingerie or less. They pose in an intimate setting for exotic, seductive, romantic photos.

Boudoir photography is a more than a sexy photoshoot though.

It is a way for women to break out of their comfort zone and succeed in a supportive environment. It is a path to:

  • self-love,
  • self-care,
  • body positivity and
  • empowerment.

A boudoir wedding shoot is a celebration of the bride-to-be. It allows her to embrace her femininity and the images capture the emotions of this special time.

You’ve paid for engagement photos and hired a wedding photographer, why add a wedding boudoir session?

What are the benefits of a wedding boudoir photoshoot?


1. Unlike engagement or wedding photos, boudoir photos empower the bride in so many ways. When you read boudoir client testimonials, they all talk about how confident and positive they feel as a result of their experience.

According to the National Organization for Women (NOW) there is a study that shows by age 13, 54% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to a whopping 78% by the time they reach the age of 17.

Boudoir photography allows women to see themselves through the eyes of others. Once again they can see themselves as beautiful, sensual beings. The boudoir photos are proof positive, and that is an incredible confidence booster.

2. A wedding boudoir album is an unforgettable groom’s gift. It is unique, one of a kind and something only you can give him. Plus your future spouse will love it!

The album is more than a gift for him. Every time either of you look at it, the photos will remind you of this period and your love for each other. He will be reminded how lucky he is to have you by his side. You will feel a new surge of confidence as the photos remind you how beautiful you truly are.

3. It is a great way to document the private side of your wedding. Unlike wedding photos, the wedding boudoir shoot allows you to showcase your sexy side in your wedding shoes, gown and veil. No one else gets to see your wedding lingerie, but it can be featured in the photos you both come to treasure.

4. As the wedding approaches, many brides tend to live a healthier lifestyle. If you’ve lost weight, been regularly conditioning your hair and taking better care of your skin, why not capture the moment? It is the perfect time to showcase yourself looking and feeling your best.

5. The photoshoot will also help you get comfortable in front of the camera. Your boudoir photographer will understand how to pose women to capture their most flattering aspects. This “dress rehearsal” will give you the confidence to know you look your best when your wedding photographer snaps your photo on the big day!

private boudoir photography

Who takes wedding boudoir photos?

Professional photographers who specialize in boudoir can be found in most cities. A lot of wedding photographers saw the growing popularity and started to offer it too.

The difference between the boudoir specialist & wedding photographer who offers an add on can be substantial.

As a boudoir photographer, I have dedicated studio spaces set up specifically for boudoir photoshoots. The space is intimate and offers romantic setting with fur throws, a styled boudoir look and beautiful natural light.

I have two professional makeup artists on my team. They will work with you to create the look of your dreams. Because the understand my shooting style, their application will also allow me to phoograph you looking your best.

A boudoir photoshoot is all about the experience. At my Maryland studio, it is a judgement free zone that allows you to express your unique self. Someone who specializes in boudoir has a better understanding of exactly how to help you feel more empowered and confident. It is what we do.

The wedding photographer may not have a dedicated space set up for boudoir. They may not have the relationship with makeup artists. The experience may not be as powerful. And how free will you feel to be yourself when you know this person will be photographing your on your wedding day?


What should you consider when hiring a boudoir photographer?

There are three major considerations when hiring a boudoir photographer.

1. Do you like their work?

Look at their boudoir portfolio and determine if you like their style. Chances are, your photos will be very similar in coloring, look and feel. If you don’t like their work, go with someone else.

2. Do your homework!

Read reviews, look around their websites and take advantage of the free consultations most photographers offer. Because boudoir photography is so popular, there are a lot of people with cameras who say they “shoot boudoir.” Are they members of professional organizations? Have they studied the art or are they a jack of all trades?

I also highly recommend you read:
Is Boudoir Safe? 10 Tips To Protect & Empower Yourself

3. Are you comfortable?

Nerves are to be expected, the big question is, are you comfortable with the photographer? If not, find another one. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better your photos will be.

fake wine glass boudoir prop

What does a boudoir wedding photoshoot cost?

Boudoir photography isn’t cheap, but then again, how much is the groom spending on your ring? The boudoir shoot and album are truly a gift for both of you!
Prices will range depending on the skill, demand for and experience provided by your photographer. Some photographers offer a low session fee and then charge high product fees. Others will offer an attractive price but provide low quality products. There are those who offer a package deal of shoot and album. Luxury photographers generally charge a session fee for an amazing experience. They then offer a variety of product choices from high end professional labs that produce top quality albums, prints and wall art.
Wedding photographers who offer boudoir as an add on usually give you a better rate, but again, may not have a dedicated studio or as much boudoir experience.
If you don’t see pricing on a website, reach out to the photographer for a consultation. Learn about their process, the experience and what they have to offer, then ask for pricing. A professional should be able to send you a complete price menu.

When should you schedule a boudoir wedding shoot?

Every studio is different, but I recommend at least two to three months before your wedding date. Why so long? Some boudoir photographers do same day image reveals. Others prefer to give your images a magazine quality retouch before you see them. That means your reveal and ordering session will likely be about two weeks following your photoshoot.
Depending on the products ordered, you will need to allow time for the lab to print, bind and ship your groom’s gift.
When you talk to photographers in your search for the best boudoir photographer for you, ask them! Do keep in mind that some of the best boudoir photographers book sessions months out, so if you wait until the last minute, you may be out of luck.

How long is a boudoir session?

The length of a boudoir session also varies by studio, photographer and photo packages you choose.
Some photographers will bring you in and get you out quickly after a bunch of stock poses. Others will take their time, make sure you are comfortable and create poses to flatter your look and shape.
At my studio, I advise clients to plan 3 to 3 and a half hours. This allows you to be pampered for about an hour in the makeup chair. Once your personal stylist has you ready, it allows about two hours to shoot with several outfit changes. You aren’t rushed, which will make for a much better and more comfortable experience.
bridal boudoir in Maryland

Where should you take the photos?

Some photographers have a dedicated boudoir studio space. Others will shoot in luxury hotels. Your own home is also a great option if you get lots of natural light. Talk with your photographer and determine what you want. After all, wedding boudoir is all about you!


What should I wear for a boudoir wedding photoshoot?

What are you comfortable in? You want to select outfits that make you feel confident and sexy. For this type of photoshoot, I suggest you bring white, be it your wedding lingerie, a gown/robe or even your wedding dress. Black outfits are always classic and a bright color outfit works too.

I also recommend you bring your veil, shoes and any jewelry you may want to use!

I have a free PDF magazine called: 26 Perfect Boudoir Outfits & Ideas you are welcome to download. It will give you great ideas for selecting outfits that will make you look stunning in your photos.


boudoir outfit guide image


Do I need a hair & makeup artist?

At my studio, there will be a professional make up artist here to pamper you. Other studios/photographers may not. I suggest you find out if this is included with your experience.

A hair & makeup artist is definitely recommended. It gives you a chance to be pampered and is one less thing you have to worry about. Makeup for photos is different than everyday makeup. Having a pro do it for you will give your photos a more polished look.

If you have a hair & makeup artist you prefer to work with, talk to your photographer. Most have no problem if you want to bring in your own.

How should I prepare for my boudoir shoot?

I have an in-depth list of boudoir preparation tips here.

A few tips here:
1. Avoid spray tans! You don’t want to look like a blotchy Oompa Loompa in your photos.

2. If you plan to wax, do so at least 5 days before your shoot so any skin irritation can fade.

3. Don’t get a new hair-style right before your photoshoot! I can tell you stories of women who wished the hadn’t.

4. Moisturize your skin every day and exfoliate.

5. Get a manicure and pedicure the day before your photoshoot. Details matter!

Definitely check out my article linked above.

What happens during a boudoir photoshoot?

Every photographer has a unique style, which is why you want to be comfortable with your selection. In the lead-up to the photoshoot, your photographer should find out what you want from the session. They will discuss how you feel about different aspects of your look/body, so they can highlight you in flattering ways. You may want to share images you like and see if they can help you create your own unique version.

Before shooting begins, I always go over how I coach you into different poses. I also share the secret of that “sexy look” you see in photos. Then we’ll put on your favorite tunes and start having fun. You’ll quickly begin to feel and look like a supermodel!

Should I bring anyone with me to a boudoir photoshoot?

If you are overly nervous or don’t feel comfortable being alone, your photographer should have no problems with it. Be selective though, because more eyes on you can have the opposite affect and make you more self-conscious.

If you bring someone, make sure they are someone who encourages you and makes you feel good about yourself. Naysayers are not welcome at most studios.

Where can I get sexy wedding lingerie?

Good question! I recommend checking out these sites:

If you have more questions, check out Boudoir Photography 101: Everything Clients Need To Know.

Or, reach out to me to discuss your ideas for a boudoir wedding photoshoot. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and see if I can be of help.

Ready to start planning your Wedding Boudoir Experience?
I would love to chat with you and go over all the details of our process, sessions and what you are wanting to create so we can plan the perfect boudoir experience for you.

Ready to chat NOW?
Text me at: 410-596-4127

Office Hours are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.

You may also email me at: thomas@thomasboudoir.com

Or just fill out this form and I will be in touch ASAP!