I hear “what is boudoir photography?” a lot. Probably because I am a boudoir photographer.

Glad I’m not a proctologist.

Most articles I’ve seen on this subject start with the definition and origin of the word “boudoir.” I’ll get to that later in the article if you want deeper understanding of the subject.

First, let me give you the quick answer to your question.

What is boudoir photography? Intimate portraiture for the everyday woman.

Boudoir photography is intimate portraiture for the everyday woman. It generally combines several other genres of photography, including portrait, glamour and artistic.

You will notice I left out nude. This is because nudity, while often seen in boudoir photographs, is not a key component of boudoir photography.

Boudoir Photography doesn’t mean there is nudity.

Many boudoir shoots do end up with implied nude or nude images. It all depends on the comfort level of the client, along with the boudoir photography style they hope to achieve.

Here are some of the ingredients found in boudoir images:

  • Intimacy
  • Privacy
  • Romance
  • Sensuality
  • Sexuality
  • and an occasional a dash of erotica.

Boudoir clients usually have limited to no experience posing in front of a camera lens. They are not models. They are more the pictures with the family, on vacation and social media selfie type.

nervous about your boudoir shoot?

Posing for a photographer in intimate apparel (or less) is generally outside of their comfort zone.

A huge part of a boudoir photographer’s job is to put their clientele at ease. Helping to reduce their nervousness empowers the boudoir client. They discover they can achieve amazing results when pushing their self imposed limits.

Boudoir photographs are usually private between partners.

Says the photographer showing a lot of pictures on this website …

Boudoir differs from glamour, portrait and artistic photography in that it usually isn’t published or shared publicly. But times are changing. Today, more women have boudoir photoshoots to empower themselves and celebrate their body. #SelfLove!

When they see another woman’s success, it motivates many to have their own experience. After they see the results, many want to share the photos to inspire and help even more women to accept their bodies through boudoir.

schedule a boudoir photoshoot

Sharing or posting their photos is solely up to my clients. Their privacy is my top concern and no image is ever released without the client’s written permission. While I hope they share their photos, they are under no obligation. Boudoir is a private matter and your photographer needs to respect that.

Why do women pose for boudoir photos?

Hmmmm, sounds like a blog article for another day. When it is ready, I will link the article here.

Boudoir Albums & Wall Art

Where are boudoir photoshoots taken ?

Some people believe boudoir photography requires a studio to shoot. That isn’t true. You aren’t limited to a boudoir studio environment.

My clients have had boudoir shoots in my Maryland boudoir studio, hotel rooms, their own homes, outdoors and even abandoned locations.

One thing they all have in common is the fact they are “private environments.”

Boudoir Photography Studio in Maryland

And the “private environment” brings us to the definition of boudoir.

Boudoir derives from the French verb, bouder, meaning to sulk or pout, and the adjective, boudeur which means sulking.

Women would withdraw to a dedicated space/room to sulk, which became known as her boudoir.

The English used the term for a private room or suite used by upper class ladies. This room or series of rooms adjoined her “bedchamber” and were for bathing and dressing.

The only way a man was permitted into a woman’s boudoir was by her invitation. So boudoirs became associated as spending time with a romantic partner.

selfie posing tip to show off curves

So that is the answer to “what is boudoir photography?”

It draws on the private nature of the setting, the romance of being invited to join a woman in her inner sanctum, and her sharing a hidden, sexy side of herself.


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