Frequently Asked

Boudoir Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked boudoir questions:


What is boudoir photography?

The definition of boudoir is a woman’s bedroom or private room for dressing or resting. Boudoir photography is a genre that peeks behind the privacy by invitation of the woman. It is an intimate form of portrait photography that captures beauty in a sexy and glamorous style.
And there are many styles of boudoir to choose from:
  • Soft lighting in a classic boudoir setting.
  • The sensual look of a Victoria’s Secret layout.
  • Playboy, Maxim or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit style.
  • Artistic.
  • Black & White nude gallery.
  • Natural girl-next-door.
  • Pin-up (Vargas girl) look.
  • Fantasy & Fetish
  • The Bridal look.
You decide what style you want and we will use that as inspiration to create your unique photos.

A male boudoir photographer?

Absolutely! Playboy, Maxim and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue are predominately shot by male photographers.

Some clients think they will feel more comfortable when shot by a woman photographer. That is okay. But men and women see each other with a different mentality. Their idea of “sexy” can be two entirely different things.

That makes the male photographer’s perspective important. Especially if gifting the photos to your husband or significant other. 

I encourage you to read testimonials from the clients and models who have worked with me. Watch our videos. And also know that I am a member of both the Professional Photographers of America and the Association of International Boudoir Photographers.

My job is focusing on pose, lighting and emotion. I’m not looking at you, but at creating the best images of you. I promise you a comfortable, fun and professional experience.

My reputation depends on it!


boudoir questions for Maryland photographer Thomas Crowl

Do I have to get naked?

No! Women are very sexy leaving something to the imagination! Lingerie, swimsuits, an overshirt/jersey, robe, silky pjs, and the ever popular little black dress are examples. You may reveal as little or as much as you want.

Even if you decide to push the envelope, “implied nude” (pictured above) is very popular. In this style of photography, you are nude, but nothing shows. Arms, body, hands, sheets or props cover you in strategic places, creating a very sexy look.

The bottom line is this is your photo shoot. I want you to be comfortable and will work with in your boundaries to create the best possible images.


Can I meet you before I book a shoot?

I actually prefer that. I offer a free consultation where you can swing by the studio to see the location. You can look at sample albums and wall art as we get to know each other and discuss your shoot. If you are not comfortable for any reason, I am happy to recommend other photographers that may be able to help you.

Not available to swing by? I’d be happy to chat with you on the phone or on video over Zoom or Skype!


Can I bring a friend?

Definitely! I want you to feel safe and relaxed. Sometimes an extra set of eyes can have the opposite effect. If they make you uncomfortable they can wait in another room. Better yet, have your friend book a session at the same time. I offer “multi-session friends” discounts!

A few rules for friends:

  • Boyfriends, husbands or male companions are NOT permitted unless they are part of the shoot. Couples shoots are available.
  • The friend should be positive, supportive and fun. Critics and downers are not allowed.
  • No background coaching or directing. They are there to watch only. You are posing for the camera, not your friend’s approval.
  • No cell phones or video recording permitted during your session.
* – I reserve the right to ask anyone to leave the studio at any time.

Who will be there for my shoot?

Unless you bring a friend, or request our makeup artist stays for the shoot (additional fee required to cover her time) it will be just you, me, and three cats. (Although they will likely be hiding from you.) I do not use assistants during the shoot.


What about privacy? Will my photos be shared on the Internet?

Your privacy is my number one concern! Every photograph shared on our website or social media requires written permission. If you don’t want your images shared, it isn’t a problem.

If you sign a model release, I would love to share your photos! It helps other women can get an idea and feel for the boudoir experience. Some clients will allow me to share photos where faces don’t show. Others allow me to share only certain images from their shoot.

At no time will I share your name or personal information.

If your photos are a gift, you can also request photos not be shared until after a certain date. I will not ruin your surprise!

Do you photograph plus-sized women?

Definitely! Curves are beautiful!

How old is too old for a boudoir shoot?

Boudoir is designed to empower women and help them feel comfortable in their own skin. So I’m not sure there is a cut off point. I say seniors, bring on your sexy!

In fact, check out the review left by Denise who turned 57 two days after our shoot. She left her thoughts on our Google Business Profile. Click here to open the link in a new tab.


I’m really nervous. Is that normal?

For many clients, the boudoir experience is outside of their comfort zone. They worry about perceived imperfections. They aren’t sure if they will look good in their photos. Even though they read about the experience, many aren’t sure what to expect when the photo shoot begins.

This is completely normal. Most of my clients are nervous until the session has started. As soon as you see your first picture, you’ll begin to loosen up. You will realize you can do this, gaining the confidence and joy that comes with trying something new!

Am I allowed to bring alcohol to help loosen my nerves?

If you’re over 21, I do offer a glass of champagne or wine during your make-up session to help you relax. Beyond that, you can have some liquid courage if needed, but I don’t recommend drinking. You don’t want to look drunk or have glassy eyes in your images. Being sober during your shoot is important for successful results.


I’m not a model, how do I pose?

No worries, I’ll coach you through the process of posing and facial expressions. I know a lot of techniques to help create the most flattering angles and looks for you, no matter what shape or size you are. It will be easier than you think. All you need to do is have fun and relax.

Should I even consider boudoir photos? My body isn’t perfect.

Nobody is perfect. That doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy! If you are worried about something, we can discuss any specific concerns before the shoot. The truth is, once you experience the shoot and see the results, you will feel much more comfortable in your own skin. So this is actually a good reason to book a session!

I have problem areas. Can you retouch or Photoshop?

Yes. Photoshop can reduce or completely remove most common problems. Your photos will go through some simple skin smoothing and basic retouching before your photo reveal.

I prefer not to over-edit photos though. I believe in showing the real you. You are beautiful as you are and I want to prove that to you!

Do you offer hair and makeup?

Yes. Having your hair and makeup done is an important part of the boudoir experience. I bring in a professional hair & make-up artist to help you look & feel beautiful. It is relaxing to sit back, have a glass of wine, and chat a bit before your shoot, as you transform into a boudoir beauty.

Meet my hair & makeup team artists by clicking here.


Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? Just ask!

11 + 14 =

Can I do my own hair and makeup?

Yes. If you prefer to do your own hair & makeup, you can arrive at the studio ready to shoot. See my boudoir pricing page for the reduced rate.

How much does it cost?

My session fees are listed on our boudoir pricing page. The session fee covers reserving the studio and time on my schedule, plus an in-person Reveal and Ordering session. (If you choose an option with hair & makeup – that is included too.)

Images and products are purchased separately at your Reveal session. Our basic album starts at $795 and increases depending on how many images and what type of album you order. While some clients order our basic album, many fall in love with more of their images. We also offer prints, wall art, videos, digital images and other items. An average product sale at our studio runs between $2,500 – $3,500. How much you spend depends on you.

We do offer payment plans to help you budget for your shoot and photos. No products are delivered until payment is made in full.


You say there is a money back guarantee, but the booking deposit says it is non-refundable. Which is it?

If you are unhappy with your session and photos, there is no charge to you. A complete refund is made, including the booking deposit. (That is how positive I am you will love your photos!)

If you cancel or do not show up for your photoshoot, the retainer covers our time and efforts in having everything prepared for you. You can’t be unhappy with photos we don’t take, so the deposit is non-refundable in that case.


What if I need to cancel or reschedule?

Cancellations are non-refundable for holding our time and studio space open.

If something happens that causes you the need to reschedule, as long as we know more than 48 hours in advance, we will do all we can to help.

Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance may require an additional fee to reschedule.

If you do not show up or are late for your photoshoot, the retainer is non-refundable and covers our time and efforts in having everything prepared.


I’m not sure what I want to order, can I decide when I see my photos?

Absolutely! I ask you to come back to the studio for the photo reveal. You can view your images and discuss product options while having some chocolate and wine. Once you decide what you’d like to order, it takes about four to six week for your products to arrive. (Hopefully sooner!) And yes, rush orders are possible in some cases.

When will I see my photos?

Following your session, we will set up an appointment for your reveal. This is usually 1 to 2 weeks from the session. If you are from out of town, I can try to have your reveal later the same day if I know you need that in advance.

Maryland Boudoir Photography Studio

Where is your studio?

My studio just off Main Street in Westminster, MD.

Here is the approximate driving distance from surrounding cities:

  • From Baltimore, MD: 45 minutes
  • From Washington DC: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • From Arlington, VA: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • From Leesburg, VA: 1 hour
  • From York, PA: 1 hour
  • From Harrisburg, PA: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • From Gettysburg, PA: 35 minutes

I shoot in a two room home studio* that features double windows for amazing natural light. You can learn more about it on the boudoir studio page of the website. The studio is available at no additional charge with a booked session.

Destination and location shoots are available worldwide. Please note that pricing and offerings are different for destination and location shoots. (Contact for details.)

* – My studio/home has three wonderful rescue cats. If you are allergic to cats, I can shoot at hotels, client’s homes or rented photography studios. (Contact me for more information.)


Do you photograph couples boudoir?

Of course. Couples boudoir is a special way to celebrate your love and spice up your life.

Do you photograph men’s boudoir?

No, but I can recommend photographers that do an amazing job with men’s boudoir.

Do you provide wardrobe?

No. You will need to provide your own outfits. I do have a Boudoir outfit suggestion guide available to help.

I recommend you bring several choices of outfits with you the day of your shoot. We can go then choose the ones that will make your photos sizzle!

The studio also has a couple of shawls and some body jewelry you are welcome to use during your shoot if you wish.

How long does a boudoir session take?

The complete boudoir experience takes about 3 to 4 hours. That provides an hour (or longer) for hair and makeup, plus two hours to shoot. This gives us time to capture plenty of beautiful images in two or three outfits.

Do you do outdoor boudoir sessions?

I do offer outdoor boudoir sessions, but only if they take place on private property. It also has to be in a secluded area, so nobody can see us during the session. We do this to protect you and our company. I do not have my own outdoor location to do this. If you have some private land, let me know and we can set something up.

Why do women pose for boudoir photos?

I wrote an article about that very subject here:

Why do women pose for boudoir photos?


I need ideas! Can you help?

Definitely! I am here to help. Once you book a session I can make recommendations on attire and themes. Let’s create a unique vision and bring your photos to life.  

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