As a boudoir photographer, I consult with a lot of women who are interested in a boudoir photoshoot. Some are too shy to pose in front of a photographer and there are others who just can’t afford the experience. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enjoy some of the benefits of boudoir. So I’ve put together this guide on how to take good boudoir selfies for DIY boudoir photos with your phone.

If you’ve ever tried DIY boudoir photography, my bet is the photos didn’t turn out as you had hoped. (Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.) Well I’m going to help you up your boudoir selfie game by going through everything you need to know to get beautiful photos.

This article will cover:

Boudoir Selfie Research
What You’ll Need To Take Good Boudoir Selfies
Lighting For DIY Boudoir Selfies
How To Plan Your Scene and Background
Makeup For Phone Boudoir Photos
Outfits For DIY Boudoir
Accessories For Boudoir Selfies
Props For DIY Boudoir Photos
Posing Tips For Home Boudoir Selfies
Setting The Boudoir Mood
The DIY Boudoir Photoshoot
After You Take The Photos

If you click any of the above topics you can hop straight to that section. I’d advise you to take them in order though so you have a complete understanding of what it takes to get great home DIY boudoir photos with a phone camera.

Note: There are a couple of links to useful products in this article. If you click and buy them, you’d pay the same amount and I may get a small fee for the referal. If you do, I thank you!

how to take good boudoir photos with an iPhone

Boudoir Selfie Research

You’ve found this article, so you are already doing research, but to take a good boudoir photo, you will need ideas. To do that, search around for boudoir photos that you like.

I highly recommend Pintrest and Instagram for this. You should also check boudoir galleries on photography websites. If you like something, pin it to a mood board so you can pull it up and refer to it during your DIY shoot.

Knowing what you want to shoot in advance will make it easier to stage and take the shots during your photo shoot. You will be able to accomplish more and get more variety.

Important Boudoir Selfie Tip:

Only use the photo as inspiration to create your own version. If you try to recreate the photo exactly, you will compare it, and yourself to the original. You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone, you are uniquely beautiful!

What You’ll Need To Take Good Boudoir Selfies

All you really need to take great looking boudoir selfies is a phone camera, you and good lighting. However there are some things that will help you improve your options to take better photos.

The first recommendation is a remote control for your iPhone or whatever style phone you have. Most phones have timers, but setting the timer and then trying to jump into your pose makes you feel hurried. That shows in your images because you won’t be as relaxed.

A phone remote that controls your camera allows you to get into position and make sure everything is perfect. You can hide the remote in your hand and click it when you are ready. You will get better shots than using a timer’s deadline.

Cell phone cameras generally have a wide angle lens. Just holding the phone at arms length may not provide the best look. For that reason, you will need a place to set your phone to get the best looking photos from the camera lens.

My second recommendation is a tripod and tripod phone mount. While you can prop your phone against something, this set up will allow you more freedom to position your shot. You won’t be limited by the height of a chair or where a prop spot is located.

If you really want to up your boudoir selfie game, I highly recommend these investments. The good news is they aren’t very expensive!

DIY Boudoir Photos with phone

Lighting For DIY Boudoir Selfies

Photography depends on light. If you don’t have enough light, your photos will be dark, colors off and possibly look grainy or noisy.

You also don’t want to “mix” light. The color of light varies, sunlight is white. Light bulbs may be amber, soft white, bright white, cool white or daylight. Fluorescent bulbs tend to be cool and create a blue tint in photos.

If you have sunlight streaming in through a window and a light of a different “temperature” on in the room, your camera’s white balance will be off. That means your photos coloring won’t be right.

My best advice is to use window light when possible. Many boudoir photographers prefer to use natural light, so you are in good company! Using sheer drapes helps soften the sunlight which serves to diminish skin blemishes. The sheers help create a very flattering light.

Positioning yourself near a window will offer you several ways to light yourself. Face the window and place the camera between yourself and the window. This will create a more even light falling across you.

By positioning the camera to one side of the window, the light coming in will add dimension and shadows. Place the camera pointing toward the window and you can highlight your outline creating a silhouette look.

If window light is not an option, just be sure that all your lightbulbs in the room are the same!

How To Plan Your Scene and Background

A big part of the boudoir selfie is the scene and the background. Most women take selfies in the bathroom mirror or holding their phone at arms length on the bed. Let’s change that to create better selfies!

The bed is a staple for boudoir photos, so we can’t ignore it. The addition of the tripod and phone mount will give you lots of options for angles, height and distance.

Forget the bathroom mirror! Turn your attention to the tub and tak a bubble bath. Covering strategic parts of you with bubbles will create a very sexy boudoir selfie.

Don’t just stick with the bedroom or bathroom either. You can get great shots standing by a window, in a doorway, hallway or on stairs. Think about the couch in your living room, the dining room table and the kitchen. Variety will instantly help improve your DIY boudoir!

The key on any of these is to a.) make sure you have lighting and b.) make sure they are clutter free.

I saw a photo on social media of a woman who appeared on the BBC for a Zoom interview during covid quarantine. In the background, circled by the original poster, was a dildo sitting on the shelf. Imagine how mortified she was to have appeared on television with that in the background! I imagine only half as mortified as she was having it blow up on the internet.

The lesson that comes from this – always check your background!

Another quick DIY boudoir photos setting tip:

For bed shots, mess up the sheets. Sexy poses on a made bed look staged. If you strike a sexy pose on a bed, it should look like a playground

How To Take Good Boudoir Selfies With Your Phone

Makeup For Phone Boudoir Photos

Before you take your DIY boudoir photos, I recommend you try out some different hair & makeup styles. Even if you opt for a casual look, some simple makeup will add to the quality of the images.

Not sure what boudoir makeup style is right for you? Check out my article: Boudoir Makeup Styles That Rock Your Photos.

You might even want to have your hair and makeup done professionally. Knowing what look you want and feeling comfortable with your hair & makeup allows you to concentrate on the DIY selfie aspect when you start shooting.

Outfits For DIY Boudoir

While you see a lot of lingerie shots in boudoir, there are no rules except to wear what you feel sexy in. So if you aren’t comfortable in lingerie, consider alternative options.

You could wear a t-shirt and panties, a sweater or just a smile. If you don’t want to show much skin, wrap a towel around yourself or cover up strategically with a sheet.

To get some great boudoir outfit ideas, check out these articles:

6 Boudoir Shoot Outfits You Already Own

Modest Boudoir Photo Shoot Ideas & Outfits

Sexy Sweater Boudoir Ideas For The Perfect Boudoir Outfit

and of course, feel free to download my free PDF magazine: 26 Perfect Boudoir Outfits & Ideas

An extra boudoir outfit tip:

Test your outfits in advance. If any outfit leaves marks or impressions in your skin, leave that outfit until the end of your shoot!

Accessories For Boudoir Selfies

Accessories make the outfit and it is no different with boudoir photos. Before the shoot, consider pairing your outfits with earrings, jewelry and some high heels.

A long strand pearl necklace always looks good in a boudoir pic. More important is that the jewelry and shows match your style and personality.

Other clothing accessories to consider are knee high socks or thigh high stockings. They go great if you are wearing a sweater.

Props For DIY Boudoir Photos

You should be the focus of a boudoir selfie, so be sure not to detract from that. You don’t want too many boudoir props drawing the eye’s attention.

For example, if you are sitting in a chair, you could be reading a book, or drinking a glass of wine or mug of coffee. They create a simple story for your photo. The image’s story becomes more complicated reading and drinking at the same time. Keep it simple.

If taking a bubble bath as described in Scenes & Backgrounds, a stylish bottle of bubble bath, some candles and some rose petals can add to the photo.

In bed, a pillow can act as a prop. If you or your partner is into music, an instrument or headphones might be a nice addition. Want a vintage look? Incorporate some antiques. Into some play in the bedroom? Try adding 50 Shades of Grey style props.

Whatever props you choose, make sure they represent your style and don’t overdo them!

Posing Tips For Home Boudoir Selfies

The best boudoir poses look natural, like you were really captured in that position at that moment in time. Doing this by yourself without the guidance of a boudoir photographer can be challenging. Never fear, I have some DIY ideas that will help you pick the perfect boudoir poses for you.

DIY Boudoir Selfies Posing Tip:

Practice every pose in the mirror before you start shooting. Seeing the poses will help you decide which ones are right for you. You will be able to see what angles may work best to highlight your features, or hide what you don’t want anyone to see. This practice will make you more confident and comfortable during your photoshoot.

When you are properly posed, expect to be a bit uncomfortable and feel awkward. Professional models point their toes so their legs appear longer and the muscles defined. They will arch their backs to create and exaggerate curves. They suck in and tighten their core to make their tummy tighter. It can be difficult and physically draining. Although it will feel strange and awkward, it will look incredible in your photos. The saying is, if you don’t ache the next day, you weren’t doing it right.
DIY Boudoir Poses

So let’s talk about poses you can use …

A lot of woman are self-conscious about their tummy. If you are, then my article: 10 Boudoir Poses That Hide Stomach Fat is a must read. Even if you’re not fat, but want to hide it for other reasons, these poses and the information included will help you!

I posted some selfie poses in another article I wrote: How To Take Better Selfies – A Photographer’s Advice – and while not boudoir poses, you may find them helpful.

The research you did yielded boudoir pics you liked, so definitely use them for inspiration as well. Imitating them in a mirror will help you decide if they look right for you. If not, play with modifying them to suit your look.

How to improve your DIY boudoir poses …

Earlier I mentioned three tricks professional models use to look better in photographs. Pointing the toes is a big one. It tightens the leg muscles just like wearing heels. It also lengthens the look of your legs. So even if you are sitting down or lying on a bed, point those toes for a good look.

Second on that list was arching your back. If you lean against a wall, sit up or lie on your back try arching your back, it adds to your curves.

Third on the list is a biggie, sucking in and tightening your core. It tightens the torso muscles of the belly and makes you look toned.

To these I add: Shift your weight back and forth, stand at an angle rather than face on to the camera, play with your hair, run a finger along your collarbone, bra strap or leg, and pull on your outfit, either top or panties.

Finally think curves and triangles. When your arm forms a triangle either running through your hair or resting on your hip it adds more interest than if it hangs by your side. If you turn a bit to the side, you show more curve than if you face the camera straight on.

Posing Your Face …

Facial expressions are an important part of a good boudoir photo. So how can you achieve that sensual look? First, relaxation is key, if you are tense, it will show. If you are closing your eyes, part your lips slightly and breathe out.

Imagine your partner is softly kissing down your neck and it feels soooo good. Or imagine you just took a bite of your favorite food or dessert and it is melting in your mouth. That Ohhhhh or Ahhhh will be expressed on your face and create a look of love.

If looking into the camera, imagine telling your lover you want him. Or giving him a sly teasing. When you look off into the distance, think about missing someone you love.

With every pose, try one with eyes closed, eyes closed and laughing, eyes open, eyes open and laughing and one looking off into the distance. That gives you plenty of options to choose your favorite!

Setting The Boudoir Mood

It is hard to be sexy when you aren’t in the right mood. If you aren’t feeling it, it will show in your photos. So it is important to set the mood before your start taking pics.

Think about what puts you in a good mood with a romantic and sexy vibe. Maybe some scented candles around the room would help. How about a glass of your favorite wine to unwind and relax? Try some music and dance a little. Take some deep breaths and stretch out your body to loosen up.

This time should be fun, so enjoy yourself. It is okay to act silly and screw up because this is play time. Laugh, because a woman’s smile is the most attractive curve on her body.

When you are having fun, that will show in your photos too, and that makes for better boudoir selfies!

Boudoir Selfies with phone camera

The DIY Boudoir Photoshoot

When you are ready to take your boudoir selfies, remember this:
Professional photographers screw up too! Not every photo will be a winner and that is okay. It is not a reflection on you, it is just a bad photo.

I don’t recommend deleting them until you are done. Sometimes when you look back at a shot, it is better than you initially thought. If not, trash it!

Show yourself some compassion, what you are doing is brave and you should celebrate the fact you are doing it. Try to have fun, keep the music on and dance a bit between poses.

Do test shots to check how the lighting is and if you need to change the exposure. They will also let you frame the shot and double check your scene for aesthetics and anything you don’t want visible.

Play with camera placement, how you position yourself and even make adjustments in your poses. It isn’t like you are wasting film, so go wild and shoot as much as you want. The more photos you take, the better the chances that you will get good ones!

DIY Boudoir Shoot Tip #1:

Take both vertical and horizontal boudoir selfies with your phone. That will offer you variety in looks and edits.

DIY Boudoir Shoot Tip #2:

During your shoot, try shooting some video. You can strike a pose, hold it for a few seconds and then shift position and hold that. When you play back the video, you can screen shot the pose if you like it! Short videos will also make great social media content if you decide to share it!

How to take boudoir selfies

After You Take The Photos

When you finish taking selfies, it is time to review them. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t like a photo, delete it and move on.

Once you have narrowed them down to ones you do like, you may be tempted to throw on a filter. Be careful the filter doesn’t change your look too much. You want to look real, not plastic.

If you are doing these for yourself, putting on a filter is your mind’s way of telling you you need it to look good. That just isn’t true. Regardless of weight, shape or age, beauty and sensuality is an attitude, not a physical look.

If you are doing these for a partner, they see you at your worst and still adore you. You don’t have to cover up anything for them, they will love you and your photos!

If you do use filters, use them sparingly. Maybe a black and white look, or a simple blemish remover.

The biggest question is how you intend to use or gift your photos. You probably won’t want the kid at Walmart’s photo counter printing them. And if you have them printed online, I encourage you to read the site’s privacy policy to make sure you will be safe. The last thing you want is a photo you wanted to keep private shared on the web!

I hope you found this article helpful and that you now have a better understanding of how to take good boudoir selfies with your phone.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. And if you ever decide to treat yourself to a professional boudoir photoshoot, I’d be happy to talk with you and see if I may be of help. Even if I’m not the boudoir photographer you choose, I want you to experience a safe & empowering boudoir shoot!

Want to start planning a professional 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!

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