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How to Prepare for a Boudoir Shoot – Part 1

boudoir photography

Over the years I’ve found that getting ready for any kind of photo shoot tends to be a source of stress. You know the bit: Family photos – you’re trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Senior photos – you’re trying not to look like your mom dressed you in every outfit. Newborn photos – Well… don’t get me started on that. I’ve found though that boudoir photos tend to stress ladies out the most. And it’s no wonder why – just researching this blog I found plenty of opinions that photographers are putting out there that sound horribly stressful (I quickly stopped my research and decided to simply tell you what I know.)  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to cut out out all carbs, fat, and calories. However, I am going to give you simple tips for ways to make the most of your boudoir session. This will be a two part blog series as there’s a lot of information I can share with you on the subject. My goal is to remove all stress from this process and make this experience nothing but fun!

How to prepare for boudoir pictures

1) Drink lots of water the week leading up to your photo shoot.

I could write a whole blog post on just this one aspect. Water, water, water that week. Your skin is going to look more glowy, your face will be moisturized, and your lips won’t be chapped. If you’re drinking tons of water you’ll have less time to drink things like tea, red wine, and coffee and this will lead to whiter teeth. Another added bonus to the extra hydration is that it will help you remove any water weight or bloating. On top of all that, you’re just going to feel better. I don’t know about you, but when I’m upping my water intake I just feel better about myself and my outlook. That extra boost in confidence is a great thing to bring to your boudoir shoot.

How to prepare for boudoir pictures

2) Make the most of your pre-consultation.
About a week before your boudoir session you’ll come to the studio and meet with me. At that appointment we’ll be getting to know one another, talking about what you want in a boudoir session, outfit choices, and what you’ll be using the photos for when the session is complete. I have a rule in boudoir pre-consultations: This is the only time you can talk about what you don’t like about your body. After that, you’re not allowed to bring it up – no negativity at your photo shoot! If you have outfits already in mind, bring those so I can see them. We can discuss any specific type of shot that you’d like and I’m happy to recreate that with my own interpretation on it (translation: I won’t rip off what’s on Pinterest, but I like seeing what you think is pretty!). Sometimes my new clients come to this meeting more nervous than they do the actual boudoir session. This appointment will help put your mind at ease.

How to prepare for boudoir pictures

3) Be realistic about your body when shopping for outfits.
When trying on new lingerie take a good hard look in the mirror. It may be the size you wear, but sometimes the next size up can be the best bet when it comes to lingerie pieces. This is especially important when purchasing panties and thongs. Watch where they cut into your waist. Would the next size up be more flattering? Inversely, sometimes a smaller size in a bra cup can be a good thing. If we’re going for voluptuous a smaller cup size can help with that. Those strappy teddies are so pretty but they may not be flattering on you without a bra. There’s a lot I can do with posing and lighting, but the better fitting the lingerie is the better your boudoir photos are going to look. After you’ve done your shopping try on all the looks you’re considering and make sure they’re steamed or ironed.How to prepare for boudoir pictures

4) Get a tan, or don’t get a tan, but look like yourself!
Tanning is an iffy subject. If you’re not usually very tan, by all means don’t go get a tan! If you prefer your appearance with that sunkissed look, go ahead and get a tan. But be careful where you go – if it requires you to step into a booth for a machine to spray you down don’t do it! Take it from Ross.

There’s a number of places we can recommend you get a tan (about 2-3 days before your photo shoot) that will look natural. Be careful with over tanning, it can actually make you look heavier in photos. Eek! If your session is taking place during the summer avoid tan lines at all cost! We can retouch out tan lines if necessary, but there may be a fee if it’s extensive work. To summarize, your boudoir photos should reflect you on your very best day, it’s up to you to decide if that means a tan.

5) Don’t have a facial or dermaplaning within 5 days of your session
You want to look and feel your absolute best for your session, and for some women that means dermaplaning or a facial. It’s best though that they’re avoided right before your boudoir shoot. A facial brings the toxins to the skin and can cause breakouts so you’ll need a few days for that to clear. A dermaplaning close to your shoot will cause your makeup to have some issue – makeup needs something on which to cling. It’s best to have dermaplaning 7 days prior. Neither of these are at all necessary for a successful photo shoot, but if they’re something you regularly enjoy doing just make sure they’re completed about a week before your appointment.

How to prepare for boudoir pictures

I hope this first post has gotten your wheels turning with ideas. We’ll continue this series with 5 more tips on how to prepare for your boudoir shoot. Check back soon for Part 2!

Andrea Murphy Luxury Boudoir Photographer

Andrea Murphy is a boudoir photographer for women who are ready to step into their beauty, confidence, and power so they can tranform the way they see themselves.

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