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7 Tips for the Best Boudoir Photoshoots

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 7 min read
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Boudoir shoots are a very popular photography genre. For everyone from wedding to portrait photographers, boudoir photos can be a great addition to anyone’s portfolio.
We unlock seven essential tips to elevate your boudoir photography to the next level. Discover insights and proven techniques to create stunning and tasteful boudoir imagery.


7 Secrets for Better Boudoir Shoots

Here are our seven best tips for better boudoir photoshoots. Delve into the art of capturing intimate moments through the lens. 
These will help you work with your model to take images that celebrate their form and beauty.

1. Ask About Your Client’s Strengths and Insecurities

If you take intimate photos of a model in lingerie, it’s best to know how they feel about their body. You’ll have a better client-photographer relationship and know what makes them confident and what they want to avoid. And you’ll find it easier to communicate throughout the photoshoot.
Ask them to list poses, camera angles, and expressions they’re comfortable with. Let them know they don’t have to answer any uncomfortable questions. If needed, make a list of questions like the following:

  • What makes you feel confident in life? This can be an item of clothing, a personal achievement, or even another person. (Talking about these things can boost your model’s confidence.)
  • Are there any angles that make you feel insecure about yourself? (This will show your model that you care about their point of view.)
  • Are there any props you’d like to take photos with? (This is a simple question, but it can help you take your boudoir photos to the next level.)

If you identify yourself the same way as the client, try to relate with them. You can share your insecurities or opinions about body image if you want. This will make them feel supported and understood. But take the client’s lead and tread topics carefully.

A woman sitting with her legs up for a boudoir photography photoshoot
Photo by Dynamic Wang (Unsplash)


2. Communicate Well to Avoid Awkwardness

If you often work with clients, many of them likely aren’t professional models. And when posing in lingerie, the last thing your model will want is awkward silence or hesitation. Even if you pause to think about an idea, they might take it as a bad sign and feel out of place.
Whether you’re fully prepared or not, act confident. Experiment with different angles and ideas. If you’re thinking about a specific concept and need to pause for a moment, let your model know.
If you think the model still feels awkward, break the ice by telling a joke or taking a break to chat. Most people find it easier to relax when they know what someone is thinking and are having fun.
A straight-forward approach to boudoir photography will make your models feel more relaxed in your presence. Good communication will improve the quality and comfort level of your boudoir photoshoot.

A female model posing for boudoir shoot head shot
Photo by ActionVance (Unsplash)


3. Shoot From a Distance to Avoid Distortion

The closer you are to your model, the wider she’ll look. This is especially true for wide-angle lens users. Pay attention to the distance between your subject and yourself.
Shoot at least a few steps away from your model. You’ll find it easier to create interesting compositions. It will also be easier to capture their beauty in one aesthetically pleasing shot.
You can create more space in small rooms by shooting through mirrors or taking photos from a step ladder. You can also shoot through a window to take sensual portraits with stunning reflections. But make sure you don’t stand directly in front of your model so you don’t end up in the reflection!
If shooting from a distance creates too much space, you can add interesting elements to your composition. For example, you can shoot through or next to a curtain to fill negative space.
You can also shoot through props like flowers to add a boost of color to your images. Details like this are what make some boudoir photographer’s work stand out.

Woman posing in lingerie by a window for a boudoir shoot
Photo by Bin Thiều (Unsplash)


4. Inspire Meaningful or Candid Expressions

Don’t ask your model to look at random spots in your shoot location. This will make their expressions meaningless and result in awkward-looking portraits.
Instead, ask them to envision a loved one or a special moment. This form of subtle acting will relax your models and give you lots of dreamy portrait expressions to work with.
You can also distract them by having a conversation throughout the shoot. There’s nothing wrong with candid boudoir photos. Having a few spontaneous shots will make your results more diverse.

A male in a white tank top and underwear posing for a boudoir shoot against a white backdrop
Photo by Jorge Brito (Unsplash)


5. Use Different Camera Angles for Captivating Photos

If you stick to the same styles and techniques, your photoshoot won’t reach its full potential. It’s important to try out different methods.
The more camera angles you shoot from, the easier it is to capture your model’s best poses. Show them your photos regularly so they can pick their favorite angles. This collaboration, though small, will improve your working relationship. It’ll help your model feel comfortable in their skin.
Stand directly above your model as they lie on a bed or the floor. (A step ladder can help.) This will give you a great angle for unique boudoir photography. To make your photos more interesting, place fairy lights or flowers around your model.

A female model lying back posing with fairy lights for a casual boudoir photoshoot
Photo by Alina Lobanova (Unsplash)


6. Use Props to Turn Simple Photos into Breathtaking Ones

Boudoir photography props don’t have to be expensive or complicated. Your model can hold something that means a lot to them. This will add emotional depth to your photos and give your subject something to focus on.
Not knowing what to do with your hands can feel awkward. She might feel more secure if she has something to hold on to. You can also play with outfit props like glasses, blankets, fairy lights, etc.
Boudoir photography has to be meaningful, so make sure that the props you’re using are something your model cares about. If you can’t think of anything, ask them to wear an item of clothing they love, like a denim jacket. This will add authenticity to your photos.

A female model in a denim jacket posing on a bed for a sexy boudoir shoot
Photo by Igor Menezes (Unsplash)


7. Use Natural and Artificial Lighting to Find Your Ideal Style

What makes photography so beautiful is that it can be approached from any angle imaginable. This means that you have your own unique style that can take your boudoir photos to the next level.
Playing with light is one of the most effective ways to discover your style. Don’t limit yourself to natural or artificial light only.
The more lighting techniques you know, the easier it is to take flattering photos of different body types. The more potential you see in the light, the easier it is to have a smooth photoshoot, no matter where you are.
The model doesn’t have to be completely visible in boudoir photography in every shot. You can experiment with dim lighting and bright artificial colors to give your images a cinematic feel.

Boudoir shoot with a woman posing under red lighting
Photo by Brian Lawson (Unsplash)


Conclusion: Better Boudoir Shoots

Boudoir shoots don’t have to be awkward for you or your model. With these seven tips, you can make your subjects feel comfortable and take amazing photos at the same time.
Confident in boudoir photography? Read our next guide on how to create stunning nude photography. Or check out one of our business or portrait eBooks or courses.