With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, today I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about boudoir photo shoots and give you a few reasons to consider doing one! While doing a boudoir photo shoot is totally acceptable year-round, who doesn’t want to give a little extra something special to your significant other on the holiday of love? <3
I’ve put together a thorough guide to boudoir photography and I’m giving you 5 really good reasons to book your own session! Here, I hope to answer all of your questions about boudoir, show you where to find great outfit options, give you a few examples of boudoir photography and point you in the direction of some really wonderful photographers who specialize in (or are incredibly talented with) boudoir in the central IL and St. Louis areas. Let’s get to it!
So what exactly is boudoir?
First, I think it’s important that we answer the question of what a boudoir photo shoot even is. Basically, it is a very personal photo shoot done to either give the photos as a gift to a significant other (before a wedding, anniversary, holiday, maternity, etc.) or just as something special to do for yourself (celebrating your beauty, reaching a fitness goal, a birthday present to yourself, etc.). They can be light and fun or more serious and seductive. Generally, prior to the shoot, you select a photographer who you feel best suits your style, make arrangements to get your hair and makeup done and pick out some cute outfits that you feel beautiful in. Many photographers will offer a package offering hair and makeup with it, but you can also arrange your own prior to the photo shoot or you can do it yourself. I’ve recommended some of my favorite photographers below, but we’ll get to that later.
Who can do a boudoir photo shoot?
Literally, anyone. Well I say that loosely – you probably need to be at least 18 without parental permission. If you’d like to do one with your significant other, couples boudoir is totally a thing. Boudoir sessions are mainly geared towards women, but even men are doing them now – appropriately dubbed as “Dudeoir Photography” to match their generally humorous nature. Even my friend Tracy’s dog wanted to be in on the fun and plopped down right in front of the couch during one of my sessions. Quite possibly one of my fave photos ever!
What do you wear?
Many women choose to wear lingerie or go with implied nude (aka covered with a bedsheet, shadows, hand placement or something similar), but you are certainly not limited to just those two choices. It’s all about what YOU are most comfortable with, who it’s for and how edgy you want to go. Is your S/O a big baseball fan? Consider a shoot in his favorite player’s uniform. Want something a little more seductive? A corset, bodysuit or lingerie are all great options. Not comfortable showing a lot of skin? Try an oversized sweater or a swimsuit you feel flatters you. Dress your outfit up (or down) with knee-high boots, heels or just go barefoot. There are tons of ideas floating around on Pinterest for all body types and themes so definitely check there too.
Just one important thing to remember: If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will reflect in your photos and you don’t want that. So make sure whatever you decide to wear, it is something that makes you happy and you feel good in. Also, props are a ton of fun too! Reading glasses, a coffee cup (or wine glass with wine) or whatever matches the theme/look you’re going for can really add some character to your photos.
Where can you find outfits?
This all just really depends on the look you’re going for. I’ve picked some things out like the denim shirt above from Target or the black tie-up sweater above from Express. You can get creative with things you already own or if you want, you can go all out and get some new pieces specifically for your photo shoot. Here are some of my faves that I would recommend!
- Adore Me (Regular and plus sizes. Got the prettiest corset from here!)
- PrettyLittleThing (The cutest bodysuits and lingerie for all sizes and so affordable!)
- Additionelle (Really great option for curvier and plus size women)
- Savage X Fenty (Regular and plus sizes)
- Third Love (Regular and plus sizes. Also great for every day wear)
- Ashley Stewart (For women sizes 12-26)
- Torrid (For women sizes 10-30. This is where I got my bodysuit below and have also purchased some other cute oversized sweaters here like the pink one above)
- Miraclesuit (The best option for super flattering swimwear no matter your size. I wrote a blog post about their swimwear you can read -> HERE <-)
So Why Should You Book a Boudoir Session?
How much time do I have to answer this question? Lol seriously. I can think of at least 5 good reasons you should be scheduling your boudoir photo shoot right now (and if you’re planning on doing it before V Day, you really should be)!
Major Confidence Boost
I am literally the most shy person on the planet and even I find my inner Victoria’s Secret model when I do a boudoir photo shoot. When I first started pursuing modeling and did my first boudoir shoot, I was about 40ish pounds lighter than I am now. Even then, I was super shy and lacked a lot of confidence. However, I am here to tell you that getting in front of the camera will change that instantly. Seriously – boudoir is so empowering. Once you get going, the initial nervousness fade away. Not to mention, once you get your photos back and see how incredible you look, you’ll realize how much credit you haven’t been giving yourself all along.
Every BODY Looks Amazing
I think it’s only normal that even the thought of posing for pictures half-dressed would be many women’s worst nightmare. We easily get caught up in our “flaws” and the idea of them being captured on camera can make you feel extremely vulnerable. I’m here to tell you to let that fear go, sister! These photographers are professionals and they will pose you in such a way that the angles are flattering and they capture your personality right along with your beauty. Just let your photographer know up front what you are and aren’t comfortable with showing in your photos (stretch marks, scars, etc.) so that they know how to position you best to get what you want out of your shoot.
There Are No Size Requirements
I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum weight-wise (as you’ve probably been able to tell throughout this post) when I’ve done boudoir photo shoots. After I put on some weight, I was a little more hesitant at the time, but looking back at these photos, I see a girl who is equally confident in both. Don’t even for a second feel like your size (or age for that matter) should limit you and keep you from doing one. Embrace your body as it is today and trust that you are going to look like a complete goddess in your photos no matter your size.
Makes A Great Gift
As I mentioned above, there are a number of occasions and reasons to gift yourself or someone you love boudoir photos. These are really popular to do as a gift for your groom on your wedding day, as a maternity session before your baby arrives or simply as a way to commemorate a milestone in your life such as reaching a fitness goal or a birthday. These will be photos you and/or your significant other will cherish forever that hold a special meaning.
You’ll Have So Much Fun!
Boudoir photo shoots are a genuinely fun experience! Not only do you get to spend a day getting all dolled up, but you’ll have stunning photos of yourself that will last a lifetime. Once you get going, you really start to loosen up and embrace the whole experience. Make an upbeat playlist, bring a bottle of wine and bring your inner Beyonce because you’re going to feel just like her by the time your shoot is over.
Some photographers can just be creepy, especially when it comes to something like boudoir. So I put together a list of few photographers that I’ve personally worked with or know and who I absolutely trust and adore their work. They all have unique and gorgeous portfolios. Each photographer has their own style and aesthetic and varying price points. I’m sharing some examples of their work as well as linking their websites under their business name so you can easily find them, see more of their work and book a session if you’re interested!
Boudoir By Tracy Lynn – St. Louis, MO – I absolutely adore Tracy! I’ve done several boudoir photo shoots with her and holy wow! I have been blown away by every single image I’ve ever received from her (I’ve shared several of her photos throughout this post). Her specialty is boudoir (that’s pretty much all she shoots) and she is amazing at posing you in ways that are so flattering. Aside from being incredibly sweet, her photos are beyond stunning. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you book her!
Intimate Images – St. Louis, MO – I would normally be a little hesitant to recommend a guy to shoot boudoir, but Ryan is awesome! I have personally worked with him myself and he was nothing short of professional. I felt completely comfortable during our session and loved how the photos turned out! He is truly a phenomenal photographer and a joy to work with.
Beth Barton Photography – St. Louis/St. Charles, MO – I’ve done several shoots with Beth and I absolutely LOVE her work. She is creative and amazing with lighting, shadows and just a blast to shoot with in general. She always made me feel very comfortable and she has a really great eye for boudoir photography.
Tracy Jane Weidel Photography – St. Louis, MO – Another Tracy that I absolutely adore! I have not done any boudoir sessions (yet) with Tracy, but I have worked with her on numerous other occasions and she is literally one of my favorite people on this planet. We have SO much fun during our shoots and it totally radiates in the photos. While boudoir is not her primary focus, she does offer boudoir sessions every so often and they are STUNNING. Definitely reach out to her if you are interested in scheduling a shoot. Here are some examples from her past boudoir sessions!
Kate Spencer Photography – Springfield, IL – I have not had the opportunity to shoot with Kate personally. However, I went to high school with her where I saw her passion for photography flourish. I know that she is an incredibly professional photographer with many years of boudoir experience along with weddings and family portraits. I know she’s running some Valentine’s Day specials right now ladies – be sure to check her out! Here are a few examples of her work!
Savannah Linn Photography – Springfield, IL – I also haven’t had the opportunity to work with Savannah yet, but I have friends that have and her work is just lovely. There is something so refreshing about her confident and body-positive approach to boudoir photography (and life in general) along with her beautiful editing style. Here are some examples of her work!
If you have photographers in other locations that you are considering, feel free to send me an email and I would be happy to look into them for you. I have quite a few connections in the photography field and I would love to help you connect with a photographer who is the real deal and will make you feel comfortable.
I hope this post has inspired you to book your own boudoir session whether it’s for you or for someone else. If you are planning one for Valentine’s Day, there is still time, but you need to book ASAP so the photographer has time to edit and get your photos made into an album. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or reach out to me via the contact tab and I’ll do my best to help you!