Boudoir can be fun and empowering but it also can be nerve-wracking and scary when you think about being partially (or fully) naked in front of a stranger with a camera! Not feeling comfortable is totally normal but lucky for you, I’ve been doing this a long time so I’ve nailed down a few tricks to help you feel more at ease.
Here are my top tips and tricks to help you feel more comfortable and confident during your entire boudoir shoot.
1. Pick the right boudoir photographer
You know those people who you meet and you just instantly click with? Yeah, that’s the feeling you should get with your boudoir photographer! It’s important that when you’re looking for a boudoir photographer that you chat and get to know them a little better.
Whether that’s through email, over the phone, or in person, you want to be sure that whoever is going to be photographing you half-naked is someone you could also see yourself grabbing drinks with or hanging out. The first step in feeling comfortable during your boudoir shoot is to trust the person behind the camera.
2. Hire a professional who understands how to direct you with posing every step of the way
Part of picking the right boudoir photographer also includes making sure they have enough experience. Not every photographer is good at giving direction and would prefer you to come up with your own poses.
So, if you’re a little on the shy side and know that you’ll need help then make sure to ask if they help pose you. 99% of them will probably say yes but that doesn’t always mean they are good at it lol. Take a look at their work too. Are all their poses the exact same for all body types? If so, you might be limited with how much direction you’ll get from them.
I used to shoot editorial photography for magazines, fashion designers, and TV shows so I am SUPER involved in posing coaching. Since I now shoot 99% boudoir, I am very used to coaching poses that work with your body type. This takes the stress off you and lets you just have fun during your session.
3. Tour the boudoir studio
It’s always nice to feel prepared and perhaps be inspired by the boudoir studio sets! If your photographer does not have photos of their studio posted, don’t hesitate to ask! I share exactly what my boudoir studio looks like and all the different sets I have so you can feel more comfortable before your shoot!
4. Make a plan with your photographer
Your boudoir photographer can help guide you on what lingerie to choose, where to buy it from, prop ideas, accessories and so much more! Nothing will make your confidence sink quicker than ordering *suuupper cute* lingerie from some boutique you saw on a Facebook ad and then realizing a few days before your shoot that it won’t get to you in time because it’s coming from China. Or if you do get it and it totally doesn’t fit right or looks nothing like the picture.
Having to scramble at the last minute to find something for your shoot will have you stressed out and feeling blah. You’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed during your shoot if all the details are ironed out beforehand and you know exactly what to expect.
At our boudoir studio, even if you are stressed about your lingerie picks, don’t worry! We have many options in various sizes that flatter all body types. Many ladies come with a few simple ideas, and just have me pick a few lingerie looks that will falter their body shape & vibe for their session! And, last (or first!) case scenario, sheets are always a super sexy option that is not even lingerie.
5. Choose outfits that flatter your figure and make you feel like a Goddess
Ever have the perfect outfit picked out in your head and try it on only to realize 15 min before you have to leave that it doesn’t actually look that great? Total mood killer. If you didn’t have time to change then you probably spent the rest of the day feeling super self-conscious and adjusting your clothes. That’s the type of feeling we want to avoid for your boudoir session!
Picking the right outfit is essential to feeling comfortable and confident during your boudoir shoot.
You’ll want to choose pieces that fit properly, flatter your figure, and reflect your style. Every client that works with me gets my Lingerie Guide, which goes over all the different types of lingerie, what works best for each body type, and my favorite places to shop! I also have a studio closet and can shop for you before your session for those of you who prefer to have me help pick your looks!
6. Try to eat healthy a few weeks before, but don’t stress about your weight or that pimple that popped!
No matter how much you weigh or what your body type is, we can all agree that we feel a little better when we’re eating healthy. Please don’t starve yourself or go on any crazy crash diets to “lose weight” before your shoot but do try to make healthier decisions if that helps you feel more confident, so you don’t feel “blah” on the day of! Again, every body type can rock a boudoir session, so don’t feel the need to do anything more than make you feel confident!
7. Worried about bloat?
Drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks and salt a few days leading up to your boudoir shoot. Why? Because bloating. I don’t know about you, but I do not feel confident or sexy when I feel bloated. Of course, if you do end up feeling bloated, let me know and I’ll keep that in mind as I’m posing you! It’s always good to remember we notice things about ourselves that no one else can see! I promise even if you do end up feeling bloated you will still love your images!
8. Schedule a little self-care
If you normally get your hair colored, wear extensions, or get mani-pedi’s for a special event, then make sure you do the same for your boudoir shoot! You’ll feel more confident knowing your hair, skin, and nails are on point. Don’t care about having your nails painted?! Then don’t worry about it. Just do whatever self-care things that make you feel your best.
9. Get a professional spray tan
A little sun-kissed tan can give your skin a nice glow in photos and make it appear more smooth. It can also help you feel more comfortable with your body because it somewhat “hides” cellulite and stretch marks. We should all love our bodies and embrace our imperfections but sometimes that’s easier said than done and ya just need a little self-tanner to feel more confident.
Try getting a spray-tan done by a professional a few days before your boudoir shoot. A booth is fine too but can sometimes leave you streaky and a little off-colored. A professional can do a little “body-contouring” to accentuate the features you love and downplay the ones you don’t. I love the Norvell tanning solution for the best color so try to find a salon that offers that!
Do try to avoid at-home self-tanners as most tend to photograph orange. If you do decide to use an at-home tanning option make sure you have used it before and know it does not have a slight orange tint on your skin tone. Lastly, remember to do any self-tanning a few days before your shoot so you can fix any streaks and ensure your tan won’t rub off on your lingerie!
10. Have your hair and makeup professionally done
Unless you are Youtube awesome at doing makeup and hair, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. They have been trained in all sorts of skin and hair types and know the best products to use to make your features pop on camera and your hair last the whole 3-4hrs of your session. All my clients get complimentary hair and makeup before their shoot but if your boudoir photographer doesn’t offer that make sure you schedule your own!
11. Accept Yourself
Easier said than done, I know but repeat after me, “I am beautiful. I am strong. I am amazing.” You have been given this wonderful body and you are beautiful no matter what your shape or size is! You’ll get to see that after your boudoir shoot but if your nerves are getting the best of you beforehand, just remember that everyone has something they don’t like about their body and no one is perfect. Even the girls you see in magazines!
12. Remember that your photographer isn’t going to deliver any unflattering photos of you!
If I ever catch any unflattering photos, don’t worry, they do NOT get delivered. In boudoir, you’re carefully posed, so girl, I promise you will be blown away!
This one can be really hard until you are at the session. Nerves are completely natural for most people, but the more you can relax and just enjoy yourself, the better your images will be since your personality can shine through. For boudoir photos, I find most clients are nervous when they arrive, but start to feel more comfortable when they are getting hair and makeup done. Once they start shooting, they see how easy and fun it is, they are hooked! And no longer nervous!