10 Tips For Beautiful Boudoir Portraits

Ladies, has there ever been a more obvious time to prep and pamper yourselves than before your boudoir shoot? Hell no! Your boudoir photos are something you are going to keep forever. The tips below will help ensure you fully appreciate your experience during a boudoir shoot and ensure we capture beautiful portraits you’ll adore for years to come.  


I always emphasize professionally styled hair and makeup for boudoir clients.  These services are included in all of my sessions because they are an absolute MUST HAVE. These are images that will beautifully memorialize your femininity for years to come. Trust me—Makeup for professional photos (especially boudoir) is much different than makeup you apply every day. Hair and makeup artists will work with you to create a stunning, camera-ready look.  Relax and be pampered by a pro. 


Every client’s first question: What should I wear to my boudoir shoot? First of all, you’re not in this alone. Most boudoir photographers would LOVE to help you plan your looks before the shoot! I like to collaborate with my clients on a Pinterest board to understand their style. Depending on what you describe feeling sexiest in, I’ll typically pin a few matching bra and panty sets, bodysuits (these look great on everyone), garter sets, slips, and corsets for inspiration.  You’ll notice I did not include babydolls or jerseys. These are fine at home, but they do not work well in photographs. They add volume to your body and hide the sexy curves we want to capture. 


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased a sexy piece of lingerie, only to find the corset was too long for my short torso, or that those “sexy” bondage like straps, that looked great on the model, look like very unfortunate sausage casing on me.  I’m always happy to give helpful tips and pointers if my clients send their outfit ideas along before a shoot. If you do get a new outfit or two for your photos, try them on well in advance to make sure the fit is perfect, and that they’re comfortable for you. Comfort is key to getting beautiful Boudoir images!  


I don’t only say this because I come from Houston, and have a real appreciation - no - OBSESSION for all things nail related. Boudoir photography incorporates a lot of poses with your hands and close-up facial shots. If you need a brow clean-up or some help to make your nails look fire, don’t shy away from having a professional work their magic on you before the session. Be thoughtful in choosing a nail shape, length, and color. Remember -  a mani is an extension of all of your boudoir outfits. Orange nails may not go with that sexy purple bra and panty set you plan to wear. We’ll talk toes a bit later.


There is no substitute for having naturally beautiful skin. Sure, your talented makeup artist will work their magic, and I will retouch any unwanted blemishes after your shoot. Still, anything you can do to improve your facial skin’s quality beforehand will shine on camera.  Give your skin as much moisture as possible over several days leading up to your shoot by drinking water and using hydrating products. Make sure you lightly exfoliate with a warm washcloth the day before your shoot to remove dead skin and allow for better makeup application. Hello, glowing skin!


Remember when I said there are a lot of close-ups? If you wax, don’t wait until the day before your shoot. You’ll want to take care of this three to five days before your Boudoir session. Waxing can leave red marks or slight rashes on your skin. Should this happen, they will typically fade within a few days.  On the same note - If you tweeze, be sure to do so before your session. 


High heels are usually every gal’s go-to for a boudoir shoot. Many photographers love them! I prefer it when my babes choose to go barefoot. Why? Heels can add personality and sexiness to your images, but they can also be a distraction from your beautiful lingerie, figure, and the overall style of your images. The look I generally aim to achieve with my clients is dark, moody, and says, “I woke up this sexy.”  Heels don’t give me those feels. So indulge in a relaxing pedicure before your shoot (toes and fingers should match). If you’d like a shoe option for one of your outfits, make sure the soles of your shoes are squeaky-clean (free of dirt, stickers, etc.)!


Let’s talk armpits. Make sure you wear clear deodorant on the day of your shoot. For certain poses, having your underarms looking clean and beautiful is crucial. Also, avoid wearing any tight clothing or undergarments with elastic (tube socks and tight jeans) to prevent any red marks on your beautifully prepped skin! 


Make time to get sweaty and drink a healthy amount of water in the days before your shoot. Avoiding salty foods, and especially making time for your usual workouts can help prevent water retention in your body and give you leaner lines.  Don’t forget to avoid late nights and all of those delicious foods that make us all breakout. Take care of yourself and give your body all the things it needs to shine! You can always treat yourself to celebratory chocolate and french fries, with a well-deserved glass of wine after your session.  I’ll happily join you! 


Lastly, but most importantly. The experience you have with your photographer will strongly reflect how you feel about the photos later on. Boudoir Photography is the most intimate type of photography you’ll probably ever experience. It’s all about where you are with your body and yourself as a woman, RIGHT NOW. Choose a photographer who you are comfortable communicating with, planning your unique concept with, and who’s style resonates with you. Choosing the right photographer will help you own YOUR version of femininity, and will allow you to be vulnerable enough to capture all of the undeniably gorgeous sides of YOU.

Boudoir Portraits - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where are you located?

A: My studio is located outside of San Francisco in the East Bay.  Because I am originally from Austin, I travel to Texas regularly and am open to scheduling shoots with my Southern babes as well. 

Q: Do I have to use your makeup artist and hairstylist, or can I do my own? 

A: Pro hair and makeup are included in all of my sessions. Makeup for boudoir photography is much different than the makeup you use for everyday life. It is also a way for you to relax before your shoot and feel pampered before we get into uncomfortable feeling (yet great-looking) poses. My local makeup artist will work with you to create the perfect look for your boudoir portraits. Not sure what type of look to ask for? Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas!

Q: Will you use my images on the Internet?

A: Boudoir images are sensitive to many people. I completely understand if you don’t want your images displayed on my website, blog, social media, studio samples, etc. I do not use your photos ANYWHERE unless you have granted permission through our client model release form to do so. In this document, you can specify where and how your photos can be used. If you DO want to be featured across my platforms (which I greatly appreciate!), you select which ones you feel comfortable with during your viewing session. 

Q: Who will be at the shoot? Should I bring a friend?

A: We are an all-female studio, and the only people present will be the photographer, makeup artist, and hairstylist (unless we schedule your glam time at the nearby salon).  As my studio is small and without a waiting area, only you and I will be present while we are shooting. The best photos come from the one-on-one interaction between you and your photographer. If you are at all concerned about safety, you are welcome to bring a female friend to drop you off at the studio, and meet me!

Q:  I need my images by a specific date. When should I book my shoot?

A: Some of my clients are hoping to gift images from their boudoir session to a special someone as a wedding, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day present. While I can accommodate select rush products from time to time, I recommend booking a session three months before the desired date of product delivery. As soon as you’ve decided you want to go on this journey with me as your boudoir photographer, book your session.  If you find yourself in a time crunch - Contact me, and we will do our best to make it work!

Q:  Do you provide lingerie at the studio?

A: For sanitary reasons, I do not offer an in-studio wardrobe, but you aren’t alone in selecting your outfits!  Depending on what you describe feeling sexiest in, I’ll send you a few pins of matching bra and panty sets, bodysuits (these look great on everyone), garter sets, slips, and corsets for inspirationA few brands I love are  BluebellaJournelle, Victoria’s Secret, For Love & Lemons, and Edge O’Beyond

Q: How much does a boudoir photography session cost?

A:  All in-studio boudoir sessions are $450, which includes wardrobe consultation, prep guide, professional hair/makeup, 60 - 90 minutes of shooting time, step by step posing, professional editing of images, and a local (in person) viewing session. All images and luxury products are purchased separately. During viewing sessions, my clients generally invest between $700 - $2,000 on collections of their digital photos, printed albums, and wall art. Please contact me for detailed pricing and offerings.

Q: Do you offer discounts, mini’s, or group sessions?

A: I believe every woman deserves my full, undivided attention. Because of this, I do not offer group sessions.  I do not have any regularly scheduled mini or marathon sessions.  Any promotional offers or mini session availability will be announced via Instagram or through my monthly newsletter (sign up here).

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