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Boudoir… Revealed

February 14th, 2012 by Jeannine

 
Boudoir... Revealed

Boudoir is for every woman. This growing trend has become the wedding gift of choice for brides to give to their unsuspecting grooms. Boudoir is basically a tasteful, sexy photoshoot that brings out your inner goddess. I wanted to find out what the appeal is so I sought out a boudoir expert, photographer Jennifer Williams. She photographed weddings for 2 years but when she moved to Vancouver a year ago, she switched her focus to boudoir exclusively because she absolutely loves working with amazing, fearless women and knowing that with each photoshoot, she made a positive difference in their self-esteem.

Find the Right Photographer!

First thing’s first, you need a photographer. A lot of wedding photographers (especially females) offer boudoir services and some, like Jennifer, specialize in it. Look through their portfolios and figure out which styles you like. Pay close attention to the angles they shoot in, the kinds of poses they ask their clients to do, and how they edit the final product. Where they work should also be considered… do they have their own furnished studio? Are they mobile? Check on their prices too and see what packages they offer or if they have any upcoming boudoir marathons. For those who don’t know, a boudoir marathon is when a photographer takes in one boudoir photoshoot after another, often for a great price that includes hair and makeup services. Jennifer recommends booking consultations with potential photographers before taking the plunge.

“Meeting your photographer before the shoot can help quell any fears you might have, and give you an opportunity to discuss any special ideas you’d like to incorporate.

Book someone you trust and whose style fits your personality. Make it clear to your photographer if you want them publishing your photos or not. It’s very common for photographers to blog about their latest shoots so if your photos are for your eyes only, ask to keep your photos private.

Beat the nerves!

It goes without saying, it’s normal to feel nervous before a boudoir shoot. Unless you’re a lingerie model, it’s common for women to feel self-conscious in front of a stranger, in front of a camera, while wearing barely anything. Before you go in, take a deep breath and relax. Remember, it’s just you and your photographer, and it’s like Vegas, whatever happens in that room is between you and the photographer so there’s nothing to worry about. Jennifer likes to talk to her clients during the shoot, asking them about their lives, their husband, travel plans, basically anything to keep your mind off the fact that you’re being photographed in your underwear. Different photographers will have their own way of helping you relax, a good thing to find out during your initial consultation.

Get the look!

Jennifer recommends planning out how you will look for the photoshoot, which includes outfits (lingerie, bra & panty sets, your man’s shirt, favourite jersey, etc.), shoes, hair and makeup arrangements, and decide how much skin you want to show. Bring different outfits so you can have a variety of photos to choose from. As Jennifer says…

“5 different black bra/panty sets will all look the same in an album. Choose your outfits keeping in mind to find something with colour, something sexy, something cute, and something dramatic.”

Don’t forget the shoes! It completes the outfit.

“Shoes are a must with sultry lingerie; a pair of black pumps or stilettos with a pointed toe are sexy as hell and really elongate the leg.”

The most important thing is that the outfits fit you properly and that you feel comfortable and beautiful wearing them, it really shows in the photos if you’re not comfortable.

Your photographer will give you the option of doing nude or near nude shots. Tasteful topless photos will be a hit with your spouse for sure, but if you’re not comfortable, a bed sheet can be just as hot as nothing at all!

Flirty Little Extras!

Props and accessories really add to the shoot as well. Here are some suggestions:

  • Jewelry – lots of bling and a long strand of pearls will glam you up well!
  • Stockings – fishnet or whatever you think looks great with your outfit
  • Your husband’s tie or hat – pair it up with his favourite shirt + stilettos = smokin’!
  • Feather boa – always fun and sexy
  • Birdcage veil – very stylish and adds a bit of mystery

I asked Jennifer what the most unique prop a client brought to a shoot…

“Oh wow…I’ve had a lot of really interesting props! As far as outfits go, someone brought thong pantyhose from American Apparel. I was really concerned before she put them on…I mean they were so weird looking in the package! Once she put them on though we tried some poses that were smokin’ hot! They really turned out well, and unfortunately I can’t share those photos!”

Location, Location, Location!

All you need is a bedroom, really. A living room with a roaring fireplace can set the atmosphere too, but some photographers, like Jennifer, have their own studio where they conduct shoots. Some boudoir photographers choose to book a fancy hotel room or suite for a day or two for boudoir marathons. Or how about the great outdoors? If you’re gutsy enough and the area is remote, why not? Just make sure it’s allowed before attempting this ;)

Strike a Pose!

Knowing how you position yourself will give you a more flattering photo, which is even more important in boudoir because looking awkward is not sexy! Jennifer has some great tips to prepare yourself for your shoot:

  • Try to relax and trust your photographer! Sometimes the direction they give may feel awkward but there’s usually a reason why they are telling you to do a specific action. 
  • Practice arching your back, sticking out your bum and chest, as well as pulling your stomach in.
  • Breathing through your mouth (instead of your nose) creates a really sexy separation of your lips without feeling like your jaw is just hanging open.
  • Pointing your toes (think, ballerina) helps elongate the leg when you are laying down as well as sitting.

And don’t worry, your photographer should tell you what works and what doesn’t. They will also make suggestions along the way, so that’s one less thing to worry about!

A Few Words With Jennifer…

Why should women have a boudoir photoshoot?
“A boudoir photoshoot is the ultimate ‘feel good’ experience for a woman. They get to indulge in getting their hair, makeup and nails done in preparation for the shoot, as well as buy some pretty new lingerie.  With the help of their photographer, they also will create a memory that they can look back on as a time when they felt really good about themselves.  Speaking from my own experience, my photo shoot was life changing. I felt different afterwards…I realized what it felt like to feel sexy and attractive. Women are so focused on their ‘flaws’ that they don’t realize how incredibly beautiful and amazing they are inside AND out.”

Are there male boudoir photographers?
“There are some incredible male photographers out there, in fact, my boudoir photographer was a man (his wife assisted). A few of my ‘idols’ in the boudoir world are men as well.  I don’t think gender determines a boudoir photographer’s skill, however professionalism does! When in doubt, schedule a consultation to meet the photographer beforehand to get a feel for their personality. A photographer you ‘click’ with (pardon the pun) will create a much better experience for you than choosing a photographer based on gender or price.  Sometimes the good things in life are worth saving for and splurging on.”

Is there such a thing as male or couples boudoir?
“Yes! Although it’s not something I have a lot of experience with, boudoir for men does exist, and its popularity lies mostly within the gay community. Couples boudoir is a really fun way for two people in love to express their love for another, as well as the intimacy they share. Capturing romantic, sweet and sensual images is a great way for a couple to really connect. A lot of married couples do a shoot together to rekindle their passion and desire!”

Talk about a boudoir-information overload! Hope you learned a thing or two, I sure did! A huge thank you goes out to Jennifer Williams for taking the time to share her expertise. If you want to see more of her latest work, be sure to check out her blog, Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

All photos courtesy Jennifer Williams Boudoir Photography Studio

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Comments

  • March 28th, 2012 at 7:39 pm
    Barb says:

    Beautiful work Jennifer!

     
  • March 30th, 2012 at 4:52 am
    Corporate Headshots London says:

    Not my photography sector but some great advice on becoming a successful boudoir photographer.

     

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