8 Things to Know Before Booking a Boudoir Photographer - The Must Read Guide

8 Things to Know Before Booking a Boudoir Photographer - The Must Read Guide

Want to have the best photos for your boudoir shoot? Choosing the right photographer is the first step

Read these tips to make sure you’re choosing the right person that fits your style and understands your vision, but most of all, someone who will help you feel as beautiful as you truly are!

TIP #1 - Check out the Photographer's Portfolio

Do they specialize in boudoir?  While it isn’t required to be photographing just boudoir to be good at it, if their website or portfolio is literally EVERYTHING, they may not have the experience in posing and lighting for women in boudoir. It’s not the same as photographing family photos or weddings. 

TIP #2 - Photographer's Style

When you look at their portfolio, what sort of style do you see? How does looking at the images make you feel? There is quite a range out there! 

Is the imagery conservative or more egdy? Is it dark and moody or light and ehterial? There is no right or wrong here, art is meant to be subjective. But it is important that you choose a photographer that matches your style and that you can picture yourself in their imagery. 

It is also important to note of their style is consistent. Are you seeing a wide variety of women in flattering poses across all body types? If there are inconsistencies or several images of the same women, this is indicative of a photographer who is less experienced and is using paid models to pad their portfolio. 

Our style could be described as sensual and elegant. We use light and shadow to flatter all body shapes and sizes. We like to use darkness and shadow to portray mystery and brighter soft light to portray softness and romance. It’s all about the feel of the image and the mood we are going for.

Tip #3 - Editing and Retouching

What sort of retouching style does the photographer have?

If there is little to no retouching, you will see details like blemishes, wrinkles, or possible cellulite. If the photographer does a lot of retouching, the skin will look “plastic” and unnatural.

Retouching and editing are definitely a matter of personal preference. There is no wrong approach. The question you need to ask yourself is what is the level of retouching you see in the photographer’s work match the editing style you would like to have. 

Tip #4 - Nudity

When searching for a boudoir photographer, it’s important to take note of their philosophy regarding nudity. 

Some may photograph full nudity and some may not. Some may photograph it but choose not to share those photos publicly on their website portfolio to safeguard client privacy. It is always OK to ask so that you know what your options are. 

Fine art nudity can be a beautiful art form and definitely does not indicate anything raunchy. Nudity can also be implied, whereby the placement of hands, garments, or sheets ensures your private areas are discretely covered. There are many options, just make sure you ask your photographer to make sure they offer what you are looking for. 

Tip #5 - Full Service Amenities

Does the photographer include Hair and Makeup? Do they have a wardrobe closet that you can choose outfits from?  If you are looking for a full-service pampering experience this may be important to you.

Just because you have seen an image on Pinterest that you like doesn’t mean that the photographer has the skill set, hair and makeup artist on staff,  props, or wardrobe to achieve it.   If you don’t see anything like it in their website portfolio or on Instagram or Facebook, chances are they are not able to do what you are looking for. Make sure you ask them about these things in advnce of your session. 

Tip #6 - Where willl the shoot be?

There are 4 reasonable options for boudoir photographers. Your own home, the photographer’s home,  a hotel or Airbnb, or the photographer’s studio.

Unless your home is staged to suit the needs of a photographer, generally it’s not the best option for boudoir photos. This is likewise true for a session held in a photographer’s home as well, plus there is the added awkwardness of photographing intimate portraits in someone else’s regular bedroom..will you feel 100% at ease there? Likely not.

Hotels and AirBnBs can be difficult to feel comfortable and private, plus there are legality issues in some instances.

Most likely the place you will feel the safest and get the best results is at an established photographer’s studio specifically curated and staged to work for boudoir sessions. 

Tip #7 - Privacy

Boudoir photography is a very personal experience. You may feel that these photos are just for you and your partner. On the other hand, you may believe so strongly in the empowering nature of your experience that you can’t wait to show the whole world! 

The most important thing to consider is does your photographer has a specific policy in place for privacy?  Every boudoir photographer’s policy should be to consider your privacy. At Rhea Lewis Photography, we do ask some clients if they would like to empower other women by signing a model release and sharing their images, but this is never a requirement.

Tip #8 - Whats Included and for How Much

It’s important to know what to expect financially. That doesn’t mean that you look for the cheapest or the most affordable. Consider the criteria you are looking for; experience, specialty, knowledge, guidance, hair and makeup, styling, wardrobe, and most likely a studio dedicated to boudoir photography. Boudoir is a specialty experience and is a luxury. That said, luxury comes at a price based on value. Therefore, expect it to be an investment, just like any other luxury item you may want to purchase (i.e. shoes, handbags, makeup, etc.) Expect to pay $3000 or more for a luxury experience and quality products. 

Consider what is included with this investment. Is it just digital files that will live forever on your hard drive or phone? While you may think this is economical, boudoir is definitely ONE type of photography that you will want to have printed – trust me.  Because of the empowering experience and the boost of confidence a boudoir photoshoot provides, each time you look at your portraits it will remind you of that amazing woman that you are. How much is that kind of therapy worth to you? Consider an album and even a wall portrait from your session too. Why not? You only live once and surrounding yourself with positivity and reminders of your worth and beauty as a woman is a very good thing.

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