What is Boudoir Photography?

What is Boudoir Photography?

Great question!  First ask yourself, based off of what you’ve heard about it before, what do you think it is?  What is Boudoir photography and why is it so important?  There are many assumptions to what Boudoir actually is and I’m here to describe it the best I can to you.

Boudoir by definition means, ” A woman’s private bedroom or sitting room”.  It is derived from the French language and pertains to an area where a woman can be alone in the privacy of her own home to do whatever she chooses.  It is an area to collect her thoughts, and have some time to herself.  This is where Boudoir Photography stemmed from and became popular with women to have themselves photographed in a quiet, intimate setting.  It is a way to reflect on themselves with their beauty and to learn to love their bodies.

Over the years, Boudoir photography has become known as women empowerment photography.  It has become an art to where the photographer can use their expertise to help women find themselves again and gain body acceptance.  For many women, society has become quite harsh when it comes to how the body should look.  The stigma that has developed over time with people thinking that women need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or be a certain size or shape has really caused some damage to one’s self confidence.  Women are hard on themselves for so many reasons and learning to love their body is hard especially when it goes through so many changes.   An expecting mother with a growing belly is admired and seen as beautiful, but when the woman has had her baby, the after effects of creating life leaves you with extra skin and stretchmarks, to which people now look down upon.  This causes low self esteem and low self- love.   Your body has created life!  For some- hormones change, people age, stress, and medications can all contribute to our bodies changing and for most, that is a hard pill to swallow.   We rely on others to tell us that we are beautiful even though we no longer see it in ourselves.  We need something that will help us to learn to love our bodies and the first step is to start with an open mind.

This is why Boudoir Photography is so important.    It is part of a journey of self-love, acceptance, and confidence.   Boudoir Photography can open your eyes to a different side that you didn’t know existed.

boudoir photography

Who is Boudoir Photography for?

Honestly, it’s for everyone.  But for most, this is mainly pertained to women.  Men can certainly do Boudoir sessions but it isn’t as popular.  Hey, men deserve to feel amazing and deserve a good confidence boost every now and again too.  But for most, it’s for women.  It’s an opportunity to open doors we never felt comfortable opening. We all have a different side to us, right? I mean, who doesn’t?  So why not go outside of your comfort zone and try something new.  I do warn you though, Boudoir sessions can get addicting.  Feeling amazing and told you’re beautiful really is empowering.   Perhaps you want to explore another side of your personality that you didn’t even know you had or existed.  You’ll never know unless you make that first step.

Yes, the thought of getting naked in front of a complete stranger can definitely cause some nerves to jump.  But guess what? You don’t have to undress!  That’s what’s so beautiful with Boudoir photography.  The session is catered around you and your comfort zone. You want to be daring and wear that sexy lingerie? Go for it!  Want to stay more modest with oversized sweaters and robes?  Let’s do it! Either way, you’ll look stunning and you’ll feel comfortable.  That is extremely important with Boudoir. You set your own limits on to how the session will go and you will never be forced into doing something that you don’t want to do. This is why pre-consulation phone calls are important.  It is a chance to get to know people on a personal level and listen to their concerns and fears. For most, this is the first time they’ve ever had a session like this and it’s the fear of the unknown.  This is why Finding the right Boudoir photographer is so important on so many levels.  For myself, I also send a questionnaire to you beforehand to make sure I have everything prepared as much as possible for what you are looking for.   The feeling of being vulnerable and exposed in front of the camera can be nerve wracking for sure, but after a few minutes into the session, you’ll learn you’re in the right hands.  There is something so invigorating by conquering something new.   Change never happens in life without stepping out of that comfort zone.

If you haven’t noticed from seeing other Boudoir photography, these are not models. The people seen are every day people like you and me- mothers, wives, caretakers, workers, whatever it may be.  It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy thing we called life. We do so much for others, that we DO deserve to do something nice for ourselves.   It’s normal to have the “mom guilt” but mom’s need to get away sometimes too.  And in all honesty, if you want to have more energy and be good at what you do, you need to take a self care day every once in while. A time to recharge or re-boost and come back with that energy full force. You’ll feel better and everyone else around you will notice and feel good too!

So the main reason for Boudoir Photography is to really empower women and help them see themselves in a different light. See themselves how others see them on a daily basis.  Boudoir photography sessions are a luxury experience including pre-consultation phone call,  professional makeup application, access to client closet full of multiple sizes of lingerie, a 2 hour session, complimentary beverages if offered, a photo reveal session (my favorite part!) and sometimes even a souvenir to take home as a thankyou. Boudoir photography is art. It showcases your beauty in the most tasteful way and also helps you to see your flaws in a positive light.  You can wear as little or as much as you’d like and it is mainly to show you that you have had that spark all along. You just needed help to let it come out.  Keepsake albums are a stunning way to keep those photos for you to look at for as long as you’d like.  A gentle constant reminder of how amazing you are and what you have accomplished.  Be it either a milestone you are celebrating, a success story, leaving a toxic relationship, whatever the case may be– this is a fresh start. A new beginning and to add the confidence back into your life that you have been searching for all along.


How do I prepare for a Boudoir photography session?

Leave the preparation up to your photographer. Our job is to prepare you and make you feel as comfortable as possible.  While most photographers do have their own client closet collection full of many choices of lingerie, I do suggest bringing some of your own. Some that you know fit you well and you know feel great in.  The best tip I can give a boudoir client on lingerie is — If you try it on and you are thinking, “hmmm it’s kinda cute but I wish it was more like this..”, it’s not the one.  Don’t add to cart.  Now when you try it on and you don’t want to take it off and you’re looking at yourself from all angles thinking Oh My Gosh,  I really love this one, then buy it! ASAP!  The lingerie in your photographers client closet will definitely be an added perk to the gallery, but you want to make sure you bring things you know fit well and that you love.  And it’s like Christmas for your photographer…well at least for me anyways. I can get bored photographing the same things in my closet but when a client brings in something new, my brain starts thinking all different ways I want to photograph it and I get so excited.  It changes things up a bit.

There are other ways in which you can prepare for your boudoir session such as stretching, drinking plenty of water, and practicing facial expressions in the mirror.  The more you get comfortable with your body in front of the mirror, the more comfortable you’ll be in front of the camera.  There are ways in which you can calm nerves before your session as well.  For tips on getting rid of those jitters, click here.  It is also important to start talking to yourself more positively.  If you don’t start to switch your mindset now before the session and you enter with negativity,  you’ll see your images with negativity.  We don’t want that!

Stretching is extremely important before your Boudoir photography session. I can’t emphasize that enough.  Boudoir poses are quite a work out and can hurt your back or other parts of your body afterwards. To avoid that, make sure to stretch your back and hips often within a week or two of the session.  This will allow more arching in your photos to give them that extra pop!  With that being said, keep in mind that this is all within your physical abilities.  If you have had spinal fusions or surgeries that limit your flexibility, please let your photographer know up front so there is so accidental damage.  You can still get beautiful poses without those extravagant arches.   Here are a few easy back exercises that can help you prepare with just 15 minutes a day.   And be sure to ask your Boudoir photographer if they have a Prep Guide beforehand to help even more.  Each photographer is different and has their own unique style so make sure to research what is Boudoir photography to them?  What is their main reason for photographing Boudoir sessions.

Who will see my Boudoir Photography session images?

Your images are confidential and only seen by you and your photographer unless given permission to share publicly.  Make sure you sign a release giving permission to share or not share so there is full transparency.  The connection between you and your photographer rely on trust and for them to show images publicly without consent is unprofessional. If the images are for a significant other, make sure to discuss how you will be retrieving your images.  If you have ordered an album and you are keeping it a surprise until your big day, you may want to discuss how you want to communicate or make a payment as sometimes joint accounts are an easy oops.   It is vital to talk with your photographer about Who will see my boudoir images, and talk about the details in advance upon booking.  Every photographer has a different policy.

Unfortunately, there is an attached stigma to Boudoir Photography when most people are asked, “What is Boudoir Photography?”   Sadly, most think it’s a form of pornography. I am here to clarify that it is far from! And the reasoning for that is because pornography is for the public’s viewing pleasure.  Boudoir photography is for the client’s viewing pleasure only.  It is not public. It is not shared, unless with their significant other or they otherwise give permission to share their images publicly.   That goes back to the stem of the word, “Boudoir”, which means in a woman’s private bedroom. So when someone asks, “What is Boudoir Photography?”, we kindly say that it is a form of art that privately captures the beauty in a woman while also learning to embrace her flaws to see herself in a different light which leads to added confidence and self love and body acceptance.   When I tell others what I do and then I say it like that, it switches their mindset on the topic fast.  It lets them see the beauty of Boudoir photography.

Do I need to know how to pose for my Boudoir Photography session?

Nope! Not one bit!  That’s what your photographer is for.  Rely on their expertise and knowledge to pose you in the most flattering ways possible to emphasize your best assets and/or features.  Upon booking, look up your photographer’s editing style. Do you like the more dark and moody images, or the light and airy ones? This is important to consider before your session because you need to get a good idea of how your images will look afterwards based off of your style preference.   There are multiple props and furniture to aid with certain poses as well to help give that wow factor. Here are a few examples:

what is boudoir photography


what is boudoir photographyCHAIR

what is boudoir photographyCOUCH

what is boudoir photography



There are also numerous props to choose from.  So you don’t have to worry at all about what you should bring or prepare with.  You are always welcome to bring things that are meaningful to you or that you’d like to incorporate during your session such as your husband’s button up shirt, cute bra and undies set, white T-shirt for getting wet (if your photographer provides a “wet set”), high heels, different types of underwear such as Cheeky Peeks, thongs, G-strings, etc. and different types of bras or jewelry you’d like to include.

You are also more than welcome to bring inspirational photos that you’d like to use as reference during your session. Just know that your photographer can never identically replicate a photo that you show from a Pinterest board or Google, but we will try our best to add our special touch to the same idea of it to format it to you specifically.  All ideas welcome! Feel free to check out my Boudoir by NinaRose Prep Guide for more information.

Also, feel free to join my Women’s only private Facebook group at Boudoir by NinaRose VIP group for more on upcoming events, inspirational quotes, and testimonials from previous clients.

So now you know, what is Boudoir photography and why every one should book at least one session in their lifetime. It’s so much more than just photos. The everlasting effects of the session are priceless.

Stay beautiful! And don’t ever let anyone dim your sparkle!!

-Boudoir by NinaRose

Have More Questions??

I’ve got you covered…or uncovered LOL


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