What to Expect During a Boudoir Photo Shoot

A boudoir model

Some people fear a boudoir photo shoot because they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know how they’ll feel and how the photographer will react. Will I feel completely uncomfortable? What if the photographer doesn’t respect my boundaries? These are just some of the questions that plague the minds of those who are a bit more on the modest side. It’s not easy for everyone to do this sort of thing and unless you’re a Kardashian, you probably don’t do boudoir photo shoots very often, if at all. However, the result can be well worth the mystery and insecurity. You can not only gain some beautiful photos of yourself in a way you’ve never seen before, but you’ll also gain a confidence and feeling of pride in your body. So, in order to get over the boudoir photo shoot jitters, let’s examine some of the process so you know what to expect.

Selecting the Right Photographer

This part you might already know if you’ve been married and selected a wedding photographer. Selecting the right photographer is the first and most crucial step. Depending on who you choose, your process will be slightly different. For instance, no two boudoir photographers are going to shoot in exactly the same style. They are different people with unique boundaries, shooting spaces, and costumes.

Some photographers come to you and some have a studio you visit. Some offer costumes and lingerie while some will ask you to bring what you’re comfortable in. Knowing what to expect starts with picking someone you feel comfortable with and who is willing to answer all your questions. Hopefully you find someone who makes you feel confident with the process from the very beginning.

A contract and pen

Quotes and Contracts

Once you’ve found the perfect photographer it’s down to the brass tacks. A professional should want to schedule an interview with you. This is the part where you get down to the numbers, but it’s also the time where you can ask the bulk of your questions and really get comfortable. You will likely be able to get an idea from this portion of the process of exactly who you’re going to be okay working with.

Even if you’ve found your dream artist, if you don’t feel solid after speaking with them, you’ll want to find someone you’re more in tune with. After talking through all the numbers and getting answers to all your questions, you’ll probably be ready to sign a contract. Every photographer presents contracts differently, but most will have some kind of clause protecting them if you back out. You’ll need to sign, agreeing to pay their fee and likely pay a down payment of some kind.

Boudoir Day

On the day of shoot it’s typically your choice whether you’d like to have your hair and makeup done. Some photographers suggest having them done professionally as makeup for camera is done differently. Your photographer should have some suggestions and references to hair and makeup artists who will serve you best. You will either have your hair and makeup done in the photographers studio or before your appointment. Once you’re ready, your photographer will likely brief you and answer any lingering questions. Some photographers like to take this time to form a type of plan, discussing with you exactly how the shoot will work. You will then get dressed in the outfits you and the photographer picked out together or from your own wardrobe.

A photographer going through photos on her computer

The Photos

At this point, all that’s left is to get to it! You’ve talked over every detail and now know exactly what to expect from your photographer. Hopefully by this point you’re feeling comfortable and confident. As the photos are being snapped, some photographers like to show clients in real time some of the shots. They believe it helps with confidence to see yourself on the screen or in a Polaroid. Other photographers are on the opposite side of the fence. They like to create an atmosphere and give you time to get into your model mode without interruption.

You will likely take a series of many photos. In the middle, depending on what kind of packages you bought, you might change and/or change locations. Once the shooting is done, most photographers will show you some of their favorites so you know what to look forward to. After you change back into your regular clothes and leave, the photographer starts the editing process. This process can take a couple weeks to complete. Once the editing process is finished, the photographer will submit your photos to you in their preferred way. Some send the photos online in a protected digital file while others offer printing packages where the images are sent to you in a physical copy. All that’s left is for you to enjoy your photos!

It’s true that the boudoir photo world can seem daunting especially when you know little to nothing about it. Most photographers are respectful and ready to answer any questions so don’t be afraid to just ask! Hopefully you’ve gained some clarity on the subject and are ready to take the plunge and start the selection process.

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