Black and white boudoir closeup of young black woman

10 Killer Tips To Prepare For A Successful Boudoir Shoot

If you’ve scheduled a boudoir session for yourself here are ten killer tips that will help you prepare for a successful shoot. Consider these before the shutter starts clickin’. A lot of preparation and thought goes into this type of photo session for both the client and the photographer. So, here are ten killer tips to get the ball rolling in the right direction .

1. Get to know your photographer beforehand so you feel comfortable with them during the shoot.

When you’re seeking out a boudoir photographer, you’ll want to either talk with them on the phone, Skype, FaceTime, or meet with them in person beforehand, usually during a free consultation. This will give you a chance to get a feel for them, their energy, their personality, and see if they’re someone you’re going to feel comfortable with on the big day. 

I base a lot of my decisions on how something feels to me intuitively, my gut instinct, and it’s never wrong. Now, someone my have a great gallery of images, but if the two of you are just not clicking then you won’t enjoy the experience of the shoot, and that’s going to show in your expression and body language and you don’t want that.

Now, you may be a little nervous about doing a boudoir shoot in the first place, that’s only natural, but don’t mistake that feeling with how you feel towards a particular photographer. A good test is if a photographer makes you feel less nervous during your consultation — not more. 

2. Give yourself plenty of time to pick out outfits you own or to go shopping for new ones.

The right outfits in a boudoir shoot serve multiple purposes and you want to make sure you’re happy with the choices you’ve made. Give yourself plenty of time to pick out the ones you like from what you already have, or to go shopping for new ones. 

Boudoir outfits can serve to show off certain assets, hide areas you want more coverage on, create a mood (playful, sultry, elegant), and complement your hair and skin tone. It’s always a good idea to discuss these choices with your photographer beforehand so the outfits serve their purpose for you in the best possible way during the shoot. 

Bra shop

If you’re shopping for new ones, it may take you a few days to hit all the shops in your area because they may not be conveniently close to one another. So, having plenty of time before your scheduled shoot to get your outfits together is key to being fully prepared for your session.

Having enough time also allows you to try on newly purchased garments and give them a good test run for comfort and fit. Just because something looks good in a store or on a mannequin does not mean it will look or feel good to you once you’re wearing it.

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3.  Bring more outfits than you think you’ll need. 

You’ll want to bring more outfits than what you think you’ll need just in case one or more don’t work out or if there’s a wardrobe malfunction that can’t be fixed on site. Once you bring the photographer into the equation, they’re going to have their own opinions about your selection. It’s always a good idea to have more than the exact number of outfits you planned on for the shoot.

An experienced photographer will not only be looking at the style but also the color and how it complements your hair and skin tone with the background they’ll be shooting you against — and sometimes you just never know how something is going to look until you take a test shot. 

I personally have been pleasantly surprised by some wardrobe choices that at first I thought were just okay, and been disappointed in ones I thought would work great. Sometimes you just never know until you get the outfit on in the setting you’ll be shooting in and take a couple of test shots.

4.  Don’t try and squeeze your boudoir session into an already busy day.

You want to give yourself plenty of time before your shoot to calmly get ready, prepare yourself, get your wardrobe together, and travel to the studio without the extra burden of worrying about other things that need to be attended to just before or just after your scheduled boudoir session. 

This, of course, is the best case scenario, but in reality this may not be possible for you. The point is, however, do the best you can to schedule your shoot on one of your least busiest days. A big part of getting boudoir images is the experience itself. You’ll want a clear mind, free from distraction, to fully enjoy it. 

5.  Start a Pinterest board of poses, moods, and styles.


Although a professional boudoir photographer will have plenty of poses ready for you to try, I suggest creating a Pinterest board (or some other way to collect images) that you’d like to see yourself in or at least try. 

These are poses that have a special appeal to you for whatever reason, and you’ll need a way to refer back to them on the day of your shoot so both you and the photographer have a clear understanding of what you’re going for, and having them in an app on your smartphone is super convenient. 

You might even want to practice some of these poses at home, just to get a feel for them. You may discover that what looks sultry and sexy could in fact be quite uncomfortable and awkward. Knowing that beforehand will help you mentally adjust quickly during the session, whereas if you tried it for the very first time during the shoot, because it feels uncomfortable and awkward, you may mistakenly think that it looks that way as well when in fact it doesn’t. 

Knowing this beforehand will set your mind at ease knowing that just because something feels awkward and uncomfortable doesn’t mean that the outcome won’t be sultry and sexy. 

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Mood and Style

Along with some images of poses you like, you can also include pictures that convey a certain mood or style. They don’t necessarily have to be boudoir images, they can really be of anything… but there’s something about the image that speaks to you in some way. 

Doing this research is a great way to start thinking creatively about your shoot and gets you more involved in the process. However, it’s a good idea to share these images with your photographer a few days before your big day to give them enough time to get any additional items they may need to help recreate a look or feel. 

How To Create A Pinterest Board

If you’re not exactly sure how to create a Pinterest mood board, then refer to my article, “How To Make A Pinterest Mood Board For Your Boudoir Shoot”.

6.  Schedule your session when you’re feeling your best with regard to “that time of the month”.

A bit of an awkward subject for me, probably because I’m a male boudoir photographer, and I debated with myself about even including this at all, but it’s an important detail you don’t want to forget about when planning your shoot. 

Since a boudoir session can be made weeks or even months in advance, it’s easy to forget about this small detail. This is a reminder to plan accordingly around that monthly event so you’re feeling your best and most confident in intimate apparel. 

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7.  Don’t forget to get a manicure and pedicure.

It’s more than likely that your hands and feet, fingers and toes, fingernails and toenails, are going to be featured at some point in your images and you want them looking their best. Be sure to get a manicure and pedicure a day or two before your shoot if you don’t take care of them yourself. You may even want to talk with your photographer about the color of nail polish you’re thinking of using, after all, you don’t want something that is going to take attention away from your eyes, lips, outfit, and curves.

8.  If you’re getting a new “do” at the salon, give yourself enough time for it to settle in.

Giving yourself a new cut or color is a great way to prepare for your shoot, but you’ll want to make sure you’re happy with it first. Getting this done a week or so in advance will give you time for those changes to settle in, and also to fix things if they need a little fixin’.

10.  Don’t wear tight clothing on the day of your shoot.

Tight clothing can leave indentations in your skin that can take some time to work themselves out. To avoid that entirely, just arrive in clothing that’s loose and comfortable and that keeps your skin smooth and unconstricted. Not a big issue but every once in a while it can be — best to avoid this altogether with proper planning.  

Bonus Tip! 

What’s a list of tips without a bonus tip?! 

Exactly, I was thinking the same thing, and this list has one extra tip… it goes to eleven! (send me an email if you get that reference at

Now, without further ado, on to the Bonus Tip!

Don’t get sun burned before your shoot.

Be careful about planning outdoor activities leading up to your shoot day. I’m talking about hikes, beach excursions, sight seeing — anything where you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

The last thing you want is for your skin to get baked to a crisp a day or two before you’re going to get photographed wearing practically nothing and showing mostly skin. Dry, flaking, peeling sun-burned skin may force you to re-schedule and that’s going to be a let down for you, the photographer, and the makeup and hair people. 

If you are going to be outside for extended periods of time, use sunscreen, cover up, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from those rays. 

However, if you’re looking to get a little sun-kissed tan for your shoot, do short tanning sessions consistently over a longer period of time. Give yourself two or three weeks to gradually build up some color.

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Final Words

Okay, so that about does it for my 10 killer tips to prepare for a successful boudoir shoot. If you discover any on your own I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear from you. Just shoot me an email at

If you found this article helpful be sure to pass it on to someone who might find it useful as well, and if you’re interested in a boudoir shoot in the southern Virginia area you can contact me through my website at…

And remember… 

“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could.”

Charles Mitri



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