Have you every wondered if you should do a boudoir session? As an Atlanta boudoir photographer, I want to kick today’s blog off with a nice little dose of honesty…
I don’t have many regrets in my life. I’ve never really been afraid to take a leap or pursue something new or do things that are outside of my comfort zone, whether that was getting my Master’s Degree or jumping out of an airplane. If I want to make something happen, I normally will do whatever it takes to get there.
However, there is ONE THING that I’ve regretted for the past 7 years. And although I don’t typically share this with anyone, it’s actually something that crosses my mind often: I wish that I had done a boudoir session before I got married and had a baby. It feels a little vain to even admit that, but we had our first baby right after we got married, and two more sweet little boys closely followed the first….priorities shifted, my body has changed, and these days I can barely remember how it felt to be in my pre-baby body, with my pre-baby confidence. I know that, in time, it’s something that I’ll regain – but in the meantime I miss the way that I used to feel. I’m happy with where I’m at today, of course, but when we were planning our wedding I remember pouring over boudoir photographer’s websites, trying to find the right fit….and then things got busy and budgets got stretched and I didn’t follow through and book a shoot.
As you know (and as I preach), a boudoir session isn’t all about having the perfect body…and I know that I need to take a dose of my own medicine and that eventually I’ll get to a place where I’ll feel comfortable booking a boudoir session for myself – but man, I wish I had done one before we got married and had our babies. I wish I had captured my youth and my strength and my femininity in a beautiful way – not even so much for my husband, but for myself.
Now, as an Atlanta boudoir photographer in Carrollton, GA (near Atlanta), I regularly get to hand my clients gorgeous albums that they’ll gift to their partners and that they’ll be able to enjoy themselves for the rest of their lives. Some of the women I work with are getting married, some have been married for 15 years, and some are single and just want to feel sexy and confident. Many of my clients this year have also chosen to add on large canvases or framed prints of their favorite boudoir photos to display on the wall in their bedroom or closet, which I think is awesome! And as I hand over their albums and artwork, I always feel that twinge: “Man, I really wish that I had something like this of myself.”
If you’re considering a boudoir session, whether you book with me or with someone else – my message for you today is this: Please don’t wait. Do it now! Do it before the holidays. Do it as a Valentine’s Day gift! Do it for self love. Invest in yourself. Do it just because you’re worth it! Do it to surprise your partner. Do it because you simply don’t know what the future will bring…
In my experience, one of the reasons that many women don’t actually book a boudoir session, even when they have always wanted to is because the process feels overwhelming. They don’t know what to wear. They don’t know how to prepare (for example: should I get a spray tan?!). They don’t know how to pose for the camera. They’re worried they won’t look as good as the other women they’ve pinned to their secret boudoir photo board on Pinterest. They feel like they’re too [insert word here, such as: goofy, curvy, skinny, serious, conservative, shy, small, big, awkward] to actually follow through, even though they want to do it. Or they’re afraid that they won’t love their photos (which has never happened in my studio!).
Today I just wanted to pop in with some encouragement. If you’ve been wanting to do a boudoir session, don’t put it off. You’re perfect now, just the way you are. You don’t need to lose those 10 pounds, I’ll help you find the perfect outfits, I’ll guide you through every pose. You deserve to see yourself in a gorgeous and sexy light, and to feel like the confident and powerful woman that you are.
Below you’ll find my top 5 tips for how to prepare for a boudoir shoot… And, if you’d like a step by step checklist that walks you through exactly what beauty prep you may want plan out before your shoot (and when to do it!), be sure to download my boudoir beauty prep checklist by clicking the graphic below as well!
Most boudoir photographers book up at least a couple of months out, so if you want to do a boudoir session in the next year, book it now! You’ll have plenty of time to prepare, both mentally and physically, and by putting a date on the calendar you’ll finally hold yourself accountable to making it happen! If you’re hoping to book a shoot as a holiday or Valentine’s Day gift, you should consider booking your date as much as 6 months in advance. So often, we tell ourselves “I’ll book a boudoir shoot once I lose a few more pounds,” or “I’ll do it once I find the right outfits,” or “I’ll do it for our next anniversary,” or “I’m too busy,” but without a committed date and goal those things will probably never fall perfectly into place. A great boudoir photographer will also talk you through all of the perfect posing to flatter your shape (for example, I can easily “take off” 15 pounds with the right posing and lighting), so weight loss is most definitely not needed before a boudoir session – you’re perfect and sexy and strong just the way you are! This will also give you plenty of time to find your outfits and prepare for your shoot! Once your shoot is booked, here’s what you’ll need to do next…
Boudoir sessions are very personal, and you want your personality and confidence to shine through in your photos. One of my favorite places to start when creating a vision for shoots is Pinterest! A quick search for “boudoir photos” will bring up thousands of ideas. Create a private Pinterest board that you can share with your photographer to help you identify which types of outfits and photos you’re most drawn to. Try to find inspiration that is in line with your body type and personality so that you can see what outfits might be the most flattering for your shape, and what hair/makeup styles you like the best. The number one thing you need to consider when selecting outfits is your comfort. Make sure that you’re choosing outfits that you’re going to feel confident and sexy in! Consider a variety of looks, maybe starting in a t-shirt or off the shoulder sweater and progressing to something more sexy looks as the shoot goes on. Pamper yourself by visiting a high end lingerie store and treating yourself to something special. And although you want to feel comfortable on the day of the shoot, a boudoir session is a great time to push yourself a bit towards the edge of your comfort zone and pick at least one outfit/look that is really fun and a bit out of your element!
Some of my clients are “tomboys” who never get manicures and rarely wear makeup, and some of them love getting glammed up on a daily basis. Whatever your style, there are some things you should consider scheduling out as you prepare for a boudoir shoot. You can download a full beauty checklist by clicking on the graphic below, but here are some basic considerations:
-Begin a skincare regimen at least a few weeks before your shoot. Wash your face nightly, exfoliate your face and body, use moisturizer, and apply lip balm regularly.
-Schedule a hair trim at least 5 days prior to your session, and be sure to get your roots touched up if needed.
-Schedule a waxing appointment about a week before your session, if needed.
-Avoid fake tanning the week of your shoot.
At least a week before your session, make sure your outfits nailed down. Try everything on, but don’t be too critical of yourself. There’s a huge difference between florescent bulbs in your bathroom and the beautiful lighting and posing in the studio, I promise! If you aren’t sure about a certain outfit, plan on bringing it to the shoot anyway to get your photographer’s opinion. Many of my clients are nervous before their sessions and aren’t sure if they are going to want to wear their more sexy outfit selections – but without fail, by the end of the shoot they are rocking the outfits that they were originally unsure about. It’s ok to push yourself a bit outside of your comfort zone, if it feels right during your shoot. Lay your outfits out and send photos of everything to your photographer so that they can start visualizing your photos and provide you with feedback. Do this at least a week before your scheduled shoot date, so that you’re not rushed or stressed about outfits the night before the session! Share your Pinterest board with your photographer, also, if you haven’t already!
Some women come into my studio filled with confidence and know exactly what they want (and are ready to bare it all). But more often than not, they come in filled with uncertainty and nervousness and butterflies and sweaty palms. If that’s you, I want you to know that it’s a completely normal way to feel! It’s not everyday that you get in your underwear and get in front of the camera, and you should be really proud of yourself for having the courage to do a shoot! For almost everyone, a boudoir session is out of their comfort zone….and every woman has a different reason for coming in. For most of my clients, regardless of whether they originally booked it for their partner or just for themselves, a boudoir session becomes a healing process that helps them find confidence and self-love, and reconnects them with their power and femininity. In the weeks and days leading up to your shoot, don’t allow negative self-talk into your head. Visualize yourself feeling and looking more gorgeous and powerful than ever before, even if it’s hard to imagine. It’s totally normal to be [super] nervous for your shoot, but be sure to open your mind to the possibility that you CAN do this and that you will love yourself and your photos in a way that you can’t even yet comprehend. Prepare yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, to trust your photographer, and to feel really gorgeous!
If you’re ready to get more information, or to book a session in advance of Valentine’s Day 2018, feel free to schedule a free consultation with me today so that we can talk about your vision for the shoot, discuss all of the details, and answer any questions that you may have!