Who, What, Where, When and Why: All You Need To Know About Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

A year ago I was determined I would never do a boudoir photo shoot. Being behind the camera, that is. Taking pictures of half-naked women? Not doing it. Period.

Four months ago, while touring a house for sale, I walked into one of the rooms and had an epiphany that I wanted to have my boudoir studio there.

Moral of the story: Never say Never.

My boudoir studio… I walked into this room, saw the light and just knew it...

My boudoir studio… I walked into this room, saw the light and just knew it…

Rewind. What is “boudoir”?

According to Wikipediaboudoir (/ˈbd.wɑːr/French: [bu.dwaʁ]) is a lady‘s private bedroom, sitting room or dressing room. The term derives from the French verb bouder, meaning “to be sulky” or boudeur, meaning “sulky”.[1]

“The term “boudoir” may also be ascribed to a genre of photography. Typically shot in a photographer’s studio or luxury hotel suites, it has become fashionable to create a set of sensual or sexually suggestive images of women (and occasionally men and couples) in “boudoir style”. The most common manifestation of contemporary boudoir photography is to take variations of candid and posed photographs of the subject partly clothed or in lingerie. Nudity is more often implied than explicit.”

"Nudity is more often implied than implicit"

“Nudity is more often implied than explicit”

This answered the “What?”, and here is my “Why?”

I saw some pictures on Facebook a friend of mine posted, beautifully done, slightly suggestive, but mostly just gorgeous. She is over 40, but so pretty. And she was radiant in those photos done by a fellow photographer. This made me think that all women can look like that, comfortable in the skin they are in. Make-up that enhances your features but looks like it’s barely there, beautiful light, the right outfit, the right pose, and you see that you are not ordinary but gorgeous and unique. There’s so much pressure on women nowadays to look perfect, flawless, skinny, always dressed well, never tired, unreal. What we see on the cover of beauty magazines is a mix of plastic surgery, talented make-up artists and hair stylist, professional photographers and superb retouching geniuses. Take a look at this if you don’t believe me. And this. 

Nobody is perfect. But everyone is beautiful.

Nobody is perfect. But everyone is beautiful.

That’s when the idea of boudoir took a twist in my mind and from “taking pictures of half-naked women” it evolved into “taking pictures of beautiful women to show them how gorgeous they are.” Many friends I mentioned the idea to said if they would have somebody take boudoir pictures of them that would be me. It made me feel wonderful that they trust me that much and also showed me that women need that. This quote says it beautifully, all that I want to do:

“Your body is beautiful. Really, it is. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re plump or slender, reedy or Rubenesque; your whole self — top to toe — deserves its day in the spotlight. Women put in huge amounts of effort each day just to meet society’s standard of beauty, only to get bogged down by stress and insecurity over failing to fit within that narrowly-defined (and often unhealthy) ideal. Stripping down and showing it off is a celebratory, powerful, even subversive act — and it’s exhilarating. And when you see those photos in the days, months and years that follow, it’ll be with a lasting appreciation for your body as the glorious, gorgeous machine it is.”

Your body is beautiful.

Your body is beautiful. It really is. Celebrate it.

But I digress. Back to the questions.

Who? Just you and me.

What? Your Boudoir photo shoot.

Where? My boutique boudoir studio, in downtown Washington, MO.

When? Shoot me a date at slavabowman@yahoo.com or message me. 

Why? Because you deserve it. For yourself.

A boudoir photo shoot can be quite liberating and fun!

A boudoir photo shoot can be quite liberating and fun!

And lets’ get even more specific. Here are some FAQs from my Facebook fans:

1. Are boudoir photos for everyone? Yes. No matter your age, gender, body or shape. Humans are beautiful.

2. How do we do this? You decide that you want to do a boudoir photo shoot with me. We get in touch and set a day to meet up and discuss your photo shoot over coffee/tea. Feel free to browse my Boudoir Pinterest Board to get some ideas on poses, clothes, accessories, what you are comfortable with. Then we set a date and time for your photo shoot.

3. What should you bring? Your confident beautiful you. The outfits you feel comfortable in. Touch up make-up if needed.

Sometimes, you don't need clothes at all… we can do so many things...

Sometimes, you don’t need clothes at all… we can do so many things…

4. What about the clothes/outfits? Lately, most of the pieces of clothing I have bought for myself are the ones I can use as boudoir props. I have a closet of items you can wear, but the intimates (bras/panties/corsets) are something that you provide. Lingerie shopping is part of the boudoir fun, and I highly recommend seeing Naomi at Marie Angelique Bra and Lingerie.

5. How about props? I have collected a few, and my studio is designed for boudoir shoots. However, if you have an awesome prop in mind and you’d love to bring along, you are more than welcome to. That’s something we can discuss over coffee/tea before your photo shoot.

I happen to have some props in my studio...

I happen to have some props in my studio…

6. How long does the shoot usually take? No less than half an hour (if we decide to do a mini photo shoot) and no longer than 2 hours (because you will get tired, and we want you to look your best).

7. Hair & Make-up? You can do your own or I can have somebody do it or you at my studio. The look you want to achieve in your photos is up to you!

8. Can you fix minor imperfections (pimples, skin redness, scars, etc). Yes, I can. We can talk about it before the shoot and you can tell me your photo processing preferences. I like to keep the pictures as natural as possible, yet presenting you in the very best light.

It's all about the light...

It’s all about the light…

9. Do you have to buy a certain number or size of prints? No. The price of  the photo shoot includes our preliminary meeting, taking the photos, editing them, creating an online gallery for you and my time and talent. My print prices are extremely reasonable, because I want you to have photos from your photo shoot. And how many and what size prints you’d like to order is up to you. No restrictions or obligations. If you like, I’d be happy to create you a photo album of your boudoir photo shoot or give you all edited files on a disk for an extra charge. However, everything is explicit and you will be familiar how much it costs before you do you photo shoot.

10. Can guys do it? Sure. I am always up for a challenge. Why not? 😉

11. After that photo shoot, can the person “ok” the photos that are being posted on Facebook? Absolutely YES. Most definitely! I’d never post anything without your permission. And this is something we can discuss in advance or after viewing the photos from your shoot. Unless I have your permission, the only person who will see your photos is going to be me and the people you decide to share them with. We don’t take boudoir photos and tell… 😉

You can show to the world as much as you want/are comfortable with.

You can show to the world as much as you want to/are comfortable with.

12. How naked do I have to be? As much as you’d like to. If you don’t like wearing lingerie, don’t. You can have all your clothes on and be beautiful and seductive. If, on the other hand, you’d like to do suggestive nude photos, we can do it. I want you to be comfortable, because if you are you will look your best. That’s why we will meet in advance and discuss how naked/dressed you’d like to be.

Clothes or no clothes, it's all about how you feel, me you the camera and the light

Clothes or no clothes, it’s all about how you feel, me, you, the camera and the light. All the ingredients for the magic to happen.

13. “I am shy in front of the camera and I don’t know how to pose” That’s what I am here for. Trust me, we can do this 🙂

A little red lipstick always gives a confidence boost...

A little red lipstick always gives a confidence boost…

Have more questions? Get in touch! Message or e-mail me at slavabowman@yahoo.com

This entry was published on January 11, 2014 at 6:29 am. It’s filed under Boudoir, How To-s and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Who, What, Where, When and Why: All You Need To Know About Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

  1. very well wrote. I would let you shoot me in a second…I need a road to trip : )

  2. Pingback: Love Your Freckles: How Selfies Can Redefine Beauty | Slava Bowman Photography

  3. Slava this is amazing! So well written and empowering to women. I just came across your selfies blog and then linked to this one. I love all that you have to say. I will be following you from now on 🙂

  4. Pingback: Keeping It Simple: What Goes On During a Boudoir Shoot | Slava Bowman Photography

  5. Pingback: Face Your Fears And Take Your Clothes Off: How Can Boudoir Photography Help You Embrace Your Imperfections | Slava Bowman Photography

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