Keeping It Simple: What Goes On During a Boudoir Shoot

Since I opened up my boudoir studio at the end of last year, there has been a lot of interest and talk. What is it, how does it work, what if lingerie doesn’t look good on me, how naked do I have to be, what about all my imperfections, etc. Most of the questions I tried to answer here, feel free to keep them coming.

I like to keep things simple and easy, and that applies to my photography style as a whole, and boudoir photo shoots in particular. My studio consists of a room with big windows, beautiful natural light, a prop closet full of clothes and accessories, two antique chairs and a bed. My dressing room doubles up as a studio as well, with easy to move furniture placed in the corners that leaves lots of “wiggle” room for photos.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Something else that can be found in my studio  – mirrors. I love to use them in my photo shoots.

There are lots of women who say they would love to do a boudoir photo shoot with me, but are waiting for the perfect time to do so. I work flexible hours and times, so whenever you are ready I am here. I know it takes courage to make the decision, but having your boudoir photos taken can be quite the liberating experience.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Having your picture taken by somebody else can be nerve wrecking, especially when you don’t have much clothes on. However, when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and experience something new, you open up a little and see more possibilities that lay ahead of you.

I am grateful that the beautiful Kristina let me use the photos from her boudoir photo shoot for this blog post. She wanted to have her photos taken when I first started doing boudoir photography, but it wasn’t until a month or so ago that we finally made it happen.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Boudoir photography can be so many things. I like it when my clients share their vision about the shoot and we can make it uniquely theirs.

I like to invite my clients for coffee/tea before we set a date for the shoot, or at least a week prior to it. In this way they have a chance to take a look at my studio, get familiar with the surroundings, get to know me a little and share their visions about their photo shoot. A Pinterest board always helps to give us a visual interpretation, and I have an extensive one devoted to Boudoir where you can derive inspiration from.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

When Kristina came over for coffee to discuss her upcoming photo shoot, she wanted to go for a simple, clean look. We decided on a man’s shirt, a basic set of bra and panties, and a clean white sheet (I keep one on hand).

Boudoir Photography does not mean that you have to be completely nude or wearing lingerie. Your shoot can be whatever you want it to be, no limitations. You can wear as much or as little as you want to, and it can be anything – from a dress to a scarf wrapped around you. The possibilities are endless, and any props you’d like to bring and include in your shoot are welcome. We only do what you are comfortable with.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Sensual and sexy does not mean nude. You can be fully clothed and still exude sex appeal.

Some women do not look good in lingerie (I am one of them) – it’s not one size fits all. We all come in different shapes and forms, and your job is not to apologize about the way you look but to accept it and love your body. My job is to find the best light and pose to show you how truly beautiful you are.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Isn’t Kristina simply stunning? She looks so much like Monica Bellucci in this photo!

After you have toured my studio and we have discussed your photo shoot in detail, all I ask of you is to not get nervous about it but to await it with giddy excitement. It helps to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say aloud “I love and accept myself.” I am amazed of how many gorgeous women come to have their photos taken, unaware of their beauty and putting too much focus on their imperfections. Nobody is perfect, and we certainly don’t have to be. There are many things I don’t like about myself, but with time I have learned to embrace them, because they make me ME.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

I have always wanted to take a shot like this, and Kristina has the perfect long legs for it. When I told her that, she was taken aback. I don’t think she knew she has beautiful long legs other women would kill for. However, I was very happy when she messaged me after our shoot to tell me she went and bought some short summer dresses 🙂

Embracing your imperfections and learning to love them can be quite a liberating thing. You stop caring what other people think of you and you are happy to just be who you are. So what if I have a foreign accent, a mole under my lip and a crooked tooth? {I do have all three things. It’s a fact.} These are the features that make me unique, and without them I wouldn’t be the same me. Besides, I can always photoshop the mole if I wanted to 😉

Slava Bowman Boudoir

There are ways of concealing the areas of your body you don’t want seen in photos, thus showcasing only the ones you have learned to love already. When I edit, I make sure to remove any little imperfections (blemishes, uneven skin tone, stretch marks and wrinkles), but I will not turn you into somebody you are not.

Once you’ve done your homework of learning to love your body as it is, it’s time for your boudoir photo shoot! When you arrive at the studio, I ask you to lay out the outfits you would be wearing and plan the shoot accordingly. I have accessories you can borrow: variety of sheer fabrics, vintage hats, gloves and other items that come handy. Usually three-four outfits is enough, but you are welcome to bring more so we can choose together. Comfort is essential  – if you love what you are wearing and you feel good in it, it shows.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

I love simplicity. Kristina went with a basic bra and panties set and a man’s shirt. Classy, sensual and seductive. Most of all I like that she was able to relax and have fun with our shoot.

A lot can be done with a man’s shirt or a scarf or a simple sheet. No need to worry about posing, the awkward faces you make in front of the camera, or the fact that you have never done this before. All I need from you is to relax and leave the photo shoot in my hands. I will show you how to pose. I will showcase you in the best light possible. I will tell you if you have lipstick on your teeth and I will fix your hair in place. All of the photos of you with eyes half closed will never see daylight, I promise. 😉

Slava Bowman Boudoir

Usually, you get nervous right before the photo shoot and the first five minutes of it, but as I start shooting you will relax and surrender. That’s when magic starts to happen and we are able to take some amazing photos.

There are poses that work with everyone, and there are others that are person-specific and get born of the unique blend of time, space, light, props, you and me. I like to have an idea about the general direction of our photo shoot, but I also like to let things happen and evolve naturally. If there are certain poses you love and would like to get, I ask you share them with me in advance.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

This pose works like magic every time. Can you get tired of it, really? And, yes, Kristina does have amazing legs.

I take a lot of photos when I shoot. I will show you a pose, let you get into it, and then take many pictures from different angles. No need to worry whether you are doing it right or wrong, because there’s no wrong in my studio. If it’s not quite what I want, I will adjust your pose/my angle and shoot some more. I am a big fan of natural light and natural expressions, so no 15-minute-posing-for-one-shot routine on my part. It’s more like: “I want you to sit on the bed like this, close your eyes, think about something nice and put your hand on your neck. Perfect! That’s it! Hold it!”

Slava Bowman Boudoir

The further in the shoot we get, the more relaxed you become, because you see it’s easy stuff 🙂

It’s amazing how quickly the nervousness disappears as soon as I start shooting. We both get in our zone – I am looking for the best light and pose, clicking away; you find out that this is easy and actually kind of fun. Usually, it’s just me and my subject in the studio, nobody else. I’ve been asked if it’s ok to bring a friend along. Sure, I don’t mind. The only reason I don’t want a crowd, is that I move a lot while I am taking pictures and I don’t want to have to coordinate many people in the background. You need to be in the spotlight during your shoot, and I like to devote my attention solely to you.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

The boudoir bed is quite comfortable, I must say. That’s when my clients are truly able to relax.

When it’s time to change outfits, you do so in your private changing room with mirrors along the whole wall. I will come and help if needed, but your privacy is guaranteed. I keep make up on hand, and even spare toothbrushes – sometimes out of nervousness we tend to neglect the details. There’s no hiccup we can’t fix, the whole shoot is supposed to be an easy, fun, and liberating experience for you.

Slava Bowman Boudoir

I am pretty laid back to work with, and me and my clients always have fun during photo shoots. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured, and so is your boudoir photo shoot.

Once we have exhausted all outfits and poses we intended to get, I will probably snap one or two more shots and tell you that we are done! You are free to step back into the world with a new confidence that you have just faced a fear and conquered it: being vulnerable in front of another human being and exposing your body with no shame or excuses. You feel like you have just grown a pair of wings and everything is possible.

"Doing this boudoir photo shoot with Slava has changed so much in me!!!! I was so worried it would be so uncomfortable and serious. It was opposite!!! She made me feel so at ease. And I actually had to keep myself from smiling and laughing throughout the shoot!!! It didn't matter what I saw in the mirror. She only sees beauty. And then she shows it to you. No one has the "perfect" body. That would be boring. She made me realize that it's about excepting and loving who you are. I look at my pictures and think "Wow that's me"!!! If you are slightly interested in doing a boudoir shoot with her... Don't hesitate. Just do it!! You will be amazed at how you feel during and after!!!! Thank you so much Slava for changing how I see me!!!!!!"  ~Kristina

“Doing this boudoir photo shoot with Slava has changed so much in me!!!! I was so worried it would be so uncomfortable and serious. It was opposite!!! She made me feel so at ease. And I actually had to keep myself from smiling and laughing throughout the shoot!!! It didn’t matter what I saw in the mirror. She only sees beauty. And then she shows it to you. No one has the “perfect” body. That would be boring. She made me realize that it’s about excepting and loving who you are. I look at my pictures and think “Wow that’s me”!!! If you are slightly interested in doing a boudoir shoot with her… Don’t hesitate. Just do it!! You will be amazed at how you feel during and after!!!! Thank you so much Slava for changing how I see me!!!!!!” ~Kristina

It always amazes and delights me when I get feedback like this from my clients after their photo shoot. It’s strange how little/lot it takes to show somebody that they are beautiful and make them believe it. I love doing boudoir photo shoots for precisely that reason – showing women their inner beauty and giving them permission to shine. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” has always been a favorite saying of mine.

“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.”

When I am not taking your photos, I practice poses on myself.  Photography is not a job for me, it's a lifestyle I enjoy and love.

When I am not taking your photos, I practice poses on myself. Photography is not a job for me, it’s a lifestyle I enjoy and love.

Simple, fun and easy: that sums up a boudoir photo shoot with me. If you are interested in booking one, call {314.799.8831} e-mail {} or message me. 🙂







This entry was published on July 19, 2014 at 2:55 am. It’s filed under Boudoir and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Keeping It Simple: What Goes On During a Boudoir Shoot

  1. Mandy on said:

    Your amazing Slava! My beautiful friend Kristina seen here talked me into getting my own shoot done and it didn’t take much convincing, just look at her photos! I love how it makes you feel about yourself, it’s so much more than a photo. I was a mess the day of my shoot, my stylist didn’t show up and it was so humid I couldn’t stop sweating my make-up off. I wanted to reschedule because I felt like I didn’t look ready, the curls fell out of my hair in which I completely winged myself (never been good at that) and my make-up was only half done. I just grabbed a handful of stuff I had at the house for apparel and I forgot to brush my teeth! Slava had me covered when I arrived, she had an extra toothbrush, fun clothes to dress up in and even some make-up to use! We pulled it together and went through with the shoot and I have only seen a couple of pics so far in which I was sure I wouldn’t be satisfied because I felt I have to look my best to get a great shot. Well I am amazed at how the two I have seen look like a magazine cover, how the hell does she do that? Then it dawned on me that this is her specialty, not only taking the pics but letting you see your own beauty by looking through someone else’s eyes. I can’t wait to see the rest of my pictures, we did some fun stuff I would never even think of. Slava has a very classy and creative touch she shares with you, so glad I did it!

    • Slava on said:

      Thank you so much, Mandy!!! This is so sweet of you to say!! I am so happy that the shoot meant so much for you – your photos are beautiful, I cannot wait to edit them all! Thank you again for the nice words – makes me feel like I am on the right path, doing what I need to be doing! 🙂

  2. Becky Paul on said:


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

  4. Pingback: Celebrate Yourself {Sessions} or Boudoir Expanded and Redefined | Slava Bowman Photography

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