The first question clients ask after booking their boudoir photo session is “What should I wear?!” We’ve included some photos here that may serve as a good reference point for your own styling choices . . . but before we discuss those, let’s go over a few general things you should remember as you plan your shoot.
Consider the shoot location. Short, denim cut-offs and cowboy boots are great for a boudoir shoot, but not if the studio is characterized by modern furniture and minimalist decor. Discuss location options thoroughly with your boudoir photographer ahead of time, and choose wardrobe that allows the shoot space to compliment you and what you’re wearing. Otherwise, the contrasting elements will prove awkward at best, or worse – force you to compete for attention in the final images.
Plan hair & makeup for each look, with the makeup artist. Where wardrobe goes, hair & makeup should follow. Dark, sexy lingerie sets with garter belts, stockings and heels deserve a smokey eye or a bold lip color – something that’s equally dramatic. That may seem obvious, but women who don’t normally go for a dark, sexy look may be shocked when they look in the mirror when the makeup artist is finished! “This doesn’t look like me” or “Are you sure this isn’t too much?” are things we’ve heard many times. If you’re experimenting with an edgier, sexier look for your boudoir session, follow through on the idea from head-to-toe.
Consider the way your looks progress, from start to finish. Assuming you’re shooting more than one outfit, give some thought to the image reveal, and how he’ll see the images for the first time. You may have chosen three great looks for the shoot, but after flipping through 20 images in an album . . . will they all feel the same? Think in terms of “story” as you make wardrobe choices, so there’s a progression from start to finish that allows for anticipation and discovery.
Accessorize well. Jewelry and shoes can make or break an outfit, so bring enough options that will give you some wiggle-room the day of the shoot. Being barefoot or wearing thigh-high socks works well with panties and an over-sized sweater – and for a look like this, little to no jewelry is usually best. Pearls are great if you’re planning a bridal boudoir look with a plunging neckline of some sort. And as a general rule, don’t allow the jewelry or shoes to distract from you or the rest of what you’re wearing.
All of that said, here’s why we think the styling choices worked so well for this particular client . . .
*Wearing a favorite item or two from his closet is a great way to personalize your shoot! If there’s a hat he never parts with, or a shirt he loves, incorporate one or both into the looks you’re planning. As this set progressed, we worked down to just her bottoms and his hat – which was a great way to build anticipation and discovery, while still maintaining something special of his as a focal point. The added bonus was the juxtaposition of her feminine figure against his rugged, worn cap.
*Introducing curl and volume in her hair was a perfect compliment to this pastel bra and panty set – and the pearls added another layer of elegance. The neutral decor allows her to shine and highlights the soft colors of the lingerie.
*A detail shot like this one offers an even more intimate view for him, and lets you show off some of your best parts – not to mention some of the best details of the garments you’ve chosen.
*Her third look really finishes the progression beautifully, and the color choice works beautifully with her skin tone and eye color.
*A great boudoir shoot is never just about seeing her body, but also about seeing the priority of her, her value, and how special it is that she’s choosing you over everyone else. An intimate portrait helps accomplish that, and here, all the styling, hair, and makeup choices play into that perfectly.