Behind The Scenes Of My Boudoir Photo Shoot – Part 1: Pre-Shoot Planning
If someone had proposed the concept of a boudoir photo shoot to me 5 years ago, I would have laughed. Strip down to my skivvies in front of a total stranger and pose seductively for the camera? Not likely.
But something shifted in my late 20s — a newfound confidence in every aspect of my life, from taking charge of my life professionally to finding a regular workout schedule and seeing the results. It took a while, but I was finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, and I suddenly felt the urge to document this phase of my life. “Now,” I thought, is the time for this photo shoot. “Now or never.”
So if you’ve been considering a boudoir shoot yourself (and there are so many worthy reasons you should), you may be curious as to what goes into the process. How does one research, plan and prepare for one of these shoots? That’s why I’m offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what happens before the camera starts clicking.
Finding a photographer
I didn’t have to do a ton of research to find my ideal photographer — social media stepped in to guide me. My favorite local lingerie boutique, which I follow on Instagram, re-posted one of her stunning images of a young woman stretched out on the floor in a pink lace bodysuit with an arched back — and, as they say — when you know, you know.
Pro tip: Be sure to ask for recommendations at your local boutique, and you may even get a discount on the products by working with one of their partner photographers!
After scoping out the rest of her impressive portfolio, reading her quirky bio, and seeing that Ma Cherie Studios was voted best of weddings for 2016 & 2017 on The Knot, I was sold. We had an initial chat on the phone, which gave me a sense of her personality, and I knew straight away I’d be comfortable working with her — which is key, as I’m going to be in my unmentionables, after all.
Piecing together my wardrobe
Now came the fun part: Picking out my outfits. Annika, the photographer, mentioned on the phone that I likely already own a couple pieces that would work perfectly. So I poured a glass of Zinfandel and peeled through my collection, mixing and matching sets and trying on teddies I hardly ever get to wear.
After settling on a purple contour bra and a black floral lace unlined wire bra with matching panties, I knew I’d need to purchase a couple specialty pieces to round out my wardrobe — so I picked out two bodysuits that felt flattering, and that I figured would photograph well.
Planning every particular
A couple weeks before the shoot, the photographer and I had our pre-shoot consultation. During this discussion, she reassured me that she’d be guiding me through very specific poses and facial expressions (“no need to practice!” she said), and made some recommendations about footwear (such as to opt for heels that are at least 3.5 inches to avoid visually shortening my legs). She also mentioned that the camera eats 30 percent of makeup worn, and recommended going a tad heavier than usual to emphasize my features.
Then she asked me a series of in-depth questions: What kind of look was I going for (romantic, sexy, glamorous, retro, etc.)? Did I prefer black and white or color images? How do I feel about accessorizing? Which celebrity’s personal style do I most relate to? What are my favorite stores to shop at? All of my responses would be helping Annika to build a Pinterest board around my photo shoot to give me a sense of the aesthetic.
Finally, she asked perhaps the most important question: which parts of my body do I feel best about that I want to accentuate (eyes, hips, derriere, etc.)? When I mentioned my hourglass shape she assured me: “We can definitely show off those curves!”
Counting down to the day of the photo shoot
So, do I feel ready for my boudoir debut? While undoubtedly some nerves will set in the day of the shoot, taking control of the littlest details has helped me to feel empowered and — dare I say — excited. Stay tuned for a full account of my experience the day of the photo shoot.