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boudoir photo shoot

Deciding to do a boudoir photo shoot is one of the most exciting, empowering things you can do for yourself as a woman. But once you’ve made the commitment to take the plunge, you’ve got a lot of planning to do.

So, how do you get ready for a shoot like this? Luckily, I know a thing or two about the process — in fact, I went through the boudoir experience myself.

And in this guide, I’ve outlined everything you need to know about planning for your photo shoot.

Step 1: Define your aesthetic

It’s very important to figure out the aesthetic you want before you do anything else. This way, you’ll have an easier time finding a photographer whose work lines up with the look you’re going for and you’ll also be better able to figure out what you’re wearing, how you’re doing your makeup/hair, etc.

For example, are you trying to channel a vintage pin-up vibe? That’s helpful to know. The photographer may suggest some black and white photos, and you can look for lingerie pieces that have a retro look, like longline bras and bustiershigh-waisted panties, and garter belts, adding in some flair with vintage jewelry and a hairstyle with old Hollywood waves. Or, are you going for an elegant bridal shoot? There are certain photographers who specialize in these kinds of boudoir shoots. And in this case, you’ll likely be looking for white or ivory lingerie with lace accents. These shoots tend to call for a similar look to your wedding day: simple jewelry like diamond stud earrings or a pearl necklace, and soft, feminine makeup that’s not too dramatic.

There are countless different aesthetics to consider. If you need a little inspiration, scope out some ideas on Pinterest until a theme strikes your eye.

Step 2: Research photographers

Once you’ve defined your aesthetic, it’s time to search for photographers. Doing a simple Google search for: “Boudoir photographers in [name of city and state]” is a great place to start. From there, you can check out their websites. Make sure to look through their portfolios, as the best way to determine if a photographer is a good fit is to see their work. From there, you might look at Google reviews or search their business on Yelp and Facebook to read about other clients’ experiences. While it’s great to talk to a photographer on the phone, it’s advisable to meet them in person (ideally at their studio) whenever possible to make sure you feel totally comfortable with them — after all, they’re going to see you stripped down to your skivvies.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of photographers, it’s time to ask the important questions that pertain to package options and prices, how they might direct you in terms of poses, and how many photos you’ll receive (and how many will be retouched).

Related: 12 Questions To Help You Pick The Right Boudoir Photographer

Step 3: Piece together your wardrobe

Now comes the fun part: shopping! Of course, you may very well have some pieces in your collection already that will work. And you may even want to include something from your significant other’s wardrobe as well to add a personal touch to the shoot.

For most shoots, you’ll need at least two and up to four or five different ensembles. The more options you have, of course, the better, but it depends on what package you choose with your photographer (some allow for more outfit changes than others). While a bra and panty set is a classic choice, the wardrobing possibilities are endless. A babydoll, teddy, or bodysuit can look stunning, and even a silk bathrobe can come in handy. Regardless of the outfit you choose, you’ll probably want a killer pair of heels, as wearing them will change your posture even if they aren’t in the shot. And whatever you’re wearing, make sure it fits flawlessly and shows off the assets you’re most proud of, whether that’s your hips, legs, decolletage or derriere.

If you need some extra guidance, your photographer will likely also be willing to help you to select outfits that will photograph well. Certain colors look better on camera, and certain cuts may be more flattering. They can provide some tips in this regard.

Step 4: Get your glam routine together

Don’t forget about hair and makeup — they can really make a boudoir photo shoot!

Many photographers offer hair and makeup on-site for an extra charge. However, you may choose to seek out a makeup artist or hairstylist on your own, depending on what your budget is. Either way, you want to have a really solid idea of what look you’re going for. Pinterest can be a great resource for ideas to show the professional doing your hair or makeup. Make sure to have some products on hand that you can bring with you to the shoot for any touch-ups as needed (lipstick and hairspray always come in handy).

Follow these four simple steps for a successful boudoir shoot. Because the fact is, the better you prepare ahead of time, the more relaxed you’ll feel on the big day, and the more likely you are to get photos that you’re pleased with.

Related: What To Wear For A Boudoir Photo Shoot

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Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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