When it comes to sexy photography, there is a line between tasteful and NSFW. In the boudoir photography genre, one that stems from the early 1900s, it’s more about the former, capturing images that don’t necessarily have to show any skin. In fact, a subject in a boudoir photo could be fully clothed; contrary to what you might think, boudoir photography isn’t just about baring it all. Think of it as the slightly edgier side of portrait photography.
If you’re looking for something to do with your loved one this Valentine’s Day, that doesn’t involve overpriced dinners, step behind the camera and capture what she or he finds beautiful about themselves (boudoir images are typically of women, but it’s the 21st-century, you make the rules). The resulting photograph is a far more thoughtful, everlasting gift than dead flowers. (How much clothing stays on or off is entirely up to …
The first time I did a photo shoot, aside from the cheesy ones my mom made me do as a kid, was earlier this year. It wasn’t something that I spent a long time preparing for. In fact, it was planned pretty out of the blue. It was a chance to do something that I’d wanted to do at some point in time, but didn’t expect to get to do for free. And I especially didn’t expect it to happen when I wasn’t even about to get married. What I’m talking about is a boudoir photo shoot.
I’m not the type of person who I think friends and family would expect to get nearly naked and photographed. However, I always wondered what it would be like to really look sexy. To look confident. To pose in a way that would make even me look at myself and think, that’s beautiful. …
Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added “Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend…” as the caption. This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.
First off, let’s hit the etymology of the word boudoir. A Wikipedia entry on the word seems to indicate that boudoir “derives from the French verb bouder, meaning “to sulk” or boudeur, meaning “sulky”…”
Which is about as sexy-time as a traffic accident.
The same entry then goes on to say that the word boudoir is “A cognate of the English “bower”, historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a “lady” or upper-class woman, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber, being the female …
I can think of a dozen reasons why others think boudoir photography is wrong. So why does it still exist if there are so many negative opinions about it? Because when it’s done right, boudoir photography can be empowering, self esteem boosting, and transformative.
What are boudoir photos?
Good ol’ Wikipedia defines Boudoir Photography as
“intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects…primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subject and her or his romantic partners”
Boudoir photography, like any types of photography, is an art form. There are no rigid rules dictating what has to occur. Boudoir doesn’t require its subjects to be naked; it all depends on the comfort level of the client. The decision to be naked in photos rests entirely between boudoir photographers and their individual clients, and no one else’s opinion matters. Most of the time however, the clients are wearing something …
If you ever run out of ideas, get stuck in creativity or simply need some guidance when shooting female subjects, you may use following posing samples as a “posing cheat sheet”. Many pro photographers use such a technique when preparing for and during the photo shoot.
The poses in this article are selected as initial reference. I would advise to look at the poses together with your subject, especially if she’s inexperienced. During a photo shoot don’t hesitate to discuss with the subject which pose is or isn’t working in any particular situation. It’s usually very productive and you both will feel more confident in what you are doing.
OK, let’s start, one by one.
1. Very simple portrait pose to start with. Have the model look over her shoulder. Note how unusual and interesting a portrait might look, if shot simply from a different angle.
2. In portrait photography, …