Everything You Should Know About Boudoir Sessions
At the top of any wedding planning checklist is finding a wedding photographer who will capture your special moments, which may include an engagement session or rehearsal dinner photos, and of course the big day. However, there’s one other incredibly empowering and vulnerable moment you may decide to have captured — a boudoir session. Whether you’re endeavoring to look sexy, sweet, or just get comfortable in front of the camera, a wedding photographer or boudoir specialist should be high on your list. And to go over the nuances and share some advice and inspiration, we got the deets for you from Stormy Peterson from Stormy Peterson Photography who is a wedding and boudoir photographer.
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The Advantages of Doing a Boudoir Session
There are many excellent reasons to schedule and pose for a boudoir session with a photographer, but chief among them, “brides should consider doing a boudoir shoot not only as a potential gift to their future spouse, but also as an empowering experience of self love,” explains Peterson. “Our bodies change so much as we go through different stages of life and a boudoir session (or several in your lifetime) creates a sort of ‘time capsule’ for your future self. As Moira Rose once said: Take a thousand naked pictures of yourself now. You may currently think, Oh, I'm too spooky. Or, Nobody wants to see these tiny boobies. But, believe me, one day you will look at those photos with much kinder eyes and say, Dear God, I was a beautiful thing!”
And if you’re still not sure if it’s right for you, you should know that your feelings do matter. They are valid. It’s not for everyone. Peterson suggests, “If something is holding you back or delaying you, then I recommend speaking to yourself as if you were giving advice to a friend who was on the fence about a boudoir session. Speak to yourself like the encouraging, loving, and supportive person you are! With all of our boudoir clients, we recognize the common emotions around doing a photo shoot like this and make the experience laid back while giving posing guidance for the most flattering photos. The whole shoot is customized to you!”
Besides all that, if you decide to do it, one of the best parts is the takeaways — the feelings of self-love, appreciation, and respect for your body. The second best part? The tangible memories — the photos, which can be kept on a thumbdrive or in the cloud somewhere, or printed for constant appreciation by you or your S.O. “There are so many fun ways to use your photos and my favorites are a photo album and wall art. I personally had three large canvases from my own boudoir session made and hung them up in my bedroom!” Peterson tells us.
Preparing for Your Boudoir Photography
Taking into account your personal style is going to be paramount, as well as figuring out what you are trying to achieve. Peterson reminds, “There's no ‘right or wrong’ way to style a boudoir session,” so whether you are modest or more playful, there’s options for you.
Finding Your Boudoir Photographer
She explains, “Our personal boudoir style is for that playful, feminine and classic look, so it’s a good idea to get a sense of a photographer’s style before booking.” Indeed, you’ll want your style and goals to align with your photographer’s. In that way, it’s okay to select different photographers for your different events. Perhaps you found a wedding and engagement photographer that’s just right, but for this moment, you need something a bit different, and that’s okay. Find what (or who) fits you!
Dressing for Your Boudoir Photography Session
“Choosing outfits that feel true to you is the key. I’ve seen women wear lingerie, robes, sweaters, their partner’s button-up shirt, etc. and the photos are always gorgeous. I would recommend leaning on your photographer for outfit guidance and not deciding to wear something that makes you feel uncomfortable,” Peterson explains. Again, notice how there’s no right way to do this. Make it personal, dress in a way that is entirely you!
We suggest getting on the website for your favorite lingerie brand and perusing your options. Then you can either kick it up a notch, or pull back. Consider what you feel comfortable in at home, is that right or are you looking for something different?
And if you’re not sure where to start, then enter our Instagram Giveaway for Valentine’s Day for your chance to win a $100 e-gift certificate to Fleur Du Mal — now through February 13, 2023, 11:59:59 PM EST. #giveaway Click here for more details.
But let’s get back to dressing for your boudoir session — Peterson suggests choosing outfits that highlight what you (or your S.O.) consider your best features; playing up your “favorite parts of your body, like [your] legs, stomach, chest, etc.”
Hair and Makeup for Your Boudoir Photography Session
This is always a tricky one — do you want to look natural or done up, without looking overdone? As with everything in life (and your boudoir session), there’s a balance that can be accomplished. But that balance can be most accomplished when working with a professional hair and makeup artist. Just make sure you express yourself clearly so they understand what look you’re going for.
Peterson tells us, “If you’re splurging on a session like this for yourself, then it would be a shame to not love your hair and makeup because you decided not to hire a professional. A professional hair and makeup artist knows how to make everything look amazing on camera and is a great boost leading up to your session because it’s fun to be pampered!” And no truer words were ever uttered — it’s fun to be pampered.
Buttt if you decide you want to do your hair and makeup yourself, then go for it! That’s okay! And as we’ve told you before, there’s a way to get the soft glam camera-ready look in the comfort of your own home, with a Bridal Beauty Kit by Alayne Curtiss.
Cost and Budgeting
One final consideration — cost and budgeting for your session. And while, that’s hard to do because “there isn’t an industry standard for price to reference, it’s worth noting that you're going to see two different pricing structures.
“One is an in-person sales approach where you’ll pay a smaller ‘studio fee’ that just covers the photographer’s time and studio expense (usually about $350) and then have an ordering session for products and digital files (an additional $800-$1000+).
“The other is a shoot and share approach, like what we offer. With this approach, the price you pay includes digital files and maybe products, as well. These packages can range from $500-$1,500,” Peterson explains.
And remember, for a limited time, we are doing an Insta Giveaway where you don’t have to break the bank on the lingerie component (you’re welcome!). Consider that part on us! ;) Enter to win a $100 e-gift certificate to Fleur Du Mal — now through February 13, 2023, 11:59:59 PM EST. #giveaway Details here.
So what are you waiting for, beautiful, get going, you have a boudoir session to plan! 💖
Photos courtesy of Stormy Peterson Photography