Thursday, May 21, 2009

Will You Boudoir?

I have no idea if "boudoir" is a verb. I just liked the way the post title sounds. :)

I have heard of many brides giving their groom a book of their boudoir photographs on their wedding day. My photographer, Audrey Snow, is an expert at boudoir photography and does amazing work. I have decided not to do this as a groom's gift, but I still love the art that goes into and definately recommend it if you aren't sure what to get your man!

Audrey posted a "Boudoir 101" on her blog and I thought some of you may find it helpful! And before you read, just to show you what an expert she is, here are some of the images off her blog!

In Audrey's words...

There are a lot of questions and misconceptions when it comes to boudoir photography. This is a photographic specialty that is gaining more and more popularity, particularly amongst brides. Many women have heard and seen enough about it to know they are interested but not enough to have any idea what to expect. Since the start of Audrey Snow Photography I have photographed many boudoir sessions and answered even more questions on the subject. It seems about time to shed some light on the boudoir shoot for those still curious.

First off, I’d like to tackle a couple of common misconceptions I’ve heard regarding boudoir sessions.

1. “I would love to have photos like that of me if I had a perfect body. Maybe I’ll hit the gym hard for 6 months and then schedule something.”

Nonsense! One of the best things about a boudoir session is it is a gift to yourself. A gift to celebrate who you are and what you look like now, because truly, you’re gorgeous, even if you don’t yet realize it. We are our own worst critics, especially when it comes to our appearance. So give yourself a break and let someone else be the judge!

2. “A boudoir session seems like fun, but I’m not engaged, so I have no purpose for one.”

As I just mentioned above, this is a gift for you as much as anyone else. There is nothing like it to boost confidence and celebrate your life and femininity. Don’t be afraid to do something special for yourself now and then. You deserve it! I have photographed women who’ve battled or are battling cancer, a women facing life changing surgery, and women who just want to celebrate the way they look and feel at this moment of their lives. As wonderful of a wedding gift as this is, it’s not just for weddings!

3. “I’ve seen glamour shoots on photographer’s sites before. It seems trashy. I don’t think that’s for me.”

Okay, it’s possible a boudoir session isn’t for you, but take a look at the difference between boudoir and glamour before you decide. Even between boudoir photographers, there is a big range of styles. My brand Allure Boudoir is based on a sense of natural femininity. Like a glimpse of a secret world, it’s flirty and intimate, sexy and natural, but NOT trashy or vulgar in any way. This feel comes from the use of tasteful yet seductive poses. It also is marked by the use of natural light whenever possible, soft dreamy focus, and natural, casual shooting environments (most often the client’s own home).

Well, that sums up some of the biggest un-truths about boudoir, but there are still questions I hear repeatedly. So here are my answers…

1. “What do I wear? How many outfits?”

For an Allure shoot, the number of outfits depends on the package selected, ranging from 2 to 5. For outfits, there is no wrong or right, but here are some ideas.

Cute and sexy lingerie. I love Victoria’s secret, La Perla, and B. Tempt’d to name a few. Garter belts and stockings rock. Ruffles are adorable. Lace is romantic.

His dress shirt and/or tie. Remember how Pretty Woman/Julia Roberts/“Viv” rocked Richard Gere’s/“Edward’s” white dress shirt? Classic is hot.

Skin. Go as bare as you dare, I’ll keep it classy. Black and white fine art nudes are always gorgeous.

If it’s a gift for him, then his gear (professional or hobby) is a terrific way to let him know you “get” him and are thinking of him.

Good ideas: Fabulous high heels, fun accessories; pearls, birdcage veil, feathers, anything you love. Editorial style props; glass of wine, cup of tea, a fan, anything that gives your hands something to do.

Bad ideas: Tan lines, glitter, poorly fitting garments (try it on before the shoot.)

2. “Where does the shoot happen?”

All on location, usually in your home or perhaps a pretty hotel room or B&B. Don’t worry if you think your house won’t make the perfect backdrop. Most of the images are closely cropped or have blurry backgrounds, so you really don’t notice the surroundings that much. Of course, if you do have a really interesting or beautiful room I’ll likely take advantage of the variety.

3. “Should I get my hair and make-up professionally done?”

While it’s not absolutely necessary, I highly recommend it. It will yield a more finished looking you and be that much more fun for you to be photographed. I love dark and dramatic eyes. If you don’t have a stylist and make-up artist in mind already, I can recommend one.

4. “I have a specific date I want a finished product for. How far out do I need to schedule?”

Three months out is best to ensure plenty of time for editing, your time to make selections, and time for printing and/or assembly of products such as albums, wall art, etc.

5. “Will my image be on your website and blog?”

Only with your permission. All of the women in my portfolio have given their consent for their images to be part of my portfolio. Some women prefer not to and that is fine, though I do love and appreciate when you allow me to share. I’m so proud of this work!

6. What products do you offer?
I offer coffee table albums, gallery wrapped wall art, fine art quality prints plus new products on the way.

Well, I covered everything I can think of, but if I missed something, just shout it out! Inquiring minds want to know! And please let me know if this information was helpful to you. I’ll be sharing all this and more at
Florida Wise Bride workshop on June 7th, so your feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks Audrey!

So...will you boudoir?


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I haven't yet decided what I wanted to do for him as a gift but this has been a consideration.

  2. Thanks for sharing the Q & A session! It is definitely very helpful.

    I want to do a boudoir session but since I already have my gift for future hubby I think I might do a boudoir session for our 1 year anniversary to spread it all out.