Every person has their own reason for wanting to do a boudoir session. And it’s not an insignificant investment to create images like this. It would suck for you to spend all this time and money and end up with generic boudoir photos. Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you can avoid this fate. Here are my top five:
1. Find a photographer who really listens to you and finds out what you want to create.
First off, it’s not about them; it’s about you. Why squeeze yourself into someone else’s vision of you? (Unless that’s really what you’re after, of course). If you’re inquiring with photographers and they jump immediately to trying to sell you on booking without finding out about what you want, move on. Once you’ve selected the right photographer for you, there’s more you can do to make your images your own.
2. Poke around on Pinterest.
You can find a lot of boudoir inspiration images on Pinterest that show poses, tones, moods, and settings there. You’ll see a fair amount of repetition in poses you find. Don’t worry about that. Certain poses are classic for a reason; they just work for a wide variety of people, and they’ll probably work for you too. At the same time, set your sights on finding poses, tones, or settings that really speak to who you are. PS: if you’re looking for more explicit inspiration images, switch to Google Image Search for that. Turn off the censorship controls and search for “erotic boudoir images.” You’ll find a lot of great artistic erotica for inspiration. And if your tastes run raunchier than that, there’s no shortage of inspiration on the Internet. Just find what really fits you.
3. Bring something to your session that pretty much only you would bring.
Something that speaks to who you are, or if it’s a gift for a lover, something that is unique to you as a couple. I delve into this topic more deeply here. But it’s worth repeating. It’s a sure-fire way to make sure you end up with boudoir images almost no one else would have. Case in point, the main image accompanying this post: not too many couples who are acro-yoga practitioners do a boudoir session together at the beach in the nude! (Many thanks to these wonderful clients for letting me feature their images.)
4. Get emotional.
This really should be #1, but it’s also the most challenging. The key thing that will keep your images from being generic boudoir photos is how much your images feel like you. The more you can open up and be yourself on camera, the more unique and meaningful your photos will be. Yes, depending on what you’re trying to capture, there is at least some degree of fantasy and acting involved. But let the real emotions come in, and what a difference you’ll experience in your session.
5. Tell — and show — your story.
Finally, I often describe boudoir as storytelling; it’s the story of who you are in this moment. That doesn’t mean you’re telling a literal, linear story (though occasionally clients have done exactly that in their sessions). It’s more internal, more fluid than that. And it’s often not just one story — there are many different sides to you, and you have the space to explore a number of them in your session. No one else has your story — if that comes through, your images will be uniquely yours.
Above all, remember that this is for you. Even if it’s meant to result in a present for someone else, we’re really focused on you. I spend a lot of time with each client trying to find out what makes them unique, often collaborating to find ways to tailor their session just for them. Between that and the energy each client brings to their session, we capture imagery that is unquestionably their own. If you’re in the Bay Area and are excited to create unique, amazing images, I hope I can help you too.