A boudoir photoshoot can stir up mixed feelings and questions, so I’ve gathered up the top 5 tips to help you prepare for a boudoir photoshoot. Whether you’re gifting photos to your significant other, celebrating your femininity (a la Samantha Jones in Sex and the City Season 4 episode “The Real Me”) or commemorating growing a human life— a boudoir shoot is a spectacular, empowering, love-yourself-in-your-own-skin experience (that in my opinion every woman should experience).
January 2020 at the tender age of 33, I was in the worst shape of my life; having recently co-founded a startup that put work at the forefront and exercise on the back burner. I saw an opportunity to get out of my skin (and my head) and do something refreshingly expressive that felt … uncomfortable. As far as body image went, I figured I’d look back at the photos and think I looked pretty great (as one commonly does reminisce on old albums). I decided to pull the trigger and book my boudoir shoot.
There are a few key steps that led to booking and being extremely happy with my boudoir shoot that I had to share.
Pinterest and Instagram are a great place to search get sampling of a photographer’s style and aesthetic (#houstonboudoirphotographer #houstonboudoir). Study the images that you like and why and use that to describe what you would like from your shoot. An honest photographer will be able to easily assess if they are able to capture and deliver on your vision. Photography is an investment, so it is important to do your homework on making sure they are the right match and that you’re not wasting your money.
Some people might question the need for lingerie for a boudoir- nude shoot. Incorporating lingerie into your boudoir shoot adds stylistic variety, tells a story and can be nude implying. I found starting with lingerie (and a heavy pouring of champagne) helped me “get into character” and made me feel more comfortable baring all and seducing the camera. I would suggest curating the following items
I mentioned a boudoir shoot being an investment, well hair and makeup isn’t where you skimp either. Making sure you look your absolute best is so key to feeling your best during the shoot. A boudoir make-up pro will know exactly what to do to give you that seductive just-out-of-bed impossibly gorgeous look. Tussled hair, just-kissed lips and glowing skin was my inspiration for hair and make-up.
On my drive to my boudoir shoot, I made sure to listen to a playlist loaded with all the girl power music featuring Britney, Shania, Lady Gaga, Mandy, Jessica, Madonna, Mariah, Florence, Natasha and the Spice Girls. I’ve learned that the mental aspect of the shoot is over half of what makes a boudoir photoshoot empowering and magical.
Embracing and being comfortable in your own skin at any adult age,
shape, color or size … well beautiful, that is the ultimate show of self-love. I did a 2-day juice cleanse, eliminated alcohol and added in a few extra workouts to fill myself with endorphins the week prior to the shoot. When I feel better on the inside, I feel and look better on the outside. I didn’t crash diet or starve myself because that rarely works and makes me feel terrible. Other than that, I showed up as I was. Elizabeth is a pro at helping any body type and size pose and feel beautiful.
I pulled the trigger and booked a boudoir session with Bare by Elizabeth January 2020. Looking back now, it was one of the best decisions I made in 2020. Doing a boudoir shoot with Elizabeth was like doing a shoot with your new best friend who’s an incredibly talented photographer. I followed these 5 easy tips and the experience and outcome continues to blow me away.
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.