We spend a lot of time planning boudoir photo shoots and dutifully let our clients know what they should bring to the studio with them. Over the years we’ve learned that there are also a few things it’s best NOT to bring with you. Here are our top five:

      1. What NOT to Bring to Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

        Avoid tanning of any kind before your shoot, especially if it comes in a can. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Dann)

        A Sun Tan. In the 1920s, a sun tan became a symbol of health and beauty and we’ve found that many of our clients arrive for their boudoir shoot fresh from the beach or tanning salon. Unfortunately, when it comes to boudoir photography, a tan isn’t your friend. The camera much prefers the suppleness and moistness of skin that hasn’t been baking in the sun, which can lose those qualities. For our pale-skinned clients, fear not. The camera loves pale skin and the contrasts between your skin and clothing or elements of the set can be striking and dramatic. Tan lines can mar an otherwise beautiful image, and despite all sorts of technical tools at their disposal, tan lines represent one of the biggest post-production challenges and can’t be fully eliminated without significant effort. What about spray tans? Despite their claims, most don’t apply uniform coverage, especially as seen through the camera lens. This is especially apparent in minimal lingerie or nudes. Spray tans can also cause unnatural-looking colors under studio lights.

      2. Wardrobe You Don’t Love (or Don’t Know). When deciding what to wear during your shoot, we strongly advise our clients to wear what they love wearing. It’s critically important that you feel beautiful in your wardrobe and that it fits perfectly. If you feel delight in what your wearing, that emotion will come through for the camera.
        It’s also important to be familiar with your outfits in advance, especially complex items like garters, which can be incredibly time-consuming and frustrating to put on and take valuable time away from your photo shoot.
      3. What NOT to Bring to Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

        Garters: Very sexy, but sometimes impossble to put on!

      4. Your Significant Other. We usually discourage our clients from having their significant other at the shoot as they can be distracting and make you self-conscious. Yes, it’s a bit ironic that you’d be less self-conscious in front of a photographer you’ve only just met, but such is human nature. If you want someone to be there with you, a girlfriend can be a great source of support, encouragement and, of course, occasional silliness.
      5. Too Much of Your Favorite Substance. A sip or two of wine or a little puff can take the edge off, but overdo your partaking and the camera will notice. Posing for boudoir isn’t difficult, but it’s always best when the body is stretched with a bit of muscle tension. Too much indulgence and you might end up too relaxed, which will be reflected in how you carry your body. More important, so much of boudoir photography depends on the eyes, their brightness, clarity and intensity, and Visine can only get you so far. So celebrating your photo shoot is best in moderation until the last click of the camera.
      6. What NOT to Bring to Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

        No Fear :)

        Fear. Most important, there’s no need to bring any fear with you to your photo shoot. Boudoir photography, by its very nature, is intended for all women, not just professional models. The vast majority of our clients have never modeled before and virtually none of our clients have modeled for a boudoir photo shoot before. Unlike other types of modeling, boudoir photography doesn’t require elaborate poses or Cirque du Soleil gymnastics. The best boudoir photography captures you in poses that are natural for you, and it’s the photographer’s job to coach you to help you find those poses that fit you best. It’s perfectly natural to be a bit apprehensive at first, but invariably after the first few minutes our clients find their rhythm, comfort and exhilaration.