How to Prepare For Your Boudoir Photo Shoot
Trying to wrap your mind around how to get ready for a boudoir photo shoot? There's definitely a lot that goes into making sure a client feels ready - why is that important? Because feeling ready will show in your photos. And you deserve the benefits of feeling prepared. Of course everyone has nerves the first few minutes of a boudoir session! But if you have prepared appropriately, those nerves will shake off as soon as you see yourself on the back of the photographer's camera (which is one of my favorite moments of the whole boudoir process!).
So what is involved? More than a single blog post can cover. But I'll go over a few select basics here so you can get an idea.
This is always one of the biggest points of hesitancy with clients, and often feels like a huge mountain to climb - but it doesn't have to be! You should be getting detailed guidance so you don't get totally overwhelmed with shopping. Besides what pieces you should choose (bodysuit vs bra and panty) there are many details to consider - color consistency, strap width, variety, cohesive selection for an album that flows, etc. Your photographer should give broad explanations and suggestions, with enough knowledge so you can make your own decisions. Knowing this is the biggest prep item, I make sure to give all of the guidance necessary to check off all of these points. I have found phone consults after booking, specifically to guide in wardrobe selection, really helpful.
Some photographers offer a client closet, or provides select pieces, which is what we do at Reclamation Boudoir, but clients should always have their pieces picked ahead of time as well. It helps to get mentally comfortable in them ahead of time, and mental prep cannot be underestimated.
2) Physical Prep
Posing for boudoir is physical! You wouldn't know it looking at my photos, but clients are working a lot of muscles to look relaxed. At Reclamation Boudoir, hair and makeup is included in your session, so immediately before we start shooting, you will have been sitting for about an hour and a half. It is for this reason that I recommend getting some light physical activity at some point during the day before your shoot. If that isn't possible, light stretching for about 20 minutes the night before will truly go a long way. Going for a brisk walk and stretching after is sufficient. This will give you a little more flexibility and stamina during the session.
First off, one thing I'll tell you for sure is don't make a drastic change to your hair color or style immediately before the boudoir session. If you're unhappy with the turnout, it would be really unfortunate to not have time to change it in time, or to create stress before the session. If you dye your hair, make sure your roots are done, as it will really show in the photos. I recommend having it done within 2 weeks of the shoot. If you have a shoot booked with Reclamation Boudoir, hair and makeup is always included. If you have very long, thick, or curly hair, we advise that you get it blown out or done prior to your session. Beautiful hair can take a long time and while dry styling is included, we definitely want you to have plenty of time for your shoot!
4) Mental Prep
This one is big. After a lifetime of receiving messages about not being "enough," we could all use some affirmative input, whether it's reading, audio, or verbal affirmations, all of these are great to utilize regularly before your session. I highly encourage all of my clients to join our Private Facebook Group where I post a consistent stream of woman centered memes, tweets, etc. Is mental prep in this way necessary for the photos? No it's not. But I know a boudoir session to be a powerful event for a lot of women, and choosing to do what you can to switch up inner dialogue about your body can be really helpful in getting in a frame of mind before your session!
If you are doing a boudoir session with me, you can expect to block out about 4 hours, 1.5-2 of which will be fairly physical. And I promise you, you MUST eat a good breakfast or brunch before you arrive. A combination of protein and carbs including a little natural sugar, to sustain you. I know some women's inclination will be to not eat anything because they are afraid they will bloat. I promise, promise, promise - this will not affect your images. And if you are too tired or weak or hungry, there will be very few images at all! So enjoy a healthy meal and be ready to jam!
That should be enough to get your mental wheels turning! As I mentioned in the beginning, there is a lot of preparation that goes into a successful boudoir session, and my clients, who get tons more prep guidance leading up to the shoot, can attest to that! Luckily I space out instructions and guidance so nobody gets overwhelmed, and I'm always available to talk, text or email along the way.
Yes, it's a lot. But it's fun, it's empowering, you deserve it and you are so, so worth it.