What is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography (also known as glamour photography) is a style of photography designed to create a set of sensual images of adult women of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Boudoir literally means a woman’s dressing room or bedroom, and so the bedroom is typically the setting of boudoir photography.  This style of photography has become popular recently as a form of a gift from a woman to her significant other.  Specifically, a collection of boudoir photographs has become fashionable as a wedding gift from the bride to the groom.  Boudoir photography is also popular as a Valentine’s Day, birthday, anniversary or even a surprise “anytime” gift.

Boudoir photography is designed to highlight a woman’s sensual side. 

The pictures are tasteful, fine-art portraits of the client.  These photographs can be taken while the woman wears whatever she chooses, from a wedding dress to lingerie to sports jerseys.  (Yes, some sites do recommend things such as jerseys or male work clothes to help bring a piece of a male recipient’s world into the pictures.)  In many studios, nudity is allowed, but once again these are very tastefully done.  In other studios nudity is off-limits, and the pictures focus more on the “suggestion” of nudity.  This is to say that the woman is pictured in such a way that nudity is implied but never fully revealed.

In the world of glamour photography, the emphasis is all on the client. 

The uniqueness of each individual woman is what is most important.  While many women may worry whether boudoir is right for them, glamour photographers and studios beg to differ.  Boudoir photography is not about being a model.  Many studios stress that no modeling experience is necessary at all.  Furthermore, it is not necessary to tan, get a make-over, or even a haircut before the shoot.  It’s actually frowned upon in most cases.  The point of these photos is to celebrate the individual, to explore the natural elegance and beauty already present in a woman.  As one site instructs: “Remember, your significant other loves YOU.”

boudoir photographs are completely customized and tailored

In this vein, it is also important to note that boudoir photographs are completely customized and tailored to the desire of the client.  How much or how little is shown, how to pose and what to wear are all in the hands of the woman being photographed.  This overall personalization is a cornerstone of the boudoir business.
Boudoir photography is typically conducted in a studio with a very small number of employees present.  The client will have access to a hairstylist, a make-up artist, and whatever other services the studio offers, but the shoot itself is a private affair more often than not.  The idea is to create a comfortable atmosphere, one in which the woman can truly relax, be herself, and focus on how she wants her pictures to turn out.

after the photographs are taken

In many cases, after the photographs are taken the client will have access to them and may be allowed to pick and choose the final proofs as she likes.  The photographs will then undergo a digital retouching during which lighting will be adjusted and “trouble areas” will be eliminated.  Just as many studios insist that their clients need not be models, they also reassure their potential customers that no matter how perfect a woman’s body, she may be uncomfortable with some areas such as stretch marks, cellulite or scars.  In the end, the customer is left with a series of photographs that highlight her own unique and elegant beauty.

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