What is boudoir photography?

Boudoir Photography Styles

I knew from the beginning the genre of boudoir that appealed to me. With a penchant for designer lingerie, I knew that I wanted to offer my clients the kind of boudoir photography that exudes sensuality, emotion and mood. The term of boudoir is often misunderstood as it encompasses a range of styles and moods from burlesque, pin-up, glamour to mention a few. Burlesque is all about sexy, provocative poses where vintage lingerie and props play a huge part in provoking a strong response from the viewer. Pin Up uses vintage, retro 40s and 50s style of clothing with poses which are playful and teasing whereas Glamour is all about physical beauty, allure and sexually suggestive images featuring nude or topless young, beautiful women. Unlike Glamour the genre Boudoir is for every woman regardless of her shape, size and age. It is more about being the woman you are than physical beauty. It celebrates inner and outer beauty but in a more sensual way – it is often what you don’t see in the image that it is so engaging for the viewer. It may be that a bride wishes to surprise their husband to be with bridal boudoir images as a romantic gift, or a woman may want to celebrate an important birthday, a wedding anniversary, re-invent herself after a divorce, or maybe in need of a confidence boost to recapture her sexiness and sensuality, which has been consumed by motherhood. Regardless of the motivations, a boudoir photoshoot has a transformative effect on women who will feel more confident, beautiful and downright sexy with a sense of empowerment.

As a boudoir photographer you can learn how to style or use simple lighting easily but what is challenging is to create boudoir images that are tasteful, elegant and classy while exuding authenticity and sex appeal.

Bridal Boudoir Photography

I was fortunate to receive some of my photography training via a mentoring programme Training byLumiere with high profile photographer, Kate Hopewell-Smith, who is considered to be one of the best Boudoir Photographers and educators in the UK. I was already offering boudoir photoshoots to my clients but it was to Kate that I turned to when I decided to include Bridal Boudoir in my portfolio as I was receiving enquiries about bridal boudoir photoshoots.

The full day bridal boudoir workshop with Kate was, to say the least amazing! Whilst the talented makeup artist Caroline Ort was preparing our model for the photoshoot, Kate and I layed out all the beautiful hand made bridal lingerie which was kindly supplied for the day by Pompadour Couture lingerie whilst discussing the styles and lighting of the photoshoot. During the workshop, I practiced two contrasting styles of boudoir, both suitable for bridal boudoir photo sessions.

Boudoir Photography Lighting

A “High Key” style, as defined by Kate as “Light and airy”, where the emphasis is on creating a soft look, filled with natural, bright light, with the client being styled not only with pastel and whites lingerie but also with shirts, cardigans and lace and a “Low Key “style where the emphasis is on seductive, moody, darker light which contours the woman’s body allowing certain features to fall into darkness whilst emphasising others. This style will suit more sexy lingerie in darker or black tones, high heels and stronger make up. Images will be deliberately more grainy, often edited in B& W with a film noir feel.

This selection of images illustrate the two contrasting boudoir styles which I now offer to my clients.



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