UPDATE: Since this blog post is viewed thousands of times every month by women ALL over the world, I am working on a small e-book full of tips to make your session with your boudoir photographer GREAT, even if you’re not able to come to my Wichita, KS studio :) If you’re in Kansas or surrounding states, get in touch!
One of the questions I get the MOST in my boudoir consultations is…”What do I wear??” While every woman is different and I give different recommendations for everyone, I thought it might be a good idea to provide a little baseline on what I love to shoot the most!
Before we get into it, keep these things in mind:
- Your shoot is about YOU – make sure whatever you wear is something you love.
- Size matters! If you’re looking for something with cups, make sure you know your size for the brand you’re wearing. Hint: the size you wear for your photos may not be the size you wear everyday!
- Let your outfit highlight your best assets!
Ok, time for the list!
I know what you’re thinking. “How are corsets not #1? This list is crap.” But, hear me out! Corsets are great for boudoir photos. They’re fun, they’re elegant, they’re sexy…they look awesome! However, there are some things to consider before making a beeline to the corset rack at Frederick’s and skipping over everything else.
Corsets are not comfortable. If they’re laced up right, they’re hard to breathe in, hard to move in, and hard to look happy in. What this can translate to on my end is difficulty in posing and expression. BUT, sometimes it’s just worth it!
If you’re a subscriber to the “Pain is Beauty” philosophy, then rock that corset and those 6-inch heels and let’s make some magic! Please don’t show up to your session with your corset under your clothes, though…those lines won’t go away!
For my money, Frederick’s of Hollywood has THE best and most diverse line of corsets you can ask for (check out their NEW Hollywood Sweetheart Dream corset!). Go talk to the ladies in the Wichita store and they will make sure you get the perfect one. Tell them you’re coming in for a shoot with me, too! They’ll lace it up just right for your photos.
9. His ________
Again, I know this is a frequent chart-topper for most boudoir photographers’ lists…and there’s a reason for it! But, let’s change it up a little :)
So, unless you’re married to Barney Stinson, I’m going to recommend staying away from bringing his dress clothes to your shoot. I can get (and have gotten!) great shots with his dress shirt and tie, and if that’s important to you/him, I’ll absolutely do it again! But, if it’s just an idea you have because you’ve seen it a million times, maybe that’s a great reason to do something different. Rather than reminding him of his 9-to-5, remind him of something he loves! Wear his workout shirt, his favorite rock band t-shirt…something he’d love to see you in on Saturday morning.
8. A Sexy Little Dress
Boudoir doesn’t have to be all about lingerie! I’m totally down with shooting you in a killer cocktail dress, dressed to the nines. Or, consider the “Illusion” dress from Frederick’s! Pictured above, it’s a sheer dress, but solid in all the “right” areas.
I shoot each session on three different sets – consider dedicating one of them to an outfit that you wouldn’t mind your mom (or grandma) seeing you in. It can still be super-sexy! But consider that gorgeous canvas or framed print you’re wanting for your walls. If you’ve got kids or frequently-visiting-in-laws, I understand that some of you prefer to keep it conservative, and throwing in a sexy dress is a great way to do that! You can always put your more risque wall prints in your walk-in closet, master bathroom, or someplace else that gets less foot traffic. (That said, I love it when my clients get a large fine-art nude print of themselves for display in their living room!)
7. Baby Dolls
Soft, sexy, cute, and forgiving…baby dolls are fantastic! They give you support where you need it and coverage where you want it. If you’re self-conscious about your mid-section (like 97% of us are!), a baby doll may be a great choice for you. They come in all varieties of sheer and solid so that you have total control over how much you’re showing off!
6. High Heels
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but let me clarify just a little. Heels are good, HIGH heels are GREAT! If you want to make that booty pop (and you know you do…and if you don’t, he does!), nothing will do that better than a great pair of high heels. 2″ heels are not high heels.
I do frequently recommend just going barefoot, depending on the look you’re going for, but if you’re going to wear heels…wear heels! There are a ton of great places to get a hot pair of heels, so don’t necessarily get hung up on where you typically shoe shop. Frederick’s (in-store and online) has great heels and so does (don’t blush) Patricia’s! If you want shoes that scream, “Daaaaaaamn!” then be sure to look in places you may not otherwise.
5. Something Scandalous
As if you’re not already pushing the bounds of your comfort zone, right? You’d be surprised how good you look in something that is just way out there! I’ll leave more of this to the imagination because there are too many killer lingerie pieces to mention, but when you’re out trying things on, don’t rule anything out based on what it looks like on the hanger.
If one of the Frederick’s girls hands you something that makes you go, “Whoa, that’s a little much (or little),” do yourself a favor and try it on anyway. You still may not be convinced, but I have heard story after story from our clients saying, “She handed me this and I thought, ‘No way…’, but then I put it on and couldn’t believe how good it looked!”.
4. Weekend Wear
This goes hand-in-hand with “his favorite rock t-shirt”, but makes it more about you! Got a great burnout t-shirt and boyshorts? That’s perfect! Boudoir isn’t always about the frills and lace. Find something that you are totally comfortable in and look super-cute in, and you’ve got the makings of a great set. We can always take it off halfway through, right? :)
Tank tops, oversized t-shirts/sweaters, short shorts, hot jeans, just a robe? All great outfits for a boudoir shoot. Remember, it’s about you!
3. Bra and Panties
Don’t forget the simple answer. If you’re going to take pictures in your underwear, take pictures in your underwear! You can go totally casual with it and be the next Aerie poster-girl or you can wear that sexy new bra and panty set you picked up at Victoria’s Secret to wear under the dress you’re wearing to that party next weekend. Again, I can’t plug Frederick’s enough – they’ve got some killer matched sets!
Make sure the bra is a perfect fit and make sure the panties are comfortable! Your bra may be a size smaller than you’re used to and your panties may be a size bigger. Lace-top panties are great, too, because they won’t “cut in”, so to speak. Panties with a rouged butt are also definite winners. Thongs are great, too, as long as they fit right!
If you’re really self-conscious about your mid-section and will feel too uncomfortable in a bra and panty set, that’s totally ok! Maybe wear it under a robe or chemise so you can still show a peek without feeling too vulnerable :)
The bustier is the step-sister to the corset. Still not necessarily the most comfortable thing in the world, but it solves one problem that corsets can’t! It’s got cups. Where a corset may flatten your chest from sheer compression, a bustier will provide support with an underwire and formed cups.
Looking for something a little more risque? Bustiers also come cupless! They’ll still have the underwire to give that little bit of support, while cinching in the waist and letting you show off the rest.
All-in-all, bustiers can be your best friend – coverage throughout the midsection, more comfortable than a corset (maybe just barely), and support where you want it. I don’t recommend them for every set, but if you’re wanting some really sexy lingerie, don’t overlook bustiers!
And now, the number one thing to wear for your boudoir photo shoot……
Who says I’m not budget-conscious? Even if you don’t want to show it all in your photos, having a set (or two or three) where you’re only covering with a sheet, prop, or creative pose can really spice up your album. I’m really good creating poses and coverage options that highlight your favorite features without using wardrobe!
I do shoot nudes as well, but I do so tastefully (think Playboy). If you’re proud of your body, and/or have worked hard to get it, artistic nudes are a great way to remember it! As a lot of my ads have said, “You’ll always wish you would have.” A lot of my clients that have done nudes have commented that it was very empowering and a great experience!
Whatever your preference, I’ve shot it all before, so just be up front with me when it comes to how revealing you want your photos to be! I’m all about having a good time and keeping it light, so just come and have fun!
Now…get shopping! See you soon!
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