Boudoir photography conveys the natural beauty of the model. It emphasizes every part of her body, captures the mood, and creates a mysterious atmosphere in the photos. If you want to gift intimate shots of yourself or your lover, take part in a pre-wedding photo shoot, or enjoy the process, boudoir photography is your best choice.

In this article, we have prepared 10 boudoir photography ideas. Read this article till the end to find locations and determine clothes and positions for your shots.

What is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography is a form of professional photography that originated in the 1940s. "Boudoir" comes from French and means "lady's dressing room". Girls use this style to emphasize their tenderness, sophistication, and sensuality, as well as photographers to improve their portrait photography skills.

Features of boudoir photography:

  • implies a playful, sexy look with nudity
  • the model looks natural, with minimal makeup
  • the photographer uses natural light and slightly mutes color tones during post-processing

Portraits in this style create an atmosphere of intimacy, thoughtfulness, and intrigue. Girls use boudoir photography to capture the moment, to make a gift to themselves or their man, in honor of an anniversary, or to enjoy the process.

Popular requests in this style:

  • couples photography
  • pre-wedding photo sessions
  • maternity photo shoots
  • plus size photos

To create boudoir pictures, photographers use vintage, silhouette, nude, and others. Each of them emphasizes a particular state and mood of the girl, creating a unique atmosphere and image. Keep reading this article to find out which style is right for you.

How to Do Boudoir Photography?

For a boudoir photo shoot, it is necessary to create a comfortable relationship between the photographer and the model. The last one should feel at ease, free and uninhibited. If you are a photographer, keep such communication with the girl so that she likes to share the intimate part of her life.

The main rules of successful boudoir photography:

  • The absence of distractions and clutter improves the image
  • Focus on what is essential to the client
  • Create a simple background and natural lighting

This section will be useful for both models and photographers. You will learn about the main components of a successful boudoir-style shoot, including makeup, clothes, lighting, and location. We will tell you how to prepare for the shooting process and give practical recommendations.

1. Makeup and styling.

Boudoir photography is characterized by natural looks that complement your natural aesthetic rather than alter it. Use foundation, concealer, mascara, eye shadow, and lipstick. Combine dark eyes with flesh-colored lipstick and light and neutral eyes with bright.

2) Checkroom.

Simplicity is the main principle of choosing clothes for boudoir photography. Use sheer capes and underwear to emphasize shapes and create a more attractive image. Have a needle and thread ready in case something gets torn.

Remember about accessories: pearls, long necklaces, bright jewelry, hats, transparent black stockings. If you want to increase the length and beauty of your legs, wear high-heeled shoes.

3) Lighting.

Emphasize femininity with natural light diffused behind light-colored curtains or blinds. Add studio illumination as needed, but use it sparingly. Boudoir photography is about capturing the mood, so "don't fuss" and create a calm and comfortable atmosphere for the model.

If you photograph outdoors, find a bright location with little cloud cover. It will eliminate glare and create a sense of mystery and intimacy. Experiment with the time of day: try taking photos during the day, at dusk, or at sunset. Avoid locations with fluorescent or harsh overhead lighting.

4) Location.

The main rule at this stage is to choose spacious locations. The location should not only complement the model's image but also correspond to the style. For example, a bright studio is suitable for a wedding photo, a bedroom for creating an intimate atmosphere, and a seashore for a romantic one.

The most common locations for a boudoir photo shoot:

  • Home. Use a bed, pictures, and anything associated with coziness. 
  • Studio. Favor a room with dark, vintage walls and natural light. 
  • Street. Avoid cluttered or busy areas where something is constantly happening in the background.

Remember that whatever the makeup, clothes, lighting, and location of the photo shoot, the main rule of successful boudoir photography is the internal state of the model. If you are a photographer, communicate with the girl; if you are a model - prepare your body and come to the shoot in a good mood.

How do you prepare your body for a shoot?

Drink 2-3 liters of water a few days before the photography session. This way, your skin will look moisturized. Get a good night's sleep. At least 7-8 hours of rest will make you feel better and reduce fatigue. Before you start shooting, pose in front of the mirror. Rehearse both reclining and semi-reclining variations.

Look for inspiration on our website. We recommend checking out "NSFW: 57 Masterful Boudoir Shots" to increase the variety of your poses.

Silhouette Boudoir Photography Ideas

Silhouette boudoir photography creates a sense of mystery. It is divided into two types: full silhouette and partial silhouette. In the first case, the model is completely darkened, and only the contours are visible. In the second, the object is in the shadows and looks more 3D.

The main task of the photographer is to create the proper lighting. All windows, except the main one, should be isolated. Usually, curtains and black plastic are used for this purpose.

Curtains. Use sheer curtains for the main window. It will create a light-blocking effect and make the photo look more three-dimensional. Cover the other windows with dark, preferably frosted curtains. Follow this approach for a partial silhouette.

Black plastic. If you want to achieve complete darkening, black plastic is your choice. It can be purchased at any Walmart store. Use black plastic with a minimum thickness of 3 mm. Anything less will not have the desired effect.

Couple Boudoir Photography Outfits

Couples photography is the perfect way to showcase your love and bond with each other. The success of a couple's photoshoot depends on matching the style and clothing of the partners. Here are some of the examples.

Classic Elegant Style. To create a classic-style photo, use black, white, and red colors. If you are a woman, wear lace lingerie, a shirt, or a satin robe. For men, classic pants and a shirt with cufflinks are fine.

Daily style. Photos in this style convey an atmosphere of coziness and warmth. For women, a sweater or an oversized shirt is fine, and for men - wide pants and a T-shirt. If you want to create more intimate photos, wear a nightgown and ask your partner to bare his torso.

Complement each other in fabric, style, and color. For example, use red shades for a woman and black for a man. Add accessories, hats, and props. Books are suitable for a classic style, a souvenir for a casual style, and jewelry for a luxurious style.

Curvy (plus size) Boudoir Photography Poses

In plus size photography, it is essential to create curves constantly. Your body should be supple and create lines, not volumes. Don't shy away from showing your body - play with it as much as possible.

Cross pose. Crossing arms is a universal pose for plus size photography. It emphasizes the lines of the model's arms, as well as slightly accentuates the breasts. Use it both sitting and lying down.

On the side. While posing "on the side", you look relaxed and slightly lazy. This pose is especially appropriate for boudoir photography, as it creates a sense of looseness.

Opposite. A pose in which your body is facing the camera. In this pose, your primary "weapon" is your gaze. Use facial expressions, flirt, and create a sense of intrigue.

Maternity Boudoir Photography Examples

A boudoir maternity photography is the perfect way to capture your natural beauty during this period. Use comfortable and spacious clothes, such as a light cape or shirt. Don't worry about shoes, much less heels. Capture yourself as you are. It's crucial during pregnancy.

Nude (erotic) Boudoir Photography Ideas

For successful nude photography, you must create a comfortable atmosphere between the shooter and the model. The girl should be relaxed and uninhibited. She has to radiate the energy of intimacy and sexuality. Let's consider a few poses for such a photo shoot.

Raising your arms. Posing your arms above your head elongates your torso and emphasizes your waistline. Play with your hands: cross them overhead, stroke them against each other, and move your fingertips.

A flirty look over your shoulder. This pose lures the viewer to follow you. It attracts attention and concentrates it on your face. For nude photo shoots, this pose is best used standing up so that not only your gaze but also the naked part of your body is in the frame.

Arch your back. By arching your back, you emphasize the line of your butt and thighs. Try using this pose in different positions: sitting, kneeling, lying down, or standing. Keep in mind that arching your back can cause discomfort. Therefore, if you feel pain, it is better to give up this option.

Water Boudoir Photography Ideas

A water boudoir photography sounds like something unrealistic. But who would have thought that water would not only enhance the photos but create a separate direction in photography?

For a classic boudoir photo shoot with water elements, an ordinary bathroom is fine. It can be either in the room or outdoors, depending on the format in which you are photographed.

For more unique shots, find a natural water source such as the sea or a waterfall. Boudoir photography focuses on the aesthetics of the model. Therefore, interacting with water will not only create a secluded effect with nature but will also emphasize the best parts of your body.

Outdoor Boudoir Photography Ideas

Outdoor boudoir photography creates a feeling of unity with nature and the environment. The best time of year for such photos is spring or summer, and the time of day is closer to darkening. Let's look at a few popular ideas for outdoor boudoir photography.

Beach scenery. The best place for summer sunset photo shoots is the beach. Find a perfectly sandy spot, preferably by the sea or a large body of water, to create a sense of romance and serenity. Use minimal makeup and lightweight items like a sheer cape, shirt, or pareo.

Forest Atmosphere. Boudoir photography in the forest has a unique atmosphere of solitude with nature. Tall trees, greenish bushes, and sun glare create a sense of calm and tranquility. Use bright outfits to emphasize the contrast of the forest. Go for a Mavka look with a floral crown and green-colored outfits.

Other possible locations: meadows, desert, city, mountains, gardens, sunflower fields, and many more equally attractive places. During a photo shoot in any of them, take advantage of the light and exposure. We recommend choosing slightly cloudy weather to reduce the amount of sun glare.

Indoor & Studio Boudoir Photography Ideas

The classic boudoir studio photo shoot is going beyond our imagination. Instead of a mirror and a bed, today, studios with a library, cyberpunk style, and other modern variations are being rented. 

Neomodern. Studios in this style are suitable for lovers of strict and restrained color tones. Cold light, blue shades, and minimalism characterize the style. It blends perfectly with classic clothes, including jackets, shirts, and ties.

Vintage. Nostalgia affects not only musical preferences but also creates space for the development of the photo shoot. Vintage-style studios have decor elements such as vinyl records, slightly shabby furniture, and posters from 80's movies. Match the look by adding headbands, "weekly panties", and full or half slips to your closet.

Cyberpunk. A relatively new trend in photography that was inspired by movies such as "Blade Runner". Use bright colors, including red, purple, pink, and poison green. Latex clothing, piercings, and colorful outfits will suit you.

Black & White Boudoir Photography

The specialty of black-and-white boudoir photography is choosing the proper lighting and post-processing. Here are some recommendations for photographers:

  • Use a camera that neutralizes the effect of the low-pass filter
  • Purchase lenses that enhance micro contrast
  • Use a strobe or flash

The model determines how the photograph will be perceived. 

The black-and-white tone focuses the viewer's attention on an object, whether a part of your body, a closet item, or a prop. Therefore, use poses that point to the camera.

Mature Boudoir Photography

Mature boudoir photography satisfies the model's desire to capture herself as she is. The main feature of such photography is naturalness. It would be best if you did not try to appear younger than you are. Instead, we recommend using nostalgia and favoring vintage.


What is the best camera for boudoir photography?

The Canon m50 Mark II is one of the best cameras for boudoir photography. It features autofocus, an ISO range of 100 - 25,600, and shoots at 7.4 frames per second. These features allow you to pinpoint the hues of the environment and convey your model's emotions. The cost is up to $1,000.

What's the Difference Between Boudoir & Glamour Photography?

A boudoir photography session focuses on the naturalness of the model in a private setting. Such shoots use a minimal amount of makeup, closet elements, and other props. 
At the same time, glamorous photography showcases the beauty and grace of the model. Such shoots need a stylist, a designer, and a lot of artificial light.