My boudoir studio is located in the beautiful hills in Los Angeles, CA. I get to spend my days with a variety of ladies, from movie stars to house wives who get their boudoir photos taken. My clients come in different shapes, ages and colors. The one thing they all have in common is that they are beautiful the way they are!
I like to get to know my clients while they get their professional hair and makeup done in my living room. We chat, laugh and I find out who they are and what their motivation is to get their boudoir photos done.
In this blog post I want to focus on poses and some tips and tricks I use to make each session successful and happy.
We will look at their selection of lingerie and we decide which setting and lingerie will work best.
Posing and angles are crucial in boudoir photography. It is important to make each pose look natural and effortless, though some poses are frankly very uncomfortable. The truth is a boudoir photo shoot will give you a nice workout!
The pictures below are my top boudoir poses with some variations, along with some tips and trick of the trade.
I start each session with an easy, comfortable pose like sitting on the legs. I check the bra straps and make sure they are not twisted and no tags are showing. I ask clients to cut out their tags before their session. It is easier to fix this before the photo shoot, than to fix it later in Photoshop.
To avoid rolls under her neck I remind her to lift their chin, especially for the more mature or curvier models. A good trick is to tell her to stick out her neck like a turtle, extended towards the camera. If it doesn’t help use a little higher camera angle.
Most of the time I will tell my clients to cock their head to one side, it will give them a more feminine open look. It works like charm!
As a photographer we always look for ways to make the waist look smaller and pronounce natural curves. Choosing the right angle is critical as well as the poses. Using an an angle from the top shooting down will slim any body shape and avoids chin rolls.
The only danger is forehead wrinkles when looking up. To avoid that I let her close their eyes until I am ready for the shot and them let look up at the count of three.
Not every pose will work on every woman. A good photographer will find the right poses for each women. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn from them and if a pose doesn’t work as well, just move on to another pose.
Every body has a different mobility and moves differently, so there is not one pose fits all, but there are basic poses that look good on most woman. One of those poses is laying on the back and photographing from a low angle. It will flatten the stomach , pronounce the chest and feature beautiful eyes and eye lashes.
Topless or nudes can be implied, it makes for a very classy, sexy and sensual image without showing private parts. Sometimes I use hair, hands, sheets or a specific angle to cover nipples.
Just slightly position hands or the head a bit differently in each shot and it will give each image a new look. I will tell my clients to touch an earring, a bra strap or hair. It is always good to occupy the hands in a purposeful way. For a bride or a married women I will want to feature her engagement or wedding ring.
Another good way to flatten a stomach is with arms up, arching the lower back sucking in the tummy. Lifting the leg in this position looks great, but is uncomfortable for most of us. I let the ladies rest in between shots.
Standing poses can be challenging, clients often feel self conscious and vulnerable standing up. High heels will help to lengthen the legs and pronounce her behind. Legs crossed will add to an hour glass shape.
Another more comfortable way of standing would be leaning against a wall. To pronounce her butt and legs, angle the back leg and keep the front leg straight.
When her pose looks forced or unnatural, I will tell her to shake out her arms and legs, I will do the same thing and it just makes us look silly and we usually laugh. Then we try a similar pose, it works like a charm to get her relaxed.
Have her hug herself! It will enhance her chest and cleavage from different angles. It also can hide skin folds in a mid section and in a side view raising the shoulders a bit it will also eliminate skin folds on the back.
Another way to enhance the appearance of more cleavage is the on the belly and shoot from the front. That is also a great pose to hide some extra pounds, especially when a lady is worried about her belly.
I love angles! I move around the model while she is in the same pose, because she looks different in each angle without having to move. For unusual angles I use a ladder (be careful!) or lay flat on my stomach depending what type of shot I am after.
My clients are not models and for the most part I guide them through the whole session, tell them where to look, what to do with their hands and how to hold their head.
I watch my clients carefully, the way they move and keep an eye on them when directing them to change positions. Often the best poses are in between shots when moving from one position into another. My client will be shifting her body naturally to switch poses and I will tell her to stop right there, because it looks AMAZING!
Positive feedback goes a long way! Sometimes I get very excited about a series we did and I will stop, sit next to my client and we look in camera together to see what we captured. I always love the, ‘Oh wow, is that really me?!’ comment! Yes, I say, it is all you!
To wrap up my shoot I will ask if there is any pose she would love to try and we didn’t cover yet. That will give her the opportunity to be creative and sometimes daring. Each shoot ends on a happy excited note and it seems like we got to know a lot about each other.
If you have questions about posing of about boudoir in general, please contact me. I would be happy to talk to you!
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Tips and tricks for boudoir photography in bullet points:
- Get to know her before the shoot
- Pick lingerie, accessories and settings
- Start with easy pose, i.e. sitting
- Untwist bra straps and cut or hide tags
- Chin up, turtle neck
- Have them cock their head slightly to one side
- Shoot down to pronounce curves
- Watch forehead wrinkles
- If a pose doesn’t work, move on
- Use different angles, real high( ladder), real low
- Use hair, hands or sheets for implied nudity
- Make small changes in hand or head movements
- Walk around her to get different angles, same pose
- Remind her to arch lower back, lift arms where it applies to pose
- Shake a pose out when too stiff and forced
- Have her leaning on a wall when standing
- Have her cross legs when standing for hourglass figure
- Hugs or laying on stomach for cleavage
- On stomach pose to hide pounds and to hide belly
- Share some in camera pics with her
- Encourage and praise throughout the session session
- Let her pick the last pose