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Find Your Perfect Boudoir Photographer: 5 Tips

One of the most important steps when planning a boudoir session is to select the right photographer. Here are my top 5 tips for selecting yours!

1. Decide on the type of boudoir photography experience you want.

This first tip is probably the most challenging step, but it’s smooth sailing once you know what you want! Many business models within photography exist, and none are “more correct” than the other. Decide what aspects are most important to you, then consider your budget accordingly. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want professional hair and makeup included in your photoshoot?
  • Are you in a time crunch (less than two months from needing finished images or products in hand)? Have you started planning well in advance, or do you not have a specific deadline? 
  • Do you want a more generalized photoshoot where you can simply show up with your outfits and get a little taste of boudoir photography? Or would you prefer an all-inclusive experience where you and your photographer collaborate to plan your dream photoshoot to your exact taste (think selecting wardrobe, hair and makeup, studio sets, poses, and level of retouching)? 
  • Are you hoping to spend a few hundred dollars on digital images? Or do you have a budget of $1000 or more to invest in your photoshoot and print products?
Boudoir photograph of a woman in lingerie taken by Andrea Liora Studios in San Francisco CA.

2. Search Pinterest for different styles of Boudoir Photography.

Boudoir styles can vary greatly. Some common style themes you might be drawn to are: Pinup, classic pearls & heels, modern black and white portraits, Erotica, Bondage, Fine Art Nude, or edgy fashion-styled boudoir. There are also different levels of undress and implied sexuality/sensuality found in boudoir photography. Use Pinterest to get an idea of what you’re interested in and what styles you are comfortable with. Then, as you search for your photographer, find someone whose portfolio looks like the images or style you were most drawn to. Not all photographers offer genres like Erotica, Couples Boudoir, or “Dudeoir” (boudoir for male-identifying clients), so it may be important for you to find someone who specializes in those specific genres. Please know that Boudoir photographers are not passing judgment on styles they don’t provide; it’s just not the type of art we focus on.

Black and white boudoir Photo of a nude woman posed to cover her body for a modest implied nude image. Image by Andrea Liora Studios in San Francisco CA.

3. Find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and respected.

This tip is essential. You’re going to arrive at a photographer’s studio, hop into hair and makeup to get your glam on, then strip down to your lingerie, or perhaps go nude for your photoshoot. You’ll need to feel comfortable with your photographer to do this, especially while posing and being directed for emotions. This is why I meet every potential client over Zoom before they book their session. It gives us a chance to get to know one another and allows me to build trust with my clients. You’ll want to feel confident that the person photographing you will provide a safe, comfortable, fun, and professional environment for you. Boudoir can be very emotional for some clients depending on their past or reason for being photographed. If you have past trauma or if you are struggling with confidence or body image, PLEASE do not skip this step. Boudoir can be incredibly powerful and healing when you find your perfect photographer match.

Black and white series of 3 boudoir images of a woman in lingerie expressing different emotions. Photos by Andrea Liora Studios in San Francisco CA.

4. Consider how you’d like to enjoy your portraits after your session.

If you’re like me, you don’t really go back to enjoy your images if you don’t print them or hang them somewhere in your home. However, maybe you’re perfectly happy knowing you have digital images saved on your computer that you can view from time to time. Knowing which category you fall into will help guide you to a photographer who can provide exactly what you’re looking for. If your Boudoir Photographer does not offer prints or albums but provides you with a release to create your own – Will you be comfortable sending your photos to a consumer print facility, or will you worry about print quality and/or privacy issues? If you’re looking to create a big, beautiful confidence reminder for your wall, select a photographer who offers wall art and has studio samples for you to see in person.

5. Location, Location, Location.

Are you willing to travel to your perfect Boudoir Photographer, or do you want to stay local? Are you interested in an outdoor boudoir photoshoot or a private studio session? These are usually easy questions to answer for most clients. Check out search engines like Google or a professional Boudoir Industry site like The Association of International Boudoir Photographers for a list of local photographers. If you’re willing to travel, Hey! – You’ve got a lot of options. Scroll through Instagram to find someone who shows gorgeous boudoir imagery that makes your heart sing AND do a happy dance all at once.

I hope this was helpful!

If, after reading these tips, you decide I might be YOUR perfect boudoir photographer, please don’t hesitate to reach out! You can start the process by completing this contact form. After that, I’ll reach out to you to schedule your free Zoom consultation. We’ll get to know one another, and if it seems like we’re a good fit, we’ll start planning your dream Boudoir portrait experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. I can’t wait to work with you!


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