You’ve decided to take the plunge- get down to your skivvies, bare it all, and trust someone to take photos that make you feel deep-down beautiful. But there are a lot of options out there, and maybe you know someone who had a bad experience. How do you choose a boudoir photographer who is trustworthy, talented, tasteful and also going to make this the fun and fabulous experience it should be? It’s not as hard as it sounds, if you do a little research.
Look for someone with a well-established business specialising in boudoir photography and women’s portraiture. There’s a lot of skill that goes into posing and lighting women in flattering ways that make them look and feel great- and it’s not just about the photos, either. A good boudoir photographer will make you FEEL amazing. The entire experience should be one that makes you feel valued and uplifted, and you should come out of your boudoir photoshoot feeling empowered, beautiful, sexy and fabulous. Choose a photographer who you feel will make you feel valued, beautiful, and seen.
When you look at a boudoir photography portfolio, look for women of a similar body type and age to yours. Are there lots of them? Are they represented in a variety of photos? You should be able to tell what a boudoir photographer is good at by looking through the images they choose for their website. They didn’t choose those photos by accident!
When you’re considering a boudoir photographer- and in fact, this goes for any kind of photography, not just boudoir- take a good look at their boudoir portfolio and make sure their style suits what you have in mind. Sure, we’re professionals and we can do a wide variety of things with our cameras (I love both sassy natural light boudoir photos like the one above and more moody, sensual, and dramatic shots like the one below), but if you want Hustler and they do exclusively soft artsy natural light then you may want to look for someone who is a better fit. 😉 An experienced boudoir photographer will have their own distinct, recognizable style while still delivering a variety of gorgeous images- make sure you like their work.
Some people want a couple of nice photos for Valentines Day, others want a transformation that helps them look at their body and maybe their life in a new way. Boudoir photography can be lifechanging and fun, or it can be efficient portrait photography that gets the job done. Be honest with yourself about what you want and choose a boudoir photographer who does that well. Now, I said above that you should choose an experienced professional- and that is almost always true. If you are confident in front of the camera and have a good relationship with your body, however, it may be okay to choose a photographer with less experience (who is likely to charge less but may also get inconsistent results). But if you, like most women, struggle with your relationship with your body, choose a professional boudoir photographer with a beautiful and varied portfolio (make sure your body type is represented) and years of experience empowering women.
Meet potential photographers in person before your shoot, or talk to them on the phone; make sure you get along and feel comfortable with them, because how you feel during the shoot is what you’ll remember when you look at the photos. You’re going to be spending a couple of hours in your skivvies with this person, make sure you like them! If you don’t have the time for a phonecall or meeting, at least check out their blog and talk to them enough by email that you get a feel for who they are.
There are some great male boudoir photographers out there. Obviously make sure you are comfortable with them and that there’s the option to have a female assistant involved if you prefer to have another woman present, but if you love their work and feel good about them, go for it!
I know, money is a tough subject, but I’m going to be real here- Don’t cheap out on this. As my friend and fellow boudoir photographer Brooke Summer said, when you are taking your clothes off for someone, do you really want “cheap” to be the way you describe the experience? Didn’t think so.
The boudoir photography experience is about so much more than photos; it’s an investment in learning to love yourself more, a chance to reconnect with your body and perhaps your sensuality, and the empowering effect it has on your self-esteem can affect every aspect of your life. Can you imagine what it would feel like to see photos of yourself that you absolutely love, that make you truly believe you are beautiful? How would that confidence change your life? What would it be worth to you, to step out the door feeling confident, sexy, beautiful and powerful? To leave your self-doubt behind?
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for references. A good boudoir photographer will have lots of clients that are thrilled to talk about their experience and are happy to set your mind at ease. It’s also a great idea to ask to see a sample album from a single photoshoot- it’s easy for photographers to show a single good image from each of several photo sessions, but you want to know you’ll get a wide variety of beautiful shots.
Have anything to add on how to pick a great boudoir photographer? Comment and I may add it to the post!