Risqué or Simple—How to guide your clients in the right direction

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Photography in and of itself is a tricky business. We all want our clients to come in looking good and go out looking fabulous. It’s easy to hope that the camera will do most of the work, but the reality is that it’s really not that simple. So we learn how to seat the clients, pose them, and show off their best sides. 

Experience is one of the best tools for bringing all of this together, so much of what we photographers know has been taught to us through trial and error. But, if you can, one of the most important things to learn early is how to guide your clients in the right direction.

Doing What’s Right for Your Boudoir Clients 

The right direction for your clients is not always the fantasy they’ve dreamt up about themselves before they come into the studio. Sometimes it is, but often it’s different, and that difference is a very positive thing. 

We all know the woman whose upcoming nuptials has brought her into the market for some lingerie. But as all women come in different shapes and sizes, so do personalities. Take for example a young woman who, In her day to day life she dressed rather revealingly, often wearing tight, black leather skirts and corset tops, but when it came to shop for the wedding night, she picked out long, flannel nightgowns in place of the more typical varieties. To many, this may seem peculiar, but what is sensual to some may or may not be so to another, and vice versa. 

Although this is an extreme example and not one you’ll often find, as photographers, regardless of the circumstances it’s not our place to judge. The way a client “should” be shot is entirely based on 1) their personality, 2) their desire or intention of the session, and 3) how they feel about themselves at that moment. That being said, it is our job to offer a professional opinion in the way of creating a suitable scene that stays in line with the hopes of the client, as well as to give advice on accentuating their best features. When a client comes to me with an idea to go risqué when the lingerie they’ve brought is a flannel nightgown, it is in both of our best interests to reevaluate exactly how risqué the end result should be. 

In short, the way to guide your client is to base every artistic decision both on what you feel the client is capable of and what she is willing to provide. Finding that balance will help steer the session in the exact direction it needs to go in order for both parties to be thrilled with the final photograph.