There’s an old saying, I’m sure you’ve heard it.
Location, location, location.
I’m going to take that, and make it applicable to Boudoir Photography, so get ready Boudoir Photographers, here is your new mantra:
“Personality, Location, Background.”
Wait, what? Personality? Background? Why does that matter?
Because they are details and the details matter.
Step One: Talk to Your Clients
I cannot say it enough: over the phone consultations before the shoot are the key to a successful boudoir session. Not only that, go a step further and write up a client questionnaire. Find out everything you can about your boudoir subject before they even step foot in the studio. This will keep you from planning generic (aka, boring!) sets. Instead, your shoots will have some personality, just like your clients.
Step Two: Match Your Client to the Location
Let’s say she’s tall and curvy with a personality that fills the room. You wouldn’t want to take her to a flowery garden with soft innocent light, you want to be bold and match her flair. You also don’t want to make a shy woman act daring when she’s not. Everybody has unique assets, focus on those, don’t force her to be something she’s not.
Step Three: Consider the Light
There is such a thing as an optimal window of opportunity. If you’re shooting in a studio, you can choose between natural and created light. Although you’ll have more control over artificial light sources, natural light may be more flattering to your model. If you’re shooting outside, the golden hour maybe your best bet. Consider your options, and book your sessions with these considerations in mind.
Step Four: Be Creative with Your Backdrops
Just because the “classic” boudoir look is the most popular one, it doesn’t mean you have to do things that way. Mix it up. Buy bold fabrics and get crafty. There’s no reason you can’t turn a blank wall into something fabulous, or redecorate a headboard so that it becomes a fantastic backdrop for your model.
Complex or simple, bold or subtle, as long as you take the time to match your locations and backdrops to your model, your sessions will be more unique, and so will the photographs.