Keeping up with the boudoir photography trends

How to prepare, Inspiration

Having a boudoir business that is staying ahead of the trends takes a constant creative approach. It also requires a deep passion for appreciating art and always looking at new ways of seeing things.

Trends make us think, trends inspire and motivate our creativity, and trends create a “hive mind” so we know how to connect with one another.

I always like to look back on boudoir trends I have covered and conquered in the past year and see how they compare to what really speaks to all of my amazing boudoir clients now. In 2018, we were trending cozy clothes and natural looks but in 2020 there was a much more edgy and erotic shift in what my sessions are looking like now.

I’m excited to share my new top 5 boudoir trends for 2020 & 2021!


1. Spicing Things up with Couples Boudoir

The most notable trend of the last few years: Couples Boudoir. What began as a slow burning trend in 2020 grew into a full blown trend that won’t go away anytime soon. And if you take into account the events that have happened the past two years, it can only make sense why couples would seek out an opportunity to share something so intimate with one another. After life had stopped, it was important for couples to keep themselves invested in each other. Couples want to spice things up, give one another something to talk about, laugh about, fantasize about!

But couples boudoir goes much deeper than the image of two people half-naked, intertwined with one another. It’s a deeper level of intimacy that couples don’t realize they have to face until they are both practically naked, behind the camera. But even with the trepidation they face, the second they look at each other, they’re reminded of why they wanted to do this and how.

Boudoir Photography Couples

2. The Good Old S&M

The thought that initially comes to people’s mind when talking about this trend is Rhianna’s song “S&M”. And it can be! In fact, I’ve noticed many more women wanting to be in touch with their kinkier, erotic side that they normally wouldn’t be comfortable with admitting out loud.

What I love most about S&M themed boudoir shoots is the fearlessness that comes out from my clients. They ooze sex and exude a confidence that they didn’t even know they had. I think S&M is an important trend to explore as you’re able to tap into some deeper desires you have, because saying it out loud and participating in the act in front of others gives the model recurrence that she’s not crazy, she’s just unconventional.

S&M draws focus to the woman’s best assets with a kick of habanero. It’s not raunchy, but it does challenge the viewers perception of the scene and pushes the model out of her comfort zone. Think of 50 shades of Gray, except we’re all having a good time! So if whips, chains, blind-folds, and paddles excite you, then this is a trend you should jump on while it’s hot.

s&m boudoir

3. Getting Wet Has Never Been More Sexy

This trend gets a lot of women feeling like Denise Richards from “Wild Things”. It’s easy to take a nice picture of yourself, but have you ever shot yourself completely drenched in the shower, nude, and with a full face of make-up on? If you haven’t then you’re missing out. The un-smeared make-up mixed with a racy scene in the water will be reminiscent of the waterproof make-up that was designed for classic Hollywood star, Esther Williams. There’s something about being wet that wakes up this primal part of ourselves. Being naked, dripping water from your curves, and suggestively posing gives ourselves an intimate spotlight on our bodies and minds. But what I also love seeing is my clients posing on or in bathtubs, wading in the water, surrounded by flower petals. Incorporation of a prop, such as a bathtub, can take your boudoir session to the next level!
The best intimate boudoir photographer in Los Angeles - Marisa Leigh

4. Boudoir in the Nature

While being wet and exploring S&M gets us in touch with a more carnal side of ourselves, a boudoir trend that I noticed women have especially loved this year was shooting outdoors. Whether you’re on the balcony bent over the rail, lounging in a chair surrounded by succulents, or shooting on location while you straddle your car, the LA sunset shining in the background, the outdoors let’s us find ourselves in a more grounded scene, literally and figuratively. There’s so much that the women and I explore in these outdoor scenes. We can keep it classy and clean, make it boho with rich colors, or we can get dirty and daring. Whatever we set the stakes at, we can create it.
Boudoir Photography

5. Fine Art Black and White

This boudoir trend just makes sense. There is nothing more poetic and classic than a high-contrast, black-and-white photograph. When I send out my clients orders, I ALWAYS make sure to include a black-and-white option of their original colored photograph. I also have to give credit to my clients for seeking out certain stylized, monochromatic images to replicate in their boudoir sessions. It’s such an inspiration to see their vision and make that come to life.

I believe black-and-white images are a staple to any photographers portfolio, because a black-and-white photo is timeless. Sometimes you get just the right amount of light and shadow to create a sexy silhouette or some rim light that highlights the edges and curves of the model.

s&m boudoir

No matter what trend you decide to go with, I’m here to make this scene and experience unique to you. And trust me, no two sessions are ever the same. While I may bring my own expertise with shooting, posing, and styling to my sessions, my clients deserve a lot of credit for their curiosities that they want to jump into. Interested in exploring your darkest desires? The wet’n’wild style of Denise Richards? The timeless classics in black-and-white? Book your shoot with me and we can be passionately curious together!

I’m excited to see what new and exciting boudoir trends will show up in 2022, and which ones from this year will carry over into next year. I love staying up to date with what’s happening in the photography industry and staying inspired by looking at new fashion and editorial trends.  After 10 years of shooting boudoir photography I still get as excited as I did from day 1.

I am a FOREVER student and will be searching for new ways on how to make my clients experience better, creative and more artistic. I am constantly creating new sets, buying new props, trying out new lights, getting inspired from other artist, testing with models, taking art classes.

I want to be one step ahead for my clients and creating art that special and unique to them.

Looking for new ways to explore beauty and boudoir in moody sensual ways is constantly on my mind, even if it’s as simple as patterns and fabrics.

Something I hear all the time from my clients is, “your work is so different, artistic and I haven’t found anything else out there like you.” Tell me more!  I LOVE hearing this! It means I’m on the right path and something I’m doing is working!

I can’t tell you how amazing that feels!  I worked a long time to get to where I am, I’m beyond ecstatic to have the AMAZING clients I do. That validation means whatever I’m doing, just keep doing it!

And how about you, have you thought about booking your boudoir session?

Let’s create something unforgettable together!

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