Edmonton photographer, Cat Lee, believes that good boudoir shots start in your head. “Confidence shines through in photographs,” she says. “Treat the experience like a day out.”
Women can be very self-critical and that can destroy confidence. The day before the shoot, look in the mirror. List 10 things you like about your body—forget the things you don’t like. Keep reminding yourself of your good points.
Every woman has body issues. Most often it’s certain body parts, typically the stomach, especially with women who’ve had children. “Everybody has areas they worry about. I always respect that,” she says. “The real point is how you work with those areas.”
There are lots of ways to de-emphasize body parts you can’t stand. “First, we’ll pick outfits that can hide them best. It’s my job as photographer to work with different angles that minimize them. The editing process takes care of the rest. I don’t do a lot of major editing, but a little touch goes a long way, like eliminating scars or stretch marks.”
The best way to solve the problem is to emphasize the areas of the body that the client loves. Remember those ten good things you listed about your body? Be sure to tell your photographer what they are.
Getting the right photographer
It’s important to pick the right photographer. Be sure to meet with her and look at her portfolio. Make sure you’re comfortable with the type of shots she does. Some do nude shots, but if you’re not comfortable with that, keep looking. Don’t go outside your comfort zone.
Ask as many questions as you can. Is a makeup and hair artist provided? Are prints included? Can you use a coupon? Ask about where the session takes place. You may not be comfortable in a basement studio. Follow your instincts.
Picking your sexy outfits
Bring your own outfits for boudoir shots, but remember that only three or four outfits will be shot in a one-hour session.
“A bra and panty set is the basic outfit,” says Cat. “Along with that, bring a teddy or a bustiere.”
When it comes to your outfits, use your imagination! “It can be your guy’s shirt, a favourite pair of tight jeans, or a revealing jersey. Have some fun. Do you have a favourite pair of stilettos? Bring them along, too.”
She adds, “You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on new outfits. The only rule is to stay away from nude colours. Any other colour, even bright colours, is great. Lace is good, too.”
As for accessories, most boudoir photographers have a trunk full. “But feel free to bring your favourites, too,” says Lee. “I recommend that clients bring their favourite big earrings. Bring glamorous items—big and dressy, not dainty. No tiny diamond studs. Something bold.”
Make sure your body’s ready, too.
Your boudoir photographer will probably have a hair stylist/makeup artist to take care of your face and hair. That means all you have to do is show up–with shampooed hair, a clean face, and no makeup. If you have a favourite hair style, though, be sure to bring some photos as a reference.
Lee warns that there are two no-no’s to remember, though.
“Avoid drinking alcohol the day before. It dulls the skin, and makes for baggy eyes,” She adds that it’s important to be well-rested, too, because that helps the skin.
Also, don’t arrive at the shoot wearing tight clothing, especially brassieres. “Tight clothes make lines and marks on the skin,” Lee says. “It can take half an hour to 45 minutes for those marks to go away.”
Why do it? It’s hot. Do it for fun. Make a gift for fiancé or boyfriend or yourself.
Arrangements: Private session (1-3 hour shooting) or part of Marathon session (back-to-back 1-hour shooting sessions in a hotel room)
Time: 1 hour for makeup and hair, 1-3 hours for photography
What to expect: After the makeup artists finishes with face and hair, the photographer will guide you, the model, in poses and camera angles.
Product: A variety of prints or digital products to choose from, a private gallery and CD of all edited shots.