Ultimate Selfie: DIY Boudoir

Published: February 24, 2017

You are thinking about doing a boudoir session but you don’t know if you want to hire a photographer yet. Here are several tips to help you do a DIY Boudoir session yourself. This is the ultimate selfie.

Example photo of a SLR camera vs a smartphone for DIY boudoir.
Left- DSLR
Right- Smartphone
These two photos are an example of using a smartphone vs a full dSLR camera.

Getting your best results from DIY boudoir.


Do not use a cell phone. Using a dSLR or a point and shoot camera is your best bet. You gain an advantage by getting higher quality images when you use a camera.

You can see some of this quality difference in the side by side photo above. The right side image has a more reddish tone to it and the roses don’t quite have the right color (almost pink). Also notice the creamy color of the subject’s skin on the left. The bright spots on the right look odd and orangish.

To get your DIY boudoir photos, either use a shutter release or the self timer. You can use both in combination if you like. Make sure to hide the trigger out of the shot if you can.


Place your camera on a tripod. This will help you get the right camera height and position to get the photos you want. Any tripod will do with something as simple as this cheap tripod or even a more expensive tripod. A tripod also means you can get full length body shots.

Couple boudoir photo atop a pool table with a woman in a red dress.


Good lighting is critical to good boudoir shots. If your camera can be set in a manual mode, it will give you greater flexibility in the variety and looks you can get. Mastering lighting takes years of practice and an eye for the small details. Assuming you don’t have that kind of experience, there are several things you can do to get good lighting.

Use windows and natural lighting. Avoid anything that has direct sunlight coming in if possible, but any window with daylight coming in can do wonders for you. Ideally, you want soft light with direction. Just because you are shooting boudoir doesn’t mean you need to do your photos in your bedroom. Great spots to shoot your personal DIY boudoir photos can be:

  • Bathroom or Shower
  • Living room
  • Patio or Pool
  • Kitchen

It is more important to get good lighting than to have a perfect location.



If you haven’t already read my article about choosing boudoir outfits, go check it out now. Simply, pick things that you feel the most comfortable wearing. This can be a good excuse to go shopping if you don’t already have something sexy to wear. The classic bra and panties is a solid go to, but you should also consider a chemise, thigh highs, or one of his button down shirts.


Every girl loves to accessorize. Boudoir is no different. Consider adding necklaces, rings, and earrings. Books, cookies, and pillows can be added to the background or to hold and add depth and dimension. Try to keep things contextual and relevant; it doesn’t look right to wear an apron in the bathroom.


This is one area where a professional shines. Since you have opted to not have a professional, it will take longer to get good shots in your DIY boudoir session. Some basic posing techniques will help you get good shots.

  • If it bends, bend it. This includes fingers, knees, elbows and neck. Bending joints makes them look more natural and prevents stilted looks in the images.
  • Don’t point anything at the camera. Legs or arms pointing straight at the camera makes them look deformed. The technical term is foreshortening.
  • Look up poses on Pinterest and the web. Try not to go overboard with the pose variety so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Stick to 5-7 poses you really like.
  • No duck lips. Avoid all the trendy facial looks if possible. A good tip is to practice the looks in a mirror. Professional models do this all the time, no reason amateurs shouldn’t too.

Last Resort

If all of these tips don’t give you the photos you are looking for, you can still hire a professional. I often go to client’s homes to photograph their boudoir session. I would suggest checking out my boudoir photos in the gallery on this site.

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