Boudoir sessions need careful planning. Below are the pros, cons, and tips for boudoir session planning.

General Boudoir Session Planning

The first and most important thing is to make sure you have fun. It does no good to get great photos if you hated every minute of the session. There are several links in this article which point to blog posts and other resources to help you have a great session. Boudoir session planning is more intense than a typical portrait session due to the sensitive nature of the images being created.

Secret Session

Obviously honesty is always the best policy. I do not encourage keeping secrets in any relationship. Here are some suggestions to help be honest while still keeping the session a surprise. Any or all of these options are good choices.

  • Tell them you have a surprise and are doing the work, tasks, or activities needed to make it happen.
  • Impose the “3 Asks Rule.” Essentially, if asked three times, you have to say what it is. This makes it the responsibility of the other person to keep it a surprise.
  • Schedule it when you are normally busy doing other stuff.


Choosing the right clothing can have a big impact on your overall session experience. Only choosing the clothing you would like to wear is essential to proper boudoir session planning.

  1. Black stockings, bra, and underwear. Black is a classic color for lingerie and contrasts nicely on pale skin. Equally, white on dark skin looks good too.
  2. High Heels are a must. Heels shape the calf, thigh, and butt to look more pleasing. There are a great detail to add. And let’s be honest, what girl doesn’t want a new pair of shoes. 🙂
  3. A Little Black Dress. Not all boudoir is bare skin. Some of the sexiest shots are fully clothed.
  4. A white shirt and tie. If these belong to your significant other, they will have that much more meaning.
  5. Fantasy Outfits. A variety of looks can be achieved with costumes. They don’t need to be overly elaborate, but they do need details. Bubble gum, pearls, glasses, books, etc. are important to complete the look.
  6. Nothing at all? Depending on your comfort level, this could be an option. Keep in mind that the boudoir shot at Red Silk is a far cry from more risque styles.


Every woman already knows that makeup can make or break a look. This is definitely true in boudoir photography.

  1. Best option is to hire a hair and/or make-up artist. Preferably this person will remain on site until the end of the session to do touch up.
  2. Bring a friend to do touch up. See the section below about friends and guests. This is a possibility, but not always a good choice.
  3. DIY. If you choose to do your make up yourself, there are several things to consider. Bring everything you might need. Blend the chin-neck lines. It looks terrible when the cheeks are a different color than the neck.
  4. Spray tans are best on day 3.
  5. Don’t change your facial routine for the 2 weeks up to your session.
  6. Start with hair up. We can always let your hair down during the session.

Friends and Guests

I understand that some clients worry about their safety, especially with a session as intimate as this. I am not discounting or discouraging women (and men) from being safe. Here are guidelines to help you make the best decision for you.

  • Do not consume alcohol or other mind altering substances.
  • Only take drinks or snacks in sealed containers.
  • Let a friend know where you will be and when you will be finished. Text throughout the session if you like.
  • Understand that a friend or guest in the room at the same time can be harmful to your ego. I work very hard to keep your confidence level high to get good photos and it only takes one comment about a photo to completely undo that confidence.
  • More bodies in small spaces makes it harder to photograph.

If you have any questions or concerns about boudoir safety, please feel free to contact me.


There are several places we can do your boudoir session. It will depend on the aesthetic look and feel you want for your session. We can discuss these options in person or via a Skype consultation. Check out this post about places to do a boudoir shoot.


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