Photographing your moments in San Francisco, California










When you hear ‘boudoir session’ what comes to mind? When I first started my journey as a photographer, I pictured the basics when it came to boudoir: bold lingerie, striking high heels, sensual lighting. It wasn’t until after my first few sessions that I realized there was a lot more to it than just that. 

A boudoir shoot can be an exciting and gratifying experience for both the photographer and the client.  However, the first time can also be a little bit intimidating! It is so unlike any other style of photography out there, and because of that requires some different planning for things to run smoothly for everyone.  This is why I’ve decided to come up with some absolute essentials you may not think about needing until you’re already at your session with your client. 

Here are my Top 3 boudoir must-haves:

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Maybe this seems obvious to you… but it wasn’t to me!  For several reasons that I will get into, a robe or kimono is an absolute necessity when it comes to Boudoir.

First of all, having a piece of clothing such as this is a great way to add variety to the session and gives your client something to do in the images (slipping it off, for example).  A silk or lace robe is perfect, while an elegant kimono or even a long trench coat make for great options, too. 

The other major benefit of having a piece like this is for the sake of comfort for your client!  This is huge.  Whether your client is stripping down to their skivvies in front of the camera for the very first time, or is an absolute seasoned vet when it comes to boudoir… it can be really uncomfortable for the client to be hanging around in the nude for the entire session… and I mean, understandably so!  Having a robe allows your client to be cozy during hair and makeup, cover up whenever they’d like to, and also makes for some awesome alternative poses, too!

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Blankets / Throws  

A soft, fur blanket is the absolute perfect boudoir accessory to use when trying to achieve an effortlessly sexy look.  Even simple, white sheets can be incredibly useful when it comes to achieving different moods for your sessions.  

Perhaps your client is looking for something more bold and colorful, or maybe they are wanting a clean more minimalistic look. Having a variety of different blankets and throws to use as props is the best way to help you achieve the perfect mood with the right colors that you are looking for. 

I always find that asking my client about their preferred colors and knowing what kind of lingerie she plans to wear for the shoot gives me a greater sense of what look they are hoping to capture.  Having several options available in your studio is an ideal way to make sure you have something for everyone!

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Couch/ Chair

I know what you’re thinking… furniture is expensive! But trust me when I say that having a few key pieces in your studio is an investment that will really help maximize your time and space, without having to spend oodles of money. I definitely recommend checking out second-hand furniture stores, and keeping an eye on your local classifieds for unique items that catch your eye.  You never know what you might find!

Try thinking outside the box when it comes to what you can use.  While a bed might seem like the most obvious piece of furniture that you’d find in a Boudoir studio… a beautiful armchair, love seat, chaise lounge or even a stool (covered in a fur blanket… gorgeous!) is probably a lot less expensive than an entire bed set-up, and will still work fabulously.  

And if you think having one chair is enough… think again! A tip I’ve learned is that armchairs are perfect for posing your client in reclining positions, while chairs without arms are better for angular, dramatic poses and super flattering bum shots!

Keeping your furniture on wheels or felt pads is a good way to ensure that you will get the most out of the pieces you use in your studio and will allow you to move them around with ease to suit the needs of each unique session. 

Well … that’s all from me for now!

I would love to know your thoughts on my top 3 boudoir studio must-haves and hear your opinion on what boudoir essentials you absolutely cannot work without. And if you liked this content then you might want to check out my free boudoir posing guide.


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I'm a photographer, Business Coach and Activist.