Secrets and Tips for Your Boudoir Session

Rodrigo & Samantha Pineda, photographers with a Washington-based fashion-boudoir photography studio, has been doing boudoir sessions with women full-time for the past four years. This year they've added a little twist to the typical boudoir sessions by bringing in a touch of fashion to create Fashion-Boudoir. When a client books with them, Samantha shares secrets and tips, which helps prep the client for her upcoming session. Today we are sharing a few of these tips with you.

1. If you're taking boudoir photographs, you need to be excited. Maybe you're crossing an item off your bucket list, celebrating a milestone, or surprising a loved one. Whatever your reasons, you shouldn't be taking boudoir photos if someone else is making you do this. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the idea. 

2. Make sure you find a professional photographer who offers boudoir photography services on a full-time basis. They'll be experienced in working with different bodies and they'll understand how to light the shot or pose you so that you look your best. A flip of the hand one way can add 10 pounds, a flip the other way can take 10 pounds away, and you want someone who knows the difference.

3. Find a photographer who has an actual studio. Really know where you're going when you're heading to a boudoir session. Samantha and Rodrigo have heard stories of people showing up to a session at someone's basement or shed (which you might like — it's all based on your comfort level). Before you book with a photographer, Google the address and look around the area using the street view function. 

4. Check the photographer's website and social media presence. You want the photographer's style to match your taste. You also want to find an experienced photographer, so look at the number of models in the photographer's portfolio. A well-known photographer will be very present on social media and will be receptive to questions if you have them. 

5. There's a huge range in pricing, but boudoir photography sessions and packages together can cost anywhere from $1,000 to over $10,000. For example, Rodrigo Pineda Photography’s fashion-boudoir sessions start at $299, and their packages start around $300-$400. Be cautious of coupons and photographers that offer a session for less than $100. 

6. Ask the studio if they edit every picture for the client. You want to be choosing from fully edited photographs. You shouldn't expect the studio to do major Photoshopping, but you want the pictures to be softened.

7. Don't get stuck on inspiration images. Not every studio will have exactly what you want in terms of props or sets. You can look to inspiration images to get a general sense of what you want to accomplish, but it's probably not realistic to think that you'll be able to recreate your inspiration image exactly.

8. Try on the clothing you're thinking of wearing and look at yourself in the mirror. If you love the way it looks in the mirror at home, you'll like the way it looks in photos. If you don't like the way it looks in the mirror, you won't like the way it looks in the pictures.


9. Don't buy something in a smaller size than you usually wear. You don't want lingerie to be pinching anywhere on your body. Stick to your usual sizing.

10. Do not consider wearing  just a bra and panty set unless you love your stomach. Photographers aren't going to be able to make your stomach disappear. You don't have to wear a bra and panty set — you can wear a dress, sheer shirt, a fur coat, or even a stylish vest. Just because it's boudoir doesn't mean it has to look a certain way.

11. Check all your clothes and accessories before your session. If you're bringing shoes, take the stickers off the soles and make sure they're not too scuffed. Make sure your nails are in pristine condition — you really don't want chewed or half-painted nails in your photos. Cut the tags off the backs of your clothes if they're going to show through. And the night before your shoot, make sure you're organized with everything you need in one place. It’s so easy to leave something behind.

12. Do not spray tan! It's a huge misconception that you should look tan for these photos. Tan skin actually counteracts the lighting for boudoir photos, so you should stay away from the tanner for at least five days before your shoot. 

13. Make sure you're groomed in all the right spots. If you're going to get a wax anywhere on your body or face, do it five to seven days before your shoot so that you don't have any bumps. 

14. Think of the word you'd want to use to describe the photos you're looking to get. Would you like to be sexy, sultry, gorgeous, glamorous? Boudoir photography is about celebrating you and how you look when you feel your best. 

15. Go into the session with a really open mind and a positive attitude. Even with a positive attitude, no one goes into a session saying, "I look good and I'm ready to do this!" No one feels natural about "looking sexy" at first. Everybody's a little nervous. Trust that the photographer you're working with will make you look the best they can make you look. You're being transformed into a supermodel for a day, so celebrate that moment. 

16. A session might take one hour, or it might take a few hours. Different photographers work at different speeds depending on their personal style and how much experience they have. A session with Rodrigo Pineda Photography usually lasts around two hours.

17. The shoot will probably change your life. It's going to be an experience, and it can be an amazing and uplifting one. Boudoir is meant to be empowering, and that’s how it should leave you feeling.


To book your own private consultation,
email or call 636-266-9080.

Consultations are complimentary.
(Ask about our monthly specials.)