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Boudoir Photography: Poses, Tips, and Ideas for the Perfect Photoshoot

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Boudoir photography refers to the more feminine form of photography, which is predominantly determined by the kind of posing your model is made to do. And it’s the posing that makes the difference between a good boudoir photo and a good enough one. The word boudoir is French for “private dressing room” and the term is usually reminiscent of a unique, sensual, and somewhat flirty atmosphere.

The Essence of Boudoir Photography

boudoir photography mirror placement
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (Source)

Boudoir photography really gives the model a chance to show off her seductive and sassier side, where she usually sheds her timid layers and delves into a more confident and sensually comfortable persona. However, more often than not, boudoir photos are generally placed under the NSFW category.

Boudoir photography can prove to be a difficult medium, often asking for a little extra finesse and a light-hearted attitude on the photographer’s part to help the model’s feel at ease in front of the camera. To be able to capture an organic and flattering look on camera takes a great amount of technique and control, from both the photographer and the model.

But there is nothing that cannot be solved with the right kind of poses. Flow posing keeps your models in motion and allows for a natural and far less static image, making it a perfect fit for a boudoir photo. And for the most part, the responsibility falls on the photographer to be able to instruct the models, especially those who have little to no experience, through the poses and movements.

Many photographers adopt a “rotisserie” approach to flow posing as it facilitates them to get an impressive range of looks and poses while moving the model in a slow and fluid manner, from one pose to another. It also becomes important to specify the intricacies in each pose: the ease of the model’s shoulders, the placement of their limbs and body, the lift of the eyelids, etc.

Livingit Tip
Sometimes it even helps to demonstrate some of the poses to the models, but the golden rule is: always ask the model if they are comfortable with it.

Tips to follow for Boudoir Photography

And here are some crucial tips for photographers to keep in mind when conducting a Boudoir photoshoot:

  • Watch how the hands are placed: You can avoid stiff and tense hands and by requesting your model shake out the nerves in their fingers and softly place their hands on themselves. Bending at the wrist also releases tension and eases the fingers to fall naturally.
  • Relax the lips: If a model presses her lips together it can create tension in the jawline. Instead, you can have her open her lips, very subtly, to go for a softer and calmer look.
  • The line of sight: For a sexy, confident overall feel to the photoshoot, direct the models need to have their chin tilted up and eyes gazing straight down into the camera. This line of sight tends to highlight a more dominating and powerful stare. For a more innocent feel, models would need to tilt their chin down and have them look up at the camera.

Boudoir Photography Poses You Can’t Go Wrong With

Pay attention to smaller details and specifics!

It is very critical for photographers to avoid making this one crucial mistake: moving from one scene to another very quickly. By pacing between two scenarios without making appropriate adjustments to the posing and lighting of their models, the photo turns out more stoic than expected. That’s why it is vital to pay attention to the smaller details and specifics to ensure that the feel and look of the picture always stay intact.

It’s equally important for models to learn and understand the subtle variations in poses and movements, like their hand gestures, the line of sights and body placements. Having a larger comprehension of these nuances can easily help expand and diversify one’s portfolio. Here are some of the best boudoir poses for the perfect and flirty photograph:

The Cross Body

The Cross Body is a popular pose that doesn’t involve any difficult posing or “gymnastics”. It really goes to show that even minimal flexibility can reflect total and absolute sensuality. A pose that everyone needs in their album, all you’d have to do is simply recline on the bed! You can even change it up in multiple ways by laying your head flat or playing around with your hand gestures. It’s important for the photographer to make sure that they don’t crop your head off too much when taking the photo and that the depth of field isn’t too wide. This is the simplest, yet most versatile pose, which is why it's one of the most used boudoir photography ideas.

The Flirty

The Flirty is a pose that is unfortunately frequently overlooked and it has to gain back a spot in everyone’s boudoir album. The flirty pose is rather simple and easy for everyone to do. You would only to lie down flat on your stomach, kick your feet up and smoulder. The coy simplicity of this pose is one of the defining factors of the picture.

Livingit Tip
Remember to point you toes sharply as you lie down with your feet in the air.

The “Oops! My Heel Is Caught”

boudoir photography oops my heel is caught
Stay Classy (Source)

One of the most used boudoir photo ideas, this is a classic flirty pose that is fun for everyone and most people can pull it off with absolute ease. With just a minute or two of prep and the right pair of heels and lingerie, this pose can be both, whimsical, risky in all the right ways, and sultry. The only thing you’d have to keep in mind is to prop your legs up straight and firmly.

The “Conceal, Don’t Feel”

This pose is the ideal balance of quirk, sensuality, and vulnerability. But the effect of the pose depends entirely on your hand placement. If it doesn’t look natural, it will draw attention to the fact that you’re awkwardly trying to hide something. Photographers should place the model’s arms in a way that it seems as though it wasn’t their intention to conceal themselves. By doing so, you can make the photograph looking more thought-provoking than intended.

The Legs Up

The Legs Up pose is probably one of the most requested shots from clients and is so for good reason. It’s sexy, suggestive, dramatic, sensual, and all in all extremely simple. All you’d need to do is move your butt up to the headboard of your bed close enough to a point where your legs can stretch straight up against it. And there you have it! You can even play around by bending one leg near the other knee. But at the end of the day, this pose is all about the leg position.

The Au Natural Pose

boudoir photography au natural pose
Natural is Beautiful (Source)

Now, this is not a pose as much as letting the model be herself. You can maybe do this at the end of the shoot when she’s not nervous about posing and completely relaxed. Because sometimes, natural is the way to go.

The Hangover

The Hangover is quite the popular pose amongst models and one the photographers get asked to shoot often. The pose is also suitable for almost everyone and is not difficult at all. All you’d have to do is lie down squarely on the edge of a bed and let your hair hang over. You can even mix it up a little with variations like letting your head hang completely over the edge of the bed and twisting your head a bit to a side to look into the camera. But make sure that you don’t let it fall too much as it might make your eyes roll back into your head and the picture loses the subtle yet impactful boudoir effect.

Other Effective Poses and Elements for the Perfect Boudoir Shoot

A sheer outfit, as an alternative to only lingerie, to add a sense of cuteness and innocence to the picture or mirror placements to get all the right angles! The “Slipping on a Pair of Panty Hose” pose or The “Getting Ready” pose. You can even wear your significant other’s oversized shirt, the “Lean against the Window” pose or you can lace the jewellery across your body and play around with it.

The “Fresh out of the Shower” pose or The “Lying Supine” pose or even the “Just Got out of Bed” pose, you can incorporate themes as per your creativity.

Summing Up

At the end of the day, a boudoir photo shoot is meant to celebrate the sexier and vulnerable side of every woman. The numbers of boudoir poses are endless, and each variation of each of these poses will end up favouring each client’s unique physical features. And ultimately, every Boudoir photo shoot lets its models have the fun while figuring out the most flattering angles and poses that best represents them.

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