Finding Beauty in the Female Form Through Boudoir Photos

It’s not difficult finding beauty and meaning in the female form. In my last post I provided a few differences between male and female boudoir photography. As I recently had two sessions, each with a woman, it got me to thinking about how a good boudoir photographer captures a female subject:

1. Show off the things that make her body different from a man’s – namely curves. Think of the classic hourglass shape. Create dynamic poses by having the model twist her shoulders off-axis from her hips to highlight these curves. This is a more dramatic version of the classical contrapposto pose used by artists for over 2000 years.

2. If you’re after a provocative pose, ask the model to keep her back straight pull her shoulder blades together a little. This will accentuate her breasts and bottom.

3. The number of ways to light the female nude is without limit, but in general you want to use very soft light to accent the softness of her curves. You can light high-key, where everything is evenly lit, or you can light low-key, where the light comes from one side and is more dramatic. If you want to be very dramatic, use the backlight as the only light source.

As with all photography, female boudoir photography is an art form; there are no fixed rules or boundaries. Curious what your boudoir photos might look like? Contact me to schedule a session!

Men vs. Women Boudoir Photography

I recently had the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite clients (let’s call him “Frank”) for the third time. When he initially contacted me last year to find out if I do male boudoir shoots, he told me he wanted to feel like a GQ model; he wanted to feel highly desirable, be directed into poses and get the compliments he imagines female models get. Of course, I was happy to oblige.

What brought Frank to Mistress J? Growing up, Frank never felt very sexy. He had recently lost a lot of weight and wanted to shed his vanilla engineer exterior to release his inner Fabio.

Why Mistress J? Unlike other photographers that do male nude photography, the Mistress J studio was tastefully lit with attention to set design, lighting, colors and ambiance. In this most recent session, Frank was lean and fit. He wanted photos that would show off his toned arms and torso, so we did a lot of nudes and semi-nudes. The tasteful lighting of the Mistress J studio really helped emphasize the body parts he wanted to highlight.

I handle every single photo shoot the same way. We start with an in-depth discussion about the types of photos the client wants, what they’re planning to wear (or not wear), and the furniture and props they want to use. We also discuss perceived trouble spots, what they want to hide and areas they want to play up.

Are men and women really that different? There are a few major differences I tend to see between men and women boudoir shoots:

  • Men crave interaction more than women. Many men want Mistress J to be part of the scene. Although this is extra, having her in the scene means more talking, directing, obeying commands, posing, touching and encouragement.
  • Men and women have different lighting preferences. In every session I’ve had with a male subject, they want the lights on. Women, on the other hand, generally want the lights off, with the exception of the studio lights. They want that intimate space – a shell or bubble where they can slowly unwind and, like an onion, peel the layers off and expose their beauty.

No matter who the subject is, during each session, I start to notice things. I see the beauty of the hair, a curve in the body, or the way the light falls across the torso or defines the arms. When I see their beauty, I tell them. It helps them feel more comfortable and confident, so they can leave feeling good about themselves.

Although the execution may be slightly different, the final goal is the same: To leave each client feeling sexy and special, and to get some kick ass photos.

Corsets vs. Bustier: What’s the difference?

Both corsets and bustiers can be great styles for a boudoir photo shoot. But what’s the difference? And which do you want to bring along to your session? It all comes down to personal preference.

Corsets were developed thousands of years ago to shape a woman’s torso. These close-fitted boned undergarments can extend from above or below the bust to the hips, and give a binding effect to flatten the waistline. A corset that covers the chest is designated as “over-bust.”

Bustiers are sleeveless tops that start at the bust and go down to the waist. Form-fitting and fashionable, bustiers can be worn as lingerie or outer clothing. Some bustiers have garters attached, and the modern designs have thin, lacy straps.

Despite their similarities, the main difference between corsets and bustiers is that the corset doesn’t always cover a woman’s breasts. It all really comes down to personal preference. Personally, I like steel-boned corsets for the restriction, compression and posture & figure enhancing.

Want to invest in a corset or bustier of your own? Here are a couple of local shops to check out:

Fun Excuses to Invest in That Boudoir Photo Shoot

Have you always wanted to have boudoir pictures taken but haven’t quite come up with the perfect excuse? Here are a few fun reasons to invest in that boudoir photo shoot:

  • The pictures make great gifts! They are a perfect way to commemorate your upcoming anniversary, celebrate your engagement/wedding or say “happy birthday!” or “happy holidays!” to that special someone.
  • Boudoir photos can make time stand still. Do you want this moment in your life to last a lifetime? Commemorate your new relationship with individual or couples photos that express your love and attraction towards each other.
  • They can help you empower yourself. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, boudoir photos can be a fantastic affirmation of how sexy and beautiful you really are.

What are other reasons you recommend investing in a boudoir photo shoot? I’d love to hear what inspired you!

Creating the Perfectly Sexy Facial Expression

As I’ve said before, a sexy photo is more than what you wear and how you pose. Your facial expression matters, too!

To make your boudoir session as successful as possible, look through magazines and websites to find expressions you like. When you find a few you like, go to a mirror and practice mimicking what you see. Pay attention to how it feels to make the expression, so you aren’t dependent on looking at yourself during your boudoir photo shoot.

Once you get to your session, don’t be afraid to try your practiced expressions, or even try something totally different. That expression that feels a little bit silly might end up looking erotic or suggestive to the camera.

Remember not to worry about how your expression looks to the photographer – I promise I will never laugh! Instead, I’ll offer suggestions to help you take your expression from cute and pretty to sultry and seductive.