What is Boudoir Photography?

The term “Boudoir” is French and was originally coined as the name for a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room. At some point, it also became the descriptive moniker for intimate lifestyle photography. The setting for these types of photo shoots is almost always a bedroom or a private setting but more and more often they are not limited to just indoor locations.

I have heard Boudoir called so many names, from “erotic lifestyle photography” to “a sexy photo shoot” and they all mean the same thing. It is a shoot in which you are most vulnerable, in your most private under things or just in the nude. Where you bare it all and give into loving and worshipping yourself.  It is about accepting your beauty and flaunting it, celebrating the little things that make you so uniquely you. Capturing all the secret things that make people fall for you.

Boudoir is not restricted to a bedroom setting.  It can also be shot in the outdoors in a variety of settings.  This style is less common but has as much, if not more, impact.  Interest in outdoor or natural boudoir has skyrocketed and I believe it is because there is something so ethereal and goddess-like about a woman in an outdoor location that cannot be replicated in a bedroom.


Body Type

The two most common comments I hear from women are "I don't think I have the body for boudoir" and "I am a bigger woman/I have put on several pounds and I don't think I will look good".  Boudoir is a celebration of self.  Every style of boudoir is for every body type.  We are who we are and we should celebrate that. I use light, shadow and wardrobe to maximize your outer beauty and use your curves, expression, and personality to bring out your inner beauty.  Boudoir has an amazing power to transform how you feel about yourself and your body. It is great for giving you extra confidence, which you can take away with you and build on.


Types of Boudoir Photography


This is a very bright, high-contrast style, dominated by light and bright tones. Shadowed areas are minimal but still, exist, this style is really beautiful if shot in black and white. Sometimes the skin is exposed brightly enough to lose some texture and definition, and that’s OK. I love this style for more romantic and playful looks.  


Just about the opposite of high-key; it’s an image style dominated by dark and black tones. Often uses hard lights to give a crisp definition, including using hard backlights to outline the edges of the body. Shadowed areas – including skin and body features – are often allowed to fall into complete darkness. Bodyscapes are a good example of low-key boudoir.  These images can be very moody and dramatic.


Bridal boudoir photography is a growing trend among new brides as a deeply personal and intimate expression of love and desire from a bride to her groom. Like traditional boudoir photography, bridal boudoir may feature the bride in lingerie and/or nude, wearing wedding-related accouterments, such as a garter or wedding veil.

  Implied Nude

Implied Nude is just what it sounds like: images where nudity is suggested, but the viewer can’t be certain precisely how undressed the model is.  The remarkable ability of the human brain to fill in blanks and to follow paths to their natural conclusion means that even if it can’t be sure that someone is naked, a suggestion of nudity will lead it to assume she or he is.

Fine Art/Artistic Nude

Fine art nude boudoir photography uses light, shadows, posing and creative expressions to bring out the beauty of the subject and the human body in an artistic form. Fine art nude photography focuses on the beauty of the human form while shying away from being sexually explicit.

Couples/Seductive Boudoir

A couples shoot is where the sexy and playful and or super sexy and intimate come together to create a beautiful keepsake.  It’s an exploration of sensuality celebrating their love and the steamy connection they have for each other.


Although the word fetish sometimes elicits visions of leather, latex, restraints, masks, and the like, It is much more diverse than that.  It is a very personalized subject that typically incorporates the likes of the persons partner.  It can be as mundane as a fetish for the subject’s feet, to the subject incorporating props or sexually explicit touches or poses.  If often time focuses on a particular body part of the subject.  Studies suggest that we all have a fetish of one type or another and giving into your inner desires truly releases the beast and gives the intended recipient of your images a truly wow factor experience.  This style is definitely for the more adventurous. 

I can stylize your session with any one or any combination of several of the styles listed above.  Most importantly make your session about you.  Explore and challenge your level of confidence, empower yourself to freely express. 

The #1 Asked Question: Can I show you something I found on the internet?

 I am humble enough to know that it is very unlikely that I will ever come up with something so unique that it has never been done before.  Everyone nowadays with a smart phone is a photographer to one degree or another and they are filling the web full of unique and interesting images by the minute.

What I do request though, is that you share the image(s) that you like, but to use only one word to describe what it is about each image that you like. Some examples would be lighting, mood, pose, wardrobe, location or even as broad as everything.  By doing this, It not only cause you to really think about what it is about that image that you like, it also causes you to see the rest of the things in the image that don’t really matter to you.   

Most people have an image in their minds eye of how they want their images to look.   Most people don’t know how to express that look to their photographer.  Having reference images helps both you and the me to conceptualize and stylize the shoot that the client really wants and it eliminates the one statement every photographer hates to hear on the day of the shoot “you’re the photographer, just tell me what to do”.   We all see beauty from a different angle and what’s pleasing to my eye may not be pleasing to yours. So please share with me any image you find that you like.