In recent years as a professional Hong Kong-based photographer, I’ve received more and more requests from regular women seeking boudoir photography shoots, either for themselves or as a gift to a loved one. Defined as a style of photography in which women pose partially clothed or in lingerie, boudoir photography no doubt seems to many women like something they could never do. I want to explain in this blog how ALL women can look great in a sexy photo shoot.
Confidence is sexy
Think about it. We may all fantasize about the perfect people we see in magazines and movies, but who are the people we find ourselves attracted to in real life? They’re the ones who know who they are and are confident enough to be themselves whatever the situation. As a professional photographer I know that everyone, even the most shy among us, has this light within them. It just needs to be gently teased out in the right way for that person. If you’re thinking about treating yourself to a sexy photo shoot, meet the photographer beforehand if possible. If you get on well and he/she makes you feel at ease, you know you’re going to have a good session, even if you are inevitably a bit nervous. A true professional will be able to bring you out of that headspace and make your boudoir photo session nothing but fun.
You don’t have to bare all
For me, boudoir photography is more about making pictures with a soft romantic, sensual vibe than showing acres of skin. A confident woman striking a great pose can look just as sexy in an oversized sweatshirt as she does in her smalls. So don’t get hung up on the idea of having to lay it all bare all in front of the camera. When organizing a glamour shoot with my clients I always tell them to bring a variety of outfits they look their best in but also feel comfortable wearing. Often just a cheeky expression and a suggestive pose is enough to turn something otherwise tame into something explosive.
There’s no blueprint for sex appeal
It sounds cheesy but it’s true. Sex appeal doesn’t have a size, shape or age limit. Did you know that Marilyn Monroe, one of the most iconic sex symbols of our time, was a modern-day UK size 16? Okay, so we might not all wake up feeling like Marilyn every day, but my point is that different people are sexy in different ways, especially to the people who love them. If you’re thinking about having some boudoir photographs taken as present to your significant other, therefore, DO IT. I guarantee it will instantly become their most treasured possession. Nothing beats seeing the person you love loving themselves in all their glory!
Hangups are universal
That said, everyone has hangups about their body (yes, Marilyn too no doubt) and that’s totally fine. Your body hangups are therefore no reason to talk yourself out of a boudoir photoshoot. Just be honest and tell your photographer the bits you like and don’t like about your body, allowing him/her to enhance your best assets and soften what you perceive to be your worst. If your photographer can’t make you look and feel like an absolute bombshell they’re not doing their job properly.
Tricks of the trade
Never underestimate the tricks of the trade. Every good boudoir photographer knows just how to use light, lenses and poses to get the best out of their model. Professional photographers are trained to see light, lines and shapes in a different way, and we know exactly what to do to enhance attributes and draw attention away from imperfections, both during the shoot and in post production.
Makeup, hair, lingerie!
If you’ve booked yourself in for a glamour shoot I also strongly recommend you invest in professional hair and makeup services. This will really put the cherry on top in terms of pictures but, most importantly, make you feel like a million dollars. And if you don't already have some outfits in mind to wear during the shoot, go buy yourself something new. Treating yourself to something you wouldn't normally splash out on will ensure you look and feel amazing during your shoot.
The truth of time
Have you ever really disliked a photo of yourself, only to look back on it a few years, or even months, later to discover you actually looked pretty good? This is the truth of time. Whatever your age, shape or size, you will never be as beautiful as when feeling empowered and confident. You’ll look back on the photos in years to come and be reminded of just how sexy you were, are and always can be. It’s all about attitude.
You can’t argue with art
The simple fact is that just like other styles of photography, boudoir photography is an art form and a good photographer will turn your photos into exactly that. So not only will you have invested in a beautiful work of art, you’ll be the star of it!
To close, a big thanks to all the wonderful, beautiful and inspiring women who have entrusted me to shoot their boudoir sessions over the years. Although all the women featured in this blog have had modelling experience, I’ve taken plenty of photos of women who haven't, and their photos have turned out just as good, if not better!
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A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
All photos are © Ali Ghorbani and Ali G Studios