5 boudoir photo tips and tricks

Boudoir taking on a life of its own


Sometimes a photoshoot can take on its own life. It can be planned or it can be something that happens off the cuff. No matter how well planned, you sometimes end up with lackluster results. Photoshoots can also end up giving you great results even though they are improvised. Let’s look at 5 tips on how we can approach imporvised photo shoots to get stunning boudoir photos.


In Boudoir its all about the subject


Remember that a boudoir photoshoot is nothing without a great subject. However, great subjects are sometimes in great demand. So when one contacts you with a possibility to shoot, you have to sometimes get up and go. Careful planning can sometimes go out the window if this is the case. Case in point is the photoshoot I did with Bendnotbreak.

Working with Ada Ho


Ada and I had planned to do a photo shoot for a while but my subject lives out-of-town. This brought in a couple of complications

  • The actual location was not scouted
  • I never saw the location
  • I never shot at that location


Now, the old inexperienced me would not have been able to handle the improvised nature of this shoot. But the more experience relaxed me was able to evaluate the situation and get some nice shots. How? You might ask. I relied on a couple of attitude principles that I think all photographers should think about when shooting boudoir photography. Follow these tips and tricks and you can make your improvised shoot a lot easier.



1) Have the right attitude


Due to the fact that the shoot is so improvised and out of the blue, forgive yourself for making mistakes. Understand that things might go wrong during the shoot. Because you have not necessarily had a ton of time to prepare, you might take a whole bunch of shots without the right shutter speed or a crazy high ISO even though there is a ton of light. Embrace those mistakes and realize that;

  1. Even mistakes can bring out some cool artistic options
  2. Forgiving yourself will allow you to move on and get the shots you need



2) Decide quickly. Indecision is your worst enemy


If you get the call to go shoot, do not worry about the fact your camera isn’t “just right” or that you have a lens with a weird focal length. Do what you have to do with what you got and get out there. “A”photoshoot is way better than no photoshoot at all. Be prepared for the shoot as much as you can but your priority must be about getting out there. You might not have the “perfect” equipment but it is a small problem compared to not having a subject to shoot.


woman in a neglage posing on the floor against a wall

Ada Ho poses. My camera is completely on the floor


3) You might have to go on “AUTO”


Technical photographers who are oh so proud of using manual settings, you might want to give that up for a more “set and forget” type attitude. It is not always terrible to go for auto. In fact, being in MANUAL actually involves the preparation of a mindset that is pretty long.

For instance) Shooting a show involves mental prep. You want images taken at an open aperture. Even though you are in auto you need to have your hand on exposure compensation for the unexpected.

Set and forget lets you push setting concerns away for the time being. If you still need control, you might put all on auto and use the exposure compensation dial to be a bit more manual. There is no shame in being in auto.

As cliché as it is. The moment is THE most important thing. No one will look at your photo and say; hmm, this shot was taken in AUTO.


4) Trust your model


I strongly advise people to give in to the expertise of the model. Ask her or him to offer you some ideas and go with the flow. You can ask for certain poses but you might want to let yourself be more open. Be open to ideas from a person who spends many days trying to get the right pose for the photographer. An improvised boudoir pose is a great deal about letting go.


Woman poses in window

bendnotbreak42 was excellent at finding the greatest poses. I did not even have to worry about what she would do



5) The window is your best friend

Boudoir photography all is about light.

  • What kind of light?
  • Where does the light come from?
  • How does light interact with the subject?


No matter what shoot you are on, you cannot escape the fact that your photography is only as good as the light source that you have. The window becomes your best friend within the context of a quick and unplanned photoshoot. Gravitate toward a window wherever you are. It, not only, is a source of the best light around (natural light), it also is a perfect quick fix.

Initially, you might be afraid of the fact that backlight will crash your photo but you would be surprised how light can creep in on a subject. Depending on how the model is placed many options exist.


woman in a dance pose in front of window

Sometimes backlight photos can bring in a sensual element

Follow these 5 tips and I guarantee you that your boudoir photos and boudoir photography will soar in the end.

About the model


Although Bendnotbreak42 (Ada) models sort of part-time, her modeling is quite stunning. She is always developing her dancing or her modeling skills. Go visit her Instagram profile by clicking here


Technical details of this photoshoot


These images were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T3
I used the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, The Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 and the Fujinon 35mm f/2 exclusively.


Also, Check out the video of this post right here:

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