Self-Styling for Your Boudoir Shoot

Posted on: October 23, 2015 | Category: BI Writing Team Posts, Lingerie & Styling

It happens every time! The anticipation of my shoot is accompanied by the obsession with the age old question: “What am I going to wear?!” It’s essential to attack your outfit plans with two key things in mind:

What comfort level are you aiming for?
When I did my very first boudoir shoot with The Boudoir Divas, I was about 6 months into a huge weight loss transformation, and still not super comfortable with my body. I opted for a pretty slip-like option with lace detailing and sky high black heels. Years later, I decided to go with a two piece lingerie set, but knew I’d be more comfortable with a little extra coverage-so I added a pretty angora cardigan for some of the shots, as well! Make sure whatever you choose, you love it-and how it makes you feel!

Who/What are your photos for?
If you’re taking these photos for a gift or surprise, you know best what they’d like. I’ve seen adorable boudoir photos that pay homage to that special someone with their military uniform hat or jacket, their favorite team jersey, or maybe you decide they’re lucky to get these photos in the first place and wear whatever you want! It goes without saying that taking these photos “just because,” or for that extra boost of confidence warrants wearing whatever makes you happy, as well!

Get Inspired
My favorite place to get inspiration is Pinterest (aka the land of all things that make me think I can do anything-kind of like a second, non-verbal mom). There are tons of resources for boudoir shoot inspiration, and even just searching a specific type of lingerie or brand will open you up to worlds of possibility! Feel free to check out my personal Boudoir Styling board, where I save ideas for items I’d like to add to my collection!
Finding Affordable Options
Personally, I’d rather spend money on a photography/ hair/ makeup dream team, and more photos to have and keep. So when it comes to getting pieces for shoots, I try to stay a little more conservative with my budget. My heart says “La Perla,” but my head says Adore Me! Adore Me is an awesome lingerie subscription service (although you don’t have to subscribe) with super affordable, and totally trendy lingerie sets! The site carries a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Whether you’re in the market for a corset/panty combo or want a sexy bra and panty combo, there is something for everyone. Right now, you can use the code “PANTYGIFT” to get an additional free panty with any order. The items are high quality, true to size, and returns/exchanges are really easy!
sexy lingerie for all budgets
[Lingerie items above can be found here: #1 / #2 / #3 / #4 / #5]

Obviously, on such an auspicious occasion as one doing a boudoir shoot, splurging on La Perla may be just the right idea. By no means am I suggesting you limit yourself! If you’re into the bohemian, knitted, vintage chic vibe, you may like For Love and Lemons, too!

You can also peruse your local mall for places like Victoria’s Secret, Soma Intimates, or even your Macy’s intimates department for beautiful options. If you’re more of an online shopper, check out some of the handmade and custom items on, or go for a vintage vibe with options you can find at!

Great resources for plus-sized options are,,, and (more styling tips coming soon for plus-size lingerie, so check back here with the blog soon!)
plus size sexy
The Most Important Item You Need at Your Shoot?
Bring an open mind! With the right photographer (check out an awesome post with more on that here), an outfit you feel amazing in, and that pretty face of yours, you will kill it! Need more inspiration before your shoot? Check out all of the advice and input that the Boudoir International Blog has to offer!

And remember, you’ve always been a bombshell! – Sondra

  boudoir international writing team


Real Boudoir | Beautiful You Studios | Savannah, Georgia

Posted on: October 20, 2015 | Category: Real Boudoir, Uncategorized
This real boudoir shoot comes from Candace Perry, a boudoir photographer in Savannah, Georgia.
Best friends April & Gerianna came up from Panama City, Florida for a girl’s weekend get away.  They stayed at the Marshall House hotel, one of Savannah’s most historic hotels, built in 1855. Savannah is a huge destination spot and many women travel there for bachelorette parties or simply just to get away. These ladies decided to treat themselves to a boudoir session as their significant others were off in Vegas on a guys’ trip!
Initially, April & Gerianna purchased a Groupon with another photographer. But after that photographer backed out, they scrambled to find another at the last minute. That’s when Candace stepped in! The girls got their makeup down at the MAC counter, and did their own hair (too late of a notice for a hair and makeup artist!) and we think they look absolutely beautiful!

For more of Candace Perry’s work at Beautiful You Studios, visit

candace perry1 candace perry

Get the most out of your boudoir shoot

Posted on: September 28, 2015 | Category: BI Writing Team Posts, Tips For Your Shoot

I have been a boudoir photographer for nearly ten years now – and can you believe that it took me SIX years into my career to have my OWN boudoir shoot? I had photographed hundreds of women, and had been teaching other professional photographers about boudoir photography for years before I ever put myself in my clients’ shoes. Looking back, I definitely regret that I didn’t have my own shoot experience sooner. I feel like this is a requirement for ALL boudoir photographers, so that they truly understand the experience from the other side of the lens. In any case, when my husband & I hit our 1-year anniversary, I knew it was time to go for it – no more excuses or putting it off. So here are the top five things that this Boudoir Photographer Learned in FRONT of the Camera:

1. Plan & prep. This is SO important, because you don’t want to walk into your shoot feeling like you are just ‘winging it.’ Our last blog post from a member of our writing team shares 7 ways to plan for your boudoir shoot, so definitely go check out that article. From my experience, the importance of planning was especially true when it came to outfits. Since I had had six years’ experience shooting different types of lingerie and all kinds of ‘looks,’ I knew that I wanted my shoot to have tons of VARIETY. Now, I also understand that if you find a lingerie set or style that you love (and looks amazing on you), that you would probably tend to get a few of those styles that look similar. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion, a boudoir shoot is also a chance to step a little outside your comfort zone. So why not try out something that’s totally different than what you’d normally wear? You might be surprised by what looks good on you in the dressing room!

For my own shoot, I created a Pinterest board to gather ideas on what three different ‘looks’ I wanted from my shoot. This really helped me as I was shopping for outfits, because I knew that I had certain vibes I was going for, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed while browsing in lingerie shops. Keep in mind that as you’re creating Pinterest boards, that you aren’t trying to completely re-create a specific shot that you see. I definitely don’t recommend bringing an image in to your photographer and asking him or her to give you that exact image, because that’s just not realistic. Rather, use Pinterest to help you narrow your focus and create a few distinct ‘looks’ or ‘vibes’ for the inspiration for your own shoot and styling. Here are a few of the images that I grabbed off Pinterest for my own shoot’s inspiration:

boudoir photo shoot tips

2 – Enjoy the experience. YES it is nerve wracking… but try to relax and enjoy the experience! I had told my clients for six years that ‘everyone feels a little nervous, don’t worry, etc…’ but I never truly understood that nervous/excited energy until I was in their shoes, walking into my own shoot, and sitting down for my own hair & makeup appointment. I mean, I KNEW what the experience was going to be like. I was intimately familiar with what was going to happen, and yet I was still nervous on that morning of my shoot. My only advice for you is to channel that nervous energy into excitement, and try your best to soak in the experience. Listen to the music playing, look around at the studio’s environment, have a glass of champagne if your photographer offers you one (this last one definitely helped ease my nerves). And then while you’re getting your hair and makeup done, just chat with the HMU artist, and enjoy getting pampered!

3 – Trust your photographer. After your hair & makeup is done, and you’re ready for the photo shoot itself, now is the time to fully let go. For me, this meant letting go of my insecurities, and letting go of control. I know that for a lot of my clients, this step can be very difficult – because, let’s face it, most of us have a little insecurity about one thing or another. But as soon as you let yourself think about those insecurities during your shoot, you give them power over you. Take back that power and tell yourself to let go! If your photographer puts you into a pose that initially makes you think something like ‘ugh, this is going to look horrible and show off my ___’ (fill in the blank with whatever body part or feature you don’t love about yourself). But instead, let go of that control, let go of the negative thoughts, and TRUST your photographer. Your photographer is going to give you plenty of images to choose from, and I promise that you will love so many of them. If there are one or two shots that you don’t love, that’s ok! But during the shoot, allow yourself the freedom to let go and just embrace the entire experience.

4 – Get an album. I can’t emphasize this enough. Please don’t just get one or two prints, or a disc of digital images that will sit on your computer for years. Please, get an album to show off your images! I purchased a gorgeous album to give as an anniversary gift to my husband, and of course he loved it. But more than just a gift for him, that album is now a keepsake for ME, to look back on this time in my life and remember the experience.

5 – Carry that confidence. Even now, 4 years after my shoot, I will pull it out every once in a while and remember how much fun it was to get glammed-up, feel pampered, and rock my photo shoot. At this very moment while I’m writing this blog post, I am in my PJs… my toddler is alternately sitting on my lap and playing with his toys on the floor at my feet, and I am 4 months pregnant with baby #2. I haven’t washed my hair in a couple of days, and I’m not feeling entirely glamorous right now. BUT, I have my boudoir album sitting on the table next to my computer and coffee cup, and I just glanced through it again. And the thing that sticks out to me is the confidence that this experience has given me. It’s not just about putting on false eyelashes and lingerie. It’s more than some sexy poses and pretty photos. What I walked away with, after all of the planning, the shopping, the nervous energy, and the photo shoot, was a sense of confidence in myself.

So, beautiful, as you leave your boudoir shoot, I hope that you leave behind your insecurities and feelings of not being ‘enough.’ I hope that you walk away and take with you a renewed sense of confidence in knowing you are beautiful, you are gorgeous, you are enough. You are uniquely YOU, so carry that with you in your everyday life. xoxo, Kimberlee

kimberlee west

7 Things To Do Before A Boudoir Shoot

Posted on: September 21, 2015 | Category: BI Writing Team Posts, Tips For Your Shoot

Your boudoir session is booked but you still don’t know exactly how you should prep for the big day. Today we have seven things that you should do before your boudoir session. Following these seven rules will help you relax and get you ready for your important day.


You want to look refreshed before your boudoir session. Yes, you may have hired a hair and makeup artist, but being alert and well rested before you session is where you want to start. When you are well rested you are also more relax which. Being relaxed before your session is always a great idea.


Yes, I know this is cliché, but the last thing you want is to look dehydrated in your photos. The skin is your largest organ and it needs water to survive. Do yourself a favor and make sure you are hydrating yourself very well a week before your session. Drink a cup of water first thing in the morning and right before you head to bed.


I know! With all the planning, and purchasing the one thing that a lot of girls miss are the nails. We use our hand everyday and take them for granted. Even if you don’t like to get faux nails nor have they painted make sure you have them manicured and polished to least a natural color. I am very hard on my hands so when I get a mani-pedi I always ask for the natural pink clear coat. It’s typically the clear pink they use for French manicures. This version of clear makes your look more natural and healthy!


I am a person who is 110% guilty of buying off the rack. You know what ended up happening? Over spending on at least 50% of my wardrobe that didn’t fit correctly. What at waste of time and money. Once I started trying on clothes I started saving A TON of money… and buyer’s remorse. I say all this to say… try on the lingerie before you buy it. Make sure it’s going to match your heels and it looks the way you want to on your body. When lingerie is ill fitting you may not feel as confident so make sure it fits exactly the way you want it too.
7 things to do before a boudoir shoot

I know! It sounds like a no brainer, but you would not believe how many times I have had to photoshop tags out of photos. Again, removing the small things like tags takes a little longer and really unnecessary work on the photo editors’ behalf. We like to get everything right in camera to avoid any additional photoshop or airbrushing.


Again the last thing you want to do is rush the day of your session. The day before (if not two days before) make sure you pack everything you are interested shooting in. It’s better to have too many outfits than not enough. When you pack a day or two early this gives you time to think about other things you may want to bring. This all happens to us, when we gather our things in a hurry we tend to forget items. The last thing you want to do is forget to bring that one important prop you needed for your photos.


I cannot express enough how important this is. My dad used to say this John Lennon quote all the time, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Hair and makeup artist are super busy during the week so while you may have emailed them the photos beforehand of what you are looking for I would also suggest you bring a copy of the photo with you and really discuss your needs and make sure you are getting the look of what you want. Now most artists cannot copy completely, but they will use the photo as inspiration for what you are looking for.

Doing these seven things before your boudoir session will help you in have a successful session that will cause you to relax and look amazing in your photos!

boudoir international writing team 2015

Make-up Your Mind

Posted on: September 14, 2015 | Category: BI Writing Team Posts, Hair & Makeup
It’s kind of ironic for me to talk about makeup because I am not one to “put on my face” but rather stick to mascara and a bit of lipstick most days.  That being said, however, I see so many people get a lot of hate on both sides of the make-up debacle and it drives me insane.  Whether you love to show off your natural face or love to indulge in playing with makeup to any degree, it’s a personal preference!  Makeup shaming is one of the sillier things that rears its head on the internet, but yet it still exists and people find themselves in one of the two camps.  It was after watching Nikkietutorials THE POWER OF MAKEUP video on Youtube, that I became intrigued about the debate.  For myself, I am often conflicted and find myself jumping between ALL THE MAKEUP and NO MAKEUP because I understand the power of amplifying your looks, but I also forgo putting on makeup myself because I A)have different priorities B)am okay with my natural state and don’t really think about it and C)am not that skilled in the makeup department.

teri hofford photography

As a photographer of women and a hard core body positivity activist, I found that I wanted my clients to get their makeup done…but not because they were ugly or “needed” it, but rather because it is an awesome experience to have an artist “paint you like one of their French girls.”  But seriously, to have someone use your face as a canvas is pretty cool, relaxing, and a pampering type of experience.  For women who don’t have the time to do their own makeup daily, it’s a fun thing to do!  It’s like wearing your standard jeans and tshirt for 6 days a week, only to dress up in a sexy little black dress, high heels, and get your hair blown out for a Friday night!  So, here are 3 reasons why bashing women for wearing makeup is silly (despite the obvious reason that there are bigger things in the world to worry about!)


At the end of the day it is a person’s comfort level with themselves.  If they feel better showing off their naked face to the world….AWESOME!  If they splurged on a beautiful eye-shadow pallet from M.A.C. and love to have a new look every day and use it as a form of creativity and expression…..INCREDIBLE!  Neither is wrong and neither is better than the other.

As a photographer, my job is to work with light and I can tell you that natural light will standardly wash a person out while shooting with studio light while highlight ALL the bits of the face (every little pore, detail, etc.) so to make you look more like yourself on camera, we want to amplify the parts of you that really tell your story: your eyes.  While it isn’t necessary for you to don fake eyelashes (unless you want to) and have a deep, smoky eye, it is beneficial to your images to enhance your eyes with something as simple as mascara and a bit of eye liner.  Again, it comes down to a comfort level!  The other thing is, as far as details are concerned, pimples are temporary so we try to cover them up because it is not a reflection of you on a day to day basis.  Depending on the type of session you are doing, the amount of makeup will vary, but ultimately you get a say in how you look!
teri hofford photography


You know how good it feels to get your hair done?  When the stylist gives you a little scalp massage and you almost fall asleep in the chair?  The same goes for getting your makeup done.   Your makeup artist has spent a large chunk of money to get the perfect brushes and they are so soft on your skin.  It is extremely relaxing to get your makeup done and when you are done, you look phenomenal!  It’s fun to see another side of yourself!  Having your makeup done doesn’t denounce the natural you, but rather, it gives you a glimpse into the playful, fun woman you are!
So whether you are for the bare face beauty or a glammed-up vixen, you are amazingly gorgeous!  You are beautiful with or without makeup, because it doesn’t change the person that you are.  It is essentially the “icing” on the beautiful cake or the “cherry” on top of a kick ass sundae!

Boudoir International Writing Team 2015

How to Choose Your Boudoir Photographer

Posted on: September 7, 2015 | Category: BI Writing Team Posts

So you’ve been toying with the idea of a boudoir shoot, pinned a few photos on one of your secret Pinterest board and checked most of the boudoir photographers in your area but yet to be able to decide who to go with.

Because really, they are all photographing women in lingerie and you don’t really understand what’s the real difference.

agi magyar adelaid australia photography

Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you book your photographer:

1. Do you LOVE their work?
It’s pretty simple; the photographer has to have that little ‘something-something’ difference that grabs you and makes you want to see more of their work. Check their website, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more about them and their style (the website is usually just a small snippet of what they do, and more recent images/special project photos will be on their social media).

2. Do you feel you CONNECT with the photographer?
This is more important than money or location! Do they have a story about them on their site? Do you see any photos of them? Any videos? Maybe behind-the-scenes footage? Do they speak to YOU with their messages of their online presence? You will be in your lingerie, in front of a camera; surely, you want to feel like the person who is shooting you is more like a new friend than just a photographer.

3. What do you GET for your money?
This can be the most confusing part of the process. There are so many different pricing structures by studios – because what one works for me, it might not work for the other photographer, or we have a different goal in the business regarding quantity of shoots. Make sure you check for what is included in the initial price you pay! It might be a small amount of money, but don’t get too excited because more than likely you will only get the photographer’s time & talent, and MAYBE 1 print. Check individual product prices when you see small sitting fees; it will save you some not so nice financial surprises. 

I hope this helps and you will find your dream photographer!

Stay Beautiful,
australia boudoir photographer

Real Boudoir | Teri Hofford Photography

Posted on: August 21, 2015 | Category: Uncategorized

We are THRILLED to be featuring this amazing outdoor boudoir shoot today, by the fabulous Teri Hofford. Teri is a photographer from Winnipeg, and we just love her style and her mission. And how beautiful is her shoot with the gorgeous Jill?! Thank you for sending in this shoot, Teri! And, PS, Teri is ALSO a part of our new Boudoir International Writing Team! (More on that coming soon…)

And here’s a little info about the shoot from Teri: “While boudoir standardly occurs in the bedroom and usually involves traditional lingerie, I wanted to give this boudoir session a face lift and bring in some magic while taking advantage of the beautiful weather! Essentially, we wanted to play with no boundaries! I pieced together an editorial featuring 4-5 looks of vintage lingerie pieces and created the rest of the accessories with basic items found at the dollar store. While that may not sound sexy or interesting, it is amazing what you can create with the smallest of tools! I wanted this session to be colorful and full of flirty innocence, so we made a magical session featuring Jill as the queen. I am constantly inspired by NYLON magazine editorials and kind of went with a theme similar to something I would find in there, but still keep it sexy, flirty, and fun! So, if you are thinking about doing a boudoir session, or if you interested in photographing one, don’t set limits for yourself as to what it means. It can mean anything that makes you feel sexy, sensual, beautiful, confident, and powerful….even if it is a crown made of sparkly pipe cleaners!”

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Real Boudoir | Render Photography | Minneapolis

Posted on: August 11, 2015 | Category: pin-up, Real Boudoir, Uncategorized

boudoir-inspiration-blog RenderPhotograhy_Blog Our featured boudoir photographer this time around is Brit Render from Minneapolis, Minnesota! Brit’s pink haired pixie of a pin-up subject was also a wedding client, and Brit told us “Casie did a boudoir album as a one year anniversary present for her husband — a cool spin-off, I think, of the traditional 1st anniversary gift being made of paper :)”

Check out more of Brit’s lovely work at



Reminder to celebrate who you are now

Posted on: May 21, 2015 | Category: Inspiration


As boudoir photograhpers we have seen the incredible confidence awakening that can happen in our clients during the boudoir photography experience. Most come in nervous and feeling as though they will be lucky if they like even just a few of the images. During the shoot we see them get more and more comfortable in their own skin as they relax into “feeling sexy.” Then when they see their images you see a total shift in their mind. “Wait I look sexy!” they think. And if I look sexy, well heck then that means I am sexy! And there is the start of a new chapter of their lives where they start feeling comfortable in their own skin- which is a journey not a destination.

And so we have created some fun daily reminders to help us all along that journey. They can be found on Pinterest! Our hope is that these can be used as little reminders to keep us the path of celebrating who we are in this moment.

Fall Editorial | Nathan Larimer | Petaluma Boudoir Photographer

Posted on: September 22, 2014 | Category: Editorial Shoots

This styled bridal boudoir session, shot by Nathan Larimer, was photographed in the mountains above Lake Tahoe, California. For this shoot, Nathan wanted to “take a bride and place her in a scenic location where she could focus on expressing her sexuality and beauty.” We think it’s perfect for the change in seasons and love the natural element. Read more about Nathan’s shoot below.

Nathan Larimer

Model: Kaila Uli
Hair/Makeup Artist: Hair styled by Colette Burrows, makeup done by Kat Louis, and wardrobe styled by Jessica Thompson. The vintage wedding gown, antique lingerie, and accessories were provided by Recaptured Design and the freshwater pearl jewelry was provided by Lucia Antonelli.
What was your overall vision for the shoot, or – how did you decide to shoot this concept?
The original concept for the shoot was a “getting ready” scene with a bride. I specialize in weddings and most of my brides want pictures getting ready for their wedding, putting on makeup, and of course putting on their gown. I’ve always felt that moment always has such potential to be very intimate, emotional, and even sexy. Sometimes those shots are amazing, but often they fall short because of the anxiety and clutter that often comes from preparing for such a huge event. With this shoot I wanted to take a bride and place her in a scenic location where she can focus on expressing her sexuality and beauty.
How would you describe your typical style, was this a departure or were you playing into your typical inspiration?
This was the first time that I ever did a styled boudoir shoot. In the past, I have only done real boudoir. I felt I wanted to do this particular shoot to express my vision the way I wanted to instead of the way a client wants me to. So in one way, it was a departure because my inspiration came from my own experiences as opposed to the same 10 pictures my clients always share with me on Pinterest. However, this shoot still embodies a soft, sophisticated, sensual feel like much of my work.
If you could choose the most important pieces of the styling or set in your images that you would say set the tone for the whole shoot what would they be?
The eyes. Eyes always set the tone in all of my shoots. My boudoir photography always finds the women styled sexy, but the most important thing is that I am still photographing them for who they are. Therefore, I rely on her eyes to express emotion as much or more than her wardrobe. In other words, we style the shoot for her body, but I shoot for her eyes.
Photographers always know that nothing goes to plan in a editorial shoot where there are so many elements that have to come together, overcoming them and still getting killer images is what makes us pro. :) What challenges did you face?
This shoot was at about 8,000 feet on a mountain pass. I scouted this location the previous October and the weather was about 75-80 degrees and the Aspen leaves were at the height of their fall color. When we did the shoot on the same day a year later, it had snowed the night before. In some of the pictures you can even see a few patches of the white stuff in the background. The temperature at the beginning of the shoot was about 60 degrees but got into the low 50’s with a breeze by the end. The models had to do a few jumping-jacks.
Describe the setting of the shoot/location, and how it inspired you:
Many of my clients come to an initial consult thinking that they want to shoot in a hotel room, bedroom, or studio. But we rarely do once I show them pictures like these. I found this place while working on a personal project documenting carvings by shepherds on Aspen trees. Because of the many personal fine art projects I work on, I am able to find locations that my clients would never know existed. Scenic boudoir needs to be something more than a random field at sunset and this place has it.
Just for fun: Did you create a mood board? If so, would you be willing to send it/share it with us?
I don’t have a mood board for this shoot, but here’s a link to a totally different non-boudoir project I shot in the same location. Check it out. It’s fun to see the contrast in styles.
Would you want to recreate this shoot for your clients? Or was this a one-of-a-kind original?
I would love to recreate this for clients! It would be perfect for a bride and a couple friends looking for an adventure!

If you’re looking for a boudoir photographer in northern California, contact Nathan Larimer. To find a boudoir photographer in your area, check out Boudoir International. Thank you, Nathan, for sharing your photographs and your story!