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Setting the mood for a boudoir shoot

One of the most important aspects of a nude or boudoir shoot is setting the mood for the client (or your girlfriend or boyfriend, if that’s what you’re trying!). Even the most confident people will need you to set an expectation of how the session is going to go and create an environment where they will feel comfortable and relaxed.

While these suggestions are aimed at professional photographers who offer boudoir shoots, they still hold for any amateurs who want to try something a little bit exciting with their partners for Valentine’s Day, or any other day, really!
It is best to give your client a list of guidelines before the session that will help her be prepared. The list should include suggestions such as getting a manicure and pedicure, and encouraging her to exfoliate and moisturise her skin (this will make her skin look healthy and reduce the amount of retouching you will need to do). Also suggest props to bring and encourage the client to purchase at least one new outfit that her significant other has not seen. It is important to notice what props and items of clothing your client brings to the shoot, as it may show a bit about her personality and comfort level.
While you might need to be careful if you offer alcohol to a client, it might be possible for them to bring their own to the shoot. Encourage her to bring her iPod or favourite music, or bring your own, making sure to ask for the subject’s preference to help her feel relaxed. Take time to get to know your client better, and engage in conversation as she is getting her hair and makeup done. This sets a level of comfort for your interaction when you begin to shoot. It is important for your client to look and feel her best, and setting the right mood will do just that, allowing for a smoother transition into the session.
Boudoir Photography is Critsey Rowe’s guide to a genre of photography more sophisticated and collaborative than old-fashioned “glamour” shooting that has snowballed as more and more women commission intimate portraits of themselves. With advice on pre-production, wardrobe and makeup, a dedicated posing guide, and post-production techniques covered in detail, Boudoir Photography will help the shooter work closely with the client to come up with a portfolio that is technically perfect, beautiful, and completely unique.

Boudoir-photography-coverBoudoir Photography by Critsey Rowe

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RRP for print edition: £17.99