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So you want to do a boudoir session? | Fayetteville, Lillington, Raleigh NC Boudoir Photographer

Let’s talk boudoir, ladies. If you’re like most women, you’ve thrown the idea of doing a boudoir session around at least once. And if you’re like most of THOSE women (including myself), you’ve probably spent countless hours trying to talk yourself into having the courage to take boudoir photos. It’s a big deal – I mean, you’re going to be taking your clothes off in front of a complete stranger, who is going to then take photos of you in your skimpiest outfits. Yikes, right? Wrong. A boudoir session is SO much more than that. SO much more. It’s empowering. It’s liberating. It’s a HUGE self esteem boost. It’s something I firmly believe every woman should do at least once in their lives. Of course, there will always be some excuse holding you back. Maybe you’re waiting to lose those “last 10 pounds” or you don’t have anyone to give the photos to, or you’ve got stretch marks from bringing a beautiful human in to the world. Who cares? Seriously…who cares? Your husband doesn’t. Your boyfriend doesn’t. Your fiance doesn’t. I don’t. And you shouldn’t. You’re gorgeous. So let me show you. And let my clients tell you.

The first thing I always ask a potential client is WHY they want these photos done. Why? Is it for yourself? A Valentine’s present for your man? Why should I care? Well, the WHY helps me plan poses, help you with outfits, and decide what products are best for you. If it’s for yourself, you’re probably not going to print them and hang them in your home, but it’d definitely be nice to have those images in your *secret* folder to look back on if you’re ever feeling down about yourself. If it’s for your significant other, I guarantee you’ll need a keepsake album. These things are AWESOME. Mounted pages, so they’ll never bend, and it’s the perfect size to keep in his bedside table drawer to peek at whenever!

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After we’ve figured out the ‘why,’ let’s talk about the WHEN. How soon do you want your photos done? And what time of year are you looking to book? If it’s in the winter, say for V-Day or Christmas, we’ll likely be indoors like these were! Most of my clients prefer a very private environment for their session, and I honestly don’t blame them, so I usually do a boudoir session in a private hotel suite {most often at the Embassy Suites in Fayetteville NC}. It sounds weird, but in the evenings, the hotel lighting really gives off a romantic vibe for the photos, and in the morning sessions, the most perfect natural window light creates the softest glow. It’s kind of a win-win. I reserve the hotel room, give you the room number, and we meet up there! I have the hair & makeup artist meet with us there so we all hang out and chat while you’re getting all prettied up. It definitely helps relax you and get to know me, your new best friend. I say that because, really, anyone who’s going to be seeing you in your skimpy undies should definitely be a friend! 😉

While most women do prefer the private environment, if you’re feeling rather adventurous and want to do something a little different and exciting for your boudoir photos, I have the most perfect little lakeside spot for it! I’ve gotten to shoot out here two separate times, and both times…AWESOME. The ladies absolutely rocked it, and I definitely enjoyed doing something different!

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Once we’ve nailed down the ‘why’ and ‘when’ — it’s time for the WHAT…what to wear! I generally see more of the typical “lingerie” for indoor sessions, whereas outdoors sessions, it’s taking something that’s not necessarily “sexy” in everyday wear, but making it so…see the above photos – the long-sleeved shirt that’s just barely see-through with the light coming through perfectly…or the guitar – where it covers everything, but leaves you guessing about what’s behind. That’s one of the main differences. The shooting styles are very different. So, depending on the look you want for your photos, you should consider the location as well. When talking with clients about their outfits, I always advise the same thing: Start with an outfit that covers more, one that you feel a little more comfortable in – say, a jersey, or a button-up shirt…something like that – and work your way in to the more revealing outfits – whether it be lingerie or nothing at all! We almost always have time for at least 3 outfits, depending on how many photos you want in each one.

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Another thing to take into consideration is whether or not you want a professional hair & makeup artist to make you over before your session. I’m not going to say it will make or break your session, but I definitely see a difference in the women who have chosen to have their hair & makeup done over those who have done it themselves. There’s something about having a professional do what she does best that gives clients a whole other level of confidence during their photo session. My go-to makeup artist last year was Yisell Santos. She always did a phenomenal job on my clients {and myself too, when I had head-shots taken!}. Since Yisell has abandoned me forever {thank you, Army – she’s now in the Virginia/DC area}, she highly recommended LaVida Frieson, who I’ve used for the past year. Every time, clients can’t say enough good things about these ladies! It makes a HUGE difference. Plus, it gives us time to chat before your session and give you time to get more comfortable 🙂

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Makeup by LaVida Frieson | Yisell Santos | LaVida Frieson

One last *very important* thing…STYLE. I HIGHLY suggest you ask ANY photographer you’re considering working with to show you a FULL GALLERY of at least one session, if not more, before you agree to work with them. Anybody can take 1 or 2 amazing shots in a session, but you don’t want just 1 or 2 – you should love most, if not all of the images you’re paying for. I have a few private galleries set up for *serious* inquiries, and I don’t mind showing you, as well as a few sample albums and USB drives for you to look at and hold and feel how awesome they are. You need to know what you’re paying for. I know what it feels like to pay good money for a photographer only to have that person let me down. I paid more than I’ve ever paid for a photo session, and only truly liked 2 of my photos. I was devastated, as it was someone I’d looked forward to working with for a long time! So ask. It can’t hurt. And if they tell you no….say adios. Seriously. If a photographer refuses to show you more than 1 or 2 images from a session, it’s because those are the only good ones they have, and you don’t deserve that. And if you do see a full gallery and don’t like the majority of the images, look elsewhere. Something as intimate and important should be worth what you’re paying – so keep that in mind.

Good photography isn’t cheap, darling, and cheap photography isn’t good. <3

Do you have any other suggestions for someone looking to do a boudoir session? I’d love to know! Comment with your suggestions or questions below!

Loves!

Melissa

5 thoughts on “So you want to do a boudoir session? | Fayetteville, Lillington, Raleigh NC Boudoir Photographer

  1. thebrasslens says:

    I love this post! And I agree whole heartedly! My last blog post (through my website, not my wordpress) was regarding the Boudoir special I am running up in Wisconsin, and it is about so much more than sexy photos, it is a intimate, and LIBERATING experience! Bravo! I love the approach you took here, its the best way to recruit deserving Women into this amazing experience! xo xo

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