How to choose a Boudoir Photographer
It's not an everyday occurrence that you will be posing in your lingerie in front of a complete stranger... it can be both thrilling and scary, and so it's important to do your research. You need to make sure that you are working with professionals who know exactly what they are doing. Here are my top tips for what to consider:
1. Really look at their work. Look at the posing - is it flattering to the woman? Look at the lighting - does it look professional or amateur? Look at the editing - does it look to magazine quality or more straight out of camera? Do you prefer a natural professional retouch or do you want a total face and body reshape!? Look at their style of photography. Are you looking for timeless, sensual and classic or more of a glamour shoot? You need to be drawn to their style of images.
2. Choose a photographer who makes you feel comfortable. Don't forget you will be posing semi-naked in front of this person and you need someone who can easily put you at ease. 'Deer in the headlights' is not the sexiest look! How will you know that though if you haven't met the photographer yet? Read their bio, read their blogs and check out client testimonials. Do clients mention the photographer putting them at ease? Do you prefer a male or female photographer? It can make a huge difference to how you feel during the shoot.
3. Does this photographer specialise in Boudoir? How accomplished are they? Experience is an important factor when choosing your photographer. Every session I do is fully bespoke and tailored to the individual. You need someone who can pose different body shapes, who is proficient with lighting and retouching. Someone who is a sensualist and beyond passionate about their job.
4. Choose a professional, and by that, I mean a brand who responds promptly to your message. Someone who has plenty of advice and information on the website. Someone with a studio who is set up properly to deal specifically with boudoir shoots. Belle Privé Studio is a private, boutique studio in central Manchester set up exclusively for Boudoir with all the furniture, backdrops and sets needed to cater to this genre. Need spare stockings? Got them. Safety pins or red nail polish? Got it. Need well earned snacks for after your shoot? Of course you do... posing can be physical!
5. Are you concerned about privacy? I understand many women have careers or community commitments that prevent them from even discussing their boudoir shoot publicly. Check what will happen to the images after the session. You can read more about my policy here.
You may notice that I haven't mentioned price. Boudoir is an area where it may not be the best option to go for the cheapest photographer. You want to be proud of your images for the rest of your life. You need someone skilled enough to make you look your absolute best, whilst still looking like you! Many high street studios will offer cut price boudoir shoots (along with their pet portraits, family portraits, product shoots etc). Whilst the thought of an incredibly cheap shoot may be tempting, don't forget that these studios will often be less experienced in this genre. Boudoir showcases your beauty and is a huge confidence boost. Badly handled and it could have quite the opposite affect. There will often also be a high-pressure sales pitch at the end to get you to buy images that you perhaps can't afford. After all these studios have to make money somehow! Make sure your photographer's prices are clear and honest.
Booking a boudoir photography session can be a life changing experience for many women. Alternatively, it may just be a decadent treat for yourself. Either way, choose wisely and you know where I am if you need me....