Jennifer Weinman


the must read guide



Want to have the best photos for your boudoir shoot?  Choosing the right photographer is the first step. 

 Read these tips to make sure you’re choosing the right person that fits your style and understands your vision, but most of all, someone who will help you feel as beautiful as you truly are!

the must read guide



Want to have the best photos for your boudoir shoot?  Choosing the right photographer is the first step. 

 Read these tips to make sure you’re choosing the right person that fits your style and understands your vision, but most of all, someone who will help you feel as beautiful as you truly are!

Rachel boudoir

tip #1

Check out the Photographer's Portfolio

  • Do they specialize in boudoir?  While it isn’t required to be photographing just boudoir to be good at it, if their website or portfolio is literally EVERYTHING, they may not have the experience in posing and lighting boudoir.  It’s not the same as photographing family photos outdoors or pictures of food 🙂 
  • Are there a variety of shapes, sizes, and ages in their portfolio? Anyone can make a professional model look good on camera.  But the average person doesn’t have the same kind of experience in posing and working with a photographer, and you want to make sure your photographer can work with a variety of women just like yourself.



tip #2

Photographer's Style

When you look at their portfolio, what sort of style do you see?  There’s quite a range out there!

Is the photographer’s work conservative or more edgy? Are they sexy or raunchy? Light and bright, or dark and moody?  There is no right or wrong here, art is subjective.  But it is important that you choose a photographer that matches the style you desire.  

It’s also important to note if their style is consistent.  Does every photo have completely different color tones?  Are you seeing flattering posing across all body types, or just a few random ones?  If there’s inconsistencies, this may be indicative of a photographer who is less experienced or is relying upon workshop images with paid models to pad their portfolio.  

Our style is generally sexy and alluring.  We use light and shadow for a little bit of drama, but also love a soft and romantic beauty portrait with gorgeous lighting that shows how stunning you are.  



grinnell Iowa boudoir photographer

tip #3


What sort of retouching style does the photographer have?

If there’s little-to-no retouching, you may see details like blemishes, wrinkles, or possibly cellulite.  If the photographer does a lot of retouching, skin may look plastic and unnatural.  

This is definitely a matter of personal preference, and there’s not really a “wrong” approach.  The more important question is if the level of retouching you see in a photographer’s portfolio matches what you want for you!



tip #4


When searching for the right photographer, it’s important to take note of the different things you may see with respect to nudity.  

It is important to note that boudoir photographers may have rules about nudity – some may photograph full nudity, and some may not.  Some may photograph it, but choose not to share those photos publicly in their website portfolio or instagram to safeguard client privacy.  It’s always okay to ask (we get asked this all the time) so that you know what options there are. 

Nudity can be beautiful, and it doesn’t have to be raunchy.  Some of the most stunning works of art across time are nude portraits or sculptures – and many are of the female form!  Nudity can also be implied, where placement of hands, garments, or sheets obscure private areas.  There’s many options, just make sure you ask your photographer to make sure they offer what you’re looking for.



tip #5

Looking your best

Does the photographer include hair and makeup? Will they help you with posing and expressions?  Do you see photographs in their portfolio that are what you envision for your own shoot with regard to pose and expression?  Will they give you suggestions before the shoot in order to prepare and look your best?

Professional photographers need to know more than how to use a camera or post on Instagram.  Part of the service a professional photographer must provide is guidance on how to get the best portraits, and that carries through from the moment you contact them until you receive you photos.



tip #6

where will your shoot be?

We typically see four reasonable options here:  Your own home, the photographers home, a 3rd party location like an AirBnB or hotel, or the photographer’s studio.

Unless your home is staged to suit the needs of a photographer, generally it’s not the best option for boudoir photos. This is likewise true for a session held in a photographer’s home as well, plus there is the added awkwardness of photographing intimate portraits in someone else’s regular bedroom…will you feel 100% at ease there?  Likely not.

Hotels and AirBnBs can be difficult to feel comfortable and private, plus there are issues with legality in some instances depending on the AirBnB owners.

Most likely the place where you will feel safest and see the best results is at an established photographer’s studio specifically curated to work for boudoir sessions.



iowa boudoir photographer

tip #7

What is their privacy policy?

Boudoir photography is a very personal experience.  You may feel that these photos are just for you and your partner.  On the other hand, you may believe so strongly in the empowering nature of your experience that you can’t wait to share your photos with the whole world!

At least consider allowing your photographer to use some images (even if it’s just specific ones or anonymous) in their portfolio.  It is the only way your boudoir photographer can continue to be a boudoir photographer and help other women have the same experience you did.

The more important thing to consider is does your photographer have a specific policy in place for privacy?  Are you required to sign a full model release, or are there options if you’d prefer to keep everything private?

Another very VERY important thing to consider – if your photographer is putting images in an online gallery for you to choose favorites, these are NOT SECURE.  Even if it’s password protected.  If huge credit card companies can be hacked, so can your boudoir photos.  The best way to protect privacy is to request an appointment to choose your images and decide which you’re comfortable sharing or putting online.



tip #8

What is included and for how much?

It’s important to know what to expect financially.  That does not mean that boudoir photography should come “cheap” or “affordable.”  Consider the criteria you are looking for: experience, specialty, knowledge, guidance, hair and makeup, styling, and possibly a studio.  Boudoir IS a specialty experience, and no one wants to have that moment of regret for going cheap on photos of themselves in lingerie!  Expect to spend $1000 or more for quality portraits.

What’s included with this investment?  Is it just digital files that will live forever on a hard drive?  While this may seem like a great idea, boudoir is the ONE type of photography that you really want to see things printed – trust me.  Plus, when you’re older, you will be able to find those awesome photos of yourself and smile a little bit about how fabulous you look!  Consider an album, or even a wall portrait so that you don’t need a computer or phone to enjoy your photos regularly.