The art of boudoir photography

First it was Trash the Dress. Now another US-inspired wedding industry phenomenon is gaining huge popularity in the UK: boudoir photography.

as010Many brides-to-be are fastening on to the idea that it makes an intriguing and surprising wedding or honeymoon gift for their new husband. Some fine art for his and her eyes only. I know some of my clients have scheduled some boudoir shots whilst they are getting their wedding underwear on.But what is boudoir photography exactly? Put simply, it is artistic, beautiful images of a woman in her lingerie. Not surprisingly, boudoir photography has its roots in French noir imagery (boudoir literally means “to pout”). Whilst the photography is always about beautiful lingerie and sensuality, this theme is often conveyed through dark shadows, understatement and perhaps enigma. The photography tends to suggest that the woman is very feminine, liberated and most importantly, fully in control. Certainly, it is generally not about glamour, nudity, or even direct eroticism.

hr019The best boudoir photographers are skilled at bringing out the best in women by using a subtle caress of light to create and intimate atmosphere – and careful posing to bring out the woman’s individuality. The more relaxed and trusting the subject is, the better the results. Results that aim to be treasured for a lifetime.

Checklist for Boudoir Photography

  1. Does the style of the photography impress and excite you? Ask to see examples of previous work.
  2. Rapport with the photographer is important. If booking with a large or national company, which photographer do you get? Can you meet them beforehand and see their individual work?
  3. How will your images be presented? The albums and other products on offer should ideally have a sumptuous, but personal and private feel to them.
  4. Check the credentials of the photographer. Are they professionally qualified with the MPA or BIPP?
  5. If it is a male photographer, will he be accompanied by a woman?
  6. In what environment does the photography shoot take place? A luxurious hotel suite may often more be attractive than a studio if the latter has a clinical and assembly-line feel to it.
  7. What else is included as part of the experience? Some package include spa treatments and make-up, for example.


My thanks to Lucy Roebuck for explaining the art of boudoir photography and the gorgeous images within this article.


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