You made that leap of faith and now you booked your boudoir portrait session! YAAAYYYY! But now what? I'm sure you're super excited but also a little nervous and anxious. This is totally normal! This guide is here to explain to you the entire process so you know what to expect from booking all the way to receiving your products! I'll also include a FAQ sections and tips to make sure you are prepared for the session itself! Lets get started!
FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT IS BOUDOIR?
Boudoir- on the surface level- is known as a photo session where you wear sexy outfits, lingerie or your birthday suit and you get professional images done of you looking your best. While these sessions can seem intimidating, I can assure you, you will feel super comfortable and absolutely gorgeous during the session! For all the poses, I will demonstrate them for you first (which usually is hilarious because I'm a dork).
Boudoir is commonly done as an AMAZING gift for a partner. Imagine the look on their face when they receive a little black leather album filled with saucy photos of their favorite person. They think you're beautiful when you're lounging around in sweats, just imagine how they'll see you in glam makeup and classy lingerie!
I won't explain to you your "why". Only you know why you are doing this but I will tell you some amazing side effects:
Helps you celebrate your body AS YOU ARE, not 15 pounds less or with some cosmetic procedure. You are gorgeous as you are and I will show you that.
You unlock a version of yourself you don't see a lot (or ever for some) and she is FIERCE and SEXY
You get gorgeous portraits of yourself!
That feeling of confidence and a new sense of freedom as you leave your comfort zone will stick with you for a LONG time
You can get a little black book of your nudes and put it on your coffee table (or an ass print on the wall??) and that's probably the greatest power move of all time.
YOU DESERVE TO BE PAMPERED AND UP YOUR CONFIDENCE.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
This is arguably the most important piece of the boudoir session. A lot of times, our mood is altered by how we look. If we are comfortable yet feeling very fierce and sexy, then we are going to present that way! You must consider how the clothes make you feel. If you have an intention for this experience (wanting to feel empowered, celebrate a milestone, show someone special how much you love them, or discover your inner Goddess) you'll want to consider that when choosing your outfits. Looking for outfits is always fun and I'll recommend some sites that won't break the bank!
***NEW*** I now offer a client closet of lingerie in sizes S-XL!!! To view some of the pieces please visit my Instagram and check out the "Client Closet" highlight reel! If you are interested in wearing some of my pieces, PLEASE bring a black and nude thong to wear under the pieces. Some are fairly transparent as well so you might want to bring nipple pasties as well.
Though I offer a limited selection, I always suggest bringing your own pieces to make sure something is comfortable and makes you feel fierce. My number 1 tip is bring more than you think you need! It's better to be more prepared than not have something you want on the day of the shoot. I recommend 2-3 outfits for your shoot day and additional accessories.
Suggested items to consider: -Fitted lingerie pieces (we'll go over different types later on in the guide) -Anything LACE -Fishnet stockings, garter belt sets, leather harnesses -Accessories including chunky and dainty jewelry as well as body chains -Jeans that make your butt and legs look amazing so we can take photos of you undressing -Your favorite sexy dress to slip off during the shoot -Shoes: sexy heels, boots, booties -Items and accessories that are important and meaningful to you (perhaps a partner's shirt or tie) -Kink related items are always welcome (handcuffs, spreader bar, masks, collars)
Types of lingerie styles: The basic bra and panty set: this is something you may already have in your top drawer. Black is the most popular and flattering, but other solid colors are fine as well, especially red! Please avoid wearing loud patterns, prints or stripes. Add some body chains, leather harnesses or other accessories for some spice.
Corsets/Bustiers: these are my absolute favorite! Corsets look amazing on EVERYONE. They give you fantastic looking curves, make you appear slimmer, pushes the girls up and gives you that SNATCHED waist!
Stocking/Fishnets/Garter Belt Sets: these are always a sexy option! Stockings and fishnets make your legs look longer, draw the eye to them and garter belts are sooooo attractive! Plus there are extra poses you can do with holding garter belt straps.
Bodysuits/ Teddies: Bodysuits look amazing on everyone! They are often fitted to your shape and hug your curves which shows off your body perfectly! Keep in mind how texture and necklines will effect your look! If you want to show off your boobs, then you'll want to pick something with a low cut neckline. If you want to show off your hips, consider a bodysuit that has a thong cut and goes up to your hips. Texture and design can really add elements to your photos. Lace and leather always translate well.
I do have a limited client closet available including one long sleeved body suit. If you would like to wear this, please bring a black thong and cute black bra to wear under it. I also have luxury robes and angel wings in my closet that you're welcome to wear in your session!
Lastly, you may also wear nothing but a sheet: if you're comfortable with it, I'm happy to do implied nudes for a more artistic flare!
WHERE DO I LOOK FOR OUTFITS?
This is more dependent on your price range for what you would like to spend but I will list some websites that I love to look for outfits and accessories for boudoir! -Amazon.com (great for literally everything and probably the cheapest and fastest option. -Shein.com (also great for everything and cheap but shipping does take a little longer) -AdoreMe.com (super cute options and has many different sizes!) -VictoriasSecret.com (This is a great option if you like to touch and try on your outfits first) -HoneyBirdette.com (this is a high end site but some of the most amazing pieces I've seen and I would love to photograph their kink sets uuugh *heart eyes*)
HOW DO I PREPARE?
Right after you book:
As soon as you book and pay the non-refundable retainer (which is equal to 50% of the session fee and goes towards the cost of a session) you will receive this "Welcome Guide"- so congrats for getting here! Along with the booking link, you also received a questionnaire and photography contract.
The questionnaire helps me get to know you better make sure I respect and appreciate your comfort as well as personalize the session to you perfectly in order to have the best experience possible! The photography contract does include a model release HOWEVER my client's comfort and privacy are my main priority and I would NEVER share images without explicit permission. Even if you signed this, I will always ask before posting anything. I have a public Instagram for my boudoir group (shameless plug- follow me at instagram.com/BlackGemBoudoir) and also a private ladies only Facebook group (Black Gem Boudoir + Body Positivity) that's a safe place for sharing your more vulnerable images if you wish. You may revoke the permission to post at any time and it will always be respected. That is my promise.
Two weeks before your session:
Go shopping for your outfits and accessories that you think you may need. Remember if you're ordering online to check the delivery date so everything will be ready for the session! Try on the outfits you have and make sure they fit well and look good. Also add any jewelry, harnesses, accessories and heels as necessary to achieve your dream look.
Do a Pinterest search for posing ideas that you like and create a Pinterest board that you like. I would love to see it on the day of your session and capture everything you want and then some. If I have an idea of what you really like, it helps with posing flow and positioning you perfectly.
Look in the mirror and practice angles and poses to get more comfortable with your outfit choices. See what you like and dislike about yourself and we can address all this during the session.
Drink PLENTY of water. Water is very healthy for the skin and will make your skin look radiant for your session!
One week before your session: If you're planning on coloring your hair or doing a spray tan, this is the perfect time to do it! A fresh spray tan doesn't translate the best on camera and we want to go for the more glowy look. The week gives the tan time to set and look perfect. You want to color your hair at this time as well, just in case it doesn't turn out perfectly, then you will have some time for correction before the session.
At this time, I will send out the reminder email and the other 50% of the non-refundable retainer payment will be due to confirm the session. Day before the shoot: Preparation for shoot day begins the day before! Here are some helpful tips and tricks to look your absolute best for shoot day!
To look your very best, avoid alcohol the night before, make sure to be very hydrated as well as get plenty of beauty sleep the night before the session.
If you're getting your nails done, this is the time to get your fresh manicure! Avoid bright colors; neutrals are the best for this so you can stand out instead of very bright nails. Also waxing and shaving the day before is a good plan.
Pack your boudoir bag the night before so you can plan ahead as well as think about it and not forget any important items. Double check your list and feel free to bring extra! If you have a ton of options, we can sort through everything at the studio and pick the outfits together.
The day of the shoot!!! YAY!! ITS FINALLY SHOOT DAY!
Eat a really solid meal 2 hours before your session! You don't want to be hungry during the session but you also don't want to be bloated and have an "I just ate" bely during the shoot.
Avoid jeans, bras and any tight clothing the day of your shoot. you don't want to have any indents or red lines on your body during the photo session. Skip the bra, skip the socks, skip the watch and anything remotely tight. I highly recommend wearing a loose fitting sweat suit to your session with no bra to avoid those lines.
If you didn't opt for the hair and makeup option, make sure to start hair and makeup earlier than expected so you can be ready and on time to your session. Also, use a setting spray to ensure the makeup stays put. I highly recommend glam looks with huge sweeping false lashes but tailor your look to your individual style.>>> If you did get a session package with hair and makeup included please come with a clean and moisturized face and clean and dry hair :) If you have any allergies or sensitivities please let me know ahead of time/ bring your specialty products if necessary
Moisturize your entire body! I highly recommend getting glittering lotion to put on before the shoot as it adds luminance. My favorite brand is Hard Candy Just Glow Head-to-Toe Body Luminizer (only $9!)
Get excited to be pampered and have a once in a lifetime experience! Thank you for trusting me with your vulnerability- it is going to be so worth it!!!
After your session, you can view the albums and other products in person at the studio before heading out. 2-3 weeks after the session, you will be emailed the proofing gallery. These will include all the images from the session with light edits on them so you can get a good idea of the final product. At this time, you can select your images and products for purchase and we can begin the final editing steps and delivery of your images and products. Below are the pricing collections and options for purchase so you can review and plan ahead of time for payment options.
CAN'T WAIT TO SHOOT WITH YOU QUEEN! As always, don't hesitate to message me about any questions or concerns! I am here for you every step of the way :)
INTERESTED IN PRINTS AND ALBUMS?
I offer a range of additional digital image options as well as gorgeous keepsake prints and products to admire your memories for a life time. My most popular products are leather bound albums and full size canvas prints. I also offer calendars, folio boxes and a variety of photo prints. also.... if you prepay one of the packages- you'll get 20% off! Just another way to say thank you for trusting me with the process <3
Customization Options for the Luxury Albums:
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? PLEASE REACH OUT AT BLACKGEMPHOTOG@GMAIL.COM
JOIN MY VIP BOUDOIR GROUP TO SEE MORE REVIEWS AND PHOTOS NOT PUBLICALLY SHOWN! ON FACEBOOK: BLACK GEM BOUDOIR + BODY POSITIVITY
Home Studio Location: 1520 Cumberland Street Saint Paul, MN 55117
Ready to do this? I can't wait to capture the moment with you!