This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See

If “boudoir photography” makes you think of itchy lingerie and awkward PDA, think again. Here’s how to get intimate photos – even if you’re an introvert! (Photographer: ALINE MARIN)


This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Forest Romance
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Forget the “scandalous” days of illegal prohibition-era nudes and war-time pin-up portraits. Boudoir photography may still have some grannies clutching their pearls, but it’s only slightly more shocking than a sleeve of tattoos these days – which is to say: not shocking at all.

Perhaps thanks to our recent hippie history, more and more of us have at least dabbled in the idea of loving our own bodies. (Really: you should try it!) On the sidelines: boudoir photography is cheering us on. This evolving photography form offers images of powerful sensuality, deep vulnerability, and authentic beauty.

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Glamping Snuggles & Kisses
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Thanks to artists like Cheyenne Gil, Haley Loria, Kevin Lowery, Kinzie Ferguson, Jillian Powers, and Mike Allebach, today’s boudoir photography celebrates the beauty of the human form with body-positive, gender-inclusive images that look and feel strikingly, well… human.

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Romance In A Safari Tent
Photo by ALINE MARIN

If you’ve contemplated adding boudoir photography to your repertoire, but aren’t sure you’re ready for sultry poses or (ahem) “the full Monty,” keep reading.

Here’s how to market, create, and deliver boudoir photography to your clients – even if you (or they) are on the shy side of the spectrum.

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Tattooed Couple Sits Close On Bed
Photo by ALINE MARIN

What Defines “Boudoir Photography”?

The word boudoir has its roots in the French verb bouder, meaning to sulk or to withdraw. It most commonly referred to a woman’s bedroom (presumably because women’s delicate senses necessitated a private space in which to hide from the horrors of the world.*)

*What women really wanted was a life free of pinching undergarments and admonishments to “smile more.” 

  • Today’s boudoir photography isn’t just for women! Unless they’re highly specialized, most boudoir photographers welcome men, non-binary folks, and couples.
  • Boudoir photography no longer has to take place in a bedroom. Sessions are held in unique locations – even outdoors!

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Tattooed Couple Dances In the Ferns
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Most importantly, the boudoir photography of today aims to serve a bigger purpose.

Today’s boudoir photographers do more than show skin; they tell stories. Their images do more than spark desire; they evoke empowerment.

Boudoir Photographers Tell Stories & Empower Their Subjects


Book Your First Boudoir Photography Client(s)

If your portfolio is currently bare of all boudoir photography, you may need to begin by photographing someone for free. In exchange, obtain a model release allowing you to show the images on your website and in social media promotions.


PRO TIP: Get Legal for Less

Get The Law Tog’s legal documents at a discount through the ShootProof Marketplacefor ShootProof members only! Boudoir photographers: look for the Model Release and Boudoir Contract!


This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Tattooed Couple Sits In Front of A Cozy Quilt
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Suggest Boudoir Photography To Your Clients…

  • as a pre-wedding shoot
  • to celebrate an anniversary
  • for healing, marking a milestone, and honoring the physical transformations that occur with pregnancy, postpartum, or even after surgery

It’s easy to send a quick contract and linked invoice for a boudoir photography session directly through your ShootProof account!


This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Tattooed Couple Snuggles On Bed
Photo by ALINE MARIN


Find Your Ideal Boudoir Photography Clients

Approach boudoir photography like you do all your other work: with your ideal client in mind.

  • Is your ideal client conservative and reserved?
  • Would you describe your clients as bold and daring?
  • Do you prefer to photograph individuals or couples?

PRO TIP: Communicate Your Boundaries

Whether you’re photographing an individual or a couple, it’s critical that you communicate clearly and in your contract about what you do and don’t photograph. Examples of your work are an important first step in defining the type of images your clients can expect. Make sure your communication and documentation support those same standards!


This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Glamping Romance
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Define Your Dream Boudoir Photography Wardrobe

Some clients hear “boudoir photography” and immediately assume they’ll have to bare all for a successful session. While uncovered skin is certainly a mainstay in the boudoir photography world, it’s not a requirement! Encourage your clients to wear whatever makes them feel:

  • sensual and connected
  • comfortable and relaxed
  • fun and authentic

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Glamping Anniversary Session
Photo by ALINE MARIN


Share *Secret* Photos Via ShootProof

Any ShootProof gallery is safe for sharing boudoir photography. Ensure privacy by requiring an email address and password at login, and making the gallery private so not even a gallery thumbnail will appear on your gallery homepage.

If you already have a gallery created for your boudoir client, however (such as for a wedding client who’s added boudoir photography to their wedding package), you can add a private, secure boudoir photography album to their existing ShootProof gallery. Here’s how…

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Geometric Romance
Photo by ALINE MARIN

  1. Create a new album in your clients’ pre-existing gallery, and add the boudoir images to that album.
  2. Password-protect this album.
  3. Even if you don’t have the Hide the “All Photos” album option selected in Gallery Settings > Advanced, your password-protected album’s image will NOT appear in the All Photos view.

ShootProof: Create Private Albums In Your Galleries

When gallery visitors login to the gallery, they’ll see the album names, but won’t be able to access the locked album unless they know password.

ShootProof: Gallery Visitors' View When Entering A Gallery With A Locked Album

Above, you’ll see that there’s no cover image on the “Shhh!” boudoir photography album. This prevents visitors from getting even a hint of what this album contains.

If you do want to add a cover image to your boudoir photography album, consider using a nondescript detail image or your logo.

With ALL your clients’ photos secured in one gallery, it’s wonderfully simple for them to view their images, order prints, and download their favorites.

This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Tattoos and Tent Snuggles
Photo by ALINE MARIN

Protect Your Photos (& Your Client’s Privacy)

In a one-gallery, multiple-albums scenario, you want total control over your digital files. No copyright infringement, no unethical downloading!

ShootProof gives you detailed downloading controls through Gallery Settings > Free Digitals.

  • Set unique downloading permissions for every album within a gallery.
  • Create custom permissions just for your client – the Linked Contact.
  • Establish permissions that apply to the entire gallery.
  • Downloads can:
    • be restricted by size
    • require a PIN
    • include a watermark
    • be limited by quantity

Customize Each Album's Downloading Permissions In Your ShootProof Gallery

Keep Memories Close with Mobile Apps

Everyone wants their favorite photos on their phone. Boudoir photography is no different! Wall canvases and luxury albums are even better when complemented by a mini portfolio that fits in your pocket.

A Mobile App is the perfect add-on, up-sell, or client gift!

Create a Mobile App featuring your client’s boudoir photography, and share it directly to them to save to their phone. Mobile Apps are an invite-only private experience, making them perfect for intimate images.

The photographs in a Mobile App cannot be downloaded or printed, but they can be enjoyed at any time from a data-connected smartphone.


PRO TIP: Help Your Clients Love Their Photos More

Even if you do enable unlimited downloading for your boudoir photography clients, Mobile Apps are a great way to keep sensitive photos separate from the other images on their mobile device.

Instead of downloading private pictures into their phone’s general photo album, your clients will enjoy their boudoir photography images from the more secluded Mobile App.


This Is the Boudoir Photography Shy Couples Need To See: Woodsy Romance
Photo by ALINE MARIN


A Rose By Any Other Name…

Whether you call it “Boudoir Photography” or “Intimates,” “Love Sessions” or “Nudes for Dudes,” what matters most is making art you believe in with clients who trust you implicitly.

Embrace the the real, radical beauty of each one-of-a-kind client. ShootProof will handle the hassles.


Do you already offer some form of boudoir photography? What’s YOUR advice for new boudoir photographers?

Ready to get started with boudoir photography? What’s been holding you back?

 Share your thoughts in the comments!


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by ALINE MARIN via TWO BRIGHT LIGHTS | Video by CASSIA REYNOLDS

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