Getting Boudoir Photography Clients Comfortable

February 4, 2020

By Jess Pereira

For me, boudoir is about empowerment and a celebration of women throughout the different stages of their lives—whether it is a celebratory milestone (like pregnancy), a gift to (or from) their partner, or just because.

Many of my clients are not models, and they have never been in front of a professional camera before, so needless to say, they are usually a rack of nerves at the thought of such a session. That is why I place such importance on assuring them that it will be a wonderful and enjoyable experience. Here’s how you can do the same:

1. Let them prepare

Leading up to the boudoir session, I make sure my client is well-informed on what to expect on the day of the session. I am prompt with email responses, and I send out a preparation guide where I give some simple tips on how to prepare for the shoot, both emotionally and physically. The guide outlines some self-care tips to help them prepare their body before session, and some relaxation tips for the night before.

2. Earn their trust

During the boudoir session itself, I create a safe and welcoming space. I feel that the more I am aware of my client’s feelings, the more I can create truly beautiful images.

Booking an Intimate Boudoir Session Between Two Grooms

I want my client to trust me enough to fully relax in front of my camera, even through various states of undress. I will never rush through a session. Mid-session, I like to put down my camera and simply have a conversation whilst making a cuppa; it’s these small moments that really help me create an authentic connection.

3. Make chit-chat

Just talking with my clients during their session, as a strategy, is simple but effective. I ask some of the usual questions, like what they do for a living, but whilst doing so, I have my finger on the shutter, ready to capture the look they have when they begin to talk about something or someone they love.

They will soon start to relax and progress into their own comfortable pose, and whilst the conversation is still flowing, they will eventually begin to forget their desire to “pose” and will loosen right up. Bam!

This is the time when I am able to capture the core of their personality and all of their genuine smiles and laughter that they may reveal to me during our conversation.

4. Use natural light

I use the natural light that comes through my studio window. Because of this, my sessions take place earlier during the winter months, due to the lack of available light here in the UK.

6 Natural Boudoir Poses That Will Flatter Clients

I also use natural light to help me create mood in my images. I can use the light to highlight certain parts of the body and to shade certain parts too, making the images more thought-provoking. I can choose whether to have a moody and dark image, or a bright image, depending how much light I let into my camera.

It’s not necessary to have a bright or dark day in order to create these looks, but I need to make sure I have enough of it to do so. I tend to create a mixture of light and dark images for each session.

5. Pose minimally

It’s very possible for me to get a variety of different shots from having my client stay in the same position. I simply move closer or further away, or move to different corners of the room to get different shots.

The longer my client can stay in a pose, the more she will begin to relax into it. I want my shots unstructured and unposed and I never make my client feel rushed during their boudoir shoot, which is why I will only ever shoot one boudoir session in a day.

6. Be patient

Patience and being camera-ready is key. While giving gentle direction, watch for the transitional moments while they are getting into their next desired pose. I love the impromptu photos caught in-between poses.

Jess Pereira is the photographer behind Beautifully Undressed Boudoir, based in the UK. For more tips from her, check out her e-book course, on sale now, called Create Stunning Boudoir Photographs.