Five Tips To Get Started With Boudoir Photography

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photographyOpens in a new tab. is a kind of art where you emphasize the beauty of the skin.

As such, you need great cameras and lighting that will highlight the qualities of beauty, and you must be prepared to get exposed to a lot of nude or semi-nude poses.

The term dates back to 18th century France. At that time, the meaning of the word is akin to a sulking place. It referred to a private room, particularly a woman’s bedroom.

Here, we will be talking about how you can get started with this kind of art, and we will be discussing:

  • How to set up the place
  • How to get clients
  • Creating a private channel
  • Staying professional
  • Choosing the right equipment

How to Set Up the Place

One of the most essential things to set up when you are just getting started in boudoir photography is the studio. Keep it simple and keep it private.

As a starter, you must keep the place tidy, and just focus on one to three backgrounds and furniture.

Putting a lot of stuff in your studio can be overwhelming, and you might get confused with what photos and angles to take.

It is best that you focus first on the shots rather than the background.

And if you are an outdoor photographer, you may want to have a studio that has a large window so you can take advantage of the light, but free from the prying eyes of the public.

Do not use strobes for now, as you might end up tinkering with the lighting system. And if the client sees this, it gives the impression that you are not yet ready to take this shot.

Besides, most clients like the elegant but straightforward shot. Keep the studio private, and make sure no one can come in while the sessions are ongoing.

You should also give the clients room to change and make them feel comfortable and secure.

How to Get Clients

If you are starting out in boudoir photography, you may have difficulties looking for clients. It is not a common thing for people to have their photos naked, especially with a photographer they do not know.

The key here is to provide your clients with some emotional support. It is not unusual for someone to have insecurities. Your job is to take away these insecurities and make your clients feel beautiful about themselves.

Talk to your clients, and reassure them, so they develop the confidence to pose for this art. As they get more confident, you will get better pictures, and they will undoubtedly refer more clients to you.

Get the services of a model, and then start a portfolio that you can share online. Make sure you also have print copies of these pictures, and then show them to your clients who are looking for a great shot or inspiration.

Do not forget the power of online marketing and employ the use of social media to post your shots. But do not use your client’s pictures without their consent.

Many clients for this kind of photography want their photographs for private viewing only.

A private channel is an online forum or chat where your clients can talk to you without the fear of being exposed. You can use social media channels, but set it to private, so you can create a group chat.

Only you should be able to add people to this chat.

Creating a Private Channel

This kind of forum will make your clients feel that they belong to someone special. Some may even post their photos, which can inspire others who have not yet taken the dive.

Another benefit of this is that they can refer clients, who you can add in the chat room.

In this chat room, you can post photos of the models you worked with, to make announcements such as new studios, new books, or collections you are selling. You should inform your clients about upcoming events.

Every now and then, you should be ready with new video ads or shoots, or new photo albums that can make your previous clients want to take another session with you.

You can also use this forum to send gifts or freebies to your clients.

In this chat room, your clients can mingle and can share their experiences, especially the positive ones that they had with you.

Staying Professional

Despite boudoir photography being sexual, you must know your boundaries.

Clients come to you not for personal reasons or intimacy, but for their own purpose, mostly satisfaction about confidence and self-esteem.

Moreover, it is vital that you do not release any photos you took if the client has no consented. What this means is that you cannot release them in your albums, your coffee table books, your social media channel, and samples.

Boudoir photography can be embarrassing to some, so they only go through it and view the photos in private.

Now, you should also pamper your clients.

What this means is that you should know what they like, and give it to them. Give your subject strawberry drinks if they want to, and this will make the mood so much brighter.

If they have preferred music, then you can play it while taking the shots.

Also, you should have a make-up artist who will be taking care of their looks. Clients will feel really special, like a superstar, and will have an experience they would never forget.

If you do this, your clients will definitely have positive feedback about you and refer their friends to you.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Finally, the right equipment can make or break your boudoir photography. There really is no single answer to this, since each photographer has his own style, and cameras are built for different purposes.

To be able to choose the right camera, know how far you will go in your photography. If you are planning to take clients outdoors in the future, then you may need cameras and lenses that can take wide-angle shots.

For starters, you can use m4/3 camerasOpens in a new tab., and then couple them with several lenses.

You’ll likely spend a chunk of your time inside the studio, so get fast 25mm & 45mm prime lenses (especially the M.Zuiko Pro f1.2 lenses, but the slower lenses will also do a sterling job).

I’d also highly recommend the M.Zuiko 75mm f1.8 as a close-up bokeh master. Furthermore, it takes razor-sharp images to boot.

Zoom lenses will also do wonders, as you can zoom in and out according to your client’s preference. I’d recommend the f2.8 zooms (12-40mm/12-35mm) of either Olympus or Panasonic.

And do not forget the lighting, as it plays a critical part in your output. Clients will need some shots under bright lights, so get one that can deliver 600 watts.

You should also have flexible umbrellas that can reflect the light accurately, as some clients may need to lie down on a couch or bed for their shoot.


Starting out in boudoir photography can be a bit scary. Just take it slowly and cautiously, and you will succeed.

Do not bit off more than you can chew; wait until you progress in your style and technique, then you can move on to bigger things.

Keep in mind that client privacy is of the utmost importance. Make sure you do not break their trust.

Make them feel special, like Hollywood superstars or supermodels, and you will surely have repeat customers who will be willing to bring in their referrals.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling and photography. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of Micro Four Thirds photography. Discover the advantages of carrying a small yet powerful camera system.

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