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How to choose a boudoir photographer

There are so many ‘boudoir’ photographers, how do you decide which is the right one for you? After all, it’s such an intimate photoshoot and just the thought of booking a session may fill you with anxiety.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find your boudoir photographer. If a friend recommends a photographer then that’s a great sign that you’ll have a similar experience.

An alternative is to check out previous client reviews online. Many studios post reviews on their website and have review sections on facebook. (You can see ours HERE and on Facebook HERE)

A google search for ‘boudoir photographers in your town’ will list dozens of potential candidates and in just a few clicks you should be able to create a shortlist.

What to look for when viewing a studio website

Many studios don’t specialise in ‘boudoir’ but have just a small section within their ‘family portrait’ websites for this style of shoot. Keep in mind that these studios may not have much experience in creating a truly safe and empowering environment for such an intimate style of shoot. For the same reason you wouldn’t expect a GP to be as good with your root canal work as a dentist, A family portrait photographer may not be the best choice for your Boudoir Photoshoot.

Many family studios are quite impersonal spaces with plain white walls and big studio lights designed to accommodate kids and families and they may be set up for volume work, meaning that they may not be able to give you the time for you to become comfortable for your shoot.

You’ll get a pretty good idea what kind of studio it is by checking how much emphasis is placed on boudoir on their website. A small section with very few images in the gallery generally means the studio has less experience than a boudoir specialist. (Like a general DIY handyman may be good at some wallpapering jobs but not so good as an electrician or plumber)

Look through the website galleries. Ask yourself if it looks like they have a lot of experience photographing many different women of all shapes and ages. Lots of variety implies lots of experience.

Are you drawn to the style of images you see. You may not know what you want until you see it. Every studio has a specific ‘style’ and you can only assume that the pictures you see will be the kind of pictures you’ll get from your shoot. Are these what you want? Some studios produce dark and moody pictures, others light and upbeat or softly feminine, edgy or sexy. There are so many different styles it’s important to choose a studio that creates the kind of pictures you love.

Consider this … if you love Vivienne Westwood clothes you probably won’t want to shop at M&S. Likewise, don’t expect photographers that show largely dark and edgy pictures to become soft and romantic just for you.

So, you should expect to get pictures similar to those they show in their galleries but also remember photographers will only ever show their best work, so ask yourself, is their best work good enough for you? Would you be happy with pictures of you looking like the ones on their website?

Another thing to consider is the investment – Set realistic expectations for how much you’ll pay.

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Twas ever thus.

Know that a specialist boudoir photographer, with years of experience and a large portfolio who promotes the value of professionally produced printed wall art and books will probably cost more than a general photographer who does a little boudoir and sells mainly digitals after the session. Like many other services, you want to know you’re in good hands. Like spray tans, hair cuts, and other skill based industries, it’s important to know you’re booking someone with plenty of experience.

In boudoir photography, just like in any trade, you really do generally get what you pay for.

How much are YOU worth?

Booking a boudoir photography session can be a life changing experience for so many women. Alternatively, it may just be a bit of fun as a bucket list tick off.

If you book a session and turn up with little expectation, one or two hastily put together outfits and expect just a couple of digital pictures as a memory of the experience then probably one of the ‘general’ photographers on a groupon deal will be perfectly fine.

The fact that you’re even reading this article though will probably suggest you expect a little more.

Once you’ve created your shortlist, call the studio up and talk with them. How personable are they? Do they seem to care about you and your reason for booking the photoshoot? How accommodating to your requests are they? Like a first class hotel or fine dining restaurant, a boudoir photography photoshoot is really about servicing your unique, individual needs. Your hair, your make-up, your comfort levels. Be comfortable with your photographer and studio and you’ll have a great chance that the pictures will look fabulous.


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