Category Archives: Boudoir Photo Session Tips

As with any photo shoot, whether it’s a family portrait or an engagement session, you probably have lots of questions, because you want to be as prepared as possible to create the best results. For boudoir photo sessions, you will probably have even more questions because you are inviting someone into your “bedroom” to capture your vulnerability (and revealing more skin than you might usually show to even your best girl friend). So borrowing from my years of experience behind the camera, I have put together some boudoir photography tips for clients (mainly for women) to help you get the most out of your photo shoot with me.

group of girls in swimsuits on sandy beach in Oregon

Beyoncé. Taylor Swift. Ciara. Shakira. They all wear it onstage at their concerts.

One of the most frequently asked questions my clients ask me before their photo shoot is: “Do I have to wear lingerie?” The short answer: NO.

How about a swimsuit instead?

There seems to be a strange taboo about wearing lingerie in private… like, it makes us feel dirty or it’s associated with pornography? I’m not quite sure what it is. But, famous performers like Beyoncé wear it publicly onstage at their concerts all the time.

Sure, what they wear is considered a costume. But, they look like lingerie/swimsuits to me. Heck, most of them are laced and super sexy, almost see-through, so that’s pretty much lingerie. Right?! To be honest, I don’t even know anymore. With the culture trend of social media, nothing is really private nowadays. Everything goes!

But, wearing a swimsuit out in public is just fine yet there are some that I question— in particular, thong string bikinis. String Bikinis, in general, show way more skin et al than most of the lingerie I’ve seen. There’s really nothing left to the imagination. So, yeah, I’ve got lots of questions why that’s not taboo but lingerie is.

The one thing that never changes for me is this: Wear whatever makes you feel your best. Not for others. For you. Do you love how you look in that swimsuit? Then bring that for your photo shoot with me! Together, we will make some pretty great images and no one is going to think it’s silly to wear a swimsuit for boudoir photos.

Bunn Salarzon - portland boudoir photographer

THE TOP 10 QUESTIONS ABOUT BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY


 

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRIVATE BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT WITH BUNN

1. SHOULD I BE NERVOUS? We know you may be getting nervous, but don’t worry because, even though we’re pros at this, we get a little nervous ourselves! It’s really just all the excitement to show you a wonderful time— starting with a little mimosa or wine, and some sweets to help calm your nerves. It’s going to be fun!

2. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I ARRIVE? When you arrive at your scheduled session time, you will be greeted by me personally or my assistant. We will hand you off to our onsite professional hair and makeup artist to start your beauty consultation and finalize your desired look. Don’t worry about bringing your own makeup supply because she will have everything you would possibly need, including the best sexy false eyelashes! But, please be sure your eyebrows are tweezed and take care of any other unwanted hair. (I don’t Photoshop it.) I will provide some music in the background (or you are welcome to bring your own playlist) while you are getting pampered on hair and makeup, sipping on wine/mimosa, and nibbling on fresh fruit that we will provide so consider it a mini spa day and just relax and enjoy it!

3. CAN I BRING A FRIEND OR MY BOYFRIEND? Yes, because this is your own private boudoir photo shoot with me then you are more than welcome to bring your best girl friend or your boyfriend/husband to be your cheerleader. They are welcome to some mimosas, too! ;)

4. COULD YOU BLOW-DRY MY HAIR? Your hair needs to be completely dry upon arrival and, preferably, from the previous day is best especially with left-in hair products. And your face should be washed of all makeup except for moisturizer, if your skin is on the dry side. Important: Please wear something loose for your time in the makeup chair, ie. track suit with a zip front, something that you can easily remove without messing up your finished hair and makeup.

5. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR? WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? Think beyond the typical lingerie; Boudoir Photography isn’t just lingerie, that’s Boudoir Photography Myths … If it makes you feel pretty and sensual, then it’s the perfect piece even if it’s just a tee-shirt and boy shorts that you’d wear lounging around on a lazy Sunday morning. But avoid thick fabric because it just adds weight on you; always go for thin and transparent fabric. You can check out my Boudoir Photography Gallery to see what past clients have worn. Or, follow my blog for Boudoir Photo Session Tips.

6. WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE MY IMAGES? Typically, I will have your edited images ready within 14 days. I will present your images to you at my Boudoir Studio, or via Skype with me (if you are not local). You buy whatever you like, there’s no minimum and you’re in control of how much you want to spend. Every print you buy includes the high resolution digital copy of the image so you can print more on your own, or show off your stunning hair and makeup with friends on Facebook!

7. WILL MY PRINTS BE READY BY CHRISTMAS? As mentioned in the previous question, my turnaround is typically 14 days to show your edited images. When you come to my studio to view your images, that is the time when you can place an order for special prints or albums; most items guarantee a delivery between 1-2 weeks. However, if you have a specific timeline then we will have to ensure your photo shoot is done far in advance and include product delivery time.

8. DO YOU USE PHOTOSHOP ON THESE IMAGES? Yes, for all final print orders I do full edits before they get printed in your photo album, canvas wrap or portfolio print. I will retouch any stretch mark or other blemish, unwanted scar or flyaway hair, wrinkles, etc. However, if you want extensive retouching done on your images — such as making your arms (or any other body parts) “skinnier” or smoothing out your wrinkled clothing in Photoshop — then that’s an additional $50 per image.

9. WILL MY IMAGES BE SHARED ONLINE? In my photo contract with my clients, I state that I won’t share any of their images without their written permission. I respect your privacy 100% and would never break the trust you’ve bestowed on me. What you see online of women I have photographed are clients who have modeled for a specific shoot: //Photography for The Girl Next Door. And some images are from the client’s actual photo session, which they have granted me full permission to share.

10. WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE … CAN I RESCHEDULE MY SHOOT? Yes, you can but there is a $150 reschedule fee. We will wait for you up to 30 minutes before being forced to reschedule you for another date. I realize circumstances beyond one’s control can prevent you from making it to your photo session on time, but you must understand that missing your session affects the makeup artist’s time and income as well as my own. Hence, the reschedule fee.

//To inquire about my Boudoir Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228. Follow me on Instagram for daily posts (#bunnsboudoir).

Bunn Salarzon - gallery of beautiful blonde woman

THE TOP 10 MYTHS ABOUT BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY


1. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST NUDE PHOTOS: False! Everyone has their own fantasy about how they want their boudoir images to look like and most of my clients don’t come to me for nude photos. I do offer fine art nudity and when I do those shots, I treat them with extra care because the wrong angle can be the difference between a stunning, artistic shot and something trashy. You and I will have a consultation of the best approach to these poses and keep them classy.

2. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS FOR PRETTY, YOUNG & SKINNY GIRLS: False! This is so wrong and I love that I’m proving it. I have photographed so many different types of women from petite to curvy, and from college coeds and great-grandmothers to women in their last trimester of pregnancy. Every single one of them was beautiful. They trusted me to capture their true beauty and to give them a tangible reminder of a day they felt most beautiful.

3. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS LINGERIE: False! Look at a men’s magazine or search online for boudoir photography and you're likely to see nothing but skimpy lingerie photos. But, Boudoir Photography has evolved beyond skimpy lingerie. My clients come to me because they don’t want to always wear lingerie. I’ve photographed confident women in their pajamas or what they wear when they lounge around their home on a lazy Sunday morning. It’s what they feel good in and it shows. Sometimes, we women feel that we NEED to wear what everyone else wears in magazines, but all it really does is make you feel uncomfortable about yourself which shows in the photos. Wear what you want to wear, not what you think it is expected or what someone else would like.

4. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS ONLY SHOT ON THE BED: False! What is Boudoir? The term Boudoir is a French word defined by Merriam-Webster as “a woman’s bedroom or private room.” You may have only seen boudoir photos that were shot on a bed or only in the bedroom. I find this rather boring. Let’s utilize the entire home, or let's go outside and shoot in the middle of a secluded open field. These settings will allow you to be yourself and not confined in one room.

5. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS GOING TO BE ALL OVER THE INTERNET: False! In my photo contract with my clients, I state that I won’t share any of their images without their written permission. I respect your privacy 100% and would never break the trust you’ve bestowed on me. What you see online of women I have photographed are clients who have modeled for a specific shoot. And some images are from the client’s actual photo session, which they have granted me full permission to share. Everything I do from start to finish is password-protected.

6. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST A TREND: False! Creating beautiful images of women has been around since the Stone Age, we are just using better tools nowadays (haha!). Boudoir Photography has evolved from Pinups to Glamour Shots, but one thing has never changed: a beautiful image is timeless.

7. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS SOMETHING YOU DO ONCE: False! I have a handful of clients who have returned for a second and even a third boudoir photo session by me. They tell me it’s addicting because they feel pretty good about themselves and they get tastefully done pictures to show for it.

8. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST A GIFT FOR YOUR MAN: False! While many of my clients are brides who come to me for a Bridal Boudoir surprise for their groom on wedding day, it’s not always the only reason women request a boudoir photo session. I love it when a client tells me that she’s doing this for herself because she wants to look back on these images 10, and 20 years from now and say, “Wow, I looked hot!” Some of my clients have just lost a ton of weight so they want to celebrate with a photo session with me. Others want my help to create beautiful images of their changing body as they get closer to their baby’s due date. Most of my clients are nurses who work super long hours taking care of others that they don’t always have the time to take care of themselves. So, this is their day to be well-taken care of. I’ve also had a grandmother book me for a private Girls Next Door Boudoir Party with her grandchildren, she’s also a great-grandmother to their children! Everyone has their own reason for wanting to do a boudoir photo shoot. Whatever your reason, I know it is meaningful to you, and I want to help you celebrate your day in grand style!

9. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS EXPENSIVE: False! There’s a photographer for every budget ... Like anything else you buy, the better the quality the more it costs. For me, I'm not just selling images, I am offering a luxe experience ... The images I create are a byproduct of the overall experience. I want you to walk away from your photo shoot feeling more confident than before you arrived.

10. BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT FOR SHY GIRLS: False! I’ve photographed hundreds of different types of women and I never know what I get until after their hair and makeup is done by one of my professional hair and makeup artists. Yes, everyone is nervous when they first arrive for their session— I get nervous, too! It’s just part of who I am. But, once the hair and makeup is done, it awakens something inside them that maybe they have never seen before or have lost sight of it some time ago. I’ve had a teacher who totally surprised me! She walked in shy, but walked out looking and feeling like a model who belonged on the cover of a magazine. When she saw her pictures, she was beyond thrilled She couldn’t believe it was her. Another one of my shy clients looked so hot that her husband took her “little black book” (an album of 20 of her favorite images) that she gifted to him and showed it to all his co-workers, “Look at MY wife!” Remember, this is an experience for you to cherish. That’s why I do what I do.

//To inquire about my Boudoir Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228 (PST). Follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

Bunn Salarzon - sexy woman with blue hair lying on bed

BUNN’S BOUDOIR MARATHON FAQs


1. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR? Anything you want or nothing at all. :) Remember: These images represent your desires; my tips are merely a blueprint of what usually works best with my photography style: bright, soft, and romantic. What works well with this style is lace materials (such as lace robes or face masks), classic and timeless outfits (such as high-waist bottoms or boy shorts, one-piece swim/bodysuit), and things of that nature. Of course, what you wear will determine what your images will look like: If you want to appear slimmer in photos, then don’t wear anything that would give you the opposite effect. Do you have a belly? Then I strongly suggest high-waist bottoms; a scoop bottom will only expose that unwanted area, and you wouldn't want to pose on your belly the entire time.

2. SHOULD I WEAR MY HUSBAND’S SHIRT? Again, it’s totally up to you what you want to wear, so wear whatever makes you feel good. But, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the fact that men are built square like blocks, no matter what size they are. We women, on the other hand, have curves and should celebrate them. Finding a “husband’s work shirt” in your own size would be much better and sexier, just add his favorite necktie! Wearing blocky clothes made for men will only make you look bigger than you really are. Men are square (haha!).

3. COULD I SHOOT IN MORE THAN 2 OUTFITS? There is simply no time once we start taking photos. Each session runs 60 minutes, which includes the time it takes for you to change from one outfit to the next. Do you really want to waste your time changing outfits? I didn't think so. ;) Also, it will take you at least 30 minutes to “settle in to” each outfit, and by that I mean in front of the camera.

4. CAN I DO MORE THAN 1 HAIR AND MAKEUP LOOK? As in the previous question about outfits, we do not have the time. A boudoir marathon consists of back to back photo shoots from one client to the next. There is only one makeup and hair artist and she is not able to provide special requests outside of the session fee. If you would like more than one look, and double the outfit changes, then you can book us for a private session for another date.

5. DO YOU PHOTOSHOP AT ALL? Yes, for all final print orders I do full edits before they get printed in your photo album, canvas wrap or portfolio print. I will retouch any stretch mark or other blemish, unwanted scar or flyaway hair, wrinkles, etc. However, if you want extensive retouching done on your images — such as making your arms (or any other body parts) “skinnier” or smoothing out your wrinkled clothing in Photoshop — then that’s an additional $50 per image.

6. DO YOU OFFER COUPLES BOUDOIR OR PHOTOGRAPHY FOR MEN? Yes, but it is only offered in a private photo session not a boudoir marathon... because a Bunn’s Boudoir Marathon is an all-girls event.

7. CAN I BRING MY BOYFRIEND TO WATCH? Again, this is an all-girls event, so for the safety and comfort of everyone onsite: NO BOYS ALLOWED. In the past, I have allowed a boyfriend/husband onsite and it was one of my biggest regrets. I have clients with different comfort levels and they’re already nervous for their first professional photo shoot. I do not wish to add additional stress on them and ruining their experience. If you want to have your guy at the photo shoot, then you can book a private session with me. I'll be happy to allow them onsite.

8. CAN YOU COPY THESE IMAGES ON PINTEREST? I would like to think that you booked me because you trust that I can do my job well, and the way I do my job well is by shooting my own style, which is bright, soft, and romantic. If we spend our time trying to copy another photographer's style, then (in the end) we will both end up disappointed. As an artist, I see things a certain way, I don’t know how to see things like other photographers. Plus, Pinterest has a huge collection of thousands and thousands of photography styles, so it's unrealistic that any one photographer can copy an entire Pinterest board of perfect images.

9. WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE ... CAN I RESCHEDULE MY SHOOT? Unfortunately, the [short] answer is: NO... You would have to forfeit your prepaid session fee (it’s nonrefundable). But, the long answer is: YES... You can reschedule for an additional $150 fee, and your shoot would have to be done in your own home, or you can book a hotel room (at your own expense). I realize circumstances beyond one's control can prevent you from making it to your photo session on time, but you must understand that a boudoir marathon is such a meticulous setup, that missing your session affects other clients and the makeup artist’s time and income as well as my own. Hence, the reschedule fee.

10. WHY DO I NEED TO SIGN A PHOTO CONTRACT? I run a legitimate photography business and it’s an absolute necessity to have a signed photo contract before I perform any work on the assignment. The photo contract was created by my attorney to protect me (the artist) as well as you (the client).

//To inquire about my Boudoir Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228 (PST). Follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

Bunn Salarzon - gallery of sexy woman with green hair

TOP 10 TIPS FOR A BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT WITH BUNN:


 
1. WEAR CONFIDENCE. This will be the most important thing you could ever “wear,” per se. I know that sounds kind of silly, however, it’s probably the best boudoir photo tip I can give you. All you need to know is that you deserve this experience, and that you are every bit as beautiful as the women you see in magazines … It’s true.

2. CUT OUT THE SODIUM. Avoid as much salt as possible the days/weeks before your shoot. Sodium makes us retain water which makes us look larger than we are. Cutting out the sodium and eating clean food (with plenty of water and lemon!), will not only help you slim down for your photo shoot, but will help your skin look its best! (What to eat before your boudoir photography session?) Please consider eating something sometime before your session because you’ll need a lot of good energy for it— not eating at all is not good for anyone. Try a tuna sandwich, protein shake or bars, bananas for potassium, or hard-boiled eggs.

3. SMIZE LIKE TYRA BANKS. If you’re a fan of “America’s Next Top Model” then you know exactly what it means to “smile with your eyes.” If Tyra Banks is right about anything, it’s this: A smize can mean the difference between an okay photo and an amazing photo. Practice your smize in the mirror often and then you will be ready for your closeups! It’s all in the eyes. Along with smizing, consider yoga or Pilates to help stretch your body; some of the poses I will direct you in may require extra stamina. You won’t believe how much your body goes through during a photo shoot— it’s not easy being a model! (Follow my blog for more Boudoir Photo Session Tips.)

4. FORGET PHOTOSHOP! In this digital era, we have become all too dependent on photo-editing. A lot of people will ask, “You can just Photoshop that out, right?” Today, my answer is: NO. We need to get it right in camera and not even think about Photoshop. Do you have a bad tan line? Let’s get that fixed before your photo shoot. Hate your belly? Then consider a high-waist bottom. The look is not only super timeless and sexy, but it usually covers our trouble areas, aka “the muffin top.” I’m not a fan of corsets because all they do is cinch your belly in— but, all that unwanted skin has to go somewhere and it usually flows out at the top and bottom of the corset. (Yikes!!) I’ve photographed a super petite woman in a corset and the extra skin came out at the top which was super hard to Photoshop.

5. FIX THE UNWANTED STUFF. Are your hair roots not the color you want? Take care of that at least a week before your photo shoot so your hair has time to settle in. (You don’t want to show up the day after a fresh haircut that you may not like.) How are your nails? Get that manicure and pedicure so you’re flawless from head to toe. Want whiter teeth? More tan? Waxing? Basically, don’t forget about those little details when putting together your outfits because they matter.

6. TRY ON EVERYTHING. Imagine yourself standing in front of a 360-degree mirror, with every detail of your body on display. That’s just what it’s like being in front of a camera as a camera will pick up details and angles you never knew you had. Be sure to try on every single item before the day of your photo shoot. The worst thing you can do is bring outfits that don’t fit you well; such discomfort will make you feel subconscious and it will show in your photos. I’ve had clients arrive with brand-new outfits — with the price tags still on! — only to find out that they didn’t fit very well at all, so we were left with nothing. (Bring more than what you think you’ll need, just in case.) Important Reminder: Do the Sit Test. For anything that wrinkles easily, please be sure they are on hangers, because wrinkled clothes do not get fixed in Photoshop.

7. BRING A GOOD FRIEND. Bring your best friend to be your cheerleader— we’ll make it a party! (But, boys are not allowed at boudoir marathons).

8. GET LOTS OF SLEEP! This is probably one of the top tips to get the most out of your photo session. When you get enough sleep, your face is fresh and entire body look and feel rejuvenated, and ready for your closeups. You don’t want those red eyes or dark circles. Again, don’t go thinking that Photoshop is the answer to everything … It all begins with you.

9. BORROW SOMETHING. Too many times, we go out and buy what we think we have to have … But, what I learned from a client was: borrow everything you need! Do you have friends the same size as you? Then rummage through her closet and find what would work beautifully for your body type. The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on stuff that you may never wear again after your photo shoot. That’s just unnecessary stress; you’ve already invested in the photo session, so don’t spend more than you need to on something that can be easily borrowed. (Save your money and go travel the world, or something like that. haha!)

10. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN. This should be Tip #1 because it would greatly improve your self-confidence: So many times I’ve seen clients come in with a new tan, new sexy outfits, new heels, new mani/pedi, and new hair extensions/wigs. But, despite all these expensive things to wear for their sexy photos they forget the one most important thing that will guarantee the best pictures of them: GOOD SKIN!! Sure, I have some of the best professional makeup artists onsite to help clients get glammed for their photo shoot, but the one thing that neither the makeup artist or I can do is fix bad skin— even Photoshop will just make them look fake. Clear skin starts with you! I’ve got access to a major skincare line that could help you better prepare from the inside-out in a matter of weeks; please contact me and we can chat in more details!

//To inquire about my Boudoir Packages & Pricing, please complete the Contact form or call 503-308-8228 (PST). Follow me on Instagram where I post daily.