How to prepare for a couples boudoir photography session & what to expect!
Updated: Oct 23
First of all... let's talk about what the heck a couple's boudoir session is! I think most people aren't familiar with the concept and if they know about it, they're probably pretty damn intimidated by it. Especially here, in Ireland... sexually oppressed Catholic Ireland might I add - where talking about sex is still somehow taboo! I think that's what makes me love it even more, I love to push a limit or two.
Being a boudoir photographer in Ireland is not very common, as most of you can imagine. But I think there's something really damn special about this style of photography.
Just think of couples boudoir as a regular couples photo session plus all the extra delicious intimacy captured on camera. It's your love in its most raw, uninhibited form and it's feckin' incredible! You and your partner can get naked, you can have some lingerie on, or go topless with some jeans. whatever floats your boat and it truly should be what you're most comfortable in. It's not all about what you wear or don't wear, it's more about the feels. These sessions are for the couples that find beauty in intimacy, it's not dirty - instead a session like this is vulnerable, steamy, intimate, and love in its truest form.
Where do they take place?
That's completely up to you, most of my boudoir sessions take place in the couple's home. It's where they're most comfortable and where photographers can capture the most intimate moments of the day to day. What do you like to do together? Do you like to make coffee together and snuggle up in bed? How about a shower or a bath? Maybe you want to make a night of it, rent a cabin in the woods, take advantage of that beautiful scenery and the hot tub? Curl up by the fire afterwards. Do you explore the world in a camper van or prefer to be outdoors? We can find a nice remote location where no innocent bystanders will be exposed to naked butt cheeks! Or maybe you prefer a bougie downtown hotel overlooking an epic city skyline...
In Chicago my favorite place is The Publishing House Bed & Breakfast - Everleigh Room to be exact! It's got an amazing clawfoot tub, a gorgeous steamy shower, the whole place is picture worthy as fuck
The world or your home is your oyster, have fun with it! Chat with your photographer about the ideas you have and brainstorm how to make shit happen. I swear it will be so worth it..
How the f*ck do we mentally prepare?
First and foremost, we WILL meet on Zoom or FaceTime before I allow you to book me. Everyone has to feel comfortable, safe, and like the vibes are good for these sessions to work. Just like with every wedding I shoot, I don't let you give me your money unless you meet me and we click in the best way possible! My approach to every single couple's shoot, whether it's boudoir or not is to make sure my couples treat it like it's a date or even better...foreplay. Yup! You read that correctly my friends. If you're here, it probably means you're looking for something a little less fine art/portrait and a little more emotional, intimate, and fun.
Picture this: instead of freaking the fuck out about picking the perfect outfits, and having the perfect make up and the weather being JUST right - you wake up together, you put on your favorite briefs or thong or whatever the hell floats your boat because I'm not here to judge. You put on that oversized t-shirt you both love so much. Make yourselves feel sexy however you choose to do that, whether it's some make up, or curling the hair, a shower, or better yet... a quickie. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, smoke a joint... and then I pop by. We hang out, have some tea or wine, we chat because I'm not an animal and don't expect you to just be cool with me seeing your ass without any conversation (although most of my people have met me through FaceTime before a session and have no problem getting naked with me!). We take some shots in your clothes to get warmed up, get comfy with the camera and when you're ready or when it feels right you take off whatever you want to take off and we have some fun!
Doesn't that sound like an epic start to a day long date? You then basically get to practice edging (I recently learned about it, if you're not familiar ask Mr. Google) for an hour while you and your partner kiss, caress, touch, and grind on each other like two horny teenagers... it doesn't seem so scary now does it? It actually sounds pretty damn intriguing doesn't it?
The key to being "mentally prepared" for any photoshoot is to not over prepare for it. Sounds counterintuitive right? Hear me out... have you ever been so terrified to go to a job interview or a dentist appointment or meet your partner's parents that you psyched yourself out to the point of being a rigid ball of stress? No way, not you - right? We humans would never add unnecessary stress where there shouldn't be any! You get the point though. When you overthink, over prepare, and psych yourself the fuck out about anything it makes it 10x worse. And 9 times out 10, that thing you were so stressed about? Is absolutely nothing to freak out about - and you feel silly about stressing afterward!
So just start off any photoshoot, naked or clothed, thinking of it as just another date with the person you're crazy about. You get to connect, kiss on each other, and have a literal hype woman there to make it just a little more fun. And guess what? If at any point you decide you're not comfy, you throw your clothes back on and we have a sessions that's just as damn good - consent all around!
Will my family see these?
That depends on what kind of model release you sign. Most couples are cool beans and awesome sauce about people seeing their steamy photos. They're proud as hell of them and show them off every chance they get! Sex is art after all. Some ask to pick and choose which photos I can use publicly and I'm ok with that as well. You do what makes you comfortable. Just be sure to chat about this BEFORE you sign any contract and before the actual shoot. Most photographers have airtight contracts that state they are the owner of the photos and can truly do as they please with them. If you're not comfortable with that, that's a conversation to have before any signing takes place.
Favorite songs/playlists to play during a session
Let's be real, music is EVERYTHING. Now of course you can play whatever the heck you want to play and whatever will make you enjoy yourself the most but here's some of my favorite artists/songs/playlists
Best ways to break the ice
Still feeling a little nervous? That's totally normal!
First of all, know that you can always say no. We are all about consent! If y'all decide the clothes are staying on and we're having a cozy in home session instead, it's no big thang! I will never pressure you, these photos are for you and whatever your hearts desire.
Make things a little more fun by adding some challenge cards from Adventure Challenge - take out the ones that are full on sex because I'm not in the porn business! I actually like to gift my couples Adventure Challenge books and cards when they hire me for their wedding because it's such a fun way to celebrate your love. These cards are an awesome thing to incorporate into a boudoir shoot!
Play sexy truth or dare
Take a shot - with your photographer if they're down for that! (cough cough... I'm a tequila girl)
Play your favorite tunes and have a little dance party before I arrive or while I'm there! I'm always down for a dance party.
Whatever you do, just enjoy yourselves! Enjoy the time you get to spend together, the memories we're making and capturing together. And remember.... I've gotten naked for the camera many times! I totally get it