How to Prepare for a Boudoir Session

Last time, we shared what to expect at a boudoir session. Today, we are going to give you the tools you need to know how to prepare for a boudoir session. Being prepared for your session will eliminate much stress from the equation, leaving room for fun. Similar to a bride’s emergency kit, you’ll find, at the bottom, a boudoir beauty list in addition to a timeline with to-dos.


Make sure you’ve signed the contract, and model release! Along with these papers, submit your retainer fee. Without these three things, your session is not reserved and you do not have a boudoir session for which to prepare. Getting these mundane items out of the way leaves you free to enjoy the planning.

At least a month prior:

Write down your vision for session. How do you want to look? What inspiration have you found (e.g. art, something you saw online, a movie, an era, etc)? Put these inspiration sources beside each other on a Pinterest board, or the like, and find a common denominator (for instance, maybe you gravitate toward ethereal images, perhaps you fancy silhouettes, or maybe you like bolder, sexier poses). Share your vision with your photographer so your he/she can structure your photoshoot accordingly.

Bonus tip: you should never expect your photographer to replicate something you’ve seen from another photographer! Each professional has their own signature style, so be sure you’re hiring one with the aesthetic you want.

A month prior:

Shop for your wardrobe. If you can find items in person, try to do this so you are assured of a good fit. If you shop online, allow plenty of time for any necessary returns and exchanges.

Make any necessary appointments for hair care, facials, waxing, etc. (Get to know one of our favorite makeup artists here).

Now is the time to start drinking a surplus of water and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Your skin will be glowing by the time your session arrives!

One week prior:

Pamper yourself! Get your hair trimmed and colored, reduce your sodium intake to avoid any swelling, and get plenty of sleep to keep those eyes bright and alluring.

Double check your lingerie fit and have any necessary tailoring or repairs done.

Make sure you pay any balance on your session. Knowing how to prepare for a boudoir session is fruitless if your session is canceled due to lack of payment.

Three-four days prior:

If you are getting waxed, do it now so any redness will have time to subside.

Touch base with your photographer to insure you both are clear on time, place, wardrobe, and any other expectations.

The day prior:

Whether you DIY a manicure and pedicure or hire a professional, we cannot recommend this highly enough! Hands are unavoidable features in our everyday life- but especially in boudoir portraits. Be sure to choose neutral looks such as a French manicure or a nude polish (our go-to favorite is Ballet Slipper by Essie).

The Day of:

Today is all about loving yourself and being pampered, so turn on some music, take your time and view your preparation as something to be enjoyed rather than endured. If you opted out of waxing, give yourself a thorough shave. For glowing skin, do a thorough body scrub, and use plenty of lotion throughout the day. Don’t wear elastic ties on your wrist today! Wear loose clothes that will not leave elastic/ button marks on your body! Wear a top that either zips or buttons up so that you can change clothes without compromising your hairstyle. Speaking of which, be sure to arrive promptly for hair and makeup appointments.

In Your Bag:

Body lotion

Lipstick touchup

Tide stick (or equivalent stain remover for any stray lipstick


Nail polish for any chips


Any special items you want featured (his favorite button down shirt, your favorite book, a vintage

perfume atomizer, etc).

A top layer: cardigan, button down shirt, shawl, silk robe, etc.

2-3 lingerie outfits

Always bring a nude thong to go under any lace or sheer looks.

Always bring a basic, black thong! It’s the little black dress of your boudoir wardrobe.

1-2 pairs of heels

Any desired jewelry

Plenty of water

A playlist of music that brings the energy you want to your session (playful, elegant, sexy, peaceful, etc.

We hope that knowing how to prepare for a boudoir session has been reassuring and helpful. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or want to learn more about our boudoir experience.


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