- Do my photos have to go online?
Your boudoir photographer should 110% respect your privacy. While 99.9% of professional photographers will, you’ll want to be sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your session and what happens to the images afterwards. Your photos should never be online unless you have given written permission for them to be. If you are even a tiny bit hesitant about them being online, then I suggest keeping your photos private and not signing an image release.
Some photographer contracts will include an image release clause that you may be signing off on without knowing it. Always ask your photographer’s policy.
2. What kind of setting do your photo shoots take place in?
When thinking about how you want your boudoir session to be, it’s important to think about setting. Many photographers will shoot either indoor or outdoor, but some exclusively shoot indoors. Others will charge an extra fee to go outside in order to cover travel expenses.
If you have specific ideas in mind for location, you’ll want to try finding photographers who are familiar shooting in your desired location. Search on Pinterest or Google your specific location + boudoir photo shoot. You may or may not find examples depending on how popular your desired location is.
Experience is key and everything changes with each new setting (lighting, angles, inspiration, etc), so ideally you are hiring someone who is familiar with working where you want your photos to be.
3. Will you have other people on set during my photo shoot?
Everyone has differing levels of comfort when it comes to being photographed. With boudoir photography being such an intimate experience, you’ll want to be mentally prepared for what to expect during your session. That’s why it’s important to know who else might be involved during the production of your photo shoot.
In my studio for example, we sometimes have a female assistant to work the lighting and/or photograph or film behind the scenes content. (ONLY with prior client permission).
4. Will you direct me on posing?
This really should be #1 on your list of questions when booking a boudoir session. I can’t stress enough, it is absolutely crucial that your boudoir photographer instructs you on posing throughout the entire photo session! No exceptions. Your posing instruction will make or break your photo shoot, so be 100% positive that your photographer is experienced enough to provide full posing demos and coaching.
5. How do you retouch images?
Every photographer has their own preferences when it comes to retouching. Some are more heavy-handed in PhotoShop while others prefer minimal editing opting more for exposure and tone correction and perhaps not very much skin retouching. Decide what style you prefer for your photos and ensure that your photographer’s portfolio matches your vision.
6. Do you offer payment plans?
You’d be surprised how many photographers do! Boudoir photos are a luxury item, but it doesn’t have to be such a massive investment that it leaves you feeling broke. Many photographers offer payment plans for several months or longer.
For example, my clients have the option to apply for financing via PayPal credit, Square Installments or an in-studio payment plan. Very flexible options and most clients find one that fits them best. You can read more about how this works in my studio here.
7. What’s included in my session?
Many photographers, myself included, charge a session fee that is separate from the purchase of your boudoir images. Some photographers do not include hair and makeup in their session fee. Others charge extra for retouching beyond what they normally offer clients (not as common, but it happens).
8. What should I wear to my session?
You may not have much of a lingerie collection and that’s OK. Your photographer at the least should guide you when it comes to wardrobe, giving you ideas on where to shop. Even better if they have their own studio wardrobe for you to borrow from.
Although I do have wardrobe that my clients can use, I also encourage them to bring at least 1 outfit from home. This helps ensure that my clients are confident in having at least 1 outfit that they know they will love and that fits them well.
For more ideas on what to wear for your session, check out this post, Unique Boudoir Wardrobe.
These are just some of the questions I hope you’ll consider asking when looking to hire a boudoir photographer. Your boudoir experience is very special (a right of passage for many) and for some clients only comes around once or twice- so you’ll want to be extremely confident in your photographer’s abilities, style and policies to help ensure an optimal photo shoot experience that helps your confidence and comfort on session day shine through!