Unleash your Pouty Pinup with Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photographer Shannon Michelle breaks down common misconceptions behind these sexy photos.

Boudoir Shannon Michelle_2

Photograph by Shannon Michelle

Fact: Your feminine wiles can be quite powerful. With all that womanly wonder at your disposal, perhaps you should channel some of it into a masterpiece of art.

“A boudoir shoot is the perfect way to celebrate this fun and exciting time in a bride’s life,” says boudoir photographer Shannon Michelle. From her studio in Braintree, she photographs at least 80 boudoir clients each year, 80 percent of whom are brides (some of whom bring in veils, bridal shoes, and more). “Not only does it make for an unforgettable groom’s gift, it’s a great opportunity for a bride to take a little ‘me time’ during what can be a very stressful point in her life.”

Before you say “no way,” Michelle confronts the three biggest misconceptions about boudoir photography.

“It’s tacky, and I don’t want anyone to find out I did this.”

“Boudoir can be really tacky, but when done right, it should be very tasteful. The key is to hire a photographer whose style of work you like,” Michelle advises. “Most ladies book their sessions and don’t tell a soul, but after their shoot, they share their images with their friends and are really excited to share their experience. Once they see the photos and how tasteful and fun they are, they’re no longer worried about being judged. If anything, they are really proud of how the look and feel!”

“I just need to lose 10 more pounds.”

Fact: The camera can add 10 pounds. But it can also take them away—according to Michelle, with the right lighting and angles, you can actually look better on film. “With the right lighting, posing, retouching, lingerie, etc., your photographer will help you look your absolute best,” she explains. On that same note: Remember, your fiancé already loves the way you look!

“Any photographer can shoot a boudoir session.”

Not so, says Michelle. Boudoir photography is a craft, a skill carefully honed over years and years of practice. “Being able to quickly look at someone, pose them, light them, and make adjustments specifically for her body shape is not something you do once in a while,” she continues. “Not only will he/she be skilled in posing you, a boudoir photographer will have access to the best product lines, the best boudoir hair and makeup teams, and the best suggestions for the right lingerie for your body.”

Here are Michelle’s tips on posing to perfection during your boudoir shoot.

Little things mean a lot. “Just because you’re not wearing much, doesn’t mean that your wardrobe should be neglected,” says Michelle. “There are so many fun options including bra/panty sets, corsets, bustiers, garter belts, chemise sets, body suits, robes. Don’t forget shapewear. It’s so beautifully designed now that a lot of it can be worn as lingerie. It’s a great alternative for women who aren’t feeling 100 percent about their bodies, but don’t want to miss out on doing something special for themselves or their groom-to-be.”

Try at least one outfit outside your comfort zone. “You’ll often find that those can be some of your favorite photographs, and now you’ll have the extra-special item for your honeymoon,” she says.

Drape those pearls, girl. “Accessories add personality and style to your boudoir wardrobe,” explains Michelle. Think long necklaces, earrings, big cocktail rings, body chains, bangles, and of course, a sexy pair of heels.

Hire someone you’re relaxed around. “Being relaxed is simply the most important part of being photographed,” she explains. “Being nervous about taking boudoir photographs is almost always the norm. Don’t let that stop you.” She suggests hiring someone you get along with who makes you feel comfortable and you trust with your intimate photographs.

Chose your style. There’s a variety of boudoir styles, and each can affect the mood of your shoot. A few different styles include:

  • Pinup – This style is bold, flirty and outgoing.
  • Traditional – This tends to be softer, with a dreamy feel.
  • Fashion-inspired boudoir – This offers a dark, dramatic style, and it’s got a more editorial nature.

Think about what style you like and seek out a photographer who specializes in that.

“Boudoir is often a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Michelle says. “Do some research, hire the right photographer for you, invest in the best lingerie you can, have your hair and makeup done, and cherish it with a product that’s really one of a kind. You won’t regret it!”


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