An asian boudoir photograph with a woman seated on a couch in pink drapery

Stop existing | Start being

Boudoir Preparation Guide

“As long as you show up, it’s going to be AMAZING! That’s it. That’s all you have to do. I’ve got the rest. Can’t wait to see you!”

–  Siorna Ashby

Before your Boudoir Photoshoot

This is a guide to help prepare you for your boudoir experience! It's a 12-minute read.

These are my top tips and frequently asked questions from clients.

Grab a cup of tea and get started.

A London boudoir photography photoshoot in white shirt and underwear

Basic Must Haves

Hydrate.

Make sure you drink enough water at least three days before your photoshoot. A little and often is best. I recommend staying hydrated before your boudoir photo shoot because I’ve found that drinking water makes me feel less tired and improves my mood. Your Boudoir photo shoot is a special event and I want you to feel good from the inside out!

Moisturise.

Be sure to moisturise twice a day for three days leading up to your shoot. Your skin will feel great to the touch and it will look great on camera. Don't forget to moisturise your feet, especially the heels if this area is dry for you.

Luscious lips!

In the days leading up to your photoshoot keep your lips soft and luscious.

I recommend applying a moisturising lip balm on repeat as dry lips can be difficult to edit in post-production.

I use Dr. Paw Paw. It's a magical all round wonder balm that keeps my lips soft all year round.

My clients have strongly recommended Weleda lip balm, or La Roche-Posay alongside lip scrubs like Loxitan or Kiko.

My super low cost top tip to avoid dry lips is to use your toothbrush! Simply make a few passes over your lips when you brush your teeth every day. This will help shed dead skin. After that, apply a moisturising lip balm...repeat repeat repeat.

an artistic image of legs and arms in light silhouette from a london boudoir photography photoshoot

Pamper those nails.

Use this as an opportunity to pamper yourself. Go a few days before your shoot and get a manicure and pedicure! This will give you a finished, polished look. Chipped polish can be distracting.

If you don't have time or a pedicure is not your thing, remove any varnish from your finger and toenails for a clean look. Beautiful!

Music Recommendations.

Music will help you get into the zone!! Make your own playlist for the mood you want.

I have a Bluetooth speaker at the studio to stream your tunes or share your playlist on Spotify. I also have a pretty kickass set of photoshoot playlists.

A woman with red hair clutching a pink cloth on London boudoir photography photoshoot

Common misconceptions

I need a new hairstyle or colour.

Now isn’t the time to experiment with a whole new look. Chances are you might not feel like yourself with a new style combined with such an empowering experience.

Drink red wine to calm your nerves.

Don’t drink red wine right before you show up to calm your nerves! It will stain your lips.

However, I do advocate a little bit of booze to soothe anxiety. Sparkling wine is a good option because it won’t stain your mouth and will calm you down a little. That's why it's included in your package!

Party the night before to calm your nerves

If you’re nervous, try a bubble bath, read a book, or listen to soothing nature songs. Pilates and yoga can also work. Hangovers won't get us in the right space for your experience.

My Period started. I should cancel.

Periods are the worst. No, it will not affect your finished product. I keep feminax and feminine hygiene products on hand, and we have zero qualms with 30 bathroom breaks. Start your morning with some fresh fruit and a heating pad and I’ll take it from there. No worries about bloat or blemishes.

My spots will be on the photos.

Yeah, it happens. Spots suck. I retouch blemishes and bruises with ease on every photo you see. No problem. No stress. Let that spot try its hardest to ruin your day, but your photos will not be a permanent reminder of it.

The 3 things I hear the most

a black and white picture of a woman with bra and hoop earrings with rim lighting on a London boudoir photography photoshoot.

Let me support you here.

I don't know how to pose.

Pose anxiety is the easy one to answer. You don’t have to know how to pose. Not even a little bit. I will walk you through every step of the way. I will get into the poses myself and have you mirror me. I'll gently redirect you if we didn’t get it right on the first try. It’s not your job to take amazing photos, it’s mine. And I’m passionate about taking amazing photos.

I'm not photogenic.

I hear this a lot. I’ve heard it a lot from myself. We really mean that we’ve had bad experiences with people taking pictures of us. You don’t have to love every single one of your photos, but you will love most of them. And you will be shocked that you could love photos of yourself this much. Together we will rock your photo session and I will get a whole selection of beautiful images of you. If you come into the shoot with an open mind we’ll get extra. And extra is always good. I’ve never met a person who I couldn’t capture beautifully. That includes you.

I don't like [insert body part]

Body issues are something I have battled with for years. I still battle with them on most days, so I understand that many people struggle with self-love no matter how much I tell them they are beautiful.

People wish they would have lost a few more pounds before their session and if that is you, I can assure you, I’ve got you on this.

The majority of the people that come in to see me are working on loving themselves, but struggle. They don’t approve of the size of their thighs, their belly, or their dimples. I take your feelings very seriously and never want to make anyone uncomfortable.

While this is a body-positive studio, I will also light and pose you in the most flattering possible way while I shoot you from the best possible angles.

What should I wear?

a woman in heels and a black body suit looking over her shoulder on a London boudoir photoshoot

Wardrobe Ideas and Recommendations

Where to start

The best boudoir photos begin with comfort and I always recommend starting with your favourite lingerie set. The one that you love and makes you feel unstoppable.

It could be anything from delicate lace to high-waisted black pants. The magic of these photos comes from how you feel wearing them. If you're comfortable and confident, it shines through in every image.

The Style Consult will help

In our video Style Consult we will talk through your wardrobe ideas and we'll put together the perfect outfits to help you feel fabulous in every shot!

Where to buy Boudoir outfits?

If the thought of finding the perfect outfit to capture your intimate elegance can seem overwhelming I have the perfect read for you.

Over the years my clients and my Facebook group have strongly recommended these 10 brands to me. They cater to diverse body types, ensuring that you can find your perfect fit. Click on the button for the recommendations.

On the day of your Boudoir Photoshoot

A London boudoir photography photoshoot showing stockings and high heels in black and white

Your day is here!

Plan for traffic and slow tubes!

Nothing puts a damper on a fun and relaxing photo shoot like feeling rushed or late! You should plan for traffic and arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled start time. If you're running late, give me a text and stay calm.

Wear loose clothing.

Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing and comfy shoes on your way to the location to reduce any clothes lines. It will keep you relaxed too. Remove your watch and hair bands from your wrist on the day to avoid marking your skin. Careful of those sock marks on your ankles too!

Lean into the experience.

Celebrate your experience! I won’t make you do anything that is going to make you look bad. I’ve been photographing for a while and the most common feedback I get is that people feel comfortable during their photoshoots. This is so important to me.

I hope you can consciously lean into the experience and have fun.

After your Boudoir Photoshoot

a woman with hair in a bun looking over her shoulder with flowers on a London boudoir photography photoshoot.

What happens next?

At the end of the shoot.

I will help you pack your things and we’ll get you scheduled for your photo reveal appointment so you know exactly when you’ll be seeing your images.

Photo Reveal.

Within 2 weeks of your shoot, you will have your photo reveal appointment with me over Zoom so that you can see all of your proofs and order anything you’d like. You should be prepared to place your full order on the day of your photo reveal and ordering appointment.

Tips for the Photo Reveal.

At your reveal appointment relax on the couch with a beverage while I show a slide show of your images from your session before diving into viewing your entire collection of at least 20 images. Here you can let me know which images you want to keep for your order. You can ask for any additional touch-ups during your reveal. I know you’re going to love your images, and these reveal appointments are so much fun. I can’t wait to share your photos with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

a woman in window light with the idea to love your body with a black and white boudoir photoshoot

What kind of editing and retouching happens?

My editing philosophy is to help you look like you on your best possible day! Photo editing is a conversation, and you can let me know your preferences. These are your photographs and you’re in charge.

These are the things that I will usually edit:

  • Light levels
  • Correct skin tone colour
  • Correct makeup
  • Remove stray hairs
  • Neaten and smooth clothing
  • Change to black and white

Unless you ask me otherwise, I will also remove the following:

  • Bruises
  • Spots

I leave moles and scars unless you tell me otherwise.

The top 5 things I most frequently get asked to tweak are:

  • Add volume to my hair
  • Slim my arms
  • Slim my waist
  • Smooth my skin
  • Reduce or remove my wrinkle lines
a woman smiling with body tattoos and red hair from a body photography photoshoot.

Do you share my photographs online and on social media?

Not without consent. I take your privacy very seriously. All the images you see on my website or social media have the expressed written permission of the client. Some of my clients like to share their images to inspire and empower others to do a boudoir photoshoot session as well, others save the images for themselves. Whatever you decide, I will honour your decision!

Can I print my photographs from the digital photographs I purchase?

Of course! You have personal printing rights for the images you purchase and can print those files on your own. I deliver a special print version of each photograph you purchase.

That being said, I would urge you to consider purchasing through me if you want the best product quality and long-term value. I use the best photo labs in the industry, and if you were to see the difference between my labs and Snappy Snaps, you’d be shocked by the difference. While it is completely optional, I would say if you’ve taken the time and care to book me, you’ll love seeing your custom art in high-quality prints.

How long do you keep the photographs I don't buy?

After 3 months, if you haven't been in touch I will delete the photographs you did not purchase from my hard drives and backup services. I always send a few emails before I delete anything, so you'll know this is happening. I keep photographs you do buy indefinitely in case you need additional copies.

Final thoughts

a woman in pink lingerie and neckalce with the idea to love your body with a boudoir photoshoot

Be kind to yourself.

This is the big one! I’ve spent most of my life being mean to myself. I know how easy it is. One of the main motivations for a boudoir session is to spend time together to find a newfound appreciation for you. :) Being gentle with yourself will go a long way in having a fabulous and upbeat experience! However, if you want to discuss the thing that bothers you the most about your body, just let me know by saying “I love my ___, but my biggest insecurity is my ___”.

A Boudoir photoshoot is a milestone!

I don’t expect every person to be 100% ready for this. Together, we will create something special and unique for you. My aim is always to support you on your journey to appreciate and love yourself. These photographs will be a lasting reminder in the years to come of how truly wonderful you are.

See you soon!

If you have any questions send me an email. I'm here for you.