Boudoir Photography 101

Happy Thursday Loves!
So obviously you can tell by the title of the post what I am talking about today. I feel like Boudoir photography gets a bad rap. It truly is all in how far you choose to take it! I can honestly say that after doing my boudoir shoot, I have never felt more self confident and fierce!

So, What is Boudoir?
according to the Google machine, Boudoir Photography is a sexy new trend that's especially popular as a wedding day gift from a bride to her groom . Boudoir photos are usually taken wearing either just a little, or well, nothing at all.

Why Did I Choose to Shoot Boudoir?
A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to give John something special for his wedding gift. Throughout the year we always get each other gifts here and there so there is never a "wishlist" per-say between us. He doesn't really wear watches & he already had cufflinks so I wanted to think a bit outside the box. I finally decided I wanted to do a boudoir shoot for him. I automatically turned to pinterest for some inspiration. I am going to be honest, I got a bit freaked out when I did my initial search. I thought "there is no way I am wearing these skimpy outfits in front of someone I don't know" I put the thought to rest for a while then as the days got closer to our wedding, I had a confidence boost and decided I would search local photographers in the area to see who shot boudoir. Surprisingly a lot of names came up. After some research I found two legitimate candidates. (we will come back to why that is bolded later). I met with the first one, Melissa from Nite Owl Photography and fell in love. She had such great ideas and we really clicked. 

Finding a Photographer
This is super important. I really researched and researched photographers around me. I went as far as to search people 2-3 hours away. Professional photography can add up and become costly so I wanted to make sure I was investing in someone who was capable behind a camera and who I could relate to in terms of my vision. Also, with any type of photography-but especially a focus as personal as boudoir, you want to make sure you have someone that will make you feel safe and comfortable and will also be professional. I knew from the get go that I wanted a female photographer because of the nature of the photos. Once I narrowed that down, I went to each individual website and saw what kinds of pictures they took, how they took them, how they edited them, etc. Melissa's website caught my eye because she is a natural light photographer. She had some examples on her website of a fairy/goddess scene and I fell in love. I read various reviews on her and I just knew that she was the one. It was literally 2am and I emailed her asking if she would be interested in doing pictures for me. 

Melissa was SO professional and really prides herself on building a client-photographer relationship. We met for coffee not long after the emails to discuss a vision for the shoot. She told me we could do anything from 50-shades of grey type photos to more subtle, glam, goddess type pictures. I went for the latter. I told her I wanted to do something outdoors with lots of flowers/garden, etc. She listened to everything I had to say then got to work on making me a private pinterest vision board. She found a very private location and set up the most gorgeous scene for my shoot.

What I Wore/Where to Shop
This was the hardest part of the whole process. I really struggled trying to find the right outfits. I didn't want to spring for the newest line of VS lingerie because I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on things I wouldn't normally wear/ ever wear again. If you go into "adult stores", your only options are insanely race-y x-rater apparel or costumes. I was looking for pastel shades, chunky sweaters and sheer coverups. I ran into TJ Maxx one day for something totally unrelated and decided to browse their lingerie section and had great luck. Melissa also suggested Goodwill. I had great luck there as well. 
  target // target // tj maxx // tj maxx // forever 21
I paired the above with various bralettes in neutral colors from aerie that I already had. 

How to Prepare
The night before our shoot I pampered myself. I took a long shower and used a sugar scrub, put on a pore minimizing mask, and painted my nails. With Nite Owl's shoots, hair and makeup is included so the morning of, I just woke up, washed my face and then drank some champagne. I was pretty nervous so I woke up and poured a glass bottle to calm my nerves then headed to the shoot. 

one of the best parts of shooting with Melissa was how much my opinion mattered. She asked me what I was thinking in terms of how I wanted my hair and makeup to look and what colors I was thinking in terms of eye make up and such. after my hair and makeup were finished, it was shoot time! I was still super nervous and Melissa could tell so she did some exercises to help me relax. As the shoot went on, my confidence built up and I ended up having so much fun. Melissa was so great and throughout the whole shoot she was so motivating and helped me feel comfortable.  Melissa would also let me see the shots as she took them so we were on the same page. 

all that worry and nervousness was for nothing! after the shoot I felt so confident and fierce. Melissa's turn around time was about a week and a half. I went to her studio and checked out the proofs and they were absolutely gorgeous. There was not one picture I wasn't completely in love with. 

Melissa-Nite Owl Photography
if you are ever in the Sarasota/Tampa area I HIGHLY suggest giving Melissa a call. 

What are your thoughts on Boudoir? Would you ever shoot boudoir? 


  1. Aw this is so lovely! Boudoir can definitely be done classy and it seems like you rocked it! I love that last picture of you, so pretty. :)

  2. You look so pretty! What a great idea, and very classy babe. Much better than texting "nudes" lmao Maybe after I get back into shape after pregnancy I'll give this to my hubby as a keepsake. You Go Girl!!!! XoXo -Mel

  3. You go, girl! You look so pretty. *insert heart eyes emoji here*
    Organising a boudoir shoot is actually on my bucket list - what a coincidence. ;) It's apparently a super confidence booster. Sounds like you found the perfect photographer, too. :)

    Christie's Take on Life. xx

  4. OH MY GOSH YOU LOOK AMAZING!! I really thought about doing something like this for Timmy but one I am so awkward so I would probably look ridiculous and second I would feel so uncomfortable. Maybe I will give him something like this for an anniversary haha


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