Boudoir photography is an intimate, suggestive form of photography that typically takes place in the bedroom or another private setting. Boudoir subjects are typically female and are, in many cases, nude. An early from of photography that’s been around since the 1840s, boudoir was popularized in the 1940s and remains a popular option today for couples and individuals alike.
Theoretically speaking, boudoir photography is considered a blend of other photographic forms: glamour, portraiture, and erotic photography, for example. In general, boudoir photography focuses on the mood and physical nature of the subject and can be used to produce erotic gifts or to satisfy the subject’s personal desires.
Like any form of photography, boudoir photography plays on lighting, form, and pose to provide the best shot. Because boudoir is meant to mark a specific time in an individual’s life, particular attention to composition and mood must be paid. Typically, boudoir images aim at being suggestive and erotic, yet not explicit. This may be achieved with implied nudity through the right pose.
While boudoir photography of men exists, an overwhelming majority of boudoir subjects are women. What’s more, many photographers find it difficult to straddle the line between genuine boudoir photography and cheap imitations. If you’ve ever been a part of a bad boudoir photoshoot, then you already know the wrong approach can ruin the mood of your final product.
It’s important to use the right camera and lens (generally with an f/16 aperture for portraiture) to obtain the best boudoir shot. If you’re looking for the ultimate boudoir experience, it’s worth contacting a professional with a portfolio you like. Doing so can help you get a high-quality shot and not a cheap imitation.