More and more women are becoming comfortable with their bodies and redefining what beauty means to them. With that, we are seeing an increasing number of ladies turning to boudoir-style photoshoots that celebrate them at any age, size, and occasion.

Boudoir photography is an incredible journey of self-love. It is an art form that doesn’t necessarily conform to the conventional rules of just “taking sexy pictures.” Indeed, it goes beyond that.
Pictures set in a boudoir style convey emotion and capture a private and intimate moment with the subject.

Named after the French word for a woman’s private salon or bedroom, boudoir photography has helped women reclaim their identity as far back as the 1920s. The essence of this photography style lies in accepting and loving your body and who you are – whether you do that covered or uncovered.

For many women, photography in the boudoir style is a healing journey. It is about making them feel at home where they feel seen, safe, and heard. They want to experience that familiar comfort that lets them be themselves unapologetically.

I believe all women should embrace their feminine and sensual side. Being sensual is not about being sexy for someone else. Rather, it is about being confident in your skin and feeling good about your body.
Those things can come in different forms for everyone. For me, it comes in the form of silk, lace, and sheer fabric – which is why I aim to give my clients the gift of timeless images by utilizing those elements.

As a photographer, the boudoir style was one of the most interesting skills I had to master. I found it an art form that celebrates the shape of women’s bodies without objectifying them. There’s an element of empowerment to boudoir photography that I believe every woman should experience at least once.

Abu Dhabi Photographer
Intimate and Soft Boudoir Photography

What is Boudoir Photography?

As mentioned earlier, the term “boudoir” comes from the French word meaning a bedroom.
In these types of photos, the subject is typically dressed in soft sheer fabrics with lots of sultry lace details as they are photographed in beautifully soft contrast lighting. The pictures are often shot on film meaning they are soft grain. Black and white is a common theme utilized in boudoir photography to further add to the vintage and timeless element of the photographs.
Boudoir differs from portrait photography. Portraits focus on the subject’s personality or expression while boudoir spotlights the person’s emotions.
The focus of these images is to let the female sensuality shine through the simplicity of the pictures. It’s a glimpse into their private and intimate life.
Boudoir photography is not there to entice the viewer. Rather, it exists to empower women. Every subject of a boudoir photoshoot should see themselves as resilient and robust humans in the photographs.

Maternity Photographer Abu Dhabi
Soft Boudoir Photography

Bypassing the overtly sexy setup, boudoir style photography embraces the natural beauty of women with specific attention to details that make the images special. The final outfit picks are up to the ladies, many of whom prefer to be covered and leave more to the imagination.

The concept of boudoir rests on the foundation that women should be made to feel beautiful without pushing them into doing something that they are not comfortable with.

This style does not pass judgment on what one deems feminine and sensual for themselves. There should be no qualms or reservations about how one chooses to express themselves. Everyone should find what feels true for them and not be afraid to embrace it.

To bring out the softness in my boudoir images, I prefer including flowers, sheer curtains, and flowy outfits with plenty of natural light for the subject to pose in. Light, airy, romantic, and timeless: these are terms that I feel are what make an image truly “très français” or “very French.”

The covering of the body rather than leaving it completely naked adds a dreamy element of empowerment while also making for a vulnerable photoshoot that is welcoming and feminine.

In this style of photography, it’s more about getting your mind naked rather than your body. To me, that means capturing all sides of a woman rather than just the sexy side.

Soft boudoir photography. Boudoir photographer Abu Dhabi UAE Dubai
Boudoir Style Photography Embraces the Natural Beauty of Women

Why Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photoshoots are often purchased by women to gift to their special someone or simply keep for themselves as a celebration of who they are. However, anyone can use a boudoir session to express their romantic and seductive side.
Many people wonder what the point of boudoir photography is. The truth is that boudoir images unlock new levels of confidence in women.

Many women opt for a boudoir photo session as a way of embracing their bodies or to mark special occasions and milestones. For a lot of them, it’s also a way of celebrating all the personal and emotional victories they’ve had over their struggles.

This type of photography is far from candid. The women are made to feel comfortable and at their most natural while I work on constructing the perfect image. A typical session consists of elements like flattering poses in cozy spaces, carefully draped sheer curtains, and elegant flowing dresses in a relaxed and calm setting.

Once your session is over, you are left feeling refreshed and relaxed with a renewed sense of self and, of course, with stunning images that make you feel beautiful and help you embrace every inch of yourself.

Soft and intimate boudoir photography photographer
Boudoir Images Unlock New Levels of Confidence in Women

What Do You Wear to a Boudoir Photoshoot?

Before heading to a boudoir photo shoot, clients should discuss their wardrobe with the photographer. Many women choose lingerie to bring out their sensual side while others go for a more elegant look with sheer robes or dresses.

As a photographer, my job is to make sure the pictures convey the exact message that you want them to. For this reason, I go out of my way to cover wardrobe information since that is one of the most prominent aspects of a picture.
We talk about the kind of look the client is after and the type of dressing they have in mind. I also provide my personal recommendations based on your budget, style, and what you are hoping to achieve with the pictures.
Based on the information you provide, I emphasize the most alluring aspects of the subject – both while taking the pictures and in post-processing.

Since the goal of the images is to be soft, subtle, and light, I recommend the clients wear lighter colors and airy outfits. Think: dusty blues, whites, nudes, grays, and powder pinks.
A light kimono or slouchy sweater along with some heirloom-quality jewelry pieces can also go a long way in creating the perfect final result.
Remember that boudoir photography is about creating an alluring mood and not simply exposing the most skin.

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Boudoir Photography is About Creating an Alluring Mood

For the Clients – How to Feel Comfortable at a Boudoir Photoshoot

While boudoirs are empowering to have, they don’t always feel that way when the pictures are being taken in the moment. Since I want you to walk away with a session feeling beautiful and confident, here are my two cents on what you can do to feel comfortable at a boudoir photo shoot:

Pick the right photographer. This is so important! Pick someone who makes an effort to understand what you are comfortable with and builds a connection with you.

Have a vision. Think about what you want to achieve with the photoshoot. With something to focus on and work towards, you will be less uncomfortable and more open.

Accept yourself. This one’s easier said than done. But don’t try to look like the girls in the magazines. Because even the girls in the magazines don’t look like the girls in the magazine! Instead, take a deep breath, thank your body for all it enables you to do, and be accepting of it.

Laugh it off. If you are uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to communicate it to your photographer. Laugh about it and lean into the process with them.

But it’s not just the subject who has to make all the effort. There are steps that photographers can take to make their clients feel as comfortable as possible. For example, they should direct the client into the poses. If warranted, they can also demonstrate the pose.
Additionally, photographers can compliment and reassure the subject that they are doing great and make it more enjoyable and fun by talking to them throughout.
Professionals can also use music that is relaxing and sets the mood.

Soft boudoir photography. Boudoir photographer
Soft and Intimate Boudoir Photography

For the Photographers – How to Take Your Boudoir Shoot to the Next Level

Boudoir photography is meant to empower women and bring about a heightened sense of self-worth. However, when done wrong, it can backfire.
This is why it is so important for photographers to help their subjects feel beautiful by using the right lighting and post-processing.

Finding the Intent of Your Boudoir Photography Through Lighting

Boudoir photography is timeless, sensual, and elegant and those are elements that should be reflected in the photos’ lighting.
With boudoir, using natural lighting is very common since it often creates the perfect softness. It offers more airy or moody pictures and builds a serene and romantic scene. However, the downside of natural light is that it’s not controllable.
In that case, you can choose different artificial lighting options such as strobe or one continuous source of light such as the one created by using softbox lighting. Continuous lights are able to add a natural vignette to the picture, adding a softness to the final result.
A ring light is also a great, inexpensive and easy to use tool to have in your arsenal. It greatly evens out the subject’s skin and creates separation from the background.
When shooting in-studio, you can go a step further with a sophisticated light setup with multiple lights mounted in various positions. Using multiple lights creates shadows and lines that are flattering to the subject, especially if you are working with gel lights.

Soft. intimate and light boudoir photography
Boudoir Photography is Meant to Uphold Women’s Sense of Sensuality

Post Processing

When it comes to photography, post-processing and editing are just as important as the original light source in a physical setting. Your final editing can make or break the images you have taken.
There are a number of different ways to post-process. For boudoir photography, the most common is the cross-processed or the natural look.
Cross-processing – also called split toning – is when you add a tint to the shadows and highlights separately. Basically, you don’t have to adjust the entire image at once. This often helps bring out an elevated expression of emotion in the photos and influences a certain mood on the viewer of the picture.
The natural look essentially maintains the natural skin tones and colors. This setting might tint the image in a warm or cold tone – depending on the mood of the picture. In this endeavor, a good practice when editing boudoir images is to play with the vibrancy rather than the saturation slider.

Boudoir photographer Alona Koenig. Boudoir photography
Boudoir Photographer Alona Koenig

Final Thoughts

Often, women choose to go for a boudoir photo shoot as a healing process from past negative experiences. This creates a special atmosphere in the photo studio as I am able to listen to their stories and curate each detail in the setup based on their unique experiences and feelings.

Since boudoir is an intimate experience, I make sure to build a connection with the person I take on as a client. I recommend other photographers to do the same.

This means your style of shooting should speak to the person on the other end of the camera. Their “why” for a boudoir session should resonate with you, truly making you understand their specific reasons for doing the session.
This will not only make the photoshoot easier for you but create an exceptional experience for your client.

In boudoir photography, the pictures are all about flattering the subject while still being tasteful. Leaving a little to the imagination is also important as that is what adds that sultry and mysterious element to an already lovely photo.
Ultimately, boudoir photography is meant to uphold women’s sense of sensuality by shining a light on their distinct features. When done right, the woman walks away with pictures that she will hold close to heart for the rest of her life.

Please contact me to get your boudoir pictures taken today.

Soft and intimate boudoir photography. Fine art boudoir photographer
Soft and Intimate Boudoir Photography. Fine Art Boudoir Photographer Alona Koenig

Alona Koenig Photography.

Vintage charm. Timeless elegance. French ‘joie de vivre’

It was my pleasure having you here. Thank you for your interest in my works and I hope to meet you soon!

Alona Koenig

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