This month we're taking a bit of a deep dive into boudoir photography in the run up to Valentine's Day (it's that or hibernate until spring time, which is a valid option here in Boston and New England). In the past few years its been experiencing a bit of a renaissance as the stigma of the 1980's has worn away and people are growing more comfortable with showing off their sexier sides. Over this next month we'll be using this blog to talk about boudoir generally, what to expect for your session, tips for getting the most out of your session and whatever else we can think of.
So how does Ryan Richardson Photography do boudoir for Boston? Our goal is to produce images that straddle the line between playful and sophisticated. As a boutique enterprise we don't work on volume so we tailor each session individually to our client so every experience can turn out images that are uniquely you (or whoever you want to be for a day).
So to get you started, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about Boston Boudoir photography.
I'm really nervous. Is that normal?
It is definitely normal to be nervous for your boudoir session, so don't worry. Most of our clients are nervous until the session has gone on for a few minutes. After it starts, you’ll begin to loosen up. If you’re still nervous, try out these relaxation tips we’ll provide in an upcoming blog post. To help ease you into the experience, we usually recommend a more modest outfit for the start of the set (boyfriend shirt, sports jersey, or even a little black dress).
How do I know how to pose?
Don’t worry about posing. We've totally got you covered in that department. We know all the tricks to create the most flattering angles for you, no matter what shape or size you are. As a consummate professional, I will also provide an ongoing demonstration of poses - I have been informed that it is either profoundly entertaining or existentially terrifying.
Do your packages include hair and makeup?
We can help set you up with a hair and makeup artist for your session, or you can handle the arrangements yourself. Really the day of your boudoir session is a great time to go out and get totally pampered, use it as an excuse to treat yourself.
Am I allowed to bring alcohol to help loosen my nerves?
As long as you're over 21, that’s totally fine with us. Snacks are also pretty good (just not anything with crumbs), let us know if you have any likes and we'll try and accommodate.
Do you provide the wardrobe?
We do not provide your wardrobe. This is something you’ll have to pick out and bring along yourself. You can only get questioned so many times about your Princess Leia outfits before it's not worth the hassle. If you need help choosing an outfit, we can definitely give you some suggestions, though.
I want share these pictures with my partner, but I don't want loose prints floating around. Any ideas for the best gift?
This is a very common concern and we totally understand. We recommend placing an order for our little black book (also available in red, pink, white or whatever color tickles your fancy). This is much more discreet and will keep all of your images in one place and not floating around. We also offer our artists's collection, which is a series of matted prints in a gorgeous presentation box that keeps everything neat and discreet. For more information on these products, just ask.
What should I bring to my boudoir session?
For our sessions, we suggest two to three different outfits and any props you may want to incorporate. During your consult we can go over a few ideas and some of the wardrobe essentials. Depending on your skin tone some basics in black (including shoes) will always work. You certainly want to think of items that can be combined and swapped around to lend a little more variety to the set - but don't bring your entire wardrobe to schlep through the streets of Boston.
Can I bring a friend?
Yes, you can bring a friend if you think it will help you relax. However, sometimes an extra set of eyes has the opposite effect, even if it is a friend. They are more than welcome to come, but if they are making you uncomfortable, they may have to wait out in the lobby.
Please do not bring your mother, we had that happen once during a boudoir shoot in Providence. Some lines of communication might have been crossed.
Will my session be with a male or female photographer?
I am a male photographer, so you should be comfortable with that (no judgment if you're not).
Do you do touchups?
Yes, we will smooth skin and do some basic retouching on all of your portraits. While we try to make sure you look your absolute best straight out of camera, there are always little tweaks that can make an image shine. That said if you're suddenly regretting your hair or makeup, we can't fix it in Photoshop.
I’m not a model – are boudoir photos still flattering even if my body isn’t perfect?
Absolutely! Nobody is perfect and every person is sexy. If you have any specific concerns, contact us and we can talk about it! Most of it is just about helping you feel confident and getting you in the right frame of mind.
Do you do outdoor boudoir sessions?
If you are some kind of maniac that wants to do a boudoir session in January in New England then we can certainly figure it out (we'll need all the toe warmers). We shoot most of our sessions either in hotels or our client's homes, but if you've got a little bit of the exhibitionist in you then we're happy to oblige (as long as your credit card clears).
Do I have control over who sees my images?
Yes, most certainly. Our policy is to not share any images from private clients without their explicit permission (even for in-person consultations). For blog posts like this and our online portfolio, we typically work with models or incredibly obliging friends - and we usually don't blog the heck out of boudoir sessions like we do weddings and engagements.
When should I schedule my session?
If you're planning on using images from your boudoir session as a gift, we generally recommend you schedule your session at least one month in advance. Typically we'll have proofs to you (either in-person or through a password-protected gallery) in a few days (we're working on a faster turn-around system where you can have your shoot, grab some coffee and then be back for proofs but there are a lot of wrinkles) for ordering prints and products. Once at the press turn around time is 1-2 weeks depending on the product you ordered, but we like to err on the safe side.
Have a question that’s not listed here? Contact us and we can answer it for you.
Ryan Richardson Photography is a full-service photography boutique based in New England that specializes in Wedding Photography and Portrait Photography. We proudly serve events and clients in Boston and Providence.