la-femme-boudoir-photo-shoot-inthesheets

Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

April 3, 2019

Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

WONDERING WHICH BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY POSES ARE RIGHT FOR YOUR SESSION? I GOT YOU, GIRL.

Posing for a boudoir session can be one of the most daunting parts of the whole process. Just the thought of not knowing what to do can stop you from going for it, and it’s actually one of the main questions clients have when they are thinking about booking with me.

Will you direct me during the shoot, or do I have to know how to pose?

Girl, you don’t have to know anything other than how to follow instructions. These are the same instructions I give to each and every person I work with, and I would consider them to be pretty universal. When we start a session I go through all of the pointers I’m about to share with you so that my client knows exactly what to expect during the session and can feel confident that their images are coming out great. Of course, there are many, many factors that go into a successful boudoir photography shoot but these are the main pointers I share up front broken down by section.

la-femme-boudoir-photography-calvinklein-1-759x1024 Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

Let’s start with the hardest part first. Boudoir sessions are all about showing off the goods and all things feminine, but what you probably didn’t think about was your face.

Do you smile? If you don’t smile, what do you do with your face?

Boudoir sessions really aren’t the place for full on smiles unless that smile is super genuine. Like, I-caught-you-in-a-laugh kind of smile, and if I’ve got you in position and you start laughing you bet I’m going to shoot! Because that’s really the only time that a smile fits into boudoir photos, and when I do catch a smile in the act you're likely going to love that image. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “smize” or the “smile with your eyes” concept.

Go ahead, try smiling with your eyes. Yeah, it’s not as simple as it seems.

The key here is, while keeping a neutral face, to think about smiling or something that makes you want to smile. Once you think about smiling your face will subconsciously adjust. The outside corners of your eyes will pull back with your ears, your lips will widen and may slightly part to give you a more easygoing look. Because we really do want to steer clear of RBF (resting bitch face.) Alternatively, when your boudoir photographer has you in position and you’re wondering what to do with your face, think about your significant other or your spouse if you have one. And if you don’t have an SOS imagine meeting them for the first time or something similarly exciting. That thought in your mind will most likely show up on your face in the best way. Think about the last sexy scenario you were a part of and you’ll likely end up with a deviant smirk and an extra special sparkle in your eye.

Another pointer when it comes to face positioning is to keep your nose within your cheek line. When I started entering in Professional Photographers of America (PPA) competitions back in the day I couldn’t believe how intensely my images were picked apart by the judges based on scoring criteria. I learned that when a subject’s face is turned away from the camera their nose should never cross over the cheek line, but should stay “tucked” into their face (unless you’re showing a perfect profile.) Not only is it more flattering for the client, but in the photographer world, this is a must-know for professionals who are serious about their craft. So when you turn your face away at the request of your photographer, turn only about half as much as you think you should.

A woman’s neck, shoulder, and chest area can be extremely sexy and should be treated as so. This area also includes your jawline, neck, collarbones, and the top of your cleavage. When I first start a session with a client I go over all of the most common directions I give throughout the session and I usually start with, “Chest out, shoulders back.” This is so important for your posture especially when you’re being photographed. We want to keep our forms feminine and upright, not boxy and slouchy. When you look to the side or away from the camera, you might want to imagine connecting your shoulder to your chin. Your shoulder will rise and your collarbones will pop. Also very sexy. Even better, lay your fingers somewhere along your collarbone and the viewer's eye will shift straight to that spot. Body posture and connections among your hands, face, and shoulders are so important when it comes to creating a cohesive image.

Go ahead, try smiling with your eyes. Yeah, it’s not as simple as it seems.

la-femme-boudoir-photo-shoot-openshirtcleavage-1-500x500 Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

The key here is, while keeping a neutral face, to think about smiling or something that makes you want to smile. Once you think about smiling your face will subconsciously adjust. The outside corners of your eyes will pull back with your ears, your lips will widen and may slightly part to give you a more easygoing look. Because we really do want to steer clear of RBF (resting bitch face.) Alternatively, when your photographer has you in position and you’re wondering what to do with your face, think about your significant other or your spouse if you have one. And if you don’t have an SOS imagine meeting them for the first time or something similarly exciting. That thought in your mind will most likely show up on your face in the best way. Think about the last sexy scenario you were a part of and you’ll likely end up with a deviant smirk and an extra special sparkle in your eye.

Another pointer when it comes to face positioning is to keep your nose within your cheekline. When I started entering in Professional Photographers of America (PPA) competitions back in the day I couldn’t believe how intensely my images were picked apart by the judges based on scoring criteria. I learned that when a subject’s face is turned away from the camera their nose should never cross over the cheek line, but should stay “tucked” into their face (unless you’re showing a perfect profile.) Not only is it more flattering for the client, but in the photographer world this is a must-know for professionals who are serious about their craft. So when you turn your face away at the request of your photographer, turn only about half as much as you think you should.

SO IMPORTANT! Hands can make or break a photo’s mood. A balled up fist or fingers pointing straight out can make an image feel very rigid whereas delicate “ballerina” hands can soften the mood. Literally, think ballerina hands and your fingers will immediately ease up. The key with portraits is to always give your hands a job. Idle hands will most likely get confused so giving them a job will take the pressure off. Hands show connection; hold the fabric of your outfit, for instance, and immediately the image feels more cohesive. Hands also attract the viewer's eye, so if you touch your face that's likely where the eye will go. If you want to keep the attention away from your midsection then don't put your hands anywhere near your midsection.

Another tip is to never show the side of your hand and wrist rather than the flat back or front. If you’re touching your lip take care to twist your wrist and hand so you can only see its profile. This small tweak will make the image feel much more delicate and keep the focus on what’s most important— your face and/or body— instead of the big, flat, bright back of your hand.

la-femme-boudoir-photo-shoot-blacklingerie47-1 Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

This is another area in which special attention should be paid because the position of your hips and backside can make or break a photo. In general, when you want something to appear larger you'd lean it closer to the camera. Alternatively, if you want something to appear smaller then you should tuck it back further from the camera. Say you want your waist to look smaller. You’re going to want to shift the weight of your body/hips back and the camera should be at a higher angle shooting toward the top half of your body. Imagine a person holding a string with the other end tied to your bum and that person is pulling the string; your center of gravity is going to shift backward. This makes your waist appear smaller and also creates a bit more space between your thighs. (#thighgap!)

Do yourself a favor and watch yourself in the mirror doing this: Without moving anything else swivel each hip backward and forward, alternating, while paying attention to how your waist appears. Now stand sideways and do the same thing; push your hip toward the mirror and then away. When you bring your backside toward the mirror it looks larger, and when you push it away your waist and backside look smaller and are less visible.

Legs and feet can make or break a laying down pose if they’re not positioned correctly. Say the photographer lays you on the bed, tummy down, and he’s shooting toward the left side of your body with your ankles up. You always want to cross your ankles in this scenario, but it’s important which way you cross them. If you cross your right ankle over your left, your closer (left) leg will seem cut short because your other ankle is intersecting it. In this case, you’d want you cross your left ankle over your right so the whole length of the leg closest to the camera is showing without any interruptions. Say the photographer flips you onto your side now so you're on your side and your body is facing the camera. If you keep your top leg long and bend the bottom leg on the bed, your body will appear longer. Alternatively, if you bend the top knee and let it fall over the bottom leg, keeping the bottom leg straight on the bed, it’ll create more of a curve to your body but your body won’t appear as long. Both poses can look great however one will make your body look longer and possibly slimmer, than the other.

If you’re standing up and you want to create a more of an hourglass figure, follow these instructions: Stand tall with your feet together side by side. Shift your weight to one hip and kick your opposite knee forward and toward the other knee. Bonus: If you’re sideways to the camera, you’re going to want to shift your weight to the back hip and bend the front knee in so that your weight is shifted away from the camera, making your waist appear smaller.

As for feet, when in doubt (and especially in laying down poses) keep those toes pointed. If you’re standing, you can fake the benefit of wearing heels by just getting up on your tippy toes. Your bum will tighten and appear to sit higher, and your legs will appear tighter and longer as well.

la-femme-boudoir-photo-shoot-backsideprofile-1 Posing Tips for your Boudoir Session

Did the boudoir photography poses Guide Help?

I hope this posing guide helped you to prepare for your boudoir session! Boudoir sessions are meant to be fun and liberating, not nerve wrecking, and preparation can help.

These are many of the pointers I share with clients right at the start of the session so they know what they can expect to hear from me throughout our time together. Hearing these instructions right off the bat gives them the knowledge they need to move thoughtfully and confidently throughout the session. Do you have a question feel free to reach out to me directly or if you want to share your thoughts feel free to comment below.

La Femme Boudoir's Latest

La-Femme-Boudoir-boudoirphotoshoothartfordct

Your guide to your sexy boudoir shoot

La-Femme-Boudoir-Photography-whatmakesaphotosexy

What makes a photo sexy?

Bridal Boudoir Album

Why a Bridal Boudoir Album is the Ultimate Groom’s Gift

OFFERS, EVENTS & PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

Get our best tips and secrets directly into your inbox.