Couples boudoir photography is a great way to connect with that special someone in your life.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new couple finding their mojo, a long-time partner that wants to rekindle your passion, or you want to celebrate a special moment with your twin flame – it’s always a good time to give boudoir a try.
If you’re a couple who’s thinking about having a boudoir session, or you’re a photographer who wants to expand the business into this type of photography – you can benefit from these 14 tips and photo inspirations to make your photoshoot a success.
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14 Intimate Couples Boudoir Photography Tips for 2023
1. Choose the perfect outfit(s)
What should be worn to couples boudoir sessions? There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question because it depends on the couple. Actually, it doesn’t even need to be one thing – you can change outfits throughout the photoshoot.
When you’re deciding what to wear, consider the style and mood you want for your photos – are you going for something glam and sexy? Or do you prefer comfortable and intimate?
Women have more choices than men, which can be a blessing or a curse – there’s a lot more variety in styles and fabrics. Here are some outfit suggestions for your boudoir shoot.
- Jeans and t-shirt or jeans with naked torso – great for men’s boudoir too.
- Shirt or t-shirt with underwear bottom.
- Lingerie and underwear.
- Elegant outfits. For example, a suit and a cocktail dress.
- Erotic costumes.
- Your birthday suits! (Nude photography)
Whichever road you decide to take, make sure it fits you properly – this way, you’ll feel comfortable, and you’ll look better.
Also, try to decide on a color palette with the help of the photographer – this way, the photographs will look balanced, and the results will be more pleasing.
Consider that you can wear something you already own and love, or you can go shopping especially for the occasion. You also don’t have to follow your usual preferences – maybe you use this opportunity to try something new and exciting.
2. The photographer and the couple should be on the same page
The best way to create a fun and pleasant experience and get the perfect photos during couples boudoir sessions is to be on the same page from the beginning. This can happen with a meeting or video call or via emails and questionnaires.
You, as the client, can ask for portfolio examples, how long the session will go for, how many people will be present – in other words, if they will bring an assistant or someone, how can you deal with shyness, etc.
(And if all else fails or you simply prefer to do it on your own, you can always try your hand at some DIY boudoir photography.)
As the photographer, you can inquire about what they like and dislike about their bodies and their partner’s body. If they’ve ever been photographed professionally – even if it wasn’t for couples boudoir photography, what is their idea of sexy, etc.
If you want to use their photos for your portfolio or sell them on stock photography websites, remember to ask them if they agree and, if so, get them to sign a model release.
Don’t forget to ask them if they have any questions for you or about couples boudoir photography in general – it’s important that they feel they can ask you anything and that you’ll be there to guide them through the experience.
Another important thing is to set some boundaries – this applies to both parties. If you as a couple don’t want to get fully naked or don’t want your photographs to be public in the photographer’s portfolio, or there is something you don’t want to do – say it in the first meeting.
The same goes for you as a photographer. If there’s something that puts your integrity or your business reputation at risk or simply makes you uncomfortable, you should make it clear to the couple.
Keep in mind that you can’t refuse to do something based on discrimination – not only is it wrong, but it’s also illegal in most places.
3. Every couple is unique
As a photographer, you should have your own style – that’s what makes your clients choose you over a different photographer.
However, it would be best if you got to know the couple and capture their personality and their relationship in the photos.
You can get to know the couple through a pre-shoot consultation or ask the couple to fill out a questionnaire. The questions should aim to understand who they are, what they like, and what they expect from the session.
Ask them who long have they been together – if they are a new couple who wants to get closer or a long-time one who is already comfortable with each other.
It’s also useful to learn if they are doing a couples boudoir session to celebrate a special moment such as a wedding anniversary.
(See these wedding boudoir ideas for more inspiration.)
Enquire about their hobbies and what they do together, their likes and dislikes, what makes them feel sexy if they want to explore a different side of their sexuality, and so on. The more you know about them, the better results you’ll get.
Most clients aren’t comfortable answering these type of questions, so explain why you’re asking them and the impact this will have in the final images. Be open about your privacy policies so they can rest assured about who will read their answers and see their photos.
Asking them for a Pinterest board or some other way to show you what type of images they like is another possibility of understanding what type of couples boudoir photos they expect from the photo session.
4. Include some props in your couples boudoir session
Using props can add some fun to a couples boudoir shoot. You can use them to set the mood – for example, sex toys to get things excited or use candles, flowers and mirrors for more classy pictures.
Props are also helpful to make an interesting composition. Make sure they aren’t too distracting and position them to achieve a balanced image.
Talk to your clients to see if there’s anything special they want to include in their couples boudoir session.
5. Capture the emotion
In couples boudoir photography, the main subject is not sex or beauty – it’s the relationship. The best way to capture it is by showing emotion.
First of all, you need to make your clients feel completely comfortable, so they are free to interact with each other without inhibitions.
Then, give some directions for the pose but make sure you don’t overdo it because you don’t want to break the flow between them.
If you’re a couple who’s expecting a baby, you could also experiment with a maternity boudoir photoshoot.
6. No judgement allowed
A big part of making your subjects comfortable for their couples’ boudoir photos is knowing that they can be themselves. They want to have a good time, lose their inhibitions, feel empowered and end up with beautiful artwork that reflects their relationship.
If they want to use props, invite a third person, etc., they should be able to do so without feeling judged about it.
7. Get out of the bedroom
Even if couples boudoir photography is often done in the bedroom, you can get amazing results if you get creative around the house.
The bathroom is a popular setting as you can use the shower, bathtub, mirrors, etc., to build a sensual environment.
You can try out the living room as the sofa, and even the floor offer some creative possibilities for new poses and a variety of angles to shoot from.
Even the kitchen can be a good setting – maybe you can incorporate some food like in the classic scene of the movie 9 1/2 Weeks!
8. Change perspective
The angle of view helps you to choose the background, change the composition and emphasize different parts of the body.
To have a wide variety of choices and make more interesting couples boudoir photography, you need to keep moving and get creative.
For example, you can shoot from outside the balcony and incorporate in the frame part of the curtains or the window to create a voyeur look. Or you can climb on the sofa and ask the couple to lay on the floor to capture them from the top.
Having multiple focal lengths will give you more flexibility – so, bring different lenses if you have them, or use a zoom lens.
9. Do some close-ups
When you shoot wider frames, you can photograph the full body and get a more ‘choreographed’ session with a variety of poses. However, close-up pictures are great to capture facial expressions that show emotion.
You can also do some faceless couples boudoir photos if you focus on the hands, the feet, the hips, etc. It can be something sweet and romantic like hand-holding or something more passionate as the hand of one of them digging into the back of the other.
10. Take turns being the star
Not every couples boudoir image need to show both of them – at least not clearly. You can have images where one of them is the star of the picture, and their partner is out of focus.
Another possibility is to show one of them clearly and only a part of the other one’s body. Try different compositions and change the depth of field to achieve different results to create more interesting shots.
11. Poses are important
Like any other portrait photography, poses play a big role in creating amazing couples boudoir photos. Normally, the clients in a couples shoot aren’t models or have never been photographed by a professional before – so make sure you guide them.
You can start with some mellow, romantic poses to help the couple relax. Once they feel comfortable with your presence, you can ask them to get more intimate and do some sensual poses.
A good way to direct the couple throughout the photo session is to use visual cues. Bring with you a compilation of photos to show to them and ask them to replicate the pose from the picture. You can also download posing apps on your phone.
Fine-tune the pose by talking to them – communication is key. Once you get the ball rolling, stop giving directions and let them interact on their own so that they can be themselves.
Make sure you respect their personal space – not only because you don’t want to break the flow, but also because you should never touch your models.
If you absolutely feel like you need to do it, maybe fix the hair once they are in position or something – always ask for their permission before you do it.
Now let’s see some poses that work great for a couples boudoir session. You can also check out our article on flattering boudoir poses for plus-size models.
One partner on top.
Embracing from the back.
One laying on the other.
Laying on the side facing each other or spooning.
Laying on their backs, holding hands.
Undressing each other.
Looking into each other’s eyes.
12. Create a special atmosphere
Clients love to feel comfortable and pampered when they are doing a couples boudoir photo shoot. It’s not just about the final pictures – it’s about the entire photography experience.
Use romantic or sensual music to set the mood – ask them about their preferences. Maybe bring with you some essential oils and a diffuser to stimulate all the senses.
Build a set if that’s the type of photo that they want, or ask them if they want their hair and makeup done before the photoshoot – you can build a team of professionals to work with you for all these services.
The important thing is that they have fun and remember the experience as something positive.
13. Get some candid photos
Careful posing and composition ensure professional quality boudoir photography. However, you shouldn’t overlook the value of spontaneity.
After all, the couples know each other, share a life together, and those special moments that spark between them in private are difficult to recreate when a third person is present and pointing a camera at them.
So, keep your camera ready to capture the candid photos that can happen when they relax or laugh because they feel shy or silly doing a pose. These images are the ones that better reflect the relationship, and they will cherish forever.
14. Consider going on location
Most couples choose to do their boudoir shoot at home. However, this isn’t the only possibility. You can have the photoshoot at the boudoir photographer’s studio.
You can also browse hotels or rental houses to find a location that better suits your needs.
For example, if you want to have some boudoir photos under the shower but the one at your house isn’t big enough, you can find a rental place or even a studio with a big bathroom, or maybe one with a bathtub.
Another choice is to do your couples boudoir photo session outdoors. If you’re feeling shy or you want to make something particularly intimate – like being fully nude – you can rent a house with a big garden.
Otherwise, you can go into a more public place like the beach or the woods. In these cases, you should be more reserved to avoid a fine for indecent exposure or conduct – check out what’s the law in your state.
I hope you found these tips on couples boudoir photography useful – whether you’re the photographer or the model. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions and share your own tips and experiences in the comments section.
Also, remember that if you want to get started with couples boudoir but don’t have any clients or willing friends, you can always do model calls to set up a session.