Category Archives for "Boudoir"

3 What’s your boudoir look? (Part 1 – make up)

I’ve talked about the style of images you may like for your session before (here) but what about how you want to be styled? What’s your boudoir look?
The make up look you go for will have a strong influence on the overall feel of your images, so it is worth giving more than a passing thought to.
Your stylist will of course be able to help and advise you, and it’s also something we’ll discuss at your pre-session chat, but there’s no harm in thinking about it in advance – the more thought and planning you put into your boudoir portrait session, the better the results are going to be for you.

If you never usually wear make up, or stick to minimal make up (like me, because I am both blind as a bat and completely inept when it comes to applying make up) then consider whether you would like to keep things natural for your portraits.
I should tell you though, even a natural look is going to look like relatively heavy make up in the mirror – for studio lighting everything needs to be stronger than you would usually wear, to show up on camera.
It’s not quite stage make up, but it’s not usual daywear either.
Hair can also be kept quite natural, in keeping with this look.
boudoir look 1

You can build on a look like this, with a slightly stronger emphasis on the eyes, and changing the lip colour, to create a strong vintage feel. Add some victory rolls, and you’re away.
boudoir look 2
Sometimes clients want to go dramatically different to normal – almost like playing a character – sometimes this can allow you to be more daring with your images too.
boudoir look 3
Or you may feel that ‘who you are’ has gotten lost, and you want her back, so you reconnect with a look that just ‘speaks’ to you.

boudoir look 4
Smokey eyes are an incredibly popular boudoir look – and a great opportunity to learn from your stylist how to build the look.
boudoir look 5You are also more than welcome to bring along images with looks you would like to recreate – tear them out of a magazine, share a board with us on Pinterest (you can find us as Smart Boudoir on Pinterest) or bring images on your phone to show to your stylist.

Much love
(The boudoir looks above are created by Holly Andersen and Kate at Ruby Rouge Make up – please contact them directly if you need hair and make up for an occasion, or would like a personal make up lesson)

All about bridal boudoir

Planning a bridal boudoir portrait session, as a gift for your groom?
Here’s what you need to think about.

Plan in advance

It could be that your chosen photographer can be called within 2 weeks of your wedding and get something turned around for you, but it’s more likely that you need to think several weeks ahead. This is not something to leave until the last minute, so ideally, get something booked a couple of months in advance of your wedding.
Look at it this way:
1. Find photographer
2. Book the portrait session (some photographers, well, us, will invite you along for a chat before the portrait session itself, to plan it out together and you want at least a week between the chat and the portrait session, in case you need to do some shopping).
– 1 week later
3. Attend pre-session chat
– 2 weeks later
4. Attend portrait session
– 1 week later
5. Attend viewing appointment and choose your portraits.

Sometimes, you’re able to take away portraits on the day, but if you’re having an album created, or a piece of wall art, you may need to allow 4-6 weeks for that. We’ll go with 4.
– 4 weeks later
6. Collect final portraits
Total time – 8 weeks.
Of course this can all be done much quicker, but to make the most out of it, since it’s important, don’t make it a rush.

Think about your wedding lingerie

Some dresses have built in corsetry, meaning you won’t be needing specific wedding lingerie, but you may still want to have something special for the portrait session. So think about whether you want a bridal look to your images (especially if you’re bringing a veil along too), and get lingerie to match the theme.
There are plenty of places to shop – here are a couple if ideas:
Wedding Nites
Fox and Rose

Whilst searching for ‘bow backed knickers’ with a client the other day, I have to apologise for the cost involved in finding these at Lucile. Helpfully, I have now found something even more extravagant at Gilda & Pearl (well, you’re only doing this once, right? and you can personalise them with initials in crystal.)

Bring shoes, veil, wedding jewellery
bridal boudoir 1

Make sure you have your veil, shoes, and anything else that you may want to include, in time for your bridal boudoir portrait session. Veils are particularly fab.

bridal boudoir 2
If you’re having artificial flowers – whether for a bouquet, or as table decorations, then if you can bring those along too, do.

bridal boudoir 3
Include the dress

If you have your dress already, it can definitely be incorporated into your bridal boudoir portraits.

bridal boudoir 4

Pinch the groom’s shirt

Or at least a shirt of his. (Or hers, if she’s your bride too)
bridal boudoir 5and finally…


One of the benefits of coming along for a pre-session chat at the studio, is that you can get a real feel for the products, and know exactly what you want from your session and what that’s going to cost. It could be that the groom’s box you’re planning is about to become all about the album. It could also be that you’re spending a LOT on your wedding, and you can’t get exactly what you want, in which case consider your first anniversary (which is, after all, paper) and give yourself another excuse to go all ‘wedding’ then.

Much love

If you would like to get in touch to talk about planning your perfect bridal portraits, please fill out your details below.




2 Are you beach body ready?

Beach body ready? Yes, you are. You have a body, you can take it to a beach – hurrah! <eats more cake>

As we sit enjoying the Easter storm and start planning our summer holidays, many of us cringe at the whole ‘what to wear on the beach’ scenario.
This falls under the heading of ‘things women worry about and really don’t need to’.
You may be thinking “I can’t wear a bikini because…”
So, you’ve had kids, got stretch marks, ate some stuff, ignored the gym, can’t shift that last bit of baby belly etc…and the list goes on until you’ve essentially convinced yourself that you can’t possibly wear a bikini or swimsuit on the beach lest you are harpooned or dragged straight back into the sea by a rescue team (I have joked about myself in this way lots of times).

Here’s the thing – no one’s looking at you. Not least because they are so busy worrying about how they look to you. Everyone else is just as tied up in their own insecurities.
Secondly, happily, swimwear companies are starting to recognise the fact that not everyone considers a glorified bit of string to be essential beachwear, so there are more and more styles coming along to suit all body shapes.
Love a 50s style high waist (I do!) take a look at

Looking for something plus size? Simply Be do a great range.

Stop worrying about what other people may be thinking, and concentrate on finding beachwear you love, feel comfortable in and that makes you smile. Grab a sarong and the perfect sandals (I’m liking a bit of sparkle) slather on some sunscreen and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin. (No need to worry about tan lines when you come for your boudoir portraits – Photoshop can be our friend there 😉 ).

Much love,


2 What’s your boudoir style? (part 2)

Could your boudoir style be 'anonymous'?

If you want portraits to grace your walls, but you don't necessarily want everyone to recognise you, then consider having some beautiful art work created that's all about you...without anyone necessarily knowing. There are lots of poses that will work brilliantly for this (although some of them can be quite hard work).

That way you've got some art that really means something to you.
 You could always include a favourite item of jewellery, to keep people guessing.

Of course your boudoir portrait session can contain a mix of images - you'll want some that show it's really you! But there's definitely something about being a little mysterious sometimes too.

There's also plenty of scope to focus on key items of clothing or props - detailing on shoes or corsets can be particularly effective.

If you've got beautiful artwork on you to show off, highlighting tattoos can work really well, especially on backs or legs.

The great thing about anonymous art boudoir portraits is that you can really go big with them on your wall, and they'll look absolutely stunning - all you have to decide is whether you prefer a framed or frameless solution, and measure the space available. Think about your colour scheme too, as backgrounds can match in for you (or you can go black and white).

Want to have a chat about planning your perfect 'wall art' portraits? Just get in touch!
Much love,

1 Being comfortable at the studio

Here’s something that happened a few weeks ago – a client arrived at the studio, saw Robin and I and said “I’m so glad you’re not a young couple”. We laughed together a bit, and jokingly said “Hey, we are young, thanks!”
Should we have been offended? No.  We’d just made someone feel instantly more relaxed with us – she was relieved to see us!

There are things we do that make us feel especially vulnerable (standing in lingerie, being photographed, anyone?). It’s completely natural to feel nervous about doing this – rare is the woman who walks through our door and says “Right, I’m ready to take my clothes off now, where do I go?”.

It’s really important that anything we can do to make people feel at ease (even if that thing is just being ourselves – ie not in our 20s and devastatingly attractive) then we should be happy to embrace it. We’re in our own space at the studio, we’re already comfortable – so our focus has to always be on making sure you feel relaxed too.
about usIt’s for that very reason that we invite you along for a chat before your portrait session. We know it’s a nerve wracking thing to come and do – we have to acknowledge that and figure out what can make it slightly less nerve-wracking. Pitching up somewhere you’ve never been before, with a bag of clothing you’re not sure about, to meet people you’ve never met before – that’s not the best we can offer you.

We also know that if you’re feeling nervous, not having a mental picture of where you’re going to doesn’t help. It’s a little bit different to, say, going to a new shop, cafe, or bar. You’re familiar with these places – you kind of know what to expect. Most people will have limited, if any, experience of a photography studio – so you’re venturing into the unknown, to do something outside of your comfort zone.
Studio image

Coming along to meet us and, take a look around in advance, takes the pressure off the day of the session itself. It also means we can start talking about how you would like your hair and make up to be for your portraits, and show you lots of images to make sure that we know the style you like, and you get inspiration for what to bring along to wear.

Plus, you get the calming effect of stroking the dog!

Much love
If you’d like to have a chat with us – at the studio or on the phone – just fill in your details below