Photographer Tonya Jackson specializes in highlighting plus-sized subjects during playful boudoir shoots
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Boudoir Photography: An Art Form Worth Pouting For
Boudoir shoots traditionally took place in fancy hotel rooms, where photographers could take advantage of the lavish backdrops, soft lighting, and a steady intake of beluga caviar. Find out how to best prepare for these sensual shoots with Groupon’s guide to boudoir photography.
The term boudoir is a word with dual translations—as a noun, it’s a lady’s bedroom, and as a verb, it means to pout in French—and boudoir photo shoots draw on both definitions. Photographers frequently combine the lacy underthings and silky sheets of a bedchamber with coquettish poses filtered through a dreamy, soft focus. But although it’s most commonly associated with corset-clad women draped across a velvet chaise longue, the realm of boudoir has come to embrace everything from the beauty of the pregnant form to the rediscovered femininity of a breast-cancer survivor.
Different settings, equipment, outfits, and occasions breed infinite variability into boudoir photography, but certain rules of thumb can help subjects get ready for their date with the lens. Although some preshoot primping—such as mani-pedis, false eyelashes, and hairstyling appointments—can pay big dividends, most photographers discourage preparatory tanning and are particularly wary of spray tanning, as the camera and lights can exaggerate any orange tint in the tanning solution. Instead, many boudoir specialists recommend an all-over application of lotion or moisturizer before hitting the set.
When it comes to wardrobe, the famously slimming properties of black and other dark hues can help minimize certain parts of the body, whereas white and lighter colors can have the opposite effect. Regardless of what’s worn during the shoot, virtually all studios ask clients to arrive wearing loose clothing to prevent straps and seams leaving marks on the skin.