THE PREP GUIDE
Everything You Need to Know to Rock Your Boudoir Experience
WHAT TO WEAR
Let’s talk about outfits!
As you think about what to wear to your session, there’s one thing we want you to remember: you should feel comfortable. Well, as comfortable as you can be in this situation, right?
You do not have to bring a certain type of outfit just because this is a boudoir session. If lingerie isn’t your jam, don’t sweat—maybe choose just one piece so we can try it out! Either way, we have plenty of options that we’ll explore in this guide!
The greatest transformations happen when we kiss our comfort zone goodbye! But we also want you to feel like yourself when you view your portraits. Don’t be afraid to pack a bag for your shoot! If a piece sings to your soul, bring it. If a different piece is beautiful but scared the fire out of you, let’s bring it along. We will try different looks until we find the perfect outfit combination that makes you feel beautiful!
When you set out to look at different lingerie pieces, the most important thing to remember is that fit is everything. Make sure your outfit fits you well, as ill-fitting lingerie is difficult to hide.
Check to make sure the piece isn’t too large, especially in the chest: no gaps, no excess fabric, and nothing ‘droopy’ in the booty area. Nothing stained. Additionally, make sure the piece isn’t too small. It shouldn’t be too restrictive, cutting into your skin, hugging you in unflattering areas, or creating bulges and rolls.
Bra & Panty Sets
A bra/panty set is right for you if you want to show off your stomach, hips, booty, and back! If you are interested in wearing a killer bra/panty set to your session, one of my favorite pieces of advice to offer you is to be properly fitted by an expert!
As much as I don’t want to knock a particular brand seen in every shopping mall that offers a plethora of bras, many of their associates aren’t thoroughly trained to fit you.
Instead, try to find a specialty bra/lingerie store, or walk into a seamstress and find an expert fitter in their department. There are many different bra cuts and styles, and each one flatters a different body type/circumstance. Talk with a fitter about which cut and style will highlight your favorite features the most!
More than 8% of women wear the wrong size bra. You aren’t alone if you are totally off with choosing the correct size!
Bodysuits are our absolute favorite type of outfit to photograph! The reason is simple: they look amazing on every body type! If you want to show off your shoulders, neck, upper back, legs, and curves without highlighting your stomach, bodysuits are right for you.
Bodysuits are typically sold in sizes XS-XL or 1X-5X, although some are sold in pant sizes. You do not need to consult with a fitting expert to correctly choose a bodysuit, but make sure it is form-fitting and hugs close to your body.
Pro Tip: Choose a bodysuit that is cut to highlight some of your favorite physical features. If you love your chest, choose a lower cut bodysuit. If you are totally digging your back, choose one that has a low swoop in the back. If you want to show off your collar bones and shoulders, choose a different bodysuit that has singular straps (like bra straps) instead of a halter (which would mask your collar bones).
Halter straps or body suits that cover the shoulders make it difficult to showcase your feminine features, and we lose the ability to pull the straps down for a sexy, playful look!
If lingerie isn’t your thing…
Calvin Klein Set
These are like a bra/panty set, but with a more laid-back and sporty vibe. Cut to look like a sports bra, you have more coverage up top, while you can opt for a thong or cheeky cut bottom to show off your booty! These come in a variety of colors, cuts, and styles—undeniably sexy while maintaining a low-key vibe!
A Simple Tee
Nothing screams effortlessly sexy like a comfy tee we can pull off the shoulder! We suggest bringing something in an understated color with easy-to-move-around fabric. You don’t want anything too stiff or tight at the neck where we can’t move the tee to fall off the shoulder. Pair this with a pair of cheeky panties or knee-high white socks and you’ve got a really great outfit!
GEMS IN YOUR CLOSET
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the excitement (and slight anxiety) of shopping for your shoot, that you forget about the possibilities your own closet may hold! Exploring your own wardrobe is a great way to infuse your personality into your session in an authentic way!
Pieces to Consider
That ‘old faithful’ tee: something soft, oversized, worn
Women’s button up: something linen, see through, more fitted
Loose, slinky dress: something with a slit in it or low cut back
Tight, curve-hugging dress: Something shorter, a little black dress
Daisy Duke shorts
Textured long-sleeve shirt
Skirts: denim, leather, high waisted
Swimsuits: something that could pass for a bra, panty, or bodysuit
Fur: coat, vest
Knee/thigh high boots
OUTFITS TO AVOID
Corsets: While they sure look pretty on the hanger, and definitely do a great job of highlighting curves, corsets are very difficult to pose in. Since the majority of our posing is based on arching and moving freely, we recommend not wearing a corset in your session. Your images should be classic and timeless, but corsets can often date an image. Additionally, they can be hard to get into!
His Dress Shirt/Jersey: It’s a sweet idea to bring his shirt or favorite team jersey. However, since men’s shirts are cut differently than women’s shirts, these options almost always mask your curves and leave you with a ‘boxy’ shape. If you want to bring something of his, consider a tie, his favorite team hat, or even his long business socks!
‘Babydoll’ Style Outfits: If you are unfamiliar with this style, it is a piece that is often fitted in the chest with extra fabric that flows down near the stomach or waist. The fabric can add the illusion of inches around your waist, making you appear larger than you are. It also makes posing more difficult because the fabric tends to lay in a strange way. Plus, you’ll be fighting with it the entire time.
Distracting Colors/Patterns: We want the focus to remain on you. Neon colors or crazy prints might take away from our posing and your beauty, so try to find pieces that are solid colors or simple patterns.
MORE WAYS TO SEARCH
If you are coming to visit the studio, you are welcome to browse our Client Closet, a collection of outfits specifically for your use. We have over one hundred outfits, ranging from $8 crop tops to $500-$1000 harnesses and bodysuits. Additionally, you will absolutely love our collection of body chains!
We carry options in sizes 00-24. Most are bodysuits, crop tops, Calvin Klein sets, and bodychains. Bra and panty sets are unavailable due to the broad size range. All outfits are dry cleaned after each use, so you never have to worry about sanitation. Even if you intend to check out the Client Closet, please focus on bringing 2-3 well-fitting outfits that you love in case our options don’t catch your eye or fit properly.
You are welcome to try on up to four outfits from the Client Closet at the start of your appointment. Please bring a G-string panty to wear with the outfit for hygienic purposes.
What should men wear?
You can get as creative as you’d like! Below are just some suggestions on what we have found works best for solo male boudoir sessions or couples sessions with A Million Monarchs!
We typically get through 4-5 different outfit changes for your photoshoot. You can certainly bring more just Incase! It’s always better to bring more and let us to help you mix and match things. If you need help with looks type into google “Calvin Klein photoshoot male”. Of course our work will be much darker and more glamorous in light like our portfolio, but it’s great to get an idea of wardrobe possibilities!
Below are some suggestions for men’s fashion to bring:
– a dressy outfit
– 1 semi formal outfit
– A belt
– A tie
– A uniform (if you wear one) or jersey if you prefer
– Something special to you (helmet, badge, convoy hat, whatever you can think of)
– 2 casual outfits (t-shirt & jeans)
– 2 pairs of your favorite boxers
– Costumes are ok too
Don’t overthink it.
The more simple, the better. I find that adding in too many props or accessories detracts from the images as the photoshoot is meant to bring out your unique beauty and look, and is not so much supposed to be about the clothing you wear.
Bring your favorite colors and make sure to try everything on beforehand to ensure you’re happy with the fit. Our client and accessory closet mainly consists of one piece lingerie body suits made for women and accessories like crowns and earrings. You are of course welcome to them but please be advised we prefer men bring from their own wardrobe so that we can guarantee you love the color, cut, style, and fit!
Places for Men To Shop For Their Boudoir Photoshoot:
– TJ Max
– Kelvin Klein
– Banana Republic
– SHEIN.com (they have amazing robes)
– A simple t-shirt from any store you love!
Remember, you can bring from your closet or go shopping! Don’t stress! But make sure you bring 5 or more different looks! Your photographer can help you style what you bring further once you’re here too! Our team is here to help!
HAIR & MAKEUP
Our hair and makeup artists have been with us from the very start. We only allow licensed professionals to operate at our in-studio salon. They were selected not only because they are incredible at what they do, but because they share our mission for empowering every woman.
When you arrive and slide into the makeup chair, our hair and makeup artist will ask you what you are comfortable with makeup-wise. She will want to get a sense of what your normal makeup routine is, and then she will advise you on the look she thinks you will slay! Always let her know if there are any colors or ideas that you are uncomfortable with, as well as anything you would love to see in your final look!
Our artist has an incredible makeup kit and uses luxury makeup/skincare brands so that you look your best without risking a skin breakout! She sanitizes everything in between each client, so you never have to worry about hygiene issues. Our studio professional is trained with both airbrush and traditional makeup application. After analyzing your skin, she will do the method that best suits your skin.
Before your shoot, treat yourself to a mani/pedi! Choose a muted, neutral color for your nails that won’t clash with any of your outfits. Soft pink, french manicure, beige, gray, black—it doesn’t matter how feminine or edgy you want to go, as long as it’s a solid color. If you opt for fake nails, choose a length that seems more natural.
WHAT TO PACK & BRING
The Day of Your Shoot
That ‘old faithful’ tee: something soft, oversized, worn
A pair of neutral panties (cheeky or thong)
Jewelry (if you want): understated pieces like stud earrings, simple/dainty necklace or bracelet
Shoes (if you want): a pair of heels, Converse, knee-high boots, whatever suits your style! Shoes are totally not required!
Granola bar and water: stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar stable through the posing
How to Arrive
Please arrive to your appointment with a clean, makeup-less face and clean, dry hair. If you have a favorite lip shade, feel free to bring that. Please bring your mascara (for hygiene purposes).
Wear loose clothing that doesn’t leave marks on your skin. A great example is sweat pants or wind shorts, a loose tee, and loose undergarments. Please remove any pony-tail holders from your wrists or any tight jewelry.
Eat something before you arrive (trust me, skip worrying about whether or not you will look thinner if you skip food). You definitely don’t want to pass out from lack of nourishment, so make sure to eat a hearty breakfast before you arrive!
Get a good night’s rest the night before. You want to look fresh for your photos, so try to get to bed early!
Avoid alcohol (at least the evening before). Skip happy hour or bar hopping the night before your session! I want you to feel alert and ready to soak in this experience. Reach for water and focus on staying hydrated in the days leading up to your session date. It will do wonders for your skin!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. I’m nervous! What is your advice?
Girl, that is totally normal! In fact, we might be a little worried if you weren’t nervous. Being nervous means you aren’t numb to new, exhilarating experiences. By far, the most nerve-wracking part of this is walking in the door for your appointment. After you conquer that, it’s an easy-going, super fun experience!
2. Can I bring a friend to the shoot?
You are totally welcome to bring a female friend to the hair and makeup portion of your shoot, but they won’t be allowed to watch your actual shoot. Even if they are your best friend, you will hold back if someone you know is watching you pose. Our focus is making sure that you have an incredibly comfortable environment to be yourself in.
3. Should I get a spray tan?
No, please avoid spray tans! Spray tans are wild cards that can go very wrong! We don’t want anything rubbing off on our studio sheets, looking streaky or blotchy on your skin, uneven, or too orange. We have the same policy on tan lines—please avoid the sun before your shoot! Tan lines are noticeable in images and steal the focus from your beauty in a portrait.
Note: If you decide to spray tan or get tan lines, it will not be fixed in Photoshop.
4. How long does the shoot last?
Hair and makeup can be 1-2 hours depending upon your hair length. Your boudoir photoshoot is typically up to 1 hour. Total time in-studio never usually exceed three hours. You will be photographed until we have everything for your gallery. You will never feel rushed!
5. How long will it take to see my photos?
After your photoshoot our studio will start post-processing (editing your images). Your ordering appointment is typically 1-2 weeks after your photoshoot. Custom artwork (albums, products, prints, and digitals) will be chosen and ordered during your ordering appointment. We will set up your ordering appointment date once your photoshoot is complete. At your ordering appointment, you will see all of your edited images and will be able to select your album purchase and other add ons like wall art based on your favorites. 100% of our clients ALWAYS order an album. Every order is completely custom to your desires after your album choice has been made! This part is so much fun!
6. I literally have no clue how to pose or be sexy. Help!?
Don’t you worry, girl! You will be guided through very single movement within a pose. You will be taught exactly what to do with your face, where to put your hands, where to look, and when to arch. It’s just us in the room, so if you feel silly the first few times, who cares!? Beyoncé will be playing, you’ll be laughing and feeling absolutely amazing! Be brave—you can do this!
7. What is your reschedule policy?
Your session retainer and all monies paid to the studio are non-refundable and non-transferrable. We allow one emergency reschedule only (must show documented proof of medical, illness, injury, or death within immediate family). Discretion for allowing reschedules is up to the owner/manager, so please make sure to let us know as soon as you can along with what is going on. All other reschedules will need to pay a secondary session retainer to choose a secondary date. For clients who book one of our travel dates, there is no reschedule (unless you come to us), and there is no refund of the retainer.
8. When will I get the products I order?
Depending on what gorgeous product you order and when your order has been paid in full, the typical turnaround time is 4-8 weeks. No product will be ordered until you have paid in full and your payment has cleared. If you need your artwork on or before a certain date, please plan accordingly with plenty of time to spare!
9. Should I get waxed?
If you have never done it before, please do NOT get waxed. We have no way to know how your skin will react, and to have a full-on breakout would be less than ideal. So, if you prefer to have no hair, stick to shaving unless you have waxed before. If you don’t normally remove body hair, no biggie! You should feel like YOU in these images, so do what makes you feel gorgeous!
You can do this!
Fair warning: even though you’ve read this guide a million times, you are going to walk in and feel like somehow you aren’t prepared. This is normal, friend! This is a new experience, and your fear is of the unknown! Rest assured, you will feel like we are friends before the end of your hair and makeup!
Take a deep breath. You’ve got this! The minute you meet us, you will feel silly for worrying! Look at yourself in the mirror before heading out and say to yourself: “I am beautiful, worthy, and I am going to have FUN with this experience!” Never forget, you are doing this for YOU.
Please arrive to your appointment no more than five minutes early. Leave those nerves at the door—you don’t need them! We are not here to judge you. We are here to love and celebrate you!
See you soon, babe!
WHERE TO FIND US
Get in touch below to find the closest location to you and book the boudoir photoshoot of your dreams!