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10 Misconceptions About Boudoir

Many people don’t clearly understand what boudoir is all about.  I know because I spend a lot of time explaining to strangers what I do for a living and why women decide to be photographed in lingerie or even nude (it’s not for the reasons you think!).   Here’s my list of 10 common misconceptions about boudoir photography and a bit of clarification from my perspective.  

1. **It’s Only for Couples:** One of the biggest misconceptions is that boudoir photography is exclusively for couples or as a gift for a partner. In reality, many individuals opt for boudoir sessions as a form of self-celebration and empowerment.  I always say “do it for you”!  The confidence you will gain is the gift you can give them (and I’m sure they would appreciate a look at your stunning photos too). 

2. **It’s Inherently Sexual:** While boudoir photography can certainly have a sensual element, it’s not solely about sexuality. It’s more about capturing intimacy, confidence, and beauty in a tasteful and artistic manner.  I always discuss with clients the level of sexuality they would like portrayed in their images.  I don’t offer erotica but include BDSM props if requested.

A woman lounging on a blue couch in a dimly lit room for Northern Virginia Boudoir Photography.
A woman lays on a bed, preparing for a boudoir photo shoot.

3. **You Need to Have a “Perfect” Body:** Another common misconception is that only individuals with a certain body type can do boudoir photography. In truth, boudoir celebrates bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds.  As women we have spent a lifetime try to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.  It’s time to make the standards inclusive for all shapes.  My studio offers lingerie in sizes xs-6XL and posing isn’t just for skinny bodies.  My curvy clients know they are in good hands in my studo.

4. **It’s Only for Women:** While boudoir photography is often associated with women, it’s not exclusive to any gender. Men can also partake in boudoir sessions, and there’s a growing demand for inclusive boudoir photography that celebrates all identities.  At this time my studio only works with women and individuals that identify as female.  

5. **It’s Exploitative:** Some people believe that boudoir photography exploits individuals by objectifying them. However, when done respectfully and consensually, boudoir photography empowers individuals to reclaim ownership of their bodies and images.

6. **It’s Always Done in Lingerie:** While lingerie is a common wardrobe choice for boudoir sessions, it’s not the only option. Clients can choose any attire that makes them feel confident and comfortable, whether it’s a cozy sweater, a favorite t-shirt, or even tasteful nude shots.  Most clients opt to take advantage of the free lingerie we offer in the studio.  Brides often bring something special of their SO for a few fun images (think a favorite shirt or sports jersey).  We talk a lot about styling before the session.

This lacy bodysuit is a client favorite from the closet
A woman in a lingery laying on a blue couch.
This bodysuit ties with a bow in the back and offered in purple, red, and white

7. **It’s Only for Young People:** Boudoir photography is often associated with youth, but it’s not limited to any age group. People of all ages, from young adults to seniors, can benefit from the confidence boost and self-celebration that boudoir photography offers.

8. **It’s Narcissistic:** Some may view boudoir photography as self-indulgent or narcissistic. However, it’s important to recognize that embracing and celebrating one’s body is an act of self-love and empowerment, not vanity.

A woman lounging on a couch for Northern Virginia Boudoir Photography.

9. **It’s Just About the Photos:** While the final images are a significant aspect of boudoir photography, and something you will cherish for years to come, the experience itself is equally important. Many clients find the process of being pampered, posing, and feeling confident in front of the camera to be incredibly empowering and transformative.  When’s the last time you took time to do something just for you?

10. **It’s Only for Special Occasions:** Boudoir photography is often associated with weddings or anniversaries, but it’s not limited to these occasions. People may choose to do boudoir sessions as a gift to themselves, to mark a personal milestone, or simply to celebrate their own beauty and confidence.  Whatever the reason that brings clients to the studio I provide a safe and comfortable environment to really allow your inner goddess to shine!

So I hope these 10 misconceptions highlight the diverse and inclusive nature of boudoir photography and dispel common myths that may discourage individuals from exploring this empowering form of self-expression.  I truly think every woman can benefit from boudoir.  

If you’d like to learn more about doing your own boudoir session text or call 703-661-9171 or email me at  I’d love to learn more about you and the reason why you’re considering boudoir.

A woman in a white robe sitting on a bed for Northern Virginia Boudoir Photography.