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5 Things Not To Do Before Your Boudoir Session And 1 Thing You Must Do

5 Things Not To Do Before Your Boudoir Session And 1 Thing You Must Do

I’ve been a boudoir photographer in Alexandria Virginia for almost 10 years.  This isn’t the first post I’ve written providing advice about what not to do before a boudoir session.  As my business model has changed over the years and my experience has grown my list has evolved as well.  Some things will always remain like avoiding a bad spray tan or using body oil that just gets all over the floor and furniture.  Of course, I will discuss all of those details with you before the session.    

A beautiful woman in a lace dress lounging on a blue couch, captured by Northern Virginia Boudoir Photography.

My “No” list now is more about addressing topics that have to do with your state of mind coming into the boudoir session.  Obviously my clients are a little nervous but because I provide so much education prior to the shoot, they are mostly excited to finally be in the studio.  So let’s get to the list!

1.  ALCOHOL– It seems like having a few glasses of the bubbly or a quick something before would help calm your nerves or make it feel like a special experience.  Alcohol is ingrained in our society to be something you have to celebrate a special moment so it makes sense that some studios offer the option.  I personally feel that drinking before your session takes away some of the excitement and actually can dull the experience.  Since clients are a bit nervous, they usually over indulge and we end up with glassy eyes, red flushed chests and faces.  Posing also requires a lot of instructions and when clients are buzzed they just have more difficulty following directions.  I promise, you don’t need alcohol to have an amazing experience in my studio.

2. NOT PLANNING YOUR DRIVE TO THE STUDIO-Not giving yourself enough time to get to the studio can be very stressful.  Traffic can be crazy or there might even be an accident blocking your planned route.  Hair and makeup starts promptly at 10am so I definitely don’t want clients to miss the full 1 hour pampering makeover I provide for every client.  I always recommend clients use an app like Waze or Google to check the route a few hours before the session starts.  

3.  CRITICIZING YOUR BODY BEFORE THE SESSION– Usually clients start getting a little nervous about a week before the session.  They might suddenly look at themselves in the mirror and let that inner mean girl have a go about what their body looks like.  It’s easy to be your worst critic and the principle of boudoir is to silence that mean girl and see yourself in a positive way.  I promise, my posing is very flattering for all shapes and sizes and it’s nothing like that feeling you have when you are in some badly lit dressing room trying on bathing suits “

A woman laying on a yellow couch.

4.  DON’T EAT BREAKFAST– I know clients are worried about feeling bloated and consider not eating.  This is a huge mistake!  You will be posing for 2 hours, up and down on the floor, changing outfits, etc.  It is more work than you think so it’s important to fuel your body!  

5.  TRY DRASTIC NEW BEAUTY TREATMENTS CLOSE TO YOUR SESSION DATE-this is one thing that has remained on my list over the years.  Getting a new treatment done like lip injections or fillers close to your session is not a good idea.  There’s nothing worse than seeing 150 photos of yourself at the viewing in a new haircut that you don’t love.  These photos are forever so I strongly recommend not doing anything too crazy to change your appearance for the shoot.

curvy woman with dark hair laying on her back on gold velvet couched in boudoir studio wearing black lace bodysuit and black robe

So are you thinking my list seems pretty basic?  What about all of the other things I need to know to do before doing boudoir?  Honestly, you really don’t need to do much to prepare.  We provide hair and makeup, lingerie, and all the directions you need to look fantastic.  I promise you won’t believe how beautiful you are.  

So what’s the one thing I still recommend that clients do before the session?  

1. FINGERNAILS-You can shave or not shave, moisturize or not,  shower not shower (well maybe shower lol) but the one thing that you should do is arrive with clean looking nails.  You don’t need a fancy manicure but hands are in every single photo.  Often times they are right on your face and having chipped nail polish or chewed hangnails will be noticeable.  This is not something that will be edited later.  So take a few minutes to give those nails a quick file.  Some clients even bring a set of press on nails which they apply while getting their makeup done.  The technology for these have really changed and there are lots of great options for under $10.  I love the Kiss brand on Amazon and you can see some good options with my link below.

Feel free to  reach out if you’d like more information about doing a boudoir session in my Alexandria Virginia studio.  You can contact me anytime 703-661-9171 or email