stef elizabeth photo
B O U D O I R
Stef Elizabeth Photo | Boudoir Photographer Serving Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati
*Please note that due to unexpected studio space issues, I will not be booking boudoir sessions until late February 2023. If you have emailed me about booking a spot, be on the lookout soon for a message from me!
BY STEF ELIZABETH PHOTO
For folks heading over from my wedding and portrait sites, I'm also a boudoir photographer! I offer in-home sessions for your own comfort, but if you don't want to do a session in your own home, I have an alternative space available!
If you are thinking about taking the leap and investing in a session that's all about showing how beautiful YOU are, you've come to the right place. I'm a former/sometimes traditional artist who has always used the female body as a source of art inspiration, and that's why I love shooting boudoir. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful and I'm here with my camera, expertise and creativity to help make that dream happen! Check out my Frequently Asked Questions below and take the first step by filled out my Contact form.
I don't have a perfect body! Can I still do a boudoir session?
The short answer is: yes. Absolutely. Almost no one has a "perfect" body yet every woman can become a work of art.
You don't need to be a professional model or even enjoy having your photo taken to make your session a success. As a fellow female, I am empathetic to the insane pressure of trying to attain a "perfect" body. I get how scary a boudoir session can sound, so I work with each of my clients to make whatever body type you have look its absolute best! And no, you don't have to have to be a fitness pro or "Instagram model"! As a photographer and artist, I believe every human possesses a unique beauty and that every woman deserves to feel beautiful regardless of size, shape or age. I use my knowledge of lighting, angles and expression to make images of you that are both beautiful and sexy. If you trust me during your session, listen to my instructions and posing tips, and not take it too seriously, there's no reason why your session will be awkward. You might even have fun!
Why SHOULD I get a boudoir session?
Boudoir is all about showcasing the feminine form, with everything pushed to an extreme: curvier curves, softer hands, more extreme angles, and closer crops. While the typical boudoir client can feel extremely vulnerable during her session, the payoff is a set of striking images that will make a once-in-a-lifetime gift for your significant other (or just yourself!).
To be honest, posing is a lot of work even if you have experience in m0deling. A lot of times during your session, you might hear me say "a little more curve, a little more bend in the waist," etc, and this is because the curve of the body can transform a dull, robotic pose into a flattering, dynamic pose with visual appeal and "flow." A slight improvement to the pose can be the difference between a "meh" photo of you lying on a bed to a "WHOA" photo. The photo will be much improved if I have you exaggerate something specific: maybe arch your back, close your eyes, or bend one knee. You may get even get a little annoyed with me during the session because honestly, who can listen to that many directions at once? ] But that is totally normal reaction - my job is to make "WOW" images rather than "meh" images and it pays off when you put a little extra effort into posing. I will be there every step of the way to make an a** of myself demonstrating the poses. But don't worry, it's my job to take care of the posing suggestions, so leave that to me! Your only job during the session is to listen to my posing tips and not take anything too seriously!
How long will my boudoir session last?
The length of a boudoir session with me can vary from client to client, but generally you can expect your session to last between two and four hours. This also depends on where you have your session - some clients prefer the comfort of their own home (you must have windows in your bedroom though!), and some prefer to come to my studio in the Germantown neighborhood of Louisville. This estimated session length includes set-up time, take-down time, 1-minute breaks between poses, and the time spent coaching you through the poses.
Do you use poses or is the session more candid?
I am primarily a wedding photographer and am a big fan of candid photography. BUT boudoir is very different than weddings, and works better when I give the client specific instructions, so I would say my boudoir sessions are 90% posed. 99% of people have no idea what to do when a camera is aimed at them, especially for boudoir which can be a scary thing for a first-time client! So, I tend to take full creative control of the session and you don't have to worry about posing yourself to look "sexy." I have a set of go-to poses and vary each "base pose" to ensure you have a variety of photos. However, for a successful execution of each pose, it can take between five and ten minutes to re-arrange the lighting and furniture. There is quite a lot of work that goes into a single photo - that is the real reason these shoots take so long! You can expect a minimum of 40 photos in your private online gallery to choose from.
Just a note - I am not a bossy person. I am actually very mild-mannered and kind, and don't enjoy the process of bossing my clients around. But, it is necessary in this context! I just want to make you into beautiful art that you (and maybe even your significant other) will love.
What should I wear to my boudoir session?
I suggest you pick 3-5 different outfits, but I also encourage "non boudoir" items that we can incorporate in a boudoir way (ie soft sweaters, off the shoulder shirts, boots, jerseys, cardigans, etc- anything that makes you feel sexy and confident, not uncomfortable! Of course, you can also mix and match items for different looks. I do recommend at least one white underwear/bra set for shots with your veil (if applicable) if you're doing a wedding boudoir session. Anything lacy also works well for boudoir!
For bridal clients: don't forget any wedding accessories that you may want to incorporate (shoes, veil, bridal crowns, bodices etc work great!)
Are you going to put my boudoir pictures online?
Never without your explicit permission! Before your session, I will have you check a box on your contract that specifies where I can and cannot publish your photos. After the session, I will go through the images and, depending on what you specified before your session, I may ask if I can include a few on my boudoir gallery or boudoir PDF guide. I will never put your images, even ones without your faces, on the internet or social without your explicit consent.
I'm nervous! What can I expect to happen during my session?
I generally work with you beforehand to figure out what's most important for you to get out of your session. During your shoot, I keep those goals in mind so we can produce those photos you want to gift to your significant other (or just gift to yourself - why not?). Once your booked date rolls around, I get my studio space ready for your session. You'll have a private changing bathroom, access to mini bottles of champagne (if you need it), water, feminine products, moisturizer/illuminating oils, and scissors to cut off those pesky tags. I also sometimes do these sessions in my clients' homes if that tends to be your comfort zone, and boudoir sessions can make you feel super vulnerable! However, if you're unable to have the session in your own home for whatever reason, don't worry - we can use my studio!
For clients booking their session from March February 2023 onward - you will have access to my brand-new, boudoir-oriented studio that I have been building above my garage! This space will be decked out with lots of cream and neutral tones that are flattering to skin, soft blankets and pillows, luxurious decor and lots of gorgeous natural light. I am so excited to get my boudoir clients into this space once it is finished and functional!
For the clients that prefer I shoot their session in-home: Once I arrive at your home, I spend about 20 minutes setting up any additional lighting I may need and possibly re-arrange the furniture to accommodate the lighting I need (the less clutter in the background, the better!). During this time, you can put on your favorite playlist, have a drink, re-apply your moisturizer, or anything that helps you relax! Once I'm ready, you can throw on your first outfit and I'll guide you through the first pose!
I have an arsenal of poses that involve standing, sitting, lying down, sitting on chairs, lounging, etc so you will end up with a variety of photos for your book. I will also frequently change my lenses, adjust the lighting, or do one pose with multiple lighting techniques so you can have similar poses with completely different "looks." After I've captured enough images that are up to my standard (or after you simply burn out on having your photo taken) I will gather my equipment and you can give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to do this!
What if I'm not good at posing?
Let me worry about the lighting, posing and technical aspect of the session. The best thing you can do to produce the photos you want to simply to trust my posing tips and suggestions, and not to take yourself too seriously! I know how you feel both vulnerable and possibly silly doing the poses, and to me it's just another day on the job, so don't worry about what I'm thinking about your body or posing ability. This session will naturally push most people out of their comfort zone, and I'm very aware of how vulnerable and uncomfortable a client can feel during the session. That's why I try my best to demonstrate the pose myself so you can copy it to the best of your ability, and if you can't, don't worry - we'll simply go with the flow and move on to another pose. Be forewarned, I am not a model. so chances are that I will feel as silly and awkward as you do demonstrating these poses! But laughter during a session is a great thing, so be prepared for a couple of hours of silliness.
What can I do to prepare for my session?
First off, do anything that makes you feel good and feel confident about yourself!
Work out, pamper yourself with spa products, exercise to get those endorphins flowing, cut out carbs, and HYDRATE! Drinking a ton of water throughout the day will give your skin a natural glow and ease under eye circles. You can use a moisturizer before your shoot - rosehip oil works wonders for a dewy glow and adds a pleasant sheen to skin in photos. Experiment with what oil/body moisturizer goes best with your skin tone before your session.
For posing, I always encourage my clients to practice a bit in the mirror before their session. For example, standing flat-footed and straight-backed rarely works for boudoir. Instead, I will ask you to shift your weight from one foot to create a beautiful "S" curve that works much better in photos. Try Googling the term "contrapposto" to see what I mean by this! Also, check out boudoir posing reels on Instagram - once you get familiar with them, they won't seem so scary when you're doing them in the studio.
How much does a boudoir session with you cost?
Please contact me for a boudoir pricing guide through the form below!