Your wedding pictures, images that will bring back memories for years to come, are Wedding photography and even engagement photography has likely been a big part planning your big day, but there is one opportunity to create an incredible memory that you might have missed: an intimate portraiture photo session. It is an amazing, uplifting experience as a confidence boost before the big day, or as a deeply personal gift for your partner.
You might find the thought of a bridal boudoir photoshoot to be exciting or a little intimidating, but with the right studio, some planning and a little courage, you can have an experience of a lifetime and an album that you and your partner will cherish forever.
Why Bridal Boudoir
There are several reasons why our clients come in for a bridal boudoir photo experience. For some brides, it starts as a gift for their partner to be given on their wedding night. Others are looking for a confidence-inspiring, empowering experience of how awesome they are before the big day. One client recently mentioned to me that she was so glad she did a shoot with us before her engagement and wedding photos because she felt so much more confident about even having her picture taken: “I was able to rock my boudoir shoot, I can rock all of this!”
What to wear (or not)
Let’s face it, your wedding dress is not the only clothing purchase you are deciding on for your big day. You are also planning what to wear underneath that awesome dress (or tux), on your wedding night, and even on your honeymoon. That makes right now the perfect time to bring all that into the studio for your dream photoshoot experience. It may even create the perfect opportunity to go shopping!
It is not uncommon for our bridal boudoir clients to like combining the contrast between the “white and elegant” of the wedding and the “dark and steamy” of the first night and honeymoon for their session. There is no one right way to approach an intimate portraiture session as it needs to be an experience that nurtures and honors your uniqueness. The biggest key is a little planning.
Make the plan
The biggest mistake we see other photographers make is a lack of planning. Just like your wedding or engagement pictures, your bridal boudoir images are all about telling your story. Without planning, it is easy to end up with a bunch of random pictures of you in your underwear. Part of our process is figuring out together what types of images fit you and your partner, what are the special things other than some pretty lingerie that can be in your images and help illustrate your story.
Tell your story
One of my favorite client stories is all about a ratty-ass blue handkerchief. I had this conversation during her pre-shoot consultation (never skip this step) about bringing some things to the session that could make it truly personal to her and her partner. We have had hundreds of cool things in the studio for intimate portraiture shoots: a bow and arrow with the bearskin rug she shot with it, cosplay war axes, sports jerseys, motorcycle gear, golf clubs, pool cues, even a road racing bicycle. This list is literally endless.
When she got to the studio she said, “I thought about our conversation, and this is what I’ve got.” She handed me an old, tattered, faded blue paisley pattern handkerchief. I knew there had to be a story here so I asked. “Twenty years ago, I was at SPAC for a concert sitting on the lawn. It was drizzling and a little muddy. I got up to dry off and get a drink and I accidentally dropped this out of my back pocket where I was sitting.” She explained. “I made it almost across the lawn and this woman ran up and handed me my handkerchief. We started talking, and now we're getting married all these years later!” So yeah, that’s quite a meaningful story!
For her session what we did was simple, we put that blue handkerchief somewhere in each picture in her album and made it the background pattern for many of the pages. She brought her bride into the studio to do her album reveal. Well, you can imagine the reaction. She turned the first few pages commenting how awesome her wife looked, and then she stopped. “That’s our… “ she turned back a page, and then another, its right here in all of the images.” Yup, the waterworks started, for us too. It was a great moment to be a part of.
But it all started with just a little planning. I love the process of getting to tell our clients stories through intimate portraiture photo sessions, and bridal boudoir sessions are particularly special.
Contributing writer, Chris Connelly, is the owner of Chris Connelly Photography, an artful, body-positive, Intimate Portraiture Studio specializing in everything from boudoir to nude-oir. If you want to learn more about planning a session, you can schedule a pre-shoot consultation by clicking here and be sure to download our studio magazine: Intimate Portraiture: from boudoir to nudeoir, here