Please do not use a bronzer or other fake tanning creams as it rubs off on bedding and furniture.
What to Bring
Ultimately you want to bring things that make you feel wonderful. Things that make you feel like a woman. Items that accent your features and excite your sensations. Whatever fits that bill, bring it.
There are so many options to this style of session. Lingerie like bras/panties, body stockings, teddies, camis, slips, silk robes, bodysuits, corsets, bustiers, thongs, G-strings, stockings, hosiery, nylons, garters, thigh highs, heels, and boots are a great starting point.
There are, however, a lot of other things that could be used in this kind of shoot. Denim or leather coats, vests, blouses, tank tops, boy shorts, daisy dukes, yoga pants, short skirts, form fitting jeans or slacks, mini skirts, little sexy black dress, pencil skirts, silk robe, et cetera, are always welcomed.
Costumes are fair game, too. Nerdy science/comic book shirts? I love them. Cosplay? Yes, please. You want to bring things that accent your positive traits. Make sure whatever you bring fits well.
Materials like silk, satin, lace, Spandex, latex, leather, pleather, vinyl, pvc, and others are great options. Sheer items are encouraged.
You can go for sweet and innocent to shockingly scandalous or anything in between.
Of course there’s something to be said about wearing nothing. It matches everything and you don’t have to worry about forgetting it at home. We could cover you with a white sheet, have you snuggle up to a large pillow, drape you with something soft, fuzzy and warm or pose you in a way that shows nothing. Or you dare to bare some or it all. It’s your call.
Avoid busy patterns at it will be a distraction to the viewer’s eyes. We want you to shine, not the outfit. Bring lots of solid colors like yellows, reds, oranges, purples, blues, greens, etc. White is also very nice.
Avoid large items made of black cloth at all costs. A large, black t-shirt, for example, will suck in all the light turning anyone who wears it into an amorphous blob. Not good. Plus, that much black will suck the life out of the image and draw attention from the face of the person wearing it.
Black bras and panties are excellent. Black fishnets rock. A black, lacy, little number that is semi see-through is positively encouraged. A black silk cami or slip would be very enticing. Shiny black like leather, pleather, vinyl, velvet, pvc, et cetera, would be welcomed with open arms.
In essence bring it all. It’s always better to have and not need than to need and not have. Another thing to remember is that it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. So much can be done with a tank top and a flirty smile.
Whatever you bring make sure you bring the accessories to complete the look. Earrings, necklaces, gloves, scarves, et cetera, are great things to have with you. Vintage/classic items like masks, pearl necklaces, veils, antique phones, perfume bottles, and such are also wonderful to bring with you. If you’re into a certain scene, then bring those accessories.
Seasonal/Birthday props can be fun, too. Things like Santa hats, candy canes, ribbons, bows, et cetera, for Christmas are fun. Angel wings, paper hearts, et cetera, for Valentine’s Day are delightful. Let’s avoid sparklers and fireworks for the Fourth, ok? ;-). Party hats, candles in the shape of numbers, a small cake and such could be used for birthday images.
Modern things like laptops, iPads, or any other item that you use on a regular basis can be used to make the images more personal.
Please remove all tags from the items before the shoot.
Bring a music device, tablet or your cellphone loaded with music that puts you in a sultry, sassy mood. I would love it if someone creates a Boudoir channel on Pandora. I think that would be wonderful. I do have a couple stations preloaded on my computer as well as a playlist of music on my iTunes if you don’t have any or forget to bring your own.
Hair and make-up tips
Fake eyelashes, properly applied, are a must as they really accent your eyes. They may feel odd on you but they really add to the glamorous look so get some good ones put on.
I cannot stress this enough – Use a professional hair and make-up person to really make yourself shine for the shoot. Make sure they know it’s for a boudoir session as this will change how they put it on and how much will be applied. I have a list of MUA’s that I’ve worked with that do great work.
The lights used in the production of these images are very bright so normal street make-up will get washed out. You need to compensate for this. Lipstick should be deeper than usual – the deeper the better. Avoid frosted lipstick as it shows up very light and dried out in photos. Blush and eye makeup should be applied slightly heavier than normal but neatly and precisely. Eye shadow should be a shade lighter so that the eyes are brought forward. Use a powder-based makeup as oil-based makeup appears shiny, OR use an application of powder to achieve a matte finish on the skin.
Bring powder for shine that might develop during the session.
Make-up should blend into your upper body.
Avoid foundation with bronze tints or sunscreen as it will not show up well in the images.
Dark roots will look even worse in photos. Refresh your hair color a few days before your shoot. If you do not color your hair, try “shades” or a toner just a shade lighter then your hair to make it shine. If you need a trim, do it before the shoot.
Do not wash your hair the morning of your session. Hair holds styles better if isn’t freshly washed. Don’t weigh your hair down with conditioners, stiff hair sprays or hot oil treatments. We want it to look fresh and light – not stiff or oily. A simple, soft curl works wonders if you have long hair.
If you have oily hair – wash it the day before the shoot in the morning. Don’t use a dry shampoo the day of the session. If the stylist needs to use it, allow them to use their own. They know how much to use and it is the professional quality that won’t leave a white residue that some other products will.
A note on shaving: If you want the “smooth look” in your photos, be sure to shave as close to your shoot start time as possible. This is especially important if you have dark-colored hair.
Shave using a fresh, brand new razor. Be sure to immediately treat all areas with a soothing, after-shave skin care product that’s designed to prevent irritation, redness, razor bumps, etc. There’s an excellent product called “Bikini Zone Medicated” which is touted as highly effective for this purpose.
Have your brows professionally shaped and then keep them up by plucking the strays every few days. Pluck strays the day of the shoot.
Check and replenish make-up before the shoot. Bring it with you to the shoot as touch-ups are very common.
Please, please, please DO NOT experiment with things like tan-in-a-bottle or drugstore hair dyes the night before your shoot. Murphy’s Law applies here.
Make sure you plan accordingly. If your session starts at 2 and it’s half-way across town then you need to factor in at least 90 minutes for the hair/mua plus the drive to the location of the shoot. We all know how bad traffic can be here. Then add 15-20 minutes just to be safe.
Pre-pack the night before a shoot and leave it by the door. It has been my repeated experience that trying to gather these things as you are heading out the door just before the session always results in things being left behind.
Do not wear anything constrictive or tight an hour before the start of the shoot. Tight things cause redness, marks and indentations that take a good 45 minutes to disappear which could be time used shooting. Bras, jeans, and belts are obvious items but people tend to forget about socks and the awful waffle pattern that gets left on the skin.
Exfoliate your skin at least once a week and the morning of the shoot.
Time for a mani/pedi – especially if you want to wear heels in the shots or you want show off your feet.
Fingernails should be one length and filled in.
Avoid dry lips by putting Vaseline on your lips before bed and the morning of your shoot.
For body (lots of skin showing) shots, be sure you get rid of tan lines by visiting a tanning booth a few times. Don’t do the spray on tan, it looks orange in photos and it looks streaky 90% of the time. Spray tans ruin shoots.
Use a clear deodorant so you don’t stain the outfits and allows me more posing options.
Please don’t skip meals on the day of your shoot nor stay up late the night before it. Groggy, hungry clients are not good clients. Bring a couple bottles of water or non-alcoholic beverages to keep yourself hydrated. A simple snack like a piece of fruit or granola bars would be good, too, in case your energy dips.
I’d also include eye drops, headache and allergy meds – just in case you need them.
A robe/oversized sweatshirt to get into during breaks in shooting would be a good thing to have. Nothing with a texture, though. Again, those pesky marks and creases.