Prep guide for boudoir photography
Ruthie Skillman of Confidence Session

Hi Beautiful! 

I created this prep guide for you! Studio policies, hair and makeup, lingerie, purchasing, and studio details are all here. I’m so glad you’re here! I can’t wait to watch you transform in front of my camera. If you have any questions, feel free to call, text, or email. I want you to feel prepared for your shoot–it’ll help calm any nerves AND your images will be that much better. Read on for more!

 

See you in the studio soon!

Ruthie

stunning woman in her lingerie for boudoir photography


Before Your Shoot

  • Your session date and time has been reserved just for you.  If you need to reschedule your appointment, be sure to get in touch with us ASAP. Rescheduling will incur a $25 reschedule fee to your credit card number held on file.  Reschedule requests with less than 14 days notice and additional rescheduling requests will incur a $100 reschedule fee. Rescheduled dates must be within 90 days of your original session date.  
  • Due to the custom nature of our photography services, all sales are final.  Session fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • Cancellations and no-shows will forfeit the entire session fee.
  • Be sure to electronically sign the photo contract that will come to you by email. Session fee payment and a signed contract are required to book your photoshoot date and time.
  • If you have any questions, please send us an email. Due to high volume, we are not always able to see or respond to DMs on social media.
  • Make plans to go out on the town the evening after your photoshoot – you’ll look stunning, you’ll feel empowered and you will want to celebrate!  Need a reason to explain why your hair and makeup looks so fabulous?  Just say that you stopped by the mall to return something and they were giving away free makeovers!
  • We recommend getting a salon manicure and pedicure for your shoot – your hands and feet will show in many of your images. You can’t go wrong – we love anything from natural pink nails to bold red nails!
  • We recommend getting your eyebrows shaped and having your hair recently trimmed and colored.
  • If you like to wax, we recommend waxing a couple of days before your session to avoid redness or irritation.
  • Stay out of the sun to avoid tan lines and sunburns.
  • Avoid exfoliating your face or using any products that contain AHA/BHA for at least 3 days before your shoot.  These products can cause your face to peel and the airbrush makeup will not adhere properly.
  • For most people, we do NOT recommend getting a spray tan. Your natural skin tone will usually look better on camera than a spray tan. If you get spray tans frequently and know that it looks good on you, then go for it.  But this is probably not the time to try your first ever spray tan. Most retouching of your photos is included in your session fee (meaning that there is no extra charge).  However, photoshopping out of tan lines, sunburns and/or tanning streaks is not included in your session fee (can be accommodated at $25 per image). More information about retouching below.
  • If you have a tattoo that you do not want to show in your images, consider bringing wardrobe items that cover it.  Retouching to remove tattoos is not included in your session fee, but can be accommodated at $25 per tattoo per image. 
  • Clean the soles of your shoes – the bottoms of your shoes will show in many of your images.
  • You do NOT need to reschedule your photoshoot if you are on your period.  We have complimentary sanitary products at the studio if you need anything.  You are welcome to wear a tampon during your shoot. Through the magic of photoshop, we can always remove any hormonal acne or bloat that comes with your period.
  • Come to the studio ready to feel empowered and with your best energy. Leave your insecurities at the door. We’re going to have a great time together

What to Bring to Your Photo Shoot

Plan to bring to your photo shoot:

1) WARDROBE ITEMS

2) ID (Even if you’re way over 18, we do check ID on everyone for liability)

3) CASH or CREDIT CARD to purchase your photo package. 

 

lingerie for boudoir photography session

WARDROBE – LINGERIE

  • Plan to bring your own wardrobe items for your shoot.  You are welcome to bring a variety of outfits and we will help you select the best ones for the camera. You can also choose to do one of your looks with just sheets (implied nude).  
  • Your photo session comes with camera time for 1-3 outfits.  You are also welcome to add on additional time for $99 per outfit when you are at the studio.  Purchasing additional camera time means that you have more images to view in your gallery and more variety! 
  • Many women worry that they are bringing the “wrong” wardrobe items to their shoot.  Don’t worry, we can make almost anything look great on camera.  The photoshoot is less about what you’re wearing and more about YOU.  The most important thing is to bring wardrobe items that fit you properly. 
  • If you love wearing a wardrobe piece, that will help you feel confident — and that confidence will show in your photos!  If you don’t love an outfit, don’t bring it.
  • Try on everything before you come into the studio.  Fit is more important than style.
  • Keep the tags on items that you might want to return if you don’t use everything during your shoot.
  • You don’t have to bare everything. A bodysuit or corset that covers your middle is often just as sexy (or even more so!) than a bra and panty set.  Other items that cover a bit (but don’t cover everything!) include robes, stockings, high-waisted panties and garter belts. 
  • Anything with a little texture will photograph well, including lace, mesh, beading or metal studs.
  • Black lingerie is always classic and sexy.  Jewel tones such as purple, navy, red, turquoise and crimson also look good on almost everyone.

Here are some tips on what to bring:

BRA & PANTY SETS

A matching bra & panty set in virtually any color or pattern is guaranteed to look great in your photoshoot. 

BODYSUITS

We highly recommend bodysuits! Bodysuits are incredibly flattering on any body type and photograph really well.  Bodysuits are sexy and also provide a bit more coverage without sacrificing style.  Bodysuits come in many styles and look great with and without sleeves.

SHAPEWEAR

We recommend bringing at least one wardrobe item that has a little bit of lift, boning or wiring for extra shaping, such as a push-up bra.  Shapewear works great for lifting and sculpting your curves.  Look for slips or corsets that have built-in cups for extra support.

NEXT-TO-NOTHING

Of course, for one of your looks, you are welcome to wear next-to-nothing or nothing at all 😉 Our studio doesn’t offer highly erotic images (like crotch shots), but we love to shoot partial and implied nudity.

Tip on corsets: Lace-up corsets are fun, but sometimes can flatten your breasts.  We recommend corsets that include built-in cups OR corsets tops that are intended to be worn WITH a bra.

Here are our top recommendations for lingerie shopping:

In-store shopping: Nordstrom  /  Victoria’s Secret  /  La Perla /  Lover’s Lane 

Favorite places to shop online: Mentionables / Adore Me / La Senza / Marie Mur / Honey Birdette / Fashion Nova / Savage X Fenty

Budget picks: Yandy  /  H&M  /  Frederick’s of Hollywood / Forever21

Bridal lingerie: BHLDN Bridal / Claire Pettibone 

Sites with inclusive sizing: Playful Promises / Torrid / Harlow & Fox  / Hips & Curves / Burgundy Fox

More places to check out: ASOS  /  L’Agent (by Agent Provacatuer)  / Oh la la Cheri  / Anthropologie / For Love & Lemons / Free People / Badstar Lingerie / Anya Lust  / Thistle & Spire

If you are looking for something quick and easy, there are several items you can buy on Amazon that look great on camera:

Bodysuit / Bodysuit / Babydoll / Chemise / Robe

SHOES

  • You will need at least one pair of fabulous high-heeled shoes for your boudoir photo shoot. And the higher the heel, the better! 
  • We have black heels with red soles in sizes 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 10 and 11 at the studio that you are welcome to wear for your shoot.
  • You may want to bring a pair of black shoes (to wear with your dark colored lingerie) AND a pair of nude or metallic shoes (to wear with lighter colored lingerie). 
  • If you are getting married, bring your wedding shoes.
  • Before you come to the studio, peel off any labels or stickers and clean the soles of your shoes.  The bottoms of your shoes are likely to show in many of your pictures.  If your shoes are old and worn-out, it will likely show in the photos.

JEWELRY

Chunky necklaces, a long strand of pearls or a sentimental piece of jewelry are all great ways to add a bit of bling to your boudoir images. Bracelets and earrings will also look great with your lingerie.  We also have a selection of earrings and necklaces at the studio that you are welcome to borrow.

HOSIERY

We love hosiery. Thigh-high stockings are a great addition to almost any lingerie outfit. Stockings can be worn with or without a garter belt. We recommend all varieties of thigh-highs: black, white, fishnet, lace – you just can’t go wrong. Not a fan? No worries – bare legs look great on camera too!

BRIDAL ACCESSORIES

If you are getting married, consider bringing your bridal accessories to your boudoir shoot, including your wedding garter, veil, shoes and engagement ring.  We have garters, wedding veils and pearls at the studio that you can borrow for your shoot.

OTHER ITEMS

  • You are welcome to bring other wardrobe items to personalize your shoot, such as a lace robe, a tank top, a sports jersey, a coffee mug, a police uniform shirt, a golf club or a special piece of jewelry. You are welcome to bring anything that makes YOU feel sexy! 
  • We do NOT photograph live animals, sex toys, drugs, cigarettes or weapons (light sabers are OK!).
  • We have the following items at the studio that you are welcome to borrow for your shoot: a man’s white shirt, sports jerseys, lace robes (white, red, black & pink), black heels with red soles, long pearl necklaces, sparkly earrings, bridal veils and bridal garters. 

MATERNITY

Coming in for a maternity shoot?  All of the above info about wardrobe applies to you too!  Bra & panty sets, body suits and robes with an open slit in the front all work well.

 

Here are a couple of recommendations from Amazon:

Chiffon dress / Lace dress

The Day of Your Shoot

  • Arrive at your appointment time with your outfits, shoes, accessories & ID. We’ll take care of the rest! Plan to spend about 4 hours at the studio.  
  • You do NOT need to arrive early, as we may be with another client.  Your confirmation email shows your arrival time. 
  • Late arrivals may reduce your time in front of the camera.
  • Arrive with a clean face and clean, dry hair (more information about professional hair and makeup below).  
  • Wear loose clothing (such as a loose dress or yoga pants). Avoid anything that will leave red indentations on your skin, such as tight jeans or socks. Take hair bands off of your wrists to avoid lines.
  • Wear a top that buttons or zips in the front so that you can change your clothes without messing up your hair and makeup.
  • Use clear deodorant.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat something light but filling beforehand.
  • Bring cash or a credit card to purchase your photo package (no personal checks).  If you need to keep this purchase a secret, consider buying a Visa gift card or bring cash. Because we offer in-person viewing and ordering of your photos, plan to make your photo purchase on the day of your shoot.  
  • During your shoot, we will show you exactly what to do and how to pose.  We will tell you exactly what to do with your hands and face.  You don’t need to practice posing.  We will make you look fabulous no matter what. If we put you in a pose that hurts or you feel uncomfortable – tell us right away.  We can always modify every pose.
  • Take a deep breath and relax. It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous before a boudoir photoshoot. But don’t worry – you are in great hands and we will be with you every step of the way!

Directions to the Studio: We are located on Ritchie Highway in Severna  Park, next to the bowling alley. Look for the sign that says “Severna Park 2.” Take the 2nd left to building 838. Suite 6 is the last space on the right, next to State Farm insurance.

Address: 838 Ritchie Highway Suite 6 Severna Park, MD 21146

Parking: On-site, plenty of parking!



woman posing for her boudoir photography session
woman doing her makeup

Professional Hair, Makeup and Lashes

 

HAIR

  • Plan to arrive at the studio with your hair clean and dry.
  • Clean hair is the easiest for the stylist to work with.  Day-old hair is fine if you don’t typically wash your hair every day, but if the roots of your hair are wet or greasy, it will be difficult to style. Squeaky clean hair is actually easier to style than greasy hair.
  • The most common look for boudoir hair is loose, beachy waves. The artist will use dry styling, hair products and hot tools (curling iron and flat iron) to achieve a super sexy hair look for you.  
  • Do NOT plan on having the artist blow-dry your hair.  
  • An up-do hairstyle is not included in your session fee, but can be accommodated for an additional fee.  Contact us at least 7 days before your photoshoot to purchase.
  • If you have very curly hair and want a super straight look for your shoot, we can make that happen, but please let us know in advance so that we can budget extra time for your hair styling.
  • If you plan to bring clip-in hair extensions to your shoot that are more than 12 inches long, please let us know in advance as this may add extra time to your hair styling.
  • If you plan to bring a wig, remember that only 100% human hair wigs can tolerate the heat of a curling iron / flat iron. If the wig is a synthetic blend, it will melt.  Sometimes wigs ordered on Amazon are labeled as human hair, but are actually a synthetic blend (If you are purchasing a wig for your photoshoot, look for an authentic Remy 100% human hair wigs with an intact cuticle layer).  If you aren’t sure if your wig is 100% human hair or not, do a test with a curling iron at home to see if the hair will curl.  If you are unable to curl the wig at home, the stylist won’t be able to curl it either.

MAKEUP

  • Arrive at the studio with your face clean and makeup free.
  • Be sure to let the makeup artist know upfront if you have any allergies, sensitivities or special requests. 
  • Feel free to bring inspiration photos to help guide the artist to the look you love.
  • The signature look for boudoir photo shoots is a subtle smokey eye, eyeliner, sun-kissed cheeks and a pink or red lip.
  • The camera and lighting that we use at the studio requires a heavier makeup look than what you may be used to wearing. The hair and makeup artists are very experienced at using the right kind of makeup for a boudoir shoot and will make sure that you look fabulous for your shoot.  This is your chance to glam it up a bit!
  • Many women worry about blemishes or small bruises showing in their photos.  Don’t worry – whatever can’t be covered with makeup can always be photoshopped out. 
  • Want to do a natural look AND a super glam look at your shoot? Contact us at least 7 days before your shoot if you would like to schedule a second makeup look (additional $75).

LASHES

  • False lashes are key to getting that super glamorous look in your boudoir photos.  If you’ve never worn temporary lashes before, they may feel heavy at first.  But after the lashes are fully dry (about 5-6 minutes), you will hardly notice they are there.  
  • To remove the lashes, just rub gently with warm water and/or makeup remover and they will slide right off.  
confidence session boudoir album
photos from confidence session

Purchasing a Photo Collection

  • Right after we are done shooting, you are going to view a slideshow of your images while you are still at the studio — the instant gratification is really fun! 
  • Plan to purchase a photo collection on the day of your shoot.  We have samples of all of the photo products at the studio.
  • Due to the custom nature of photography portraits, all sales are final. 
  • The session fee that you paid at booking is separate and does not apply toward your photo package purchase.

We offer 2 payment options for photo collections:

  1. Pay for your photo package in full on the day of your shoot with cash or credit / debit card. We accept all major credit and debit cards and cash (We do NOT accept Venmo, Zelle or personal checks).
  2. Apply for financing through Affirm or PayPal Credit. Affirm allows for 4 interest-free payments. Paypal offers 6 months of interest-free payments. If you plan to use PayPal Credit, create a PayPal account and apply for PayPal credit before your photo shoot by googling “apply for paypal credit.” 

Here is a link to my full pricing guide:

https://express.adobe.com/sp/design/page/urn:aaid:sc:US:68a28116-ec40-413b-81c7-5ffbfadabe84

 

 

camera lens

Image Retouching / Photoshopping

At our studio, we rely primarily on posing and lighting during your shoot to make you look amazing.  Retouching doesn’t mean that we’re going to Photoshop your head onto someone else’s body or use Snapchat filters on your face.  The whole point of boudoir is to celebrate your unique beauty!  We specialize in realistic beauty retouching.

We offer complimentary retouching on all of your photos (no additional cost) to make sure you look your best.  

Because you will see your images the same day as your shoot, they will NOT be retouched when you first see them. Your final images and prints will be retouched according to your specifications. 

As needed, the complimentary retouching on your photos will include: skin tone correction and smoothing, blemish and bruise removal, wrinkle reduction, waist nipping, body contouring and teeth whitening. 

Tattoos: If you have a tattoo that you do not want to show in your images, consider bringing wardrobe items that cover it.  Retouching to remove tattoos is not included with photo purchases, but can be accommodated at $25 per tattoo per image.

Tan lines, sunburns and tanning streaks: Retouching of tan lines, sunburns or tanning streaks is not included with photo purchases, but can be accommodated at $25 per image. 

Special requests: Want something retouched that you’re not seeing here?  Just let us know.  Basic photo retouching requests can be accommodated at no cost; extensive photo retouching requests may incur a $25 per image fee.

Opting out of retouching: Many women don’t want their photos retouched at all and that’s fine too.  Don’t want a birthmark removed? Want to celebrate your stretch marks rather than remove them? Totally fine – just let us know!



After Your Shoot

  • You are going to leave the studio with an extra dose of confidence. Enjoy that empowered feeling for the rest of the day!
  • Your images will be sent to print and /or retouching immediately after your order is placed. Due to the custom nature of our work, all sales are final.  
  • For your privacy, images that are not purchased will be deleted.
  • Digital images will be delivered to you in 7-10 business days via a password-protected gallery sent to your email address on file.
  • Print products will arrive on your doorstep in 4-6 weeks.  Multiple items may arrive separately.  Rush delivery available for $75.
  • Most clients choose to have their products shipped straight to their doorstep.  You may also make an appointment to pick up your photo products at the studio.

Facebook VIP Group

If you’re not already a part of the VIP Facebook group, we’d love to have you join – it’s free and fun! JOIN HERE:

Join us for:

*Inspiration and girl power

*Tips and tricks for getting ready for your boudoir photo shoot

*Behind the scenes info about the studio

*First dibs at promotions and giveaways

*Ideas on how to maximize your boudoir photo shoot experience