Hell yeah, you booked a boudoir session! That’s amazing! You’re probably super excited to have your session scheduled, but what do you do until then? What if your mind starts filling with doubts about if you can do this and how you’ll feel and if you’ll like your photos? Most boudoir planning tips you see are all about what to pack for your session and how to keep your skin looking great (I’ll have a post on that part, too!), but don’t mention how to mentally prepare for your boudoir session.
For a lot of women, boudoir is something totally new and outside their comfort level. If you feel this way, you aren’t alone, and I understand exactly how you feel, too. It’s absolutely possible to be crazy excited for your shoot and also filled with anxiety and doubt. I want you to know that these feelings are normal, but I also want to help you prepare mentally for your boudoir session so that you can overcome those nerves to have fun and celebrate how amazing you are!
I know sometimes clients are under a time crunch to get their photos, especially if giving them as a gift, but my #1 piece of advice is to just give yourself time. Booking last-minute will leave you feeling rushed and more stressed, and you won’t be able to plan as well nor savor the experience as much.
Many boudoir photographers (myself included) book out months or more in advance, so take advantage of that time to shop for or decide on outfits, find inspiration for your session, and just stay positive and take care of your mental health.
If you give yourself time to prepare, you also have more time to get to know your photographer. Follow them online, join their Facebook group if they have one, and schedule a planning consult if that’s available to you. Getting a feel for who they are and their personality will help you feel much more comfortable with them when your session rolls around, and you’ll feel more at ease going in.
You may have many different reasons for booking your shoot, but your boudoir session isn’t about transforming the way you look; it’s about transforming the way you see yourself. Please don’t feel like you need to lose or gain weight to look good in your photos or that you need to grow your hair long or remove body hair or try to look younger. You don’t. You and your body are amazing, so just be yourself and don’t stress yourself out trying to change because you think you have to. Your photographer will work with you to make sure you shine!
Just like the last tips says, you don’t have to change a thing, but if you are planning to set a fitness goal or schedule any other services, give yourself time and grace. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t quite hit your goal.
Just be kind to yourself. Try saying some affirmations to yourself in the mirror every morning. Stay optimistic and embrace a positive mindset. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t like about yourself, focus on the things you do like! (That’s bold for a reason.) We’re all human, and nobody is perfect. Don’t compare yourself to other women, just focus on being your best self and living your best life.
Notice that I said outfits and not lingerie. You don’t have to get naked for your boudoir session, and you can take your photos in as much or as little clothing as you’re comfortable with wearing. I think it’s great to push your boundaries and try something new that may be outside of your normal comfort level, but you should still feel confident with whatever you’re wearing.
(If any photographer tries to pressure you into wearing or shooting with something you’re not ok with, find another photographer. You should have complete control over your body and how much skin you do or don’t show.)
Make sure you know what to expect with your session, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure of anything. Your photographer is on your side and wants you to have an amazing experience, too. If you’re one of my clients, you receive a session guide that walks through my process, a lingerie guide to help you figure out what to wear, a shopping guide with recommendations of where to shop, and a product and pricing guide to help you decide how to enjoy and preserve your photos. I also schedule a planning consult to get to each other and go over all of your questions.
Your photographer should be guiding you through this experience, so be sure to use whatever resources they give you and ask them for any clarification you need!
You are in for an amazing treat, and knowing how to mentally prepare for your boudoir session will help you handle any nerves and anxiety you’re feeling and make sure you have an experience you will absolutely love!
If you haven’t booked a session yet and you’re not sure if you should, check out this post for all of the reasons you can (and should) book a boudoir shoot!