The Boudie School » The Secret to Great Boudoir Photography

Category Archives: Posing

Shooting Boudoir Photos Using Natural Light

This winter while on vacation in Florida,I had the opportunity to rent a room in this charming little house. The minute I walked through the front door, I fell in love with its architectural details and cottage-style coziness. My host, Chad, was kind enough to allow me to shoot in different areas of his home and even found a local model and her boyfriend for me to photograph.

The first location I chose to shoot in was this little reading nook tucked away in a back corner of the house on the second level. It was flooded with beautiful soft window light, the kind that’s just perfect for portraits. The walls were painted white and reflected the light evenly around the small room. No additional fill light was necessary. Throw pillows and a thick down comforter created a comfy place for my models to relax and pose for the camera.

Here are pull back images of the area where the photos were taken.


These first two images were shot while standing out on the deck looking into the house. One of the unique oddities of the cottage was that you had to climb out of the window to reach this particular deck. I loved it! Shooting from this angle gave me nice even light across both of my models.

For the following three images I had to cram myself into a small closet in order to get back far enough from my subjects.  You can't see the closet in the pull back shots, (it's hidden around the corner). From this angle,  the window, which is now directly behind them, adds a nice soft rim light around my models, Dior and Aaron, and gives the photos a slightly different look than the ones taken from outside on the deck.

Boudoir Posing – What’s Wrong With This Image?

I've posted my screw up images here before and pointed  out why the image was a massive fail. People seemed to love this and found it to be a very useful learning tool.  So, I thought I would start posting them more often. Experienced photographers will pick up on the mistakes more quickly than an inexperienced newcomer. Don't cheat, see if you can find the mistake without viewing the rest of the post.:)

I used to love this image. I loved the colors, the lighting and her sweet smile, but when I had it printed in a large size to hang on the studio wall the *problem* jumped out at me like a sore thumb. How the heck could I have missed it?!  :)

View the rest of the post to find out what I hate about this image.

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Boudoir Posing Tips – Why Chin Forward and Down Isn’t Best For Every Face Type.

Don't make this posing mistake and give your client a ginormous forehead.

Many boudoir photographers tuned into Creative Live to watch the amazing Sue Bryce workshop (you can buy it on DVD here and I highly recommend it). In my opinion, Sue is one of the best boudoir teachers on the circuit right now. If you watched the show you heard her say "chin forward and down" a million times. Since the segment aired, a lot of boudoir photos posted online have made it obvious that the photographers posting those images watched Sue and were implementing her posing suggestions with incredible results. But, I’ve noticed a mistake a few of these photographers were making. Some were posing clients that had heart-shaped face with their chin too far down and the pose does not work well for that face type. If my memory is correct, I believe Sue did address this issue during the segment.

You see, if you have a wide forehead and a pointy chin like I do, pulling the chin down and away from the camera makes it even smaller and makes the top part of the  forehead appear larger

Remember what is close to the camera becomes bigger and what is pushed back and away from the camera becomes smaller. I used these  photos of myself, taken by my daughter, to illustrate  the difference.


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Do You Have Creepy Hands Showing Up In Your Boudoir Images? Boudoir Posing Mistakes To Be Aware Of

     Once you nail lighting and exposure it's time to move on to one of the more difficult aspects of photography, posing. I see so many beautiful images posted in the Boudoir Photography Network Facebook group that are ruined by posing mistakes and  bad facial expressions. I thought if I started posting a few bad images here, and went over some of the more common mistakes I see  in the FB group on a regular basis, it would help you learn what not to do.

The girl in the image below has a great expression, the lighting is beautiful and the exposure is good but there's a creepy hand that looks like a claw coming out of the left side of the frame. Is it her hand? Who knows, we can't see any of the arm it's attached to. If I would have recomposed the image to camera left and included at least a few inches of her arm, the image would have been a keeper. It's okay if you don't show the whole arm as long as you show enough of it so that you can tell who the hand belongs to. By recomposing the image to the left and having her step up on the running board of the old car, I would have also been able to eliminate the frame of the car door and  the rearview mirror  that you see in the background. The mirror is brighter than her face and distracting. I also dislike the door frame running through her head. It looks like a shot gun pointed at her. The other mistake I see is the position of her left hand. She has it in a fist and it looks as if her fingers have been cut off. I should have asked her to extend her fingers and use them to play with her hair. If I would have been paying attention I could have fixed all these mistakes so easily and created an exceptionally beautiful portrait of my client.

Things to rmember:

  • Check your images for creepy hands.
  • Make sure hands don't look like claws or fists with the fingers cut off.
  • Keep an eye on what's in your background.
  • Slow down and think before you take the photo.



by Robin Owen Photography

Ideas & Inspiration

Image by Moz Studios

Image by Christa Meola

Image by Robin Owen

Image by Adore Boudoir Photography

Image by Robin Owen

Image by Robin Owen


Image by Sascha Reinking


Image altered in Corel Painter


Capturing Relaxed Facial Expressions When You Have A Nervous Boudoir Client


 This is another great example of the  good information that's posted by the members of the Boudoir Photography Network Facebook group. I've posted their tricks and tips for relaxing the face of nervous clients below.

How do you get women to loosen up with their facial expressions? If I have them relax, they look awkward and if they try to look sexy...they look pissed off.


  • When all else fails, get them laughing!
  • I have them look away from the camera, look down at the floor, whatever. Shoot a few frames. Then when they're comfortably settled into the pose I frame the shot in anticipation and ask them to sneak a peek at me - suddenly a hard blank stare/deer in the headlights look turns into something soft and pretty. : )
  • Get them in their pose then have them look down and relax their jaw. When their face relaxes have them look up and take the photo... It works great
  • I am not joking when I say this and it sounds awful but it works. For some reason or another during a session we needed to get a client to relax her face. One of our girls said "take a deep breath and when you exhale say 'retarded' (don't' ask why that is the word I have no clue). I kid you not the client took a deep breath and I caught her as she was at the end of the word and her expression was perfect. We are weird in our studio.:)We have used it ever since and after the clients get done giggling like crazy they give it a good go and viola...the perfect boudoir face.
  • Have them look away from the camera and look back at you quickly, Shoot them with their eyes closed or looking away from the camera. For the really bad ones I'll have them keep moving and I'll fire off a rapid succession of images. I usually capture an in-between look that is a keeper.
  • I also do a lot of inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, open and closing eyes, laughing at the floor...silly stuff.

 If you found this post helpful please share it on the internet. Thank you!


Boudoir Posing Tips – How To Lose 15 Pounds Fast




Hello Everyone, It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve been busy! The workshops in Vegas were a huge success. I had forgotten how much I loved working with photographers and how much fun it was. I think my decision to keep the classes small and intimate was a good one. By doing this I was able to answer everyone’s questions and help him or her with their individual problems. I have lots more to share about the workshops but I’ll do that in another post. Today I wanted to show you this image taken during one of the classes. It really illustrates the importance of knowing how to pose your subject. During the workshop I wanted to snap a photo from our model Kayla’s point of view. While I was busy doing that someone took this image of us. I immediately noticed how short and wide I looked next to her and the reason is I’m squared off to the camera while she is in a much more flattering pose angled about 45 degrees to the camera. I’m small, about a size 6 US and 5’6” tall I look much wider in this shot than I would have if I had posed like Kayla. Just something to keep in mind whether you are behind the camera or in front of it.

If you are a boudoir photographer and would like to join my Facebook Boudoir Photography Learning Network Group we would love to have you! The group is 1600 members strong and growing. It will quickly become your favorite place to hang out on Facebook. Hope to see you there! This group is for photographers only.