What Is Boudoir Photography? Who It’s for and What to Expect

Woman posing for boudoir photoshoot on bed

What Is Boudoir?

Boudoir photography creates a space for people to embody their sensuality. With boudoir, you can look beautiful, feel confident, and celebrate yourself.

For years, boudoir photography has helped people of all backgrounds feel confident in their own skin. With lighting, makeup, and lingerie (or lack thereof), you can create a sensual image to share or keep close.

The History of Boudoir


“Boudoir” is a French word referring to a woman’s room, salon, or private chambers. Boudoir photography as we know it today first began in the 1920s with glamorous nudes in elegant settings.

During World War II, boudoir photography gained popularity as a parting gift to soldiers going overseas. The pin-up era was born, resulting in stunning looks that still inspire modern boudoir photography today.

How Boudoir Has Evolved

In the early 1900s, modesty and femininity were closely linked, making boudoir a more risque, daring form of photography. Suggestively posing, even while fully closed, was often considered taboo.

Boudoir became more acceptable as the twentieth century went on, becoming normalized and even celebrated by the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s. More than just soft pornography, boudoir became more widely recognized as a legitimate art form allowing people to celebrate their bodies, boost their confidence, and express themselves.

Boudoir Today

Today, boudoir photos are popular gifts between partners. However, they can also be a gift to yourself, similar to a spa day. Many people choose boudoir as a way to commemorate milestones in their lives, such as a wedding, pregnancy, body change, or anniversary. You can also just do it as a celebration of yourself—no special occasion required.

Best of all, today’s boudoir is for all body types, sexualities, and gender expressions. With boudoir photography, any adult over 18 is welcome to participate and celebrate their sensuality.

Who Is Boudoir for?

Boudoir is for any adult looking to explore and embrace their body. At Trish Hadley Boudoir, we are proud to offer an inclusive, body-positive boudoir experience for all adults, including:

  • All bodies: Boudoir celebrates bodies of all kinds, including plus-size bodies, pregnant bodies, disabled bodies, and bodies of all races and ethnicities. 
  • All genders: Women, transgender people, nonbinary individuals, and men can all celebrate their bodies in masculine, feminine, androgynous, and non-gendered ways through boudoir.
  • All sexualities: Couples and partnerships of all kinds are welcome in the boudoir photography studio, as well as single individuals.

What to Expect from a Boudoir Photography Session

Your comfort is the first priority at a boudoir photoshoot. Outfits, hair, makeup, and poses should all be tailored to your comfort level as well as your desires. A professional photographer can help you feel confident and encourage you to try new things while still respecting your comfort and boundaries.


Being nude is an outfit in itself. You don’t need extravagant outfits or lingerie to look and feel beautiful. Remember, you are the main focus of the shoot.

Lingerie and bodysuits are popular outfit choices to wear, but boudoir is fundamentally about your personal style and how you can achieve your desired boudoir look. You can go for glamorous, vintage, modern, or any other look you desire. If this is a gift for your partner, wearing your favorite lingerie or articles of their clothing is a great way to spice it up.

Hair and Makeup

Feel free to arrive at your boudoir photoshoot without your hair and makeup done. At Trish Hadley Boudoir, professional hair, makeup, and styling are all part of your appointment. 

Boudoir hair and makeup can be glamorous, vintage, all-natural, or any other style. You can come with ideas for how you want to be styled, or trust our professionals to make you look and feel gorgeous. 

Also, remember to leave the accessories at home, unless you’re bringing a veil for a bridal boudoir photoshoot. Too many accessories can get in the way of the main focus of the shoot: you.


Posing for pictures can be daunting, especially when you’re wearing less than you may be accustomed to. Remember that you don’t have to worry at all about posing. It’s a professional photographer’s job to help you find the positions and angles that are both comfortable and beautiful. Trish Hadley will be there to guide you and help you feel relaxed and confident in your own skin.

Boudoir Dos and Don’ts


  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes before the shoot.
  • Stay hydrated, drink water, and moisturize.
  • Know what boudoir style you want to achieve.
  • Choose a photographer you’re comfortable with.
  • Find makeup and hair inspiration for your photoshoot.
  • Choose outfits that fit you well, are comfortable, and make you feel confident.


  • Wear tight clothes beforehand that will leave marks on your skin.
  • Get a wax less than 24 hours before the shoot.
  • Show up with a farmer’s tan.
  • Drink alcohol (it dehydrates your skin).
  • Worry. Remember, boudoir is about expressing yourself and feeling sexy. Trust your photographer to put you at ease and guide you through the process.
michigan boudoir photographer

Set Up a Consultation with Trish Hadley Boudoir

Trish Hadley Boudoir is proud to offer an expansive Michigan boudoir studio with professional makeup, hair, and styling services. Our elegant, professional studio offers a comfortable, glamorous environment. Whether this is your first time doing boudoir or you’ve done it before, Trish Hadley is a trusted photographer who can help you feel comfortable and confident. Book a consultation today to learn more.