Boudoir Photo Session Prep Guide

Congratulations on booking your session!

Please note that these instructions are specific to me and my studio, as each boudoir photographer will have their own preferences.

I know you may be a bit nervous, and probably a lot excited (or the other way around!) but relax and trust that I have got you covered.

It is totally normal to experience a rollercoaster of emotions leading up to and after your session. I strongly encourage you to journal your feelings and try to be as present as possible.

Try to let go of any expectations you may have for the shoot. Sessions work best when you trust me and allow the session to just “flow”.

As for specific details on what you should do or not to prepare for your session, read on. If you have any questions, reach out to me at


Sessions take place in the Photographer Studio, in one of 3 studios. The exact address will depend upon which studio we pick, so make sure to check your email.

The studios have free parking available to you.


You should arrive at exactly the time noted in your session confirmation email. I may not be ready for you if you arrive early. Being late to your session will reduce the amount of time available for your shoot.

A Few Things to Note

  • You do not need to be super confident to do a session.

  • You are deserving to be photographed exactly as you are right now. You don’t need to lose weight, you don’t need a new haircut, you just need to be you.

  • I do not expect you to know how to pose, or what facial expressions to make. I will walk you through this step-by-step.

  • While you do not have to be 100% comfortable, it is helpful if you start the process of learning to accept your body prior to the session. I highly recommend spending a few minutes each day naked in the mirror. Notice any negative self talk that comes up for you, but do not dwell on it. Tell yourself that you love yourself and you accept yourself out loud. Seriously – this will really help!

  • It is perfectly acceptable to say “no” to anything you are not comfortable with during your session. We will discuss your personal comfort level and how to gently push yourself outside your comfort zone during our consultation, but if you feel at all uncomfortable on the day of your session, please speak up. It’s so important to me that we don’t do anything you won’t feel good about later.

Wardrobe Planning

I have a client closet and will bring a few pieces to our session based on what we discuss in our consultation. I also recommend bringing in a few pieces from home, here is a list of items that work well for boudoir.

You can also check out my Boudoir Photography Lingerie Guide if you would like to purchase items specifically for your session.

  • One-piece items, such as teddy’s, bodysuits and slip dresses.

  • Two-piece set, like bra and panties, tank top and undies.

  • A comfortable outfit such as a dressing gown, shawl, wrap, cardigan, off the shoulder shirt etc.

  • Any accessories / props – If you have a favorite necklace, stockings, or wedding ring, these are all great options. I also have lots of clients who want to bring in something a little naughty, such as handcuffs, paddles etc. If this interests you, please feel free to express yourself.

  • If you are bringing thigh-highs, please don’t bring the ones with the silicone band at the top.

  • Bring a nude and black thong to wear under any items you borrow from my client closet for hygienic purposes. I recommend something seamless that will lay flat under items.

  • I personally prefer bare feet in sessions. If you want to have high heels, bring the highest ones you can possibly find. This will help your legs look longer.

Hair Removal, Tanning, Etc.

Body Hair

You do not have to remove body hair prior to the session. If you prefer a natural look, that is totally okay. If you do wish to remove hair, I always suggest being intentional about it.

If you are going to wax or sugar, this should be done 5-7 days prior to the session. This will allow enough time for any redness and irritation to fade. Make sure to follow any instructions you have been given for exfoliation and maintenance.

Shaving should be done either the night before or the day of our session. I recommend avoiding shaving for several days prior to this so that you can avoid bumps / irritation.

I highly recommend booking a brow shaping appointment about a week before your session. Your eyebrows are one of the most important features on your face and cleaning them up will help you look your best. Of course, if you prefer to leave your brows natural, you can skip this.


Please avoid excessive sun exposure in the weeks leading up to your session. If you do have to go out, use sunscreen and be mindful of tan lines. I am unable to “fix” tan lines in photoshop and even worse, sunburns are exceedingly difficult to edit, especially if they are peeling.

I also recommend steering clear of tanning salons and spray tans / at home tanning lotions. I know they may enhance your glow in person, but on camera, any type of fake tan can look very orange, which is not a good look.

Manicures and Pedicures

Pay attention to your nails prior to your session. Having a manicure and pedicure is not required, but I do ask that you remove all old polish, trim nails, and ensure that they are clean prior to the session.

If you would like to pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure, this is great to do a day or two prior to the session. I recommend staying away from neon and very bright colours as they will draw attention away from you in the photos.

Tattoos and Piercings

I love tattoos and piercings, but please do not get anything new just prior to your session. These things require lots of time to heal and there is a risk of infection.

Hair Cuts and Colours

Avoid trying a new cut or colour just prior to your session. Mistakes can happen and hair can not be easily fixed in post production.

Hair & Makeup

Doing Your Own

If you do not wear makeup, do not feel as though you must for your session. If you are going for a natural look, all you need is moisturizer, either plain or tinted and maybe a coat of mascara.

If you are wanting to wear makeup, I recommend practicing your look beforehand. I recommend false lashes for any look, or if you are not confident in applying them, an extra coat of mascara.

I generally recommend soft curls and lots of volume for your hair.

Professional Hair and Makeup

If you are having Denee Noel do your hair and makeup, please arrive with clean, dry hair and a bare, moisturized face.

Please do not deep condition your hair prior to the session, as you style will hold better if your hair is on the drier side.

Drink lots of water in the days leading up to your session. This will help clear your skin.

If you have any ideas for your hair and makeup, bring them with you.

It is good to note that your makeup will seem darker than you are used to. Trust Denee to know what will work well on camera. Your hair may also be bigger than normal.

If you have any skin allergies and sensitivities, please let us know ahead of time.

Night Before Your Boudoir Session

  • Do not drink heavily or party prior to your session.

  • Drink more water than you think you need. It will seriously help the texture of your skin.

  • Eat a healthy dinner. This is not the time to start skipping meals or to eat processed foods.

  • Get a good night’s sleep. I cannot stress this enough.

  • Have everything packed, have the directions to the studio ready to go and be prepared so you do not have to rush tomorrow.

What to pack – Have it ready the night before

  • One piece, two piece and comfortable outfit

  • Any accessories you plan to bring

  • Hair and makeup ideas

  • Black and nude thongs

  • Extra lash glue and lipstick if doing makeup on your own

  • Water bottle and light snack

  • High heels if you want them in your session.

Day of Your Boudoir Session

  • Drink more water.

  • Eat a healthy and light breakfast / lunch.

  • Moisturize, especially your face, feet, hands, knees, and elbows.

  • Brush your teeth and your lips to exfoliate them prior to having your makeup done.

  • Wear loose clothing and avoid wearing a tight underwear and go braless. These will leave lines on your skin. Wear a button-down shirt or robe while getting your hair and makeup done.

  • Remove any hair ties from your wrist.

  • Make sure to shave and wash your hair if you did not do this the night before.

  • Skip the deodorant or wear clear deodorant.

  • Come ready to shoot if doing your own hair and makeup. If Denee is doing your makeup than arrive barefaced on time.

  • If you wear contacts, put them in prior to your session. If you always wear glasses, wear them to your session. There is no reason to remove them. This is a part of your look!

  • Stretch or do some yoga. You can expect to be doing lots of bending and arching during your session, so it is a good idea to warm up and stretch those muscles prior to your start time.

  • BREATHE – it is okay to be nervous, but also trust that you are going to have an amazing day.

After Your Boudoir Session

Holy crap, you did it! And you were amazing.

It’s normal to experience a high after your session, which is often followed by a vulnerability hangover (thanks to Brene Brown for this term).

I highly recommend keeping up with your journaling and checking out the guide to confidence maintenance that I will email you after your session.

Your images will be sent to you in about 4 weeks if you’ve chosen a package with digital files. If you will be receiving an album, watch out for your album proof in about the same time. You will receive your final album about 3 weeks after you have approved the design.