Boudoir photoshoots are sultry, sensual, and seductive. The word “boudoir” means “a woman’s private salon” in French and is, therefore, often used to express the complexity and beauty of a woman lounging in a sexy, elegant, and intimate atmosphere.
While a simple figure lying draped across a chaise lounge almost always looks divine, adding props can take your boudoir shoot to the next level. It can also give your model more confidence, especially if they’re not used to being in front of the camera.
If you want to elevate your next boudoir shoot with props, use these tips and tricks to make your subject look even more sublime.
Tips For Adding Props To A Beautiful Boudoir Photoshoot
Before we take a look at some popular boudoir photography props, let’s talk about tips for incorporating them in a natural-looking way. The last thing you want is for the shoot to appear too contrived or your subject to look too pose-heavy.
Adding props will help the scenes feel more intricate and believable.
- Use props your model identifies with – Your model might have a few prop ideas to contribute, and inviting them to bring along some of their favorite toys or accessories is a great way to bring out their personality. The more comfortable your model feels, the better.
- Variety is the spice of life – If you want to incorporate props into your boudoir shoot, don’t just bring one or two items. Bring a wide selection so that you can play around with different ideas.
- Opt for high quality props – Boudoir photography is categorically detail-oriented. If you use cheap, plasticky, or low-quality props, it’ll show up in the images. Wherever possible, choose props that are made from quality materials.
- Talk to your model beforehand – By running some prop ideas past your model beforehand, you can help them feel even more comfortable on the day of the shoot and possibly even come up with some inventive ideas together.
The key to a beautiful boudoir shoot is creating an atmosphere. Be intentional about how you set up the environment, what kind of lighting you use, and above all else, making sure that your model feels completely consenting and secure with the tone of the photoshoot.
What Are The Best Props To Add To A Boudoir Shoot?
The kind of props you can use for a boudoir shoot are nearly endless. There are so many different directions you can take it in.
Bridal themes, a sensual bath, a luxury bedroom, a sexy library, a mountain of pillows… the sky’s the limit.
The same applies to what accessories you use.
However, one of the main points to consider is thematic cohesion. Do your props complement each other and the model? Ask yourself this question when planning your shoot before you add any new props to the scene.
If you’re feeling stuck about which direction to take your boudoir shoot in, all it takes is a little bit of brainstorming and research. Here’s a list to get you started:
High quality silver jewelry looks stunning against all shades of skin, and it has a certain weight to it that you can sense even from a distance. Necklaces, earrings, anklets, and even custom-made headpieces are all fabulous accessories to incorporate into a boudoir photoshoot.
Blossoming flowers and rose petals bring to mind femininity, fertility, and natural power. Sprinkle a few petals around your set, or invite your model to pose with flowers in different ways.
The classic white button up
A full clothing ensemble is not typical of classic boudoir photography, but paring it down to one or two sexy items, such as a crisp, half-buttoned shirt, can have a very compelling visual effect. Plus, it brings to mind that iconic “morning after” freshness that women tend to pull off so well.
What is sexier than a pair of great heels? From espadrilles to stilettos, there’s an endless variety of sexy heels that can ramp up the energy of your boudoir shoot. Add a pair of seamed or fishnet stockings and you can ramp up the wow factor even further.
Nothing says “a woman’s private salon” like a personal stash of premium champagne—and tall, elegant crystal glasses to match. Your model could sip them in the bath, saunter about in a robe, or pour herself a drink with this realistic and effective prop.
You might be the photographer in this situation, but vintage film cameras have long been used as props in classic boudoir photography.
Many boudoir models are captured “photographing” themselves in the mirror or even facing your camera directly, as though taking a self-portrait. It’s an interesting and memorable take on this style of photography.
Intelligence will always be alluring, and beautiful vintage books are a simple way to infuse this idea into your model’s boudoir experience. Think: piles of books stacked around a lavish couch, upon which your model reclines luxuriously. It’s a classic-feeling scene that looks great on just about everyone.
There are plenty of interesting and fashionable reading glasses that can add more depth and intrigue to your model’s style. This one also pairs well with book props for a sexy but studious look.
A touch of kink
If your subject wants to add a bit of kink to their boudoir photos, you have plenty of options. Whips, lace, blindfolds, feather boas or fans and masks all make wonderful props. Masks especially add an air of mystery and are ideal for anyone who is perhaps still a little shy.
Enhance Your Boudoir Photoshoot In All The Right Ways
When it comes to building up any visual scene, whether on a stage, a set, or a photo shoot, props are one of the key elements that can bring the whole look and feel together. But choosing the right one can be tough, especially in the context of something as delicate and personal as a boudoir shoot.
Be sure to talk to your subject beforehand and show them your boudoir photography portfolio so that they can get an idea of how well props work. You can use your portfolio as inspiration and ask them to come up with their own ideas too. Together, you can create boudoir photos that you’ll both be proud of.
Prop Ideas & Tips For Boudoir Photoshoots | Photographers Diary
Using props in a boudoir shoot is an excellent way to make your subject relax and add interest to your images. Here’s how you can get the best boudoir photos.