Boudoir Session Preparation Guide & Timeline
The week before your boudoir session is a time for preparing. I want your session to go smoothly and you look your best on shoot day! I have created a list to guide you through your preparation and a timeline to make sure you're prepared and arrive to your shoot stress-free!
Waxing: If you are planning to wax for your session, please be sure to leave 3-5 days for you to heal before the session.
Shaving: Shaving can be done the night prior to the shoot, avoid shaving several days prior to the session to keep your skin smooth and not irritated. Consider products designed to help minimize razor burn if that is often an issue for you. Shaving the night before the shoot or the day of can help avoid this.
Tanning: Spray tanning should be avoided within a week of the session. If you want to have a faux glow, please have it done at least one week prior to the shoot at a professional salon and do so in the nude. You want to avoid creating tan lines that can show up when you’re not wearing a lot of clothing.
Sunburns: Stay out of the sun for the week prior to your shoot! Day to day exposure is fine, but avoid long hours in the sunlight to avoid sunburns. Photoshop can do amazing things, but sunburns will have a negative impact on your shooting experience, and will likely be present in your final images. It will be significantly more expensive to have to remove sunburns during retouching. Be sure to wear sunscreen when you know you're going to be in the sun!
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water for the week prior to the shoot. This will keep you hydrated and help keep your skin glowing and smooth.
Skip the alcohol. Avoid partying or drinking the day before your shoot, as alcohol depletes the skin of vital nutrients and can have it looking dehydrated and dull, even in small doses. This goes hand in hand with the last bullet point on hydration.
Don’t get a new tattoo right before your session. If you want to have a new tattoo for your boudoir experience, be sure to get it done well in advance to allow healing time. You don’t want to be sticking to sheets or having any pain during your session. Having to constantly alter poses and outfits to account for this can result in less images from your session and an overall less enjoyable experience.
Use gentle cleansers.
Skip heavily scented, super scrubby or foaming cleansers that are full of harsh chemicals. Exfoliating scrubs a can scratch the skinʼs surface and exacerbate oiliness, and chemical foaming agents can strip the skin of essential natural moisture and create flakiness. The drier the skin’s surface, the more prone your skin will be to break out from dry skin getting trapped in your pores.
Gentle creamy cleansers melt away makeup, protecting the skins vital fatty lipid layer, and prevent the skin from being overstimulated to produce oil.
Skip getting a facial. As we've already discussed, harsh chemicals can dry out your skin. This week you want to treat your skin with kid gloves, and undergoing any chemical treatments or using too active of a skincare regimen may stimulate the skin to break out or even cause an allergic reaction.
Moisturize. Get in the habit of using moisturizers and eye creams leading up to your shoot to have your skin looking hydrated and healthy.
Use lip balm. Dry and cracked lips are not ideal for your boudoir session. Make sure to regularly use lip balm and avoid smoking the day before your shoot. A gentle lip scrub can help remedy already dry lips, but you want to avoid dryness if at all possible.
Clean up the eyebrows. If you want to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your boudoir session. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot. Don’t try anything new here, you don’t want a small mistake to be documented and be feeling self-conscious. .
Factor in time. If you want to make a change to your hair (dying, cut, etc.), schedule it at least one week prior to your shoot. You want to avoid any risk of mistakes happening because you got your hair dyed the day before the shoot.
Manicure. You want your nails to look their best. A manicure can help achieve this, but is not required. You just want them to be trimmed and neat for your session. You can stick with neatly shaped, clear nails. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will compliment your choices.
Clean your ring. If you're wearing a wedding ring, make sure it looks its best. You'll definitely want to be showing it off in your session.
Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is a great day-to-day way to clean your bling, but most professional jewelers have sonic cleaners that make it sparkle like the day it was born. Many will even clean your ring for free. Especially if you return to the jeweler from where you bought it.
If it’s been a long time since your last professional cleaning, take the ring in right away. If there are any loose stones in your setting, they may get shaken loose, so it’s a good idea to allow a few days in case the jeweler needs to re-set anything.
FOR OUTFIT SELECTION TIPS, CHECK OUT MY GUIDE ON BOUDOIR OUTFIT SELECTION:
Session Prep Timeline
ONE WEEK PRIOR TO YOUR SESSION:
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid being in the sun for long periods of time.
Moisturize your skin and face. Use lip balm daily. Baby your skin all week!
Wash your face with gentle cleansers.
If you have tight hamstrings, stretch to loosen them up. Runners and those who spend a lot of time sitting often have tight hamstrings. Several poses may stretch them and keeping them loose can alleviate discomfort.
3-4 DAYS BEFORE YOUR SESSION
Clean up your eyebrows.
Do any hair changes.
Wax. You will be in your underwear or less for your boudoir shoot. Consider your bikini line if you don’t usually.
Clean your wedding ring if you’re wanting to wear it during your session. (Also clean body jewelry)
THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION
Shave if you’re not waxing. Go slow! Avoid cutting yourself and use lotions that aid in razor burn. If you’ll have time the day of the shoot, you can do this then.
Skip alcohol and parties. Alcohol wreaks havoc on the skin, even in small doses. It depletes the skin of vital nutrients and and can leave it dehydrated and dull. Drink lots of water instead!
Sleep! Get a full night of rest. You want to be hydrated and well-rested for your boudoir session.
THE DAY OF YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION
Arrive with a clean face and hair. Remove all traces of your makeup from the night before, and be sure to moisturize and use your eye cream and lip balm. This will help your stylist have a clean canvas to work with and have you looking your best!
Arrive with loose-fitting or no underwear/bra. You want to avoid tight bras and underwear to avoid having lines in your skin. These take a while to disappear and can draw attention away from you in your photos.
Eat a healthy and light lunch. You want to avoid being bloated or lethargic from eating a large, unhealthy lunch. Nobody feels their most confident with a food baby. You want to eat something filling to avoid becoming hungry during the shoot. Eat your veggies, they'll keep you full and lean.
Bring outfit on hangers to avoid wrinkles.