For a long time, taking nude shots in boudoir was frowned upon. One reason for this was to help keep some separation between boudoir and nude photography. Another was to help your everyday woman feel more comfortable with the idea of boudoir in general.
However, more and more women are choosing to embrace their bodies and walking away with amazing images of themselves at their most vulnerable. With this in mind, here are some of my tips if you want to shoot your own nude boudoir images.
Posing is Key
When posing for a nude photo you want to keep it sensual while not erotic. This will help you achieve the classy look you are after. Implied shots will be your friend here. These are the shots that don’t actually show anything even though the subject is fully nude. Here are some additional posing tips.
Keep the focus on the face or her in general, not the fact that she is nude.
Be creative in using the hands and arms to cover the breasts.
If she has long hair, you can use that in inventive ways too.
Turn the hips and bend the knee closer to the camera to cover the groin.
Back shots are great for showing off curves while not revealing anything.
If shooting topless or fully nude my suggestion is to simply own it. A little bit of confidence can go a long way here. This is why most photographers wait until the end of a shoot when the client is at her most comfortable and feeling good about the experience before getting to any fully nude poses.
Watch your Lighting
Just like with non-nude shots, you will want to ensure your lighting is on point. Soft diffused light will help to flatter the body. An easy way to pull this off is by using a set of sheer white curtains on a tension rod as the sun is shining strongly outside. This turns the window into a giant softbox.
Dark and Moody
If you prefer a high contrast look vs soft diffused light then shooting dark and moody may be more your style. Dark and moody uses light and shadow to create amazing images with a lot of mystery. It also helps to highlight the curves of the body which is always a good call in boudoir. Marco Ibanez is a master at dark and moody and has a great video where he lays out his techniques to pull it off.
Simple Props and Accessories
Another tip is to use simple props and accessories to add visual interest. Body Jewelry is one example. A simple belly chain can add a focal point to help draw the eye of the viewer. Other examples include a necktie, hat, or bed sheet.
If you have the space to do it, setting up an area to shoot bodyscape style photos (like the one above) will give you a lot of options for capturing classy nude images. You will need some extra gear to accomplish this, mainly a backdrop and a flash with softbox and grid. One tutorial I found on YouTube used a strip box instead of a normal softbox and he produced some great shots. You can watch it yourself here, just note it is age restricted.
There are many ways you can take classy nude images, as long as you remember that is the look you are after in the first place. My last tip is to always remember the comfort of the model/client should be your number one priority.