Minnesota Wedding Photographer | Minneapolis Wedding Photographer | Studio Starfish | Boudoir Studio, Senior Pictures, Modern Portraits » a boutique photography studio in Minneapolis, MN specializing in weding photography, boudoir photography and senior photos | 612-817-6565

What Is Boudoir Photography?

modern boudoir photography woman in mint green lace with red lipstick
I often get asked a lot of questions about our Boudoir sessions. “What is Boudoir photography?” is a very common theme.

First things first, how do you pronounce the word Boudoir and what the heck does it mean?  {boo -ˌdwär} The “r” sound at the end can be heard or silent. I realize this alone can be a barrier to participating in this trend.  Who wants to call up a photographer that specializes in this genre and pronounce the word incorrectly? I know you’re already looking for excuses to not do a session 🙂

It’s actually an 18th Century French word which means a women’s dressing room, bedroom or private sitting room. Boudoir photography sessions usually take place in an intimate setting such as a hotel room, bedroom or studio set up to look like one of these locations – an intimate setting to create classy images that can be soft, romantic, sexy, flirty, or sultry. The main focus of a boudoir photographer is to capture you in the most flattering way by guiding you through the poses that compliment your body type.

The trend has been around a while and this is one that definitely has staying power.  I hesitate to even call it a trend.  Sure, certain styles of boudoir photos might be trendy, but boudoir photography is a genre that has been around since cameras were invented.  It started with the wealthy who would have “bedroom portraits” made of themselves, then Hollywood starlets of the golden era and then that transitioned into the Pin-Up girls of WWII.

minneapolis boudoir photo
It was recently brought to the forefront of the general public – it’s popular with brides wanting to give an extra special gift to their new husband and with catalogs such as Victoria’s Secret having it’s time in the spotlight on every high-street and even prime-time TV.

Boudoir photography can be classy or crassy (did I make that word up? ha!) There are a lot of scary, bad images out there. I encourage you to find a high-end professional photographer to do these images for you. Taste is subjective for sure, but the images run the gamut from old hollywood glamour, edgy, bright fresh and modern to those that border on pornography.

Photos are usually taken wearing either just a little, or well, nothing at all. They’re hardly X-rated though, but rather PG-13 — as in classic pinup-inspired pics, or what the pros call ‘implied nudes.’ That means you’re not wearing anything, but you’re also not showing off anything either (think shot from the back, or lying on your stomach).

flirty boudoir photo feathered fan and lace mask

At Studio Starfish, we do boudoir photography with a bit of a twist.  Ours is fresh and classy – inspired by the beautiful glamour of Old Hollywood infused with the bright colors and flirty expression of pin-up.

Most people think of boudoir photography as a great surprise gift for a special person in your life, but I encourage you to think of boudoir photography as a gift to yourself. It’s not often you get the chance to take time just for you – to relax and be pampered, and I would bet that most of your don’t get to experience the feeling of being transformed from your daily routine (and yoga pants, mom jeans or business suit) into a truly glamorous vixen with the added effect of the confidence boost and the attitude adjustment that comes right along with it! Truly the best gift ever and I see it EVERY time I do a boudoir session!

Now that you know what boudoir photography is, here are a lot of other frequently asked questions that I receive from clients:

Q) Who is a boudoir shoot for?
A) Boudoir photography is for anyone – especially any woman needing a confidence boost, Brides-to-be, women who have been married a long time, a confident woman who just wants to strut her stuff, a group of girlfriends with a special occasion or looking for a fun start to a night out on the town…and YOU!

Q) What is included in the fee?
A) It varies based on the package you choose, but for the most part, all of the packages will include your pre-shoot consultation, style inspiration/mood boards, your photo shoot and a private viewing party to order your images. All packages also include professional hair and makeup.  I feel it’s a very important part of the experience – you get to be pampered and fawned over while the stylist brings out your inner vixen!  It gives you time to relax and get used to the studio before your session, it also gives us a chance to chat and get acquainted which also helps with your comfort level.  Having your makeup professionally done will even out skin tones, bring out the color in your eyes, and contour your best facial features. You will be able to talk through your preferences and style…most of our clients want to still look like themselves, with a little “pow,” rather than looking like someone else entirely. You choose, it’s your day! Most of the packages will include one of our custom image books so you’ll have an album of your photos to give or keep.  Additional prints, books, calendars, and image boxes can also be ordered after the session.

Q) I’m SO NERVOUS! I’m not sure if I can do this. Can I meet you before deciding?
A) Yes, of course! EVERYONE is really nervous! It is my job to make you look beautiful, feel comfortable, and be having fun by the time the camera starts clicking! I offer an in-studio consultation before your shoot, if desired, so that we can get to know each other before the day comes and also to provide guidance with wardrobe and styling. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal to be nervous. It will pass very quickly…I promise!

Q) What sets your photography apart from others who offer boudoir? What’s your specialty?
A) First, I don’t just focus on boudoir.  I like to create custom couture portraits that create the essence of a woman’s inner desire to express herself as an individual. I consider my work to be fashion-inspired, with a bit of an old hollywood glamour feel with a little bit of a flirty pin-up twist! In the studio, I use a lot of directional lighting to define the mood and intentional posing to bring our your best features.  When shooting boudoir or lingerie, my style is more elegant or glamorous rather than suggestive or sexual. It’s intimate and sassy. I play with light, shadow, and angles to tease rather than overt, full body poses. I want my images to bring out your natural beauty as a woman.  To make you feel empowered and to bring out your absolute best self. My clients come in all shapes, sizes and ages and are perfectly imperfect…just like you…and me.


Q) Do you retouch my images?
A) YES. I fully retouch every image you order, including smoothing skin, correcting blemishes and covering minor flaws such as bruises, cellulite and stretch marks.  It is my job to bring out your best through posing and lighting so there is usually no need to do specific body contouring or airbrushing that you see in many magazines.  I certainly know how to do magazine style retouching, but I believe a woman’s beauty is in her truth and authenticity and that there is such a thing as too much Photoshop.

Q)How many outfits can I bring?
A) With the most popular package option, there is time for at least 3 outfit choices. I usually have you bring more along with extra shoes, jewelry and accessories so we can change up your look during your session.  I am always available to help with wardrobe choices, to give advice on what works best with different body types or to choose what might go best with the setting. Don’t be limited by just lingerie either, a lot of my clients choose to wear a sexy dress or evening wear, a sweatshirt and shorts or a white button down shirt or even their favorite outfit.  Anything that makes you feel great can be very sassy and glamorous as well!

Q) How much do your albums and prints cost?
A) Albums generally range from 350-1800, but it depends on the size and materials. All albums are custom made. Prints start at 45. Canvas gallery wraps and image folios are also popular options. Because of the infinite product possibilities, I do not have one printed price list of everything I offer, but I do have many samples and product catalogs in the studio and will be happy to show you options. You can book a package with a book included, or order after the shoot.

Q) Will there be other people in the room?
A) I usually have my (female) makeup artist assist the shoot and provide touch-ups, but if you are uncomfortable with that, please let me know.

Q) Can I bring a friend for moral support?
A) I don’t prohibit this, but I discourage it. In my experience, having a friend in the room can make you feel inhibited and can be distracting during the shoot. The presence of the friend seems to make some people much more nervous, for some reason.

Q) Are you willing to photograph me nude?/ Do I have to be nude?
A) I will only do tasteful and artistic nude photos and it is more my style to shoot more of a suggested nude than a full nude shot.  You are NOT at all expected to do nude photos. I will not suggest that you disrobe beyond your comfort level. I typically leave it to you to request this if it’s something you want. I do not have many examples of full nudity online, but prospective clients can see more work at our studio consultation. I only show work that has been approved for portfolio use by my clients.

outdoor boudoir photography near graffiti wall
Q) Are you going to put my pictures on Facebook or on your blog?
A) I won’t share your images anywhere (online, in-studio, etc.) without your permission. I do post “teasers” sometimes, that do not show identifying features, on the Studio Starfish FB Page. I never tag my clients in boudoir photos.

Q) How do I book you?
A) Great question! Please get in touch by calling 612-817-6565 or email me.  You can also fill out our contact form on this site.  Studio Starfish is a small specialty studio and I often book 1-2 months out, so please inquire early if you have a gift-giving occasion coming up. I look forward to hearing from you!



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