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DIY Boudoir Photography: The Ultimate Guide

Looking to create some DIY Boudoir photography for yourself or significant other? In this guide, I’ll show you all my best tricks I’ve learned after thousands of hours experience photographing hundreds of women.

As a professional boudoir photographer I’ve learn a lot about creating flattering photos for women of all body types. With the tips in this guide you’ll learn how to create the best photos from your DIY boudoir photoshoot with minimal equipment.

Tips for DIY Boudoir Photography

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Can I Take My Own Boudoir Photos?

DIY boudoir photography

Yes! It’s absolutely possible to take your own boudoir photos! That said boudoir selfies can be very tricky to capture on your own without the aid of at least a tripod and remote trigger. I’ll show you my favorite inexpensive options for both in the next section.

Alternatively if you have a friend or significant other that can help you capture your photos, this can be a better solution than trying to do everything yourself. The reason for this is because it’s pretty hard to frame the photo, pose yourself, make a cute expression and take the shot all while making sure everything’s correctly exposed and in focus.

With all of this in mind, it should go without saying that it’s always best hire a professional boudoir photographer if you have the money. Not only will a professional help you physically capture the photo on better hardware, but their experience will also help you better pose your body for the most flattering angles and light.

If you’re patient though, you can definitely do your own DIY boudoir photoshoot with great results. Before you start taking your own photos though, I strongly suggest you first check out this post about how to choose boudoir lingerie for your body type. This guide will help you enhance your best assets and diminish your insecurities for your own unique body type.

What Do I Need For A DIY Boudoir Shoot?

Although I created this guide to show you how to take boudoir photos of yourself with as little gear as possible, there are obviously a few items you’ll need to succeed. While it’s true that you won’t technically “need” some of these items, they will definitely make capturing your boudoir selfies much easier.

Making things easier will generally lead to better photos because taking boudoir selfies can be a challenge in and of itself! Trust me when I say you don’t need the added distraction of having to run back and forth to your phone propped up on a chair. Thus, I recommend acquiring the following items before attempting your own DIY boudoir photography. 

diy boudoir photos with your phone
Halide Manual Camera App

Manual Camera App

Obviously you’ll need something to capture your photos with. You can totally use your phone so long as you have some sort of a manual camera app installed. The native iphone camera won’t work for instance as it will generally re-expose the image when you move around in the frame. You can find a list of the best manual camera apps here. Alternatively any dedicated late model digital camera will always capture better quality photos then your phone will.

Phone Tripod

Although you don’t technically need a tripod for your DIY boudoir photoshoot, getting a phone tripod selfie stick kit like this will get you much better photos then trying to lean your phone against something.

Additionally most tripods these days also convert into selfie sticks which can be another good way to take boudoir selfies from different angles and extend the phone further than your arm’s can reach. If that’s not enough, most phone tripod kits also come with their own Bluetooth remote triggers included. 

For all of these reasons, I strongly recommend getting one of these tripod kits if you want to capture your boudoir photos on your own. It’s really a no brainer when you consider how much easier this inexpensive solution will make capturing your boudoir selfies.

Bluetooth Remote Trigger

While most tripods and selfie sticks these days come with remote triggers, you can also purchase a stand alone remote trigger if you have a tripod, but no way to take a photo remotely. 

Although you can take a photo using your phones built in timer option, this is generally a less ideal way to capture your boudoir images as you’ll have to walk back and forth to your phone using it’s built in timer. This can really mess up the framing of your photo as you try to pose back in the same position before the timer goes off. 

DIY Boudoir Photos With Phone

DIY boudoir photos with phone

Now that you know all the basic tools you’ll need, let’s talk specifically about how to take your own boudoir photos with your phone.

First, you’re going to want to install your manual camera app of choice on your phone. This is important especially in the case of iPhone as the native camera app will annoyingly adjust the exposure automatically to try to “help” you. This is very annoying when you get everything framed right, rock your pose and then the camera exposure shifts to over or under expose you. There’s really no sense in making this harder than it needs to be.

Using a manual camera app will allow you to set your exposure with the drag of your finger and lock it in place so you can just focus on posing yourself and making seductive expressions.

Second, you’re going to want to set yourself up with your phone and tripod in an area with good light. The easiest place for this that everyone should be able to find is a window. For the most forgiving soft light, you’ll want to choose a window that doesn’t have direct sunlight shining though it. This will produce soft, forgiving light across your body making things easier. 

Then once everything is set up all you need to do is pose yourself into the window light (more on this in a moment) and take some pictures. Using your remote trigger you’ll be able to capture a whole set of photos at one time. This will allow you to focus on finessing your pose rather than running back and forth to your phone. 

How to take your own boudoir photos with your phone

For the best quality you’ll want to use the rear facing camera on your phone, that said, it will be way easier to frame your photo using the front facing camera at the cost of image quality. 

While each method has it’s own advantages, I generally recommend you use the front facing camera so you can see how your shot will be framed before you take the shot. Using the higher quality rear facing camera will force you to compose your shot blind. This is doable but much harder to pull off. You can learn more about how to take your own boudoir photos with your phone in this guide if you’d like. 

Easy DIY Boudoir Poses

Once you find a nice window with good quality light and have your camera all set up, there’s an easy pose I do for all of my clients for their first few shots to warm them up and get them used to posing.

The basic idea behind all boudoir poses is to bring parts of your body toward the camera you’d like to highlight. By contrast, anything you’d like to diminish you’ll want to push away from the camera. 

For example if you wanted to make your butt look smaller and you boobs look bigger I’d first turn your lower hips away from the window. Next I’d have you shift your weight to your back foot. This will shift your hips away from the camera and make your butt look smaller. Then I’d have you turn your upper body back toward the window keeping your hips where they are. This will cause the window light to skip across your body giving your bust extra depth.

Then I’d have you lean forward with your chest while keeping your shoulders back. This will emphasize your bust while keeping good posture. From here you can experiment with different hand and face placements. 

Bringing your face toward the window will create flattering short light for your face. Turning your face away from the window will put your face in shadow keeping the focus on your body instead of your face if you’d prefer.

Alternatively you can also push your hip toward the window at your side instead of back if you want to give your hip line extra curve. In general, you’re going to want to put size on or take size off your hips using this technique for whichever will give your body more of an hourglass shape.

Master The Art of Posing Women

In this guide I’ll show you how to pose the nude female form in a way that tastefully flatters her body type and creates emotion. This guide is intended for beginner and intermediate photographers and will teach you how to balance the proportions of any woman to make her look her best.

By first teaching you the fundamentals of posing, these principals will help you progress to a point where you can confidently pose any woman in an improvised fashion.

How To Take Boudoir Photos of Yourself

At this point you now know everything about how to do DIY boudoir photography for yourself. Now you just need to put it all together and capture some photos!

When I take selfies using these techniques, I sometimes hide the remote trigger somewhere (like my waistband) and conspicuously press it with one of my fingers to take the photos. If that doesn’t work and you notice the trigger in your photos, try putting the trigger on the floor and pressing it with your toes out of frame.

You’ll have to get creative with how you hide the trigger, but this is a way better problem to have over trying to take pictures with your phone’s timer.

Where To Print DIY Boudoir Photos

The short answer is it depends. If your photos are too provocative (which is subjective) some chain labs like Costco, Walmart, etc. may decline to print your photos. That said as a boudoir photographer that prints nude images for my clients regularly, I can tell you that all the pro labs I’ve ever worked with have never declined to print my clients fully nude images.

I try to keep things tasteful so your mileage may vary depending on what you’re having made. That said the following pro labs would be where I’d try first if you’re wondering where to print your DIY boudoir photography.

DIY Boudoir Photos For Husband

DIY boudoir photography

If you’re about to get married to your soon to be husband, I recommend you start planning for your session with these bridal boudoir outfit ideas

Alternatively, if you’ve been married to your husband for a while and are looking to spice things up with an the ultimate anniversary gift, I suggest you instead start by checking out these boudoir outfit ideas.

After reading either of those posts you should have a pretty good idea on what lingerie styles you should get to enhance your body type. Above all else, try to create photos that are timelessly beautiful by understanding what makes a good boudoir photo? 

If you want to learn my best tips I give to my clients about how to prepare your body for your boudoir photos, you can find those in my boudoir guide here. The idea behind this guide is to help give you the information that actually contributes to better portraits in camera. 

Like, Share & Comment! 

I hope this post gave you some good DIY Boudoir photography ideas. Remember to just keep things simple and follow the steps laid out in this guide and you’ll do great!

How you prepare will ultimately determine how your photos turn out. Just check out everything mentioned throughout this post and you’ll be able to capture boudoir selfies better then you thought possible. I promise! Never underestimate what can be done with small amounts of money and some DIY creativity! 

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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