While some boudoir photographers offer sessions out of their studios, others (like myself) photograph all of their clients on location. On location sessions can have significant advantages over studio sessions but it can also be overwhelming to some when deciding where to get boudoir photos taken.
This post will help you come up with some boudoir location ideas so you can narrow down where you’d like to have your session photographed. The main advantage to doing your session on location like is that you’ll have full control over the setting of your photoshoot.
For example, if you want luxurious looking photos you could rent a 5 star hotel room for the day. Alternatively, doing your session in your own home may make you feel more comfortable and give your photos a truly unique feel. No matter your preference, this post will help you narrow down the best options for your intended session.
Boudoir Session Locations
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Where To Get Boudoir Photos Taken – Hotel Rooms
Hotel rooms are one of the best options to consider when choosing where to get boudoir photos taken. Choosing a hotel room is great for those that want something more luxurious then what their home might offer. Hotels are also a fantastic option if you’re traveling to your boudoir photographer for your session.
It should go without saying that not all hotel rooms are created equal. Thus it’s always best to get a list of recommended locations from your photographer before your photo shoot. If your photographer doesn’t have a locations list handy, it would be a great idea to get their input on any places you’re considering so that they can evaluate weather or not that room will offer good opportunity for the photos you have in mind.
Although hotel rooms can offer gorgeous settings for your photos, you’ll want to pay attention to check in and check out times as well as minimum stay fees. For Example, many hotels in my area don’t check in until 3-4PM and have 11AM checkouts. This will not leave enough time for your photo shoot. In this instance you’ll need book the hotel room for 2 days to allow for a nice, relaxed 10AM start time with the intention of photographing you into the early evening. You can use something like Kayak.com to search for places on your own. Alternatively if you plan to do your session somewhere around Sonoma, California, you can check out my favorite spots below!
- Ledson Hotel – The rooms on the front of the building have the best sunset light. The rooms on the back of the building are more private if you want to risk balcony shots from the parking lot.
- Hotel Les Mars – All of the rooms are gorgeous. Just choose your favorite style and you’ll love it I promise!
- Mt.Veiw Hotel – Get the bigger rooms with the attached seating area. The style of each room is quite strong so make sure and reserve the one you like most. Remember to think about wall colors when color coordinating your lingerie to the space!
- MacArthur Place Hotel – Get the garden spa suite. Fantastic outdoor opportunities including a shower if you’re feeling bold!
Where To Get Boudoir Photos Taken – Other Rental Location Ideas
Where hotels are usually big buildings with tiny little rooms, you can often rent some nicely finished houses if you’re willing to pay a bit more money. For often only a few hundred dollars more, you can rent an entire house which will give you tons of different setting for your photos.
Examples of Places to Find House Rentals
You’ll find both hotels and houses to rent on all of the major travel sites. Wherever you decide to do your photo shoot it also might be worth while to google “property management companies” in the area to possibly rent a house for the day
By using this method you’ll sometimes find gorgeous properties from small local property rental companies that don’t list on the major travel sites. These properties are where you’ll tend to find the luxury properties that are noticeably nicer than what you’ll find on the above sites.
Examples of Luxury Property Rental Companies In Sonoma, Ca
Where To Get Boudoir Photos Taken – Your Home
Having your boudoir photos taken at your home can be a great way to style your session. Think of it this way, your house is likely already decorated in your style so what better place to do it!
Even if you’re house isn’t furnished nicely enough for a shoot, think of what the cost of a hotel room could buy you in window drapes or other upgrades that would enhance your final photos. As an example, some of my boudoir clients get super crafty and make DIY light up accents for background interest. Using string lights, hymalain salt lamps, lava lamps, candles, etc. you can create exceptional background interest in an otherwise ordinary room.
Spot lights and track lighting can also really enhance backgrounds so that the light in the space doesn’t come straight down on top of your head. Top down light is generally considered unflattering.
This is in contrast to windows which are generally great for photos as they will cross light you. Cross light generally makes for the most flattering light patterns across your body which is very important for boudoir photos.
It’s for this reason that I strongly suggest the first place you look to upgrade the styling of your home is with your window coverings. This is because you’ll likely be posed next to these features so the coverings you choose will obviously be in the final imagery.
Where To Get Boudoir Photos Taken – Studio
Most boudoir studios have bedroom or shower sets where you can have your photos taken. When I think of studio boudoir photos though I like to create classically posed and lit portraits on non descript black, white or muslin backgrounds.
The reason I opt for this look is because I’m always striving to create photos that are timeless. Photos that when you look back on them decades from now you’ll look back on them with pride rather than embarrassment.
There’s two things that I think really contribute to looking back on boudoir photos with either pride or shame. The first is taste, and the second is enduring styles. Put another way, you should do your best to buy boudoir outfits that are classy with styles that have been around for centuries. Then so long as you hire a good photographer that will direct you towards great photos, you’ll almost surely get photos you’ll look back on with pride.
In this spirit of this sentiment, I try to light studio boudoir photos as classically as I can with light patterns that were established by renaissance painters hundreds of years ago. Then so long as the styling of your lingerie is classical, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be able to look back on your studio boudoir photos with anything other than pride.
I feel this is especially important when photographing bridal boudoir for instance. It’s milestone photos like this and senior photos as another example, where you can really date yourself. You can find examples of bridal boudoir outfits you’ll look back on with love in this post.
Where To Get Photos Taken – Outdoor Boudoir
The final location option I offer to my clients is the outdoor boudoir. For these sessions you’ll either need to own property or rent a location with outdoor opportunity.
In some cases if you’re willing to walk for a bit, it’s generally not hard to find some private space in rural locations including:
- Along the beach
- In the woods
- In a field
Just be sure to dress appropriately so the styling in your photos will make sense with the scene. For example a bathing suit for your beach session would seem fitting. Alternatively, maybe a high cut pair of jeans and minimalist blouse and cowboy boots would feel more appropriate on a forest hike. I put together this post if you need some outdoor boudoir outfit ideas to get you started.
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I hope this post gave you some ideas of where to get boudoir photos taken. The location you choose to have your photos captured at will set the tone of for your final images. In sub par locations it can also be minimized by a good photographer.
Just remember that the nicer the opportunity you give to your photographer, the nicer your photos are likely to be. Always choose the best furnished room you can afford. If you can’t afford much, never underestimate what can be done with small amounts of money and some DIY creativity!