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Tips & Tricks

Boudoir Photography Tip | Breaking the Ice

By Michelle Ford on January 6th 2014

Boudoir and glamour shoots can be overwhelming for both the client and the shooter. For myself, the shoot is usually the first time I meet the client face-to-face and I have to quickly evaluate my situation. There’s an endless list of things to consider and scenarios to ponder. In this video, I’ll share with you a few of my tried and true methods to get the ball rolling and still produce wonderful results.

Watch the “Breaking the Ice at a Boudoir Photo Shoot” Video:

Music: “Aerials” from Lights & Motion “Reanimation” (Deep Elm)
License this song at The Music Bed

Before and After Pictures


Before and After

Take a “before” photo where the client is properly lit against a simple background before makeup and hair styling is applied. Make sure that it is not an intentionally unflattering photo. You don’t want to offend your client or make her dislike her everyday self. You just want a starting point to compare against.

Take a great “after” photo right after hair, makeup and wardrobe are complete. This image is the “Facebook safe” image that can be used as a profile photo AND shows the results of the transformation.

Break It Down Into Bite Sized Chunks

body parts

Break It Down

Organize your thoughts. Slow yourself down. Try a piece-meal approach. Instead of stepping back and photographing the girl from head to toe, do your warm up by zooming in and photographing body parts. Focus on areas that are sensual and beautiful like the neck, shoulder, legs. This approach does a few things, it allows the client to relax and get used to being posed and it gives the photographer time to get creative. It also makes for a great collage in the album. Take a few shots that way, then step back and gradually expand the view to maybe the torso and work your way into a full body shot view.

Starting With Clothes On

take it off

Peeling Off is Sensual

Warm up time is essential for some clients, so I like to start most of my shoots with all the clothes on. Get that glamour and “Facebook safe” image first. Peel the clothes off and photograph as you go along. In fact, the process of peeling can be sensual and should be captured.

Go the Opposite and Start Naked

I’ve had clients who were so comfortable with themselves that starting naked was the way to go. Once you start naked, everything else is easy.


There are a lot of ways to approach a shoot and break the ice. These were just a few ideas. Whatever you do, make sure that you work towards everyone’s comfort zone, slow down and above all, have fun.

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Michelle is a Southern California Portrait and Wedding Photographer. When she’s not geeking out with a camera she’s nerding out in her IT world. All other moments in the day are spent with her two wonderful children.

See her work on The COCO Gallery
check out her blog at frexNgrin

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Angelo

    Bite sized chunks! I love it!

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