If you’re a boudoir photographer and you’ve never tried couples boudoir photography, then you’re missing out! Not only is a shoot with a loving couple a ton of fun, it’s also really easy to create MORE sellable images, simply because there is more than one person. For this reason, you’ll have images of each person alone plus images of the couple together. I always have my biggest sales from a couples session. More images equals higher sales.

Most boudoir photographers I hear from are nervous to shoot couples in an intimate setting. If you follow these couples boudoir photography tips, you’ll create breathtaking images that radiate intimacy and connection in no time, without any awkwardness.

**All images used with permission by photographer and author Tanya Smith. You can find more educational content from Tanya at profitableportraits.com

Build Rapport & Trust

The most important thing you need to establish from the very beginning is to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you are not interested in shooting more erotic images, make that clear from the beginning. There is no better way to make a season super awkward than by not being clear as to what you are willing to photograph. You must be VERY upfront with your clients.

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Make sure both people attend a pre-shoot consultation so you can all meet in person, and so everyone knows what to expect. Even if you don’t normally offer pre-shoot consultations, for couples boudoir, it’s necessary.

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Ask your couple to bring in some images that they like and you show them some as well…don’t just have them explain it to you or you to them. Much can be lost without visuals. And sexy/sensual/erotic/romantic etc, can mean very different things to everyone.

Your face to face meeting will also help to build rapport and trust which is crucial when working with couples. Awkward clients equals awkward photos. Meeting in person first will help to create a relaxing atmosphere for both you and your clients. Consider having an assistant be present during the session to help with trust and comfort for all parties.

The Right Location for Couples Boudoir

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Select any location that enhances the sensuality and intimacy of the shoot. It could be the couples’ very own bedroom, a classy hotel suite, a modern air bnb, a cozy studio or any other location that resonates with the couple.

Couples Boudoir Posing

As with any boudoir session, it’s important for you to be able to guide your clients into poses with gentle and encouraging words so they have images that evoke emotions instead of stiff and unnatural positions.

black and white edit of couple
Photo by Tanya Smith

For couples boudoir photography, this is especially important. You’ll need to provide guidance, but it’s crucial to do so with sensitivity and respect. Give clear instructions but allow room for their own interpretation and natural expressions.

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Encourage your clients to interact with each other by embracing, exchanging soft kisses and gentle caresses. The key is to capture the emotional and physical intimacy between them without making the poses uncomfortable or awkward for anyone. Guide your clients to focus on their connection and tender moments rather than explicit poses.

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Encourage your clients to get “handsy.” For traditional boudoir with one person, I like to keep the hands soft and gentle on the skin, but with couples boudoir photography, grabbing skin, hair and clothing is a sign of passion and is encouraged. Also, it makes for amazing images.

Use guiding words like, whisper into your partner’s ear, lace your hands together, steal a kiss, run your fingers through your partner’s hair, slow dance with each other, undo his shirt, or unhook her bra, etc.
These candid moments are often the most powerful and reveal the true connection between a couple, so have your camera ready!

Remember, you are there to capture their love story and connection, not to impose your own vision.


couple looks at one another
Photo by Tanya Smith

Don’t be afraid to experiment with lighting. Soft and diffused light can create an intimate and romantic ambiance, while dramatic lighting can add a touch of mystery and sensuality. Play around with natural or artificial light or a combination. Shoot through window blinds or other objects, use candles or strategically placed lighting to enhance the mood and overall feel of your final images.

Pay Attention to Details

Capturing small moments and details can elevate your images and your clients’ experience. Think- interlacing hands, tender glances, someone’s hand on the other’s body, unzipping or unbuttoning etc.

close up of couple
Photo by Tanya Smith

You can also utilize props, but make sure they don’t overshadow the clients. Consider props that are subtle and that will enhance the boudoir experience. Use things like delicate fabrics, sensual accessories, or meaningful objects like jewelry or special outfits or articles of clothing or lingerie. Used sparingly, props can enhance a boudoir image.

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Photo by Tanya Smith

Discuss wardrobe choices to align their vision with yours. Encourage them to bring outfits that make them feel confident and sexy. Consider a mix of lingerie and intimates, as well as cozy sweaters and other personal items that hold sentimental value: something she wore on their honeymoon, a tie from a special occasion, etc.

Use Your Camera to Tell a Story

Are your clients home from date night? Is this a casual encounter? Or, is this a more at home moment, maybe hanging out on the couch, chatting in bed on a lazy Sunday morning?

Couple in bed
Photo by Tanya Smith

Make sure to guide your clients to keep the focus on each other and avoid looking at your camera for the most part. Remember that couples boudoir photography represents a collaboration between you and the couple. Encourage them to express their desires, fantasies and ideas while also making sure everyone is comfortable and understands what to expect.

Throughout the entire process from inquiry, to the session, to the clients receiving their final images, ensure that you maintain professionalism and respect for the couple. Encourage open communication and assure them that you’re there to capture their love and connection in the most respectful and artistic way.

If you communicate clearly, establish boundaries, and obtain consent every step of the way, you will create a safe and comfortable atmosphere that will make your clients feel empowered and safe, and you will create beautiful images that truly reflect their love story.