What is boudoir photography?

A while ago I was discussing a boudoir photo shoot with a male friend when he suddenly asked “What is the difference between boudoir and porn?” This initially seemed a ridiculous question but I quickly realised that he was being genuine – and worryingly for my business he was not the only person present that did not know.


On the face of it both are photographs of women “with their kit off” or wearing some fancy undies that don’t usually see the light of day. Both have an element of fantasy and excitement.


Being a woman I have a slightly uncomfortable view of porn – I don’t object to it but I wouldn’t have it on display in my home. Porn brings to mind words like “blatant” and “explicit” and some argue that it exploits or degrades the women shown. Some women may enjoy porn but the industry is aimed squarely at men and they are the biggest consumer.


So how is Boudoir different? The main difference is one of emphasis. The whole experience is designed to make the client comfortable. Poses are flattering and look natural. Lighting sculpts the body to its best advantage, disguising the bits that we have but wish we didn’t.


Clients retain control and can reveal as much or as little as they want. They tease the viewer, often showing more personality then flesh, hinting that the best is yet to come. The women I meet are usually nervous but in my photographs they are confident, elegant, funny and sexy – they are who they want to be. Boudoir photography is empowering.



My clients are usually women; they want to have this style of photography to please themselves or to surprise their partner. Women sometimes book a session to celebrate a divorce or significant birthday. Recording a new phase in their lives is common, which may be why many brides ask for a bridal boudoir session.


Most of my boudoir sessions take place in your home or in a hotel room. I bring all the lighting equipment – you just have to treat yourself to some nice shoes and undies. If you want help with hair and make I can recommend stylists to make you feel more glamorous.


So what is the difference between Boudoir and Porn? Women are confident but not domineering, they show their femininity without looking vulnerable. They look their gorgeous best and often want to display their photographs not hide them under the bed. Women love their boudoir photographs, and so do their men.


If you would like to talk about or book a boudoir shoot please get in touch.


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