Boudoir and Pinup

What’s the difference?

Boudoir setup model: Lucky Diamond Cosplay

The first thing people usually say when they hear I do boudoir photoshoots is either “I’d love to do that, but I don’t think I could!” or “Your wife let’s you do that?”

The problem comes from a lack of understanding about what the styles are. Most people immediately think nudity is involved. Take a look at the picture above. That is one of the most beautiful pictures I have taken (in my humble opinion), and if her skirt was just a tad longer she could wear that to church.

So what is boudoir exactly?

Boudoir is French for “bedroom” to put it concisely. Usually photographers use it to describe a more sensual style of shooting. Yes it can be nude, implied nude, or like the cover image just a beautiful intimate picture. I guess I should break it down farther. Nude usually means the subject is naked and usually posed in an artistic way to really highlight the beauty of the human body. It can occasionally be erotic in nature (in which case it’s called erotic nude and not artistic nude). Implied nude usually means the subject is covered up but the implication is they are nude.

Implied nude. The model is literally throwing her bra at the camera to appear topless, but nothing is exposed.

What’s the difference between pinup and boudoir?

Good Example of a pinup outfit and pose by my favorite pinup model Stray Kat Cosplay

Pinup and boudoir can occasionally crossover, but pinup is defined more by the style of clothing or lingerie worn. The way the makeup and hair is done. It’s also an attitude shift. Boudoir is sensual, intimate, almost romantic. Pinup is usually not as serious, more fun, whimsical, and almost teasing. I also think for some people it’s an easier pill to swallow, even though you can also shoot pinup with full clothing, implied, or full nude. I find people are more open to try pinup than boudoir typically.

What’s it like to do the shoot?

Most people find it empowering. It’s fun to be sexy! It’s great to be able to work with a professional who is consistently encouraging you telling you how beautiful you look how great you’re doing. Working to pose you to show you off in the most flattering light. Many people have told me it was a great confidence booster and almost therapeutic. A good photographer might encourage you to push your comfort zone but will never require or request anything you’re not comfortable with. Everyone has different comfort levels with nudity and with sexuality and it’s the photographers job to understand and respect that. NEVER let a photographer push you outside that. I never require any models to get nude. I may ask “are you comfortable trying this out?” if the client/model says no I drop it. I have some clients that I can’t share a single photo to social media because they didn’t wear clothing long enough to get any photos that wouldn’t get me banned and other clients that are fully dressed every shot. Either way is perfectly 100% fine.

Can men do it?

Yes! Notice at no point have I specified a gender. Typically women show the most interest in this style of photography, but men can definitely get in on the fun. There is dudeoir, and rock-a-billy for men that all have the same flair as women’s shoot.

Cap Santiago shows us how to do some dudeoir!

It’s also fun sometimes for couples to do a shoot together!

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter your body type, race, or sexual orientation. It’s a photoshoot, usually, that you share only with your significant other or save for yourself. Again some people are more open and share their photos proudly on Facebook or printed on their walls. Your photographer should have a way to keep your photos confidential, and secure. For instance I create hidden passworded galleries for my clients so they can only share the photos with who they choose, and no one else can accidentally stumble into their galleries. If you want more info feel free to contact me!

Few more pictures for examples.