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Most boudoir images are sought by young women who want them as a gift for their boyfriend, fiance or husband. It therefore goes without saying that the images should be flattering, intimate and very personal. The shots the client wants are not just those of a young woman in her underwear, but of a very special person whose every glance and movement conveys so much to the recipient of the gift. As in most portraiture, facial expressions and the eyes are vitally important.

Boudoir poses
Image by king permission of Barrie Spence at Entropic Tendencies

Boudoir models can be posed in almost any position that a model is happy to adopt. She can stand, sit, kneel or lie down. Given an appropriate location, a model might be asked to stand in an open doorway, in front of patio doors or at an elegant window. She could also position herself on a couch or bed, perhaps lying on her stomach, side or back. When lying on her back, she might angle her head and eyes back towards the photographer standing above and to one side of her. This encourages a vulnerable wide-eyed and sultry look. The detail of the eyes and face should be rendered sharp but the rest of the body can be allowed to fade out of focus, the blurred areas suggesting the model's relaxed state of undress in an appropriate manner.

Another approach is to photograph the model full-length while she is lying on her back on a chaise longue. Keep the model's body at right-angles to the angle of view and ask her to bend the knee nearer to the camera. She can look straight ahead or turn her head to the camera. A similar shot can be created with the model seated on a wide window ledge, or on the floor adjacent to a window which extends down to the floor. The natural light flowing in from the outside can be used to create a silhouette or balanced with a soft fill light.

With the model lying on a bed or couch, a photographer can stand over the model and look down at her at some attractive angle. If the model lies more or less on her stomach and turns her head back towards a photographer positioned halfway down her body, or to one side of her feet, the face can once again be maintained in sharp focus while the rest of the body is rendered soft.

Never forget that the images are about a very special person rather than just an attractive woman. The face, the associated expressions and looks, and eye contact are all important. It is a good idea to work with a medium telephoto lens so that it is easy to crop closely without invading the model's personal space.

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