Five Things to Consider When Choosing A Boudoir Photographer

So you are thinking about doing a boudoir session?  First off, I’m proud of you.  A boudoir session pushes most women outside their comfort zone and can be intimidating.  I mean, I don’t pose in front of a camera in my skivvies on the daily!  Whether you are a first timer or had a session before, you need to find the right photographer for you.  When you find someone who aligns with your goals and style, your shoot will be epic.  

So where do you start?  There are many different photographer skill levels: hobbyists, semi-professionals, Professional Jack-of-all-trades (they shoot everything from babies to weddings) and then specialists, who only focus on one specific niche of photography.  Who is best?  Let’s dive in. I’ll give you the 5 most important things to consider when choosing a boudoir photographer for you!

Boudoir sessions including handcuffs and lace blindfolds
Naughty or Nice?

Decide what’s most important to you

Yep, I’m starting here, with you and what you “want”.  I ask every single woman during their consultation what is most important to them.  Some look at me surprised by the question.  How many times have you thought about what your ultimate goal is, especially photography?  This is a really important question ladies. It’s going to drive your decision on choosing a boudoir photographer for the most intimate and (what should be) most gorgeous images of yourself. 

Is the quality of images most important?  What about staying within a certain “budget”?  How far are you willing to travel to the photographer? What does their experience include? Are they full service? Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? How “professional” are they?  This person will be photographing you in your skivvies, maybe less, depending on what you want and a level of professionalism should be important.  So sit down and think about the details that are most important to you and then start shopping for your photographer!  

Red head in pink bra set natural light boudoir

Learn how to spot a professional

I can not stress enough how important it is to make sure you are choosing a boudoir photographer who is a professional.  It’s one thing to hire a friend of a friend who just started their business and does great work for super cheap for some family shots.  Is that the best choice for a boudoir shoot?  Think about it: this is a person who will photograph you in some revealing and vulnerable shots.  A level of professionalism and experience is incredibly important.  Start by checking out their website (yes they really should have one).  Is their site 100% to boudoir photography or do they have a little bit of everything on it?  Is it polished, like they hired a professional to create it, or does it look thrown together? Things look good? Let’s move on!

Brunette choosing a boudoir photographer
Fine Art Nude

Level/Quality of Work

Since we are on the topic of websites, let’s talk about quality/level of work.  There are photographers out there with a wide variety of experience and skill set. A professional boudoir photographer’s portfolio should include a variety of body shapes and types AND have them all look great.  Is the lighting in the images consistent?  Are they in sharp focus?  Are the images retouched to remove blemishes, bruises, etc or do they just have a “filter” slapped on them to make them look artsy? It’s not easy to be proficient in Photoshop.  A lot of photographers skip the higher level of artistry and retouching that requires photoshop knowledge.  

Look at the expressions of the women in the photographer’s portfolio.  Are the women all looking away or have eyes closed?  It’s pretty easy to get detail, up close shots and ones where my subject is looking away BUT mastering the relaxed expression with direct eye contact has taken me years of practice and communication with my clients.

Remember: you need to decide what is most important to you.  Do you want a seasoned professional who provides consistently high level, quality work or take a gamble on a hobbyist or amaetur?  Quality and price are going to come hand in hand just like any purchase you make.  The higher the quality, the higher the cost.  When going to a doctor, a specialist costs more than a general practitioner.  Birkin bags are more expensive than Kate Spade purses. There is a lot that goes into the price you are paying- knowledge, expertise, quality of materials, etc.  When choosing a boudoir photographer, you are paying for not only their talent but expertise and knowledge on how to pose and light the female form as well as the final product and level of service that is provided.    

Woman wearing top hat and white button up shirt
Modern but with vintage-vibe?

What’s included?

No two photographers are the same thus no two experiences are going to be the same.  Most photographers charge a session fee or creation fee to “create” your images and then products are purchased separately.  Find out what is included.  Does the session fee include hair and make up?  How about wardrobe?  Some photographers offer wardrobe while others want your experience to be custom tailored and 100% you.  

Brunette wearing black lace lingerie in outdoor boudoir shoot
Outdoor sessions available

Will your images be retouched (ie remove blemishes, bruises, stretch marks if you want them removed) or just “edited” (think insta filters here)? Do they provide in house ordering?  It’s a huge advantage to work with a photographer who provides in-house printing/ordering.  I don’t know about you but I really don’t want the 17 year old at Cosco or Walgreens seeing my boudoir images. Will they custom design your album for you or are you going to be navigating through Snapfish trying to figure it out for yourself?  The ordering and designing process can be hugely overwhelming for an untrained individual.  Having a photographer who will help you navigate and design the perfect album for you is a huge asset.

Brunette woman wearing couture gown in boudoir session
Does the photographer offer couture gowns and props for their clients?

Willing to meet with you?

Last, are they going to “meet” you before your shoot?  I know this may seem silly but stick with me.  How many people do you feel comfortable taking your clothes off for?  Some of you may say “I’d get naked any time any place” but I’m guessing most of you feel the opposite.  I know I do!  You will be sharing your insecurities and intimate details with your photographer, not to mention, your self esteem, confidence, and self worth are going to be in this person’s hands.  They should be willing to take at least 15 min to meet you and help you feel comfortable prior to your shoot day.  

It is paramount that my clients feel comfortable with me so I meet with every single client either virtually or in person at my studio before they hire me.  It takes a lot of juggling on my part and limits the amount of sessions I am available to do all year but I think the trade off is worth it.  

Boudoir photographer offers sessions for country or rock n roll inspired clients
Are you a little bit country or a little bit rock n roll?

Whew!  We covered ALOT there didn’t we?   The saying “you get what you pay for” applies greatly in boudoir photography so keep that in mind. Think through what is most important to you. You may decide it’s best to save up for this life changing experience or take advantage of a payment plan if they are offered.  Because honestly, do you want your photographer choice to be: chosen 100% based on price point on the cheap or getting everything you want and deserve from an experience like this? Boudoir is meant to show you how beautiful you are right now. With an inexperienced, budget photographer, it can do the opposite and we already have enough things in this world that kills our self esteem and self worth don’t we?  

Have you thought about booking your own shoot with Cassy? Download your complimentary Dream Shoot Planner by clicking HERE.  It will tell you all about the experience and what to expect.  I would love to chat with you! You can give me a call directly at 319-849-5152.  You can also email me at  I can’t wait to hear from you!

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