Boudoir photography captures you, or whoever the chosen subject is, in an intimate setting, typically in various states of undress. Often shot in black and white, the term boudoir photography can conjure up visions of lingerie, heels, pearls and racy perfume ads. The beauty of boudoir photography is that these pictures showcase your beauty but are never more revealing than you want them to be. You may be fully clothed, but the sensuous setting or the gaze of your eye creates a provocative image. Some people choose to wear lingerie or seductive clothing, and still others dare to bare it all, with silky sheets or furs tastefully covering private areas.
You can choose to have boudoir photos just for fun — to celebrate your body and your beauty exactly as they are right now — and keep the photos for your viewing only. You may want to have high-quality boudoir photos taken as a surprise for that special someone in your life. You may do a photo shoot with your romantic partner to honor a momentous occasion or celebrate your love. You may want boudoir maternity photos taken that showcase your baby belly in a sumptuous light. You can even have a boudoir party with a group of friends for a sassy way to celebrate yourselves.
Boudoir photos can be taken in a photography studio, outdoors, at your home or in a special location — like a glamorous hotel room. Costs may increase if the photographer has to travel to your chosen location, to account for the added work required to transport photography and lighting equipment, as well as the additional time required for setup and take-down. A main driver of cost for boudoir photography is the length of time of the photo shoot. Another factor is the number of retouched photos you want at the end. Costs can increase with the number of "looks" you want photographed — including different outfits or settings as well as hair and makeup services. Not all boudoir photos look the same, so you can request the photographic style that best suits you (or your alter ego). Commonly requested photographic styles include glamorous, pinup, fine art, natural and romantic. If you are ready to capture your secret wild side, here are the cost factors for boudoir photography.
Boudoir photography packages
In general, boudoir photography is sold as a package service. The package includes a boudoir session fee that covers a set amount of photo shoot time, an agreed-upon number of retouched photos and digital images, and any additional elements such as wardrobe changes, set changes, or hair and makeup services. Most boudoir photographers will have tiered pricing that reflects the amount of time and work required of the photographer to deliver the services and final photos. Other factors that affect package pricing are the region where the photographer works and their reputation. Here are some examples of average boudoir portrait package pricing:
For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography in Franklin, Indiana
- One and a half hours with 10 retouched, high-resolution photos: $475
- Two hours with 15 retouched, high-resolution photos and a female set assistant: $625
- Three hours with 20 retouched, high-resolution photos, a female set assistant, and hair and makeup services: $950
- All these packages include a photo reveal and selection session (to pick which photos you would like retouched) and photo copyright release
Digital Merit Photography in Astoria, New York
- Two hours with five retouched photos, one hairstyle, one makeup look, one outfit change, two setups, and a six-page album: $275
- Three hours with eight retouched photos, one hairstyle, two makeup looks, two outfit changes, three setups and a 10-page album: $425
- Four hours with 12 retouched photos, two hairstyles, two makeup looks, three outfit changes, four setups and 12-page album: $625
- Additional looks are $125 each with Digital Merit Photography
Couples boudoir photography
Sometimes you want racy photos not just of you, but of you and your honey. For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography recommends taking these intimate photos as a seductive Valentine's Day gift, an anniversary treat, or the morning after your wedding for an unforgettable keepsake. Pricing will vary depending on how long you want your couples photo shoot to be, how many edited photos you want at the end, and any additional services you request. For example, For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography offers a couples session for an average of $575. This includes a two-hour photo shoot and 10 retouched, high-resolution photos.
The length of the photo session is one of the biggest factors in the cost of boudoir photography. The longer the photo shoot, the higher the fee.
Number of photos
More photos always equals more fun, but it can also mean a higher cost. The number of retouched photos included in a boudoir photography package is often the second largest determinant of overall cost. There is an art to retouching photos, editing for color, smoothing out blemishes and edges, adjusting tone and making your boudoir photos look perfect. The more time the photographer spends editing photos or the more photos you want, the higher the cost will be. Often the photographer will spend far more time in post-production, perfecting photos, than in the photoshoot itself.
The setting you choose for your boudoir photos plays a major role in the final look and feel of the pictures. Many photographers, especially those who specialize in boudoir photography, have props in their studio for creating the right mood. Common boudoir props include silk or velvet curtain backdrops, vintage couches, fur rugs, candles and more. Some boudoir photographers offer props and setups as part of their package deals. Many also welcome clients to bring their own props to the studio as a way to create the mood they want. In general, the more scene setups and the more work required to change the set over, the higher the overall cost.
The best part of a photoshoot is all the outfit changes. Each outfit can represent a different mood or persona. You may want to wear a black tuxedo jacket and black fishnet tights for one set of photos and then switch into your favorite silky red negligee for the second set. Outfit changes can require a change in lighting and are often accompanied by a change of backdrop, all of which take more time and require more work from the professional. Some photographers limit the number of outfit changes permitted per photo shoot. Other boudoir photographers may have an additional charge for each outfit change beyond what is outlined in the package. For example, Digital Merit Photography charges an extra $125 for each outfit change if the client would like more than are included in the package.
Hair and makeup
Of course you will want to look absolutely gorgeous for your boudoir photos. Some people prefer to let their natural beauty shine, and others want professional makeup and hairstyling. Having your makeup professionally done allows your features to best shine when you are photographed. Contouring and strategically painted lips and eyes let your features pop. Pro makeup and hair also provide an additional boost of courage for what might be (for some) an act of bravery to bare themselves in this way. If you don't have a hair and makeup pro that you already love to work with, many boudoir photographers partner with pros to offer this service.
To determine whether you will like the aesthetic of the makeup artist or hairstylist, ask to see publicly available boudoir photos your photographer has shot that feature the makeup artist and/or hairstylist's work. If you are doing your own hair and makeup, remember to practice your look before the day of the photo shoot so you know what you want to achieve and how you will execute it. The cost of hair and makeup is typically rolled into the price of higher-end boudoir photography packages, but if you are booking it separately, the cost for hair and makeup together could average between $100 and $200.
Want to have an unforgettable 50th birthday party? Some photographers offer boudoir party packages for milestone birthdays or bachelorette parties. Far from being awkward, these rambunctious photo shoots allow you and your friends to let down your hair and free your sassy sides. Boudoir photography parties cost more overall than an individual photo shoot, but less per person. Many of them include a solitary photo option for each individual as well as a group photo. For example, For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography offers a boudoir party package for a minimum of five people at $200 per person. Boudoir parties aren't the only way to save; you may want to ask your photographer if they offer discounts for other groups. For Your Eyes Boudoir Photography offers a variety of packages, such as baby bump boudoir, as well as a discount for military boudoir photos for partners of people on active duty. Be brave, be adventurous, and have fun with it!
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.