Essential Prep for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

Lisa Tufano boudoir photo shoot

Ladies, the holidays are fast approaching and Valentine’s Day won’t be far behind that, so today I am bringing sexy back! Right now is actually the perfect time to book a sexy boudoir shoot to surprise your significant other with gorgeous images for his or her eyes only. And for you blushing brides it’s also an excellent gift for your groom-to-be if you’re headed down the aisle soon!

Remember, you want to give yourself enough time to schedule the photo shoot, as well as some time for the photographer to edit your photographs afterwards. And if you’re thinking of having them printed or bound in a book, well, leave a little extra lead time for that as well.

For this post, I’ve enlisted the incredibly talented Tara Simon to give you the low down on boudoir photo shoots. With her tips, she guarantees that you’ll be saying bye-bye to the cheesy glamour shots a la the 80s/90s, (I mean, unless you really dig feather boas, laser beam backdrops and cats!) and hellllooooooo to gorgeous and sultry boudoir shoots of today. Take it away, Tara!

How to Prep for a Boudoir Photo Shoot by Tara Simon Boudoir Photography | guest post for Lisa Tufano of

Pro Tips from Tara Simon:

So, thinking of booking your first boudoir shoot? Yay! Now here’s a list I’ve compiled of Do’s and Don’t’s of how to prepare for your boudoir photo shoot:

  1. SKIN – let’s talk about your skin. For the love of God, please DON’T over-use self tanners and stay out of the sun. A photographer’s nightmare is having to Photoshop weird skin tones and sunburn/tan lines. DO moisturize your skin for a natural glow. Glossy, shiny skin photographs well and also brings out muscle definition and tone. As a general rule, don’t do anything too crazy beforehand (i.e. don’t get a facial or your eyebrows waxed for the first time the day before your shoot), because if anything goes wrong you will be a total stressball during your session. How to Prep for a Boudoir Photo Shoot by Tara Simon Boudoir Photography | guest post for Lisa Tufano of
  1. HAIR & MAKEUP – DO get your hair and makeup up professionally done, get a natural mani/pedi, and most definitely get false eyelashes put on. They may feel too large, but they photograph well, especially when you are looking down and off to the side. You always want to exaggerate your features for the camera, especially your eyes and lips.
  1. WARDROBE – Wear loose fitting clothing the day of so that you don’t have markings when you strip down. Bring clothing that makes you FEEL sexy, not what you THINK is sexy. Don’t purposely go out and buy lingerie that doesn’t make you feel comfortable or is over the top. It will read in your photos, on your face, and in your body language.The sexiest clothing items to bring are fall-off-the-shoulder tops, cropped soft sweaters, a man’s button down shirt/tie, lacy underthings, simple black and white bras/panties (they can pair with other things), sheer slips/teddies, anything vintage, stockings/thigh highs/soft over-the-knee socks, sexy heels and subtle jewelry and hair pieces/flowers. Layering items is always a good thing to keep in mind. I tell clients to bring as many clothing options as they can.

    Boss Lady Tip from Lisa: Now is the perfect time of year to stock up on any special props like wigs, gloves, stockings, or even a French Maid costume. All of the Halloween stores will be clearing out their inventory at huge discounts.

  1. DIET & SLEEP – One week before your shoot, cut out as much sugar, carbs and processed foods as possible. Your skin will thank you, as well as keep you from looking bloated and puffy. Get as much sleep as you can the night before and eat something light the day of your shoot.
  1. HAVE FUN! Bring whatever music you like that will help you relax and get you in the mood. Maybe a mini-bottle of wine to take the edge off? With the right photographer, this is a fun and fabulous experience that you will remember forever!

How to Prep for a Boudoir Photo Shoot by Tara Simon Boudoir Photography | guest post for Lisa Tufano of

Tara’s Boudoir Philosophy:

My main objective for a glamour photo session is simple. I want to bring forth a woman’s true essence, the one I see through her smile and in her eyes.  I usually capture glimpses of these moments when she’s not even trying or paying attention. It could be a gaze over the shoulder, a laugh, a hand brushing through her hair or applying lipstick in the mirror. All those subtle qualities that make us women SO DARN ATTRACTIVE!

I’m not a fan of overly posed and unnatural photographs (get outta here with those lame props and awkward poses!). I’m not even a fan of unnatural lighting, as the best light is always natural. Can you see a theme here?

I always get the best shots almost by “accident”.  When I allow my clients to just be themselves; their true, (dare I say, natural?) selves, is when the magic happens and when their true beauty shines through. Sometimes we have to warm up a bit, play music, talk and joke around, because let’s get real…there are very few women who feel comfortable with their bodies and even less that feel comfortable in front of the camera. I pride myself on having that relaxing energy that allows me to catch beautiful moments on camera. I do what I do because I am able to show my clients the beauty in themselves that they often do not see.  EVERY woman has it despite age or size, they just don’t always believe it’s there. Allow me to show you…

Interested in booking a boudoir shoot with Tara?


Contact Tara via: Email // Facebook // Instagram


As usual, I’ve arranged for an exclusive discount for my readers! Book a photo shoot with Tara and receive a whopping 20% off on your package when booking between now and December 7th. Just mention the blog and you’re all set.

Tara primarily shoots either in your home or in hers (Orange County) and is willing to travel to Los Angeles or San Diego for a nominal travel fee. If there is a bigger group involved (hello, amazing bachelorette party idea!) she may also rent out a swanky hotel room to provide the backdrop for your session.


A little more about Tara…

How to Prep for a Boudoir Photo Shoot by Tara Simon Boudoir Photography | guest post for Lisa Tufano of

Tara Simon is a boss lady of many talents; she’s a former graphic designer, turned Pilates instructor, turned bacon desserts vixen, now fashion and beauty photographer based in Southern California. In Tara’s words: “I have finally found my true love and passion and not a day goes by that I’m not working on improving myself in every facet of my life.”

  • lola
    November 7, 2014

    last year i used too much fake tan… should have read the article before!

    the worst thing i thought i was looking fab! realized i wasnt when my mom laughed at me…

    • Lisa Tufano
      November 7, 2014

      Awwww, you poor thing! There is definitely a fine line with the faux tanning products, as I have also learned the hard way. I love them but you have to do a trial run and err on the side of “less is more” 😉

  • sheryl granholm
    November 8, 2014

    Cute idea for a bachelorette party! 😀

  • Qiana Wallace
    November 8, 2014

    stunning! which i had the courage to do a boudoir shoot for myself or my husband.

  • Jenn
    November 8, 2014

    Wow great photos and great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Veronica Lee
    November 9, 2014

    Fabulous! Not sure if I have the confidence to do a boudoir photoshoot though!

    • Lisa Tufano
      November 9, 2014

      Veronica, that’s the amazing thing about these boudoir shoots. The whole process ends up being a surprising confidence boost! The key is to hire a photographer whose work you like and whose energy you like, that way you know you’re going to look fabulous and you can be as comfortable as possible. You should totally do it! 😀

  • amy bowens
    November 13, 2014

    These are great helpful hints!

  • Tina M
    November 13, 2014

    I wish I had the courage to do this.

  • Mike Perkins
    November 13, 2014

    Rawwwawwwawwwrrrrrrrrr ,, Nice..

  • Mai Tran
    December 22, 2014

    This post, again, like many other posts on the internet, shows how harsh the life of a model is.

  • Ville A
    November 20, 2018

    I agree with you. The use of self tanner by some models has lead me in spending hours and hours in Photoshop as I have tried to get rid of the uneven skin issues created by these almost orange prickles everywhere. If you as a model want to have a tanned look to your skin, you can usually just ask your boudoir photographer to do something about it in post processing. Often it is not a big process and can be done rather quickly. Do not apply self tanners!

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