Why you should see your Boudoir Photos during the shoot

One of our recent clients told me about a disappointing experience she had with another boudoir photographer. The shoot itself was fine, but when they sent her the pictures a few weeks after the shoot she was saddened to find that she didn’t like most of them. She wanted some pictures to celebrate having lost some weight and also as a gift for her partner but she felt the majority of the images were unflattering and didn’t feel she wanted to share them with him. (N.B. the pictures in this post are from a shoot we did with our Image Retoucher, Sam – not of our client).

When she got in touch with us, she was unsure what to do – she did not want the original photographer to reshoot her (which is their policy if someone doesn’t like their pictures). But her confidence had been dented so she was not sure she wanted to start again with a different photographer. When I assured her that she would get to see her pictures during the shoot in the studio, that gave her the confidence to try again.

The problem is that she did not get to see any pictures on the day at her first shoot. The photographer took about 1000 pictures and then said he would whittle it down to the best 50 to send to her. So she didn’t even get to see most of the pictures, just the ones that the photographer liked best. Our client felt that one of the lingerie sets she had worn for most of the shoot just didn’t work for her (and the other more daring set she thought would not look good worked much better). If she had been able to see this on the day she could have done more shots in the sexier lingerie and potentially loved her pictures.

I was devastated when she told me about this shoot – especially the fact that she had paid £800! I urged her to give the photographer feedback but she was reluctant (how we British hate to complain!).


Picture from a shoot with our Image Retoucher Sam.

We have been shooting boudoir for over 11 years so we like to think we know what we are doing by now 🙂 The way we operate our shoots has changed slightly over the years as we have honed our skills, but one thing has not changed since day one. We show all our clients their pictures on a computer in the studio during the shoot.

We do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have the images transferring immediately to the computer so that we can check that the lighting, poses and angles are working for you and make any adjustments required to make the shots as good as they can be. I look at every shot as it comes through and immediately delete anything that is not spot on.


Secondly, in our experience, letting you see some pictures at the very start of the shoot (usually after we have done two or three poses) helps you to get over your nerves much faster. Once you have seen the first ten or twenty pictures and you understand how the flow of the shoot works you can start to relax and enjoy the experience. The main emotion we see in our clients after they see the first few pictures is relief! Often people expect not to look as good as they do and seeing themselves looking sexy and gorgeous takes away the worry of “Do I look OK?”.


Another very important reason we want you to see your pictures during the shoot is so we can find out what sort of shots you prefer and what you don’t like. Nobody is going to love 100% of the pictures from their shoot. We all have different tastes (even Leigh and I disagree about which pictures are best sometimes) and you may have a definite idea of how you like to look. When we review your pictures in the studio you can give us feedback on which shots you really love and which poses you like less. Some people discover that they prefer to be shot from one side rather than the other or that they like the shots best where they are not looking at the camera (or prefer the ones where they are looking at the camera).


As we progress through the shoot we build up an idea of the sort of shots you are going to love. If there are pictures you really don’t like, we can even delete them as we go so you don’t have to see them again. And if a set of lingerie doesn’t look as good as you expected, you can change into a different set – or go nude!


Because you have the opportunity to see how the poses Leigh is directing you into actually look, it also helps you to build more of a rapport and trust in him. A lot of our clients say that doing nude shots was so much easier than they expected because of the way we work. The shoot is more fun because you know exactly what is happening. Also if you are not sure if you will like a pose you can try it, view it straight away and if you don’t like it we’ll delete it, if it does work we can shoot some more!


What this means is that by the end of the shoot, you have seen all of your pictures so you know that (because we have taken your feedback into account) you will have plenty of images that you like.

Thankfully our lovely client put her trust in us and came for a shoot. Right from the start she said she felt more relaxed and seeing the pictures on the computer worked a treat. She was delighted to see that the poses and lighting made her look amazing. She was so happy and confident she even did a lot of nude shots (her previous shoot had all been done in lingerie).


Now I know some of you will be thinking “I’m not sure I want to see myself without a good dose of airbrushing!”. But that is one of the other great things about the way we shoot. We show you how you look straight out of the camera without any retouching. The majority of our skill in producing great images is in the posing and lighting. Yes we are great at retouching too, but we want you to be able to look at your unedited pictures and say “Wow – I look great” Then the retouching is just the cherry on top – it is just a bit of “polishing” to make your pictures absolutely perfect. This acts as an amazing confidence-boost for you because you know exactly how much (or how little) airbrushing is done to your finished pictures and you have control over this.

I know that some boudoir photographers don’t agree with the way we work. They prefer not to show any unedited images to their clients or want to choose the best images from the shoot for you. But after 11 very successful years we would not dream of working any other way. If you would like to see how we work with clients in the studio, take a look at our Behind the Scenes video. It is a time-lapse of a photoshoot we did with our image retoucher Sam – all the images in this post were taken that day and we used all 11 of our studio sets. Do watch it – it is great fun and will give you a real insight into what happens during one of our shoots. 🙂