The idea of baring it all in front of someone you barely know can be so unbearable you might be tempted to cancel your boudoir session altogether. But "boudoir shoots are not just about how you look on the outside but how you feel in the inside," says Kim Le, the photographer behind Costa Mesa, California-based Je T'aime Beauty, which offers boudoir photography. "Boudoir shoots are about embracing your own body and feeling beautiful no matter how perfectly imperfect you are."
To do that, suggests New York City-based boudoir photographer Christa Meola, it's important to get to know your photographer and his or her philosophy. "The more questions you can ask your photographer about the specifics of what the experience will be like, the less intimidated you'll be," she says. When you know who will be on set, how the photographer will direct you, and how you can come best prepared, you'll feel more comfortable during the shoot — or know this photographer isn't the right for you and this intimate shoot.
If you have a side or feature you'd rather not highlight, don't wait until mid-session to express your concern. Tip off your photographer from the start. "We try to understand our client and what she may or may not like about her body," explains Le. "Every woman is different and we all have different things we love or hate about ourselves." Knowing your photographer isn't zooming in on your least favorite features and is instead capturing your best sides will only breed confidence. "There is power in defining how you want to be captured," echoes Meola.
Finally, visualize how you'll look when you receive your images: Sexy. If you can focus on the final product, rather than how you feel in the moment, it's easier to set fear aside and let your confidence shine through. Practice seeing your images long before you show up for the shoot. "Make it a practice to see the experience of having a great time, feeling sexy, everything going smoothly, seeing the photos and loving them," says Meola. "Be specific and visualize from your point of view, as if you're in it."