1. Have champagne and chocolate on hand. The champagne marks the shoot as a celebration and an event. It’s a toast to sexiness and relaxes everyone. Chocolate is definitely a girl’s best friend and an excellent mood elevator, but more importantly, it’s the sugar rush needed after a few wardrobe changes and extreme posing… Hey, boudoir is hard work!
2. Limit wardrobe changes. Outfits are fun, and variety is the name of the game! However, wardrobe changes can quickly get out of hand. Make sure your client gets enough time to “vibe” in each one. A nice selection of wardrobe changes can be simple: just a thong and heels, a fantasy element, lingerie, or some dress up. Just remember: 5 different black bustiers is not variety.
3. Chat like girlfriends – even if you’re a guy. This is perfect for while you’re both enjoying champagne and while she’s still in the hair & make-up chair. Yes, you want to tell her how much you love those shoes, chat about dating, last night’s escapade, tell her a self-deprecating story, and start playing with those outfits and getting really excited…
4. Begin without fanfare. Keep talking, drinking, and shooting while she’s still in the make-up chair and continue shooting before she even knows “the shoot” is starting. I always say that I’m just doing lighting tests, or whatever. Meanwhile, I’m really just giving her time to warm up and get used to a camera in the room while she’s half-naked.
5. Demo the moves! Show her the exact movement you want her to do. This will take the performance pressure off of her. Plus, she’ll see how ridiculous you look and won’t be shy about duplicating it.
6. Be high-energy! Keep the energy high, and you’ll get fun, lively, sassy images! She will play off your energy, so bring it.
7. Be silly and playful. Keep the atmosphere silly and playful, so she will be bold and experiment with new and different things.
8. Talk talk talk! Constantly reassure her. Any moment of silence will cause her to doubt what she’s doing. I provide a never-ending litany of “gorgeous, perfect, good – keep going… yes! that’s amazing… sooooo beautiful… ok, now flip your hair – perfect! Yes, do it again… great!…”
9. Everything works “Great!” – even if it doesn’t… You don’t want to kill the energy and make the poor girl embarrassed. Most of what you guys do together may not work (that’s what’s awesome about editing!) – but she doesn’t need to know that. So say “GREAT!” but move on swiftly to something else when it’s not really working for ya.
10. Call Her! Give her a buzz later that evening to mention how much fun it was and how you took a sneak peek at the pics, which look amazing!! Mention how bold and sexy she was… and how much fun you had. Think about it: You saw her naked – she deserves a phone call afterwards!
Written by Christa Meola Los Angeles Photographer.
Christa’s mission is to empower women to adore their bodies through private 1-on-1 shoots in NYC and destinations around the world — and coach photographers into flexing their business muscles through her online workshops and products.