I just finished mailing out the batch of disks from our latest Garters and Lace boudoir session that took place last month. It was such a blast! We chose a gorgeous room at the Nicollet Island Inn that had an exposed brick wall and lovely furniture and did a lot of retro style boudoir. The ladies looked amazing because they had their makeup done by Jamie at Brett Dorrian Artistry…they were simply flawless.
But this blog entry isn’t about taking boudoir portraits, it is what to do with them after you get your images back. After investing in outfits, makeup and photography it can be a bit anticlimatic to just give a disk of the images. So, how do you present these gorgeous pictures to your partner? Here are a few ideas, some that cost some money and some that don’t, but all should have a good impact.
Screen Saver – I LOVE this idea. Take your favorite images and put them on your partner’s home computer as the screen saver. So next time they’re using their computer they’ll get quite the surprise. The downside of this is that it might be difficult to be present when the surprise happens, but it is a fun and inexpensive way to present the pictures.
Random Placement – If you’re into surprises, you can leave prints around the house for your partner to find at random. Put a print in a book. Another under the coffee can. Another on their pillow…so on and so on. You can either hide all the pictures at once or one a week or even create a scavenger hunt and when they find the last one, they get a prize (this can be as chaste or…not chaste…as you want it to be, I’m not judging!)
Postcards – One of my favorite boudoir sessions took a lot of pre planning but was spectacular. With numerous retro themed rooms in the client’s house, she designed outfits to match the “sets” and we spent two hours on the session. Afterwards, she found a flat tin box and I designed vintage style postcards to fit inside. We printed 10 different cards and she gave them to her husband. It was a great presentation.
Accordion Booklet – Your photographer has access to pro labs and those labs have some great products. The accordion booklet folds up to just a 3×2.5 size or so, but folds out like a centerfold. The benefit is that you can fit multiple images onto this product and it closes nice and small for discretion. This type of booklet can also be done DIY, but you need access to a printer that can make large prints. Fast Foto in Edina also does accordion booklets and the owner is very sweet and professional.
Magazine Cover – I have designed a couple magazine covers for clients. Take whatever your occupation is and make yourself a cover girl! And you can get really creative with the articles, too.
Large Prints – Whenever I shoot boudoir, I make sure to get some that have more of a fine art feel, especially in black and white. Take one of your images that isn’t so obviously boudoir or use a classic 50’s pinup shot to make a framed piece for your bedroom. Especially if it doesn’t show your face, you can treat the image like any other piece of art you have in your home.
Calendar – I’ve designed a couple calendars. They are a ton of fun. If you’re going to do a calendar, though, it requires some pre planning as you would want to have quite a few different outfits.
Books – When creating a book, you want it to be at least 15 pages, with only one image per page. Find lyrics or poems that mean something to the two of you a scatter the words throughout the book. The books can be sweet or sassy or funny or a mix of all three. It can have extensive graphic design or be simple and clean. My favorite use of a boudoir book is as a present for your partner the night before your wedding. Leave the book wrapped in ribbon for them to find and hand write a note on the first or last page with a lipstick kiss. I have, no kidding, gotten hugs from grooms on the wedding day thanking me for making such a cool gift.
Remember, boudoir isn’t playboy (at least it shouldn’t be). Great boudoir images are going to be classy, gorgeous, show of your personality and be sensual and teasing. Some of my favorite boudoir images are of women in their partner’s favorite t-shirt (Frankie Say Relax!) and knee high socks with a big laugh on their face. That is sexy. Yes, thigh highs and a corset shot with a retro 50’s vibe is what we all picture, but if that isn’t you, then don’t do it. Your partner wants to see you for you, they love you for a reason! So choose your outfits and the presentation of your images with that in mind. And the bonus part of boudoir photography is that, yes, you’re doing this for your partner, but after the session, you realize it is for you as well. The self esteem boost is priceless =)
As a last disclaimer, your boudoir pictures are YOURS. Before you give them to anyone else, make sure you really trust them. Once you give someone else a disk or prints of yourself, or post them on the Internet, they are out of your control. If you plan on running for president someday, keep those pictures under lock and key.