Boudoir Photography

The Powerful Posing Guide

Making a woman look alluring, powerful and strong is essential when they bare all (almost) in boudoir photography. Use our iPhotography boudoir posing checklist to capture flattering and beautiful moments of sensuality.

Bend the Limbs 

All boudoir photography poses should have angles to create conflict and leading lines. Ask your subject to bend their legs or arms creating triangles. These shapes stop your subject looking flat, one dimensional and tense.

This could be as simple as raising a knee and leaning an elbow on the top. Check out the examples below for more inspiration.

Get more tips about boudoir photography in our iPhotography Portrait Course. Click below to find out more.

boudoir photography eye contact

Eye Contact

The eyes are the first place we look to on any portrait. They are the first line of your picture’s story – so make sure you get it right.

Direct your subject to convey the mood you’re creating with their eyes. Think of ‘intense’, ‘suggestive’ or ‘innocent’ expressions to portray. But don’t assume every subject will know how to do this.

Be prepared to give them directions i.e. ‘think of something you can’t tell anyone else’.

If you want your boudoir photography to look less engaging, then ask them to look away from the camera. It then becomes more voyeuristic for the audience. A glance towards a window, gazing at a phone or reading a book are nice ways to create this distraction.

Position the Hands

Don’t leave your subject lingering. Idle hands can look distracting and unprofessional. Instead position them over your subject’s body, behind the head or clasped together to make them look purposeful.

If your subject feels a little conscious of their body, then ask them to position their hands across these areas if it would make them more comfortable.

An arm across the stomach or chest gives the hands purpose and also relaxes the subject.

boudoir photography hand on shoulder
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boudoir photography backside white knickers

Leave a Suggestion

Boudoir photography is all about beauty and/or temptation, if you give everything away then it leaves no further interest.

Don’t ask your model to bare all – as that’s not strictly boudoir photography. Full unabridged nudity starts to become glamour photography instead.

In boudoir, it’s respected to cover up private areas, but leave a hint or a suggestion in the viewer’s mind. Look to reserve your subject’s dignity whilst still showing their strength and power.

Using sheer clothing and thin materials, such as satin and silk, is another way to tempt and tease the final audience.

Pay Lip Service

The mouth has an incredible power of suggestion to an audience. Open-mouthed shots look conversational, parted (or pouted) lips could suggest a kiss or bated breath. Closed mouths can look closed off or cold, so make sure you strike the right mood.

woman with lips slightly apart
closed lips model female

‘Windswept Look’

Don’t forget to pay attention to the hair. Use a reflector or a fan to waft your model’s bonnet so it looks mid-motion and dramatic.

Combined with a low angle can make your subject look like a sexy superhero.

Consider the physics of doing this too. If your subject is indoors, sat down, with no open windows – why would their hair be moving?

Make your boudoir photography look natural and believable by getting the subject to sway (or dance a little) which, in turn, angles the body suggesting overall movement.

 windswept look blonde hair model flowing


Boudoir photography is a very personal area of photography for a new photographer to discover. It’s important to treat your subject with respect, confidence, and flattery. Remember it may be their first time modelling too.

Has this boudoir photography checklist given you some inspiration?

Let us know. If you’re an iPhotography member then post your images in the gallery, we’d love to see what you create.

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