Boudoir photography

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Boudoir photography is a photographic style featuring intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects in a photographic studio, bedroom or private dressing room environment, primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subject and his or her romantic partners.[1] It is distinct from glamour and art nude photography in that it is usually more suggestive rather than explicit in its approach to nudity and sexuality, features subjects who do not regularly model, and produces images which are not intended to be seen by a wide audience, but rather to remain under the control of the subject.[2]


The nude or sexualized female form has been a theme of photography since as early as 1840.[3] Early erotic photography such as French postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century, and pin-up girls have influenced the visual style of boudoir photography.[4]

Boudoir photography was popularised in the millennium with the arrival of digital photography.[5] It became popular with women seeking to create a private collection of professional studio portraits. Boudoir photography dates from the mid-1980s onwards,[6] and is characterized by the empowerment of its female subjects, who now were typically the photographer's direct clients[7] rather than being hired models.


It is common for women to have boudoir photographs of themselves made as a gift to a partner, conventionally on the occasion of their engagement, marriage,[8] or before an enforced separation such as a military deployment.[9] Boudoir photography is also sometimes given as a gift with the intention of re-affirming and encouraging the romance and sensuality between partners in a long-term relationship.[10]

Increasingly, boudoir photography is seen as something that a person might do purely for their own enjoyment, for the pleasure and affirmation of seeing themselves as attractive, daring, sensual, and sexually-desirable.[11][12]


Boudoir photography encompasses a range of styles and moods. In the United Kingdom it became popular for Brides to be to commission photoshoots as a wedding gift for the groom.[13] Named categories of boudoir photography include so-called "naughty girl", "fun and giggles", and "provocative and sensual", with varying degrees of explicitness and nudity.[14]

Visually the genre is characterized by diffuse high-key images[15] which flatter the appearance of skin, short focal distances, and shallow depth of field,[16] which together impart an intimate, "dreamy" mood. Other common styles include a low-key, deliberately grainy black-and-white, reflecting the influence of art nudes, early erotic photography, and film noir.[16] Also common are poses and lighting setups intended to replicate the mood and appearance of classic pin-up photographs and paintings.[17] You can see lots of different boudoir images at Boudoir Photography

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shelp, Scott G. A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Photography, Second Edition. p. 116. ISBN 9780557164493. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Bastita, Nino. "Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are". Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Warren, Lynne (2005-11-15). Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography, 3-Volume Set. Routledge. p. 448. ISBN 9781135205430. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Sinkovits, Tanya (July 18, 2014). "A Peek Inside Boudoir Photography". WGNO. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Alexandra, Vince ( "Miss". The Telegraph Newspaper.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Calio, Jim (Feb 11, 1985). "Now for Some Real Play Mates! Boudoir Photography Proves Wives and Girlfriends Can Be Sexy, Too". People. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Leigh, Marisa (3 February 2014). "Where Did Boudoir Photography Come From?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Luxury Boudoir Photography in India - Neeraj Agnihotri". NEERAJ AGNIHOTRI. Retrieved 2018-05-08. 
  9. ^ Surina, Echo (2009). "Centerfold". Exquisite Weddings. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Kanim, Debra (2 Sep 2015). "In the boudoir with Orthodox Jewish women". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Meehan, Mary (June 22, 2010). "Boudoir photos help women reconnect with sexy side". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Barnes, W M N C (4 February 2015). "I posed in my lingerie to celebrate ME! How sexy Boudouir photo-shoots unlocked the inner confidence of three Devon mums". Western Morning News. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Vince, Alexandra (March 25, 2011). "Miss". Startups. 
  14. ^ Lynch, Annette (2013-08-15). Porn Chic: Exploring the Contours of Raunch Eroticism. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 76–. ISBN 9781472520142. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Hewlett, Terry (2014-07-31). Flash Photography: Art and Techniques. Crowood Press, Limited. p. 5. ISBN 9781847977670. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Lark, Jessica (2014-05-13). Elegant Boudoir Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Design for Exquisite Images. Amherst Media. p. 91. ISBN 9781608957279. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  17. ^ 25 Amazing Boudoir Photography Techniques. Edward Verosky. p. 44.