Boudoir Session Planning Guide

Whether you’ve just booked your boudoir experience with us, or you’re about to pull the trigger, this article is for you! Booked Clients: Remember! You also have a wealth of resources inside your client portal that you’ve gained exclusive access to as a client of Rachel Jasmine Studio.

We have some best practices for the boudoir beauty regimen for you to consider. Not all things will be applicable to you, and many of these things are merely a suggestion. Ultimately we want you to define your beauty for yourself, so use this as just a checklist of things you want to remember for your session.

beauty and glamour photographer

How to prep your hair for boudoir

Sometimes ladies say that their next day hair holds a better curl; in our experience we prefer clean blown out hair for ladies who want us to curl or straighten their hair at the studio. We use professional styling tools that will ensure voluptuous results as long as we have a good base to work with!

For Straight Hair:

  • Wash and blow out your hair the morning of your session for maximum lift and volume. Pull up Youtube and watch a couple videos on “Salon style blow outs at home” to get the technique down.
  • Best blowout practice: pre-treat your hair will a heat protectant and volumizing mousse.
  • Do not apply hair spray on your finished blow out. We will apply hair spray on you after the final styling is done.

For naturally curly Hair:

  • Only blow out your hair if you want us to straighten it or use the curling wand to do beachy waves.
  • if you prefer your natural curls, please do your normal hair styling routine with the products you know and trust.
  • Because not all curls are made the same, please bring your favorite anti-frizz cream or styling products for any touch ups throughout your session.

Hair Cuts, Styles, and Dyes

If you are in need of a trim, try to do this a week or so before your session! Be very careful about making big, dramatic changes right before your session! A week will give you a better chance to have any corrective work done prior to your session if you find you’re the kind of babe who is followed around by Murphy’s Law.

We LOVE fashion colors! Make sure your color has settled in well prior to your session. If your hair is still depositing color, it will transfer to your skin (we tend to get a little hot and sweaty during a session) and we cannot photoshop a blue neck or hair line. Use your best judgement here and consult with your salon professional about the best time to refresh your color!

Our Service

We offer what we call “light hair services,” which means we curl or straighten your hair as it is when you arrive. We do not offer salon blowouts.

Please remember to arrive with dry, clean hair so that our hair and makeup artist can perform the service within the budgeted time in the chair.

white sheet boudoir photos

How to prep your face for boudoir

We want to be sure that the makeup will apply well to your face, so it’s best to start with a clean slate. A face with yesterday’s makeup will leave residue on the skin that will make blending foundation on top of it undesirable.

  • Arrive the morning of your session with a clean, washed face. No makeup. You may apply a light, non-fragrant moisturizer or serum.
  • do not do any chemical peels or detoxifying facials in the days leading up to your session. These are meant to allow your skin to purge toxins from your pores and will result in breakouts on the face.

some of our clients will opt for in-home, or salon service, dermaplaning a day or two before their session. This treatment removes peach fuzz and dead skin giving you a truly radiant glow.

The camera equipment we use in the studio is truly ultra high definition. Some women are surprised to see how much of their peach fuzz ends up being visible on camera. This requires extensive editing to be removed and may result in excess retouching fees. So, it’s worth considering if you feel your peach fuzz will be something you aren’t going to love being highlighted.

lingerie photos

How to prep your skin for boudoir


  • This time frame will be based on the sensitivity to your skin. If you regularly exfoliate the face and body, then do it the night before a full 24-36 hours prior. If your skin is prone to irritation after exfoliating, use your best judgement. Lips. Face. Body. Remember to hit all of these for fresh, luminous looking skin!
  • Lips: grab a sugar scrub from Ulta or Sephora and begin exfoliating your lips a few weeks before your session. Then again the night before and the morning of.
  • Face: treat yourself to demaplaning or a non-detoxifying facial to remove peach fuzz and dead, dry skin.
  • Body: there are many exfoliants on the market for both products and brushes. This is a great way to really plump up your skin and give it a fresh, supple look.

Moisture & Hydration:

About a week before your session we want you to really increase your water intake. A solid 7+ days will likely mean that any significant water retention will have subsided by then, and we will have a beautiful moisturized canvas to work with. It truly does make such a difference in the final impact of the images and how your skin photographs.

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Begin a moisturizing regimen as soon as possible.
  • Moisturize your entire body after your shower the morning of your session. Pay extra attention to knees and elbows, and consider the drying effects of the season you’ve booked your session.
  • We offer a range of lotions and oils at the studio that you are welcome to help yourself to. If you have skin sensitivities, we suggest you bring your own to reapply during your session.

As a boudoir photographer I spend most of my time photographing skin. So, I really like to help set my clients expectations for how they can achieve that super model glow to their skin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in photoshop- it happens with a dedication to moisturizing and hydration!

Shave or wax?

We want you to groom in a way that feels comfortable to you. Brazilian waxes can easily be substituted for a good shave the morning of your session. Most of our clients arrive with a fully shaven/waxed kitty kat, though we also support a natural appearance as well. Pubic hair is a sign of mature femininity so there is nothing wrong with keeping it in tact.

  • If you want that extra spa experience and how maintenance of the Brazilian, it’s best to schedule your wax 48-36 hours prior to your session Any redness or irritation will have time to subside by the time you get to the studio.
  • If you will be opting to shave excess body hair, we strongly recommend you do this the morning of your session as a final exfoliation before applying a deep penetrating moisturizer.

Tanning + Sunless Tanning

Many clients worry about summer tan lines. We never want anyone to feel like they can’t hit the beach, so we offer solutions in retouching to blend hard lines and even remove small lines entirely.

  • Clients who want to ensure a bronze glow will want to hit the tanning bed 2-3 months prior based on the recommendation of their salon professionals.
  • Sunless tanning is a great option for clients who do not want to tan with UV rays. We highly suggest a custom spray tan where a technician uses an airbrush gun to apply the product. This can also help where large areas (like the booty) needs extra attention.
  • Applying sunless tanning products yourself is not advised. Any residue that remains on your fingers, palms, and feet will not be edited out. Please consider this when planning. We do not offer re-shoots due to poor application of sunless tanners.
black and white boudoir photography

Fingernails and Toes

Details are so important! While we love a good set of acrylics for boudoir, nails should at least groomed well and given a good cleaning before the session! If you decide to go for some color, here’s what we suggest:

  • Romantic reds
  • Nuetrals; nudes and pinks
  • French Tips

Feet are very present during our sessions. A good exfoliation here goes a long way. We want to especially take care that the bottoms of your feet are nice and clean for the epic toe pointing you’re about to do! Plus: every woman deserves a day at the spa.

Want the look of acrylic nails without the commitment?

Our mega secret for clients who have those incredibly sexy nails that make their fingers look long and slender? Girl, get yourself an $8 pack of press on nails from Target! We only need them to be on for 1.5 hours. The glue is surprisingly strong and will withstand most of my posing. Just remember to bring your glue along, just in case!

best boudoir photographer near me

Styling for Boudoir | Think outside of the box

Boudoir styling is often synonymous with lingerie- and while we consider ourselves to be tried and true lingerie addicts, we love to see a range of looks! Above you’ll see two examples of the white sheet (we provide and launder the sheets!) and a sporty look that can be complete with a modern style band (think Calvin Klein) and a cut tank top for some glorious tummy shots and under-boob.

Make sure you check out the Lingerie Guide provided to you inside your Client Portal! This is the best place to start when navigating the world of lingerie. It talks about all the styles available and how they relate to your body type and level of comfort. After that, take a look at the Where to Shop Guide, which is our exclusive curated list of favorite lingerie retailers and descriptions of what we love about them!

We have found that certain styling photographs the best in our studio, style and aesthetic, the way we use lighting and our editing style. We want to make sure that you are looking your best in a way that is true to boudoir. The best example to is contrast pinup photography and boudoir: pinup is full of fun props and theatrical styling, boudoir is stripped down (pun totally intended here). We go into further details on these things in the Lingerie Guide, but here is a quick reference!

Bring With You:

  • Gartered lingerie
  • Bodysuits & teddies
  • Slips & Chemise’s
  • Calvin Kleins
  • High-waisted panties
  • Shapewear
  • White fitted button up (that fits YOU)
  • Birthday suit… wink, wink.

Leave At Home:

  • Sports jerseys
  • Oversized men’s clothes
  • Props: footballs, fishing rods, hunting vests, etc.
  • Long pearl necklaces
  • Neon colors or tie-dye
  • Weapons
  • Flowy babydolls
bodyscape boudoir photography

Prep your body for boudoir… and it doesn’t include stepping on a scale.

Get your stretch on, girl! No, seriously! We recommend spending 10-15 minute stretching after your shower or before you head to the studio. You will be holding poses and using muscles you won’t be used to using. So while the boudoir soreness is a badge of honor for our clients, stretching will help to reduce some of that and help you really dig deep into some of our more advanced poses!

Speaking of getting physical…

We are able to modify poses due to ANY physical limitation. We have clients of all sizes, ages, and physical conditions and are ready to accommodate any unique needs you may have. It is best to let us know ahead of time so that we can prepare any accommodations necessary and plan to give you the boudoir session of your dreams!

curvy girl boudoir photography

Prep your mind for boudoir

Let’s go deep here. If you are already one of my clients, congratulations of working through any mental blocks you had about booking! It is not always an easy decision for women to take this kind of bet on themselves. But the work doesn’t stop here.

If you are only just considering being a client of mine, here’s the deal… I might not be the right photographer for you if you are wanting a surface level, in-and-out, roll-around-a-hotel-bed-for-15-minutes kind of experience. Me and my team spend a significant amount of time with each one of our clients, and for many this is a form of self love therapy that we guide them through.

It is an experience from booking to final product delivery. What we do here is so much more than take pretty photos of pretty girls. We work with everyday women. Yeah. The exact women who usually don’t look like the ones in magazines. The one’s who have been told by someone at some point that they weren’t good enough. My studies in clinical behavioral psychology have given me the ability to provide body image counsel for my clients who absolutely deserve to heal the negative beliefs they’ve come to accept about themselves over the course of their lifetime.

Many of our clients use a significant celebration (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.) to justify the experience… which we wholeheartedly support… but deep down, they are wanting to be seen. They want to see what their partner sees. They want to see what they look like from the eyes of an artist. And they want to believe that they are more than “wife,” “mom,” “sister,” “caretaker.”

We are whole, singular beings before we are any of those things. My favorite saying is “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” So, at RJS, we help women learn how to fill their cup. And it’s honestly the best thing about my job.

boudoir photography dark and moody

I hope this helps demystify some of the things that go into the final result of a successful boudoir experience! As with anything, the more thoughtful consideration your give to what you want, the more you’ll get out of it.

Boudoir is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and I fully believe that it never should be. Your boudoir experience should be tailored to you!

For current RJS babes, head over to your Client Portal for ever more resources on how to rock your boudoir session. For the babes who still need a little more convincing? Check out the article linked below I wrote just for you!

Related: What you’ve been missing to book a session…

we're ready for you! when you download the booking guide, you'll learn about pricing and session availability, but you'll also receive several emails packed full of all kinds of awesome stuff about boudoir and why you should consider a shoot for yourself. 

 you'll get immediate access to the booking guide by FILLing OUT THIS FORM. please be sure to check your spam folder if the email is not received within 10-20  minutes of submitting this form. 

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Located in Bernville, PA


Rachel Jasmine Studio serves the Greater Reading Area, Berks and Lancaster Counties, and Eastern Pennsylvania as a dedicated Boudoir & Beauty photography studio. Helping women fall in love with themselves every single day with a luxury experience that will change your life.