What to Wear

How to Make the Most of Your Boudoir Shoot | Boudoir Photography Tips | New York City

Trust me, I’ve got you.

Trust me, I’ve got you.

I have been a boudoir photographer for nearly five years now, have had several boudoir shoots of my own, in addition to all the self-portraits I’ve taken, so I know a thing or two about how you can make the most out of your own boudoir shoot. You may be thinking, “but Stephanie, can’t I just show up and have you tell me what to do?” Of course - and you can trust that you will be in the best of hands, with all the details being worked out for you. BUT with a little bit of preparation on your end, your shoot can be even more personalized which to me, equals a better experience, better photographs and more fun all around. Once you book your boudoir session I will send you a very comprehensive prep guide with tons of details about wardrobe, self-care, and inspiration. But for those of you who aren’t clients yet, here are a few tips on how you can best prepare for your shoot.

Plan ahead

I tend to over communicate with my clients because the last thing I want is for them to walk into our shoot feeling unsure about anything. Yes, I will be coaching you the entire time, but to help get to know you and your style better before the shoot I give you a homework assignment so you don’t feel like you are “winging it” on the day. (Didn’t think you’d still have homework as an adult, did you?) ;) One thing that I find particularly helpful is to create an inspiration board with images you love. Pinterest works great for something like this (and you can make a private board so no one needs to see it but you). This helps you hone in on your style visually, even if you don’t have the words to describe what you like verbally. Keep in mind that as you’re creating Pinterest boards, you aren’t trying to completely re-create a specific shot that you see. The point isn’t to bring in an image for us to replicate but instead to help you narrow your focus into a distinct vibes as the inspiration for your own shoot and styling. Here are a few of the images that I grabbed off Pinterest as inspiration for future shoots.

Brooklyn Boudoir Inspiration Board

Consider variety

One of the best ways to ensure a great shoot is to consider variety when planning your boudoir looks. Three matching bra & panty sets will not produce as dynamic a set of images as three totally different wardrobe ideas. There are lots of choices for wardrobe, and you can feel free to think outside the box. Maybe you’ll want to shoot in a cozy cardigan, then a bodysuit, then just the sheets. Or maybe your three looks would be a bra and panty set, a garter set and a badass blazer. Jeans, a bathing suit, a leather jacket, even a gown can look amazing. We can talk through the options together in your pre-shoot consultations. The point is, you can feel free to step a little outside your comfort zone, try something new and capture yourself in different looks & moods.

You can rock a swimsuit as an alternative boudoir look

You can rock a swimsuit as an alternative boudoir look

Trust your photographer

It is my passion to make women look amazing and beyond that, FEEL amazing. And it’s my superpower to make women feel comfortable, open and confident in their own skin. So ladies, TRUST ME. I’ve got you and your best interests at heart. And remember — it’s not YOUR job to know what to do, it’s mine. Once you arrive at your shoot, you’ll be pampered in the hair and makeup chair. This is your chance to RELAX and let go. Let go of those in insecurities, let go your negative thoughts, let go of control. I know that for a lot of my clients, this step can be very difficult – because, let’s face it, most of us have a little insecurity about one thing or another. But as soon as you let yourself think about those insecurities during your shoot, you give them power over you. Take back that power and tell yourself to let them go! You’ll have plenty of images to choose from, and I promise that you will love most of them. If there are one or two shots that you don’t love, that’s ok and no one ever has to see them ever again! So during the shoot, allow yourself the freedom to let go and embrace the entire experience. I promise it will be worth it.

I will coach you the entire time.

I will coach you the entire time.

Get an album. 

I can’t emphasize this enough. You might think that you only want digitals but believe me, those digital images will go to waste. They will sit on your computer and barely get looked at. It’s a totally different story seeing your images in print - so much more powerful and ever lasting. These photos are ART. YOU are art. 20 years from now you will want to look back and remember that day you kicked your insecurities to the curb and felt like your best self. Many women purchase their album as wedding or anniversary gifts (which their partners of course LOVE). But more than just a gift for him, your album is a keepsake for YOU. So feel proud, display those photos, hang them on the wall, and look at your album often. Trust me, you’ll be happy that you did.

Print your photos!

Print your photos!

Enjoy the experience. 

Sure, it can be nerve wracking, but I assure you the anticipation of your shoot will be more stressful than the reality of it. So try to relax and enjoy the experience! Channel that nervous energy into excitement, and do your best to soak in the whole experience. Listen to the music playing, look around at the studio’s environment, have a glass of champagne, chat with the HMU artist, and enjoy getting pampered!  Let yourself have fun and you will see, the most difficult part of the entire experience is making the first phone call.

Relax and have FUN!

Relax and have FUN!

Carry that confidence. 

Every so often pull out that album and remember how much fun it was to get glammed-up, feel pampered, and rock your photo shoot. At this very moment while I’m writing this blog post, I am in my PJs… my toddler is alternately sitting on my lap and playing with her toys on the floor at my feet, and I am 8+ months pregnant with baby #2. I’m definitely not feeling my most glamorous right now. BUT, I have one of my old boudoir albums sitting on the table next to my computer and I just glanced through it again. And it feels great. I remember not being sure of myself that day — I was just a few months post-partum, not sleeping through the night and not feeling like i was looking my best. But the photos tell a different story. Which just goes to show that we are always our own worst critics and that sometimes you need to see yourself through someone else’s eyes to believe that. You ARE beautiful. You ARE strong. You ARE a boss, and wife and mom and all the things that make you YOU. It’s not just about putting on false eyelashes and lingerie. It’s more than some sexy poses and pretty photos. What I walked away with, and what I want all of my clients to walk away with is a sense of satisfaction, pride and confidence in myself. 

It’s all about confidence

It’s all about confidence

So, my lovelies, as leave your boudoir shoot, I hope that you leave behind your insecurities and feelings of not being ‘enough.’ I hope that you walk away and take with you a renewed sense of confidence in knowing you are beautiful, you are gorgeous, you are enough. You are uniquely YOU, so carry that with you in your everyday life.

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to book your OWN Brooklyn Boudoir experience? Contact me and let’s chat!

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What to Wear for Your Portrait Session - Maternity Edition! | Brooklyn Maternity Photographer

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I recently blogged about no-stress boudoir wardrobe that you likely already have in your closet. But what if you’re pregnant and, well, not much in your closet actually FITS you right now?? There are still plenty of classic and classy options for your maternity portrait session, and you STILL won’t have to spend an arm and a leg.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

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This is my number one rule in ALL kinds of shoots. These photographs are of YOU not your wardrobe really and I don’t want to distract from your natural beauty, or create something trendy that you are embarrassed by 10 years from now. So in my mind, classic & simple is best. Overall, opt for solids over patterns and neutrals over bright colors - think black, white, grey, creme, navy and dark red. This helps keep the focus on you, your belly and your connection to the camera. I have a few simple stapes in my kit including a beautiful white lace gown (which looks beautiful on every body type)

MAKE IT PERSONAL

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All that said, many women opt to bring a beautiful silk robe form their wedding day or honeymoon, or her husband’s button down shirt as one of their wardrobe options. A snetimanetal item can add meaning and variety to your photoshoot. Often times this type of wardrobe will “breaks the rules” with brighter colors and patterns but in this case, it’s the meaning behind the piece that matters most. So if you love it, bring it!

SHOW OFF YOUR BUMP

There was a time when women wanted to hide their bumps under tent-like clothes and baby doll lingerie, but that’s not why you’re having your maternity portrait taken, is it? If you don’t feel comfortable showing off your bare tummy, consider form fitting pieces that hug your curves. I love a simple, stretchy tube dress for this and have a black one in my studio that amazingly fits so many women. It’s sleek, form fitting and timeless. Bodysuits are also a favorite of mine, or (if your regular bodysuits no longer fit) a black bathing suit or even a tight black turtlenects worn with a simple undie give the same idea. This look can be completely covered up and fashiony while still featuring your bump beautifully.

SWATHS OF FABRIC

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If you’ve been looking through instagram for inspiration you’ve no doubt seen images ot women with long flowy fabric flying up in the background. It makes an epic and artistic photos and was something I was setting out to learn when I mentored with the master of the fabric toss, Lola Melani this past summer. i have collected and a few large swaths of silk and chiffon for this dramatic and iconic look, which is particularly magical with a growing bump.

GO BARE

The “Demi Moore” was scandalous at the time but now is a classic for good reason! It’s intimate choice, natural and my personal favorite. There are so many different ways to be nude but also covered up in your photos. Your body never goes out of style. (Bonus that it requires the least amount of prep work or planning!) We can take this even further by applying some body paint to your bump - it’s edgy and artistic and when else in your life might you do something like that!?

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Whatever you decide to wear, a maternity shoot is a beautiful way to memorialize this time in your life and something you will always be happy you did. The ideal time to have your maternity portrait taken is between 28 - 34 weeks so be sure to plan in advance and book during that “sweet spot.”

xoxo, Stephanie

Expecting? Let’s capture your pregnancy in a classic and classy way — contact me to learn more!

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Stress-Free Boudoir Wardrobe | Brooklyn Photo Studio | What to Wear to Your Boudoir Shoot

Woman-Fur-Coat-NYC-skyline-brooklyn-boudoir

One of the most common questions i get from clients is, “what should I wear to my boudoir shoot?” It makes perfect sense - you most likely have never been photographed professionally before, must less in a state of semi-undress and you want to look your best. Ladies, I got you. Once you have booked your Brooklyn Boudoir Experience, I will send you a very informative guide that goes over what works well for different body types and what looks best on camera - this covers different styles of lingerie, what colors look best, and what textures to avoid, and I am always available to consult with you on wardrobe ideas. Many women feel they need to go out and shop for new sexy lingerie. If this is something you WANT to do, something that will make your photoshoot feel extra special (or simply give you an excuse to hit up Agent Provocateur), get it girl! But if it’s something you are stressing about - PLEASE DON’T! I am sure that there are pieces in your closet right now that you may not even be considering that work beautifully for any boudoir shoot. Check out these ideas for stress-free boudoir wardrobe options:

1 - BODYSUITS

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It’s no secret that bodysuits are one of my favorite wardrobe pieces to shoot. They look good on EVERYONE, regardless of body type and there are so many different options out there at many different price points. Yes, there are lingerie-style bodysuits (Journelle has some of my favorites) but there are also bodysuit tops out there that are totally covered up (very on trend right now, check out Cuyana). You can even wear a one piece bathing suit! Andies makes some really beautiful ones in classic styles.

2 - TEE SHIRT or TANK TOP

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I find a classic white tank so sexy. It can be worn with or without a bra underneath for 2 totally different looks and can be wet down to kick the sex appeal up a notch. I love this look bra-less or with a black bra underneath if you want the extra coverage. Black tanks and cropped tee shirts give a similar effect. You can show as much or as little tummy as you want to with these looks - great for variety. And if you have a tee with a message you love — bring it! This ^^ “Badass Feminist” shirt ^^ is one of my favorites (currently out of stock but I am stalking the website to see when more are coming in).

3 - KIMONO, SCARF or ROBE

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This is another look that lets you choose how much or how little you want to show. A robe gives a cool, “I just woke up like this” vibe and you can be 100% covered up in it. Or, slip it down over your shoulder to show just a little bit of skin. I find shoulders, clavicles, collarbones and backs really beautiful. Scarves can serve the same purpose or we can play around with them to get some more energy & movement in your images — it can make a fun “peek-a-boo” moment.

4 - JACKETS

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Fur, leather or even a blazer - I LOVE shooting women in jackets. It’s unexpected and modern — a real fashion moment. If you have a statement jacket you love, BRING IT!

5 - ACTIVE WEAR

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So many women feel their sexiest and most powerful when they are working out. If this is the case for you, why not capture that feeling in your workout gear? With the rise of “athleisure,” active wear has become really sexy with fun cut outs, straps, and illusion panels, plus they tighten up the look of the body for a smooth line.

6 - COZY SWEATER

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January felt about 75 days long to me this year, and all I wanted to do was cuddle up in a big cozy cardigan. Worn with a simple bra and panty or nothing at all underneath, it gives the vibe of an intimate evening at home. Extra bonus that you can show as much or as little as you want with this look, and use it to highlight some of your favorite, perhaps under-appreciated parts, similar to the robe look listed above (hello, collarbones).

7 - JEANS

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OK, I KNOW you have a favorite pair of jeans in your closet that make you feel like you can take on the world. Skinny jeans with a bra and heels gives a powerful, New York Woman feel, and a looser boyfriend style is easy to slip on and off for a suggestive, “leave something to the imagination” vibe. High waisted jeans when worn alone give a very modern, “fashionista that isn’t trying too hard” feeling.

8 - BUTTON DOWN SHIRT

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Many women like to bring one of their partner’s shirts in to the shoot — it’s a classic for a reason! Another great look is a sheer-isn button down of yours. When photographed backlit it shows just enough of your outline in silhouette and looks really artistic & graceful.

9 - TIGHTS

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One of my earliest clients brought in a pair of opaque tights and I realized how genius it was! It’s totally unexpected, pretty much covered up, and also so fashion-y & sexy! Statement tights also work great to show off the legs.

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10 - BLACK BRA & PANTY

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Simplicity is often times the best! Whatever the texture - lace, cotton, sheer - a black bra and panty photograph and are sexy in an every day, not trying too hard kind of way.

11 - NOTHING AT ALL!

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Of course, no wardrobe at all is required for your boudoir shoot! “Nude” doesn’t have to be over-exposed or sexual. In fact, often times the nude looks we photograph are the most covered up of all! You can be ENTIRELY covered in a white sheet and look incredibly sexy. It’s all about what’s left to the imagination! Or, we can shoot fine art nudes that could be hung up on your wall without anyone knowing that it’s you. Or, hell, tell EVERYONE it’s you! There is no shame loving yourself and being proud of your body.

The truth is, “sexy” is much more about how you feel that what you are wearing. Whatever you decide to wear, trust me when I say, when you feel good you will look good. So feel free to think outside the box with your boudoir wardrobe and most of all, don’t stress it!

xoxo, Stephanie

Have more questions about what to wear to your shoot? Hit me up and let’s chat!

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The Sexiest Thing You Can Wear | What to wear to your boudoir shoot | Brooklyn Boudoir Studio

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One of the most common questions I get from soon to be clients is - what should I wear?? A lot people stress about the right outfit for their boudoir shoot, and I’m here to tell you, you NEED NOT WORRY. Once you book your session I will send you a very detailed prep guide to help you decide what to wear, and I’m always available to talk through your wardrobe options before your shoot. I’m also working on a blog post (coming soon) about boudoir wardrobe that you already have in your closet. But beyond those things, I’m going to tell you the secret to a great boudoir shoot — are you ready for it, ladies?? The sexiest thing you can wear for your boudoir shoot isn't lingerie, your beau's favorite shirt, or nothing at all. The answer is: YOUR BEAUTIFUL SMILE.  

Yes, that's right.  I said it. It is OK to smile/laugh in your boudoir photos!  Not only is it OK, but a full-forced laugh while you're sprawled out on your bed, in my opinion, is insanely sexy. To me, there is nothing more attractive than a woman who loves life and feels good enough about herself to bust out into laughter while in her lingerie.  ADDITIONALLY, it's probably going to be a lot easier for you to burst into laughter during your shoot than it will be for you to sport a sultry "come hither" look.  So no worries, and let yourself have fun (and show it!)

Now, a confession: I don't actually encourage my clients to smile for their photos. I DO want the smile, but when it happens, I want it to be genuine. I don't want it to be posed, staged, or faked. Fake smiles are surely NOT sexy to me. I want actual emotion.  And yes, a lot of your images will be more “serious” faced … but I have tricks to bring our some genuine laughter, and when it happens … magic.

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Some of my favorite boudoir shoot moments came from my clients rolling into a fit of laughter after I ask them to give themselves a “sexy hug” (yes, it comes out as lame on set as it does on the page). Sometimes that laugh happens because I say an incredibly immature word hoping to elicit emotion (you'll know it when you hear it, and it works every time.)  Sometimes, I don't have to do anything at all, and you just laugh because you're feeling a little nervous. That's ok, too! There is nothing like some giggles to get the nerves out! No matter how we get it, I love it, and you will too, and so will anyone you show the photos to.  Seeing a person laugh is like looking through a window to their soul. And here’s the other thing — I’m often laughing with you so the photos aren’t always perfect — they might be off kilter or * slightly * out of focus. But I don’t care, because the moment was real, beautiful and perfectly imperfect just like you are.

SO, yes, the sexy face has it's time and place in boudoir, BUT ALSO, if you are lying there being photographed and you have the urge to laugh uncontrollably...don't fight it.  I want to capture you & all sides of your personality — sexy, funny, passionate, bold, tame — WHATEVER it is that makes you feel like your most authentic self, we will capture it!

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xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to capture yourself smiling and feeling great? Contact me and let’s chat!

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"Intimate" thoughts | Prepping for your Brooklyn Boudoir Shoot

"Intimate" thoughts | Prepping for your Brooklyn Boudoir Shoot

Buying lingerie, be it for your boudoir shoot, or for your everyday life, need not be stressful!  I'm sharing some tips on finding the right lingerie for you here.

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WORK IT: Small Breasts | What to wear to your Boudoir Shoot | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

WORK IT: Small Breasts | What to wear to your Boudoir Shoot | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

The first question many of my clients ask me is: "What should I wear to my boudoir session?"  So, this is the first in a series of posts addressing that question, each tailored specifically to a different body type. 

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