how to prep for your boudoir shoot

Everyone is Nervous at First | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography | Client Spotlight

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This gem....THIS gem of a woman! We had been in "talks" about a boudoir experience for some time. Eventually, Ms. S pulled the trigger before her wedding as a gift to her new husband and herself. She had such a cool demeanor about her and a great attitude despite her nerves. in fact, even though she told me several times that she was nervous, you never would have known it once she walked through the doors of the shoot.

Said Ms. S:

I had a very smooth, positive, fun experience and I'm very glad I decided to book this. While I was super nervous to do it I felt very mentally prepared the day of.

This comment made me chuckle because 100% of my clients are nervous about their boudoir experience in the days leading up to it. Of course you are! You are about to have your photo taken, which many people already feel uncomfortable doing, much less in your underwear! But trust me when I say, we’ve got you covered! My hair and makeup artists are great about putting you at ease — you get to sit, relax and get pampered by a professional for an hour which will definitely start to settle your nerves. And then I take over. And I REALLY take over. There isn't much of a chance for you to feel unsure about what you're doing because I tell you EXACTLY what I want you to do. And I show you. All you really have to do is be there with me, and follow along! 

Also, I help you prepare, in all the ways you will need, mentally and otherwise! We can chat on the phone or Skype before your session to get to know each other better. I send you prep guide with tips on skin care, wardrobe, dos & don’t, how to cultivate sensuality in phones (and in life!) … whatever you want to talk about before hand, I am there for you and will guide you before, during and after your shoot in getting the best images for YOU.

And about those nerves: within the first 10 clicks of my shutter, I witness my clients transition from deer in headlights to a state of relief, and soon after, to a woman who is having SO much fun and is SO at ease that she forgets that she's not wearing much. Truly - no exaggeration!  We talk, we laugh, you might wonder how I am getting anything that looks sexy because the experience really isn’t a “sexy” one. It’s much more like 2 girlfriends handing out/a therapy session than anything else.

I don’t mean to be flip about this. I know that you probably have a hard time standing in front of the mirror naked and REALLY taking a good look at yourself. I know that you cringe every time you lean forward and see what gravity does to your boobs and belly. I know that, because I experience it myself. And I know that most of my clients do as well. We're women, and unfortunately that's pretty typical for us. 

Know that I take all of this into consideration. Even if I don't see the flaws on your body that you do, I know that insecurities exist. I don't write them off as my client just being "blinded by insecurities." 

But here’s the thing: I am REALLY good at making people feel comfortable. Really comfortable. Like "oh, I forgot I was in my birthday suit" comfortable.  Second to that, I understand women's bodies and their insecurities. I know how to pose women of all shapes and sizes. I know how to use light strategically to make you look your absolute best. 

Also know that I'm not a stranger. From the second you send me that first e-mail that starts with "I can't believe I'm finally emailing you about this....", we are friends. I care about you, I take my job as your photographer very seriously and I will want to stay in touch with you long after I’ve delivered your album. I can’t help it. I love my clients, take interest in them, and that doesn’t just disappear after your shoot.

So, thank you to Miss S for being a firecracker during her photo session, for overcoming her nerves, for delighting me with stories of her wedding & wedding gift and for allowing me to share her photos. And also for telling me there was a “Hamilton” app which lets you enter the lottery by cell phone - genius!! (What can I say, the musical theatre geek in me will never die).

xoxo, Stephanie

Nervous to reach out? Let’s chat and let me put your mind at ease.

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How to Shop for Lingerie | Tips for your Boudoir Shoot | New York City Boudoir Photographer

So excited for my purchases!

So excited for my purchases!

I was transitioning my closet from spring to summer recently when I noticed that all of my “lingerie” (and I use that word in quotes) were, well, tired.  No scratch that, they were beyond  tired, they were exausted, old, torn up, stained basically in an unacceptable starte for any grown woman.  How long had I had these pieces?  Honestly I don’t remember but suffice it to say it was before I had a baby and everything about them was wrong. My body is different post-baby and my underwear hadn’t gotten the memo.   But where to start when looking for a total lingerie refresh?? I knew I needed help!

Enter lingerie blogger Melissa AKA The Lace Appeal.  I photographed her this past winter and I knew she was the perfect person to ask about rejuvinating my lingerie wardrobe.  If you haven’t checked out Melissa’s site or insta yet, do yourself a favor and do so.  It’s a blog dedicated to all things lingerie, specifically helping women find products that make them feel beautiful.   She’s got amazing recs on boutiques all around the country (east coast, west coast and everything in between), lingerie & activewear reviews, on top of being completely real and relatable.  Her blog is full of fun reads and no topic is taboo - from period boobs to briefs that won’t give you a wedgie, she’s not afraid to talk about it all.  In her words, The Lingerie Appeal is a place for women to explore topics of their bodies freely, sans judgment.   Basically, she’s got the point of view on lingerie as I do on boudoir photography!  I was thrilled that she agreed to take me shopping. 

We met at Sugar Cookies - an amazing ligeerie boutique in Chelsea, which just celebrated it’s 10th birthday this past weekend!  I must admit I was nervous!  I, like so many other women, had never been properly fitted for a bra, and I am (as I’ve written about before) essentially flat chested.  The store is filled with tons of beautiful lingerie options, but would they have anything that fit me?  

Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

The amazing Monica took my measurments and brought me pieces to try on.   This was KEY.  She was endlessly patient and had a sixth sense about what would work for me.  We tried on a LOT of different options and through good old fashioned trial and error I ended up getting a completely new lingerie wardrobe.  Here are some tips I picked up between Monica and Melissa:

Get fitted by an expert

Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Melissa told me that a shocking 80% of women were wearing the wrong size lingerie!  This seems insane given that most of us wear bras every single day (side note, I’m noticing more and more young women going sans bra these days… but that’s a blog post for another day…)  Many women are surprised to learn what their actual bra size is.  There’s no need to guess or to awkwardly try to manuever a measuring tape around yourself — take it to an expert.

Don’t get bogged down by the sizing.  

Once you do get messured, give yourself some sway in either direction.  Just like with clothing brands, different lingerie brands fit differently.  I was a a 32A in most brands but a 34B in bras from The Little Bra company.  I never would have treid on a B cup bra in the past, but the thing is, you never know unless you try.  The key is to keep an open mind.  Another trick I learned was to aim for a bra that fastens on the loosest hooks, that way as the bra stretches out over time, you’ll have the tighter hooks to compensate for the stretch. 

And speaking of “ I never would have,” don’t limit yourself based on preconceived notions!  

That’s actually good advise for life in general isn’t?  But when it comes to bras, I never would have tried on an unstructed, unlined piece, becuase, well, I feel as if I need some extra oomph.  but when I tried on the Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra, a silly smile came over my face.  I just felt fantastic and sexy and THAT is what good lingerie is all about.  So try it all on and choose what makes you feel GREAT - you’ll know it when you find it.  

Bring outfit pieces with you.  

If you’re looking for lingerie to go with a specific outfit, it’s a good idea to bring those pieces with you when you go shopping. This way you can match colors and textures together, and see how certain combinations look. Show your outfit or accessories to a store clerk to give them inspiration. They will know the store’s product lines and may be able to help you find the perfect piece to pair with your outfit.  If you’re looking for an every day bra like I was, bring a smooth tight tee shirt or whatever type of top you normally wear to be sure the bra works with it. 


When you find a brand you like stick with it.

I have a hunch that I am the ideal client of “The Little Bra Company,” so I know I can probably count on them for bras and other pieces alike.

Ladies, lingerie is all about confidence.  Try to go when you’re feeling good about yourself, eat a little something to keep your blood sugar up, and give yourself time to sift through the options. If you’re having a hard time, try to remind yourself that we are always our toughest critic. Your partner will think you look amazing no matter what you choose so be sure to be true to yourself and get pieces that give you swagger.   You’ll be really happy you did.

Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Here are all the pieces I picked up at Sugar cookies (from top to bottom):

The Little Bra Company Lucia Push Up Bra in black and nude, with matching thongs

Cosabella thong

Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra

The Little Bra Company Sascha Smooth bra in nude

BlueBella Carmen Basque - just for fun, and because the lace couldn’t be more beautiful.


And a bonus My Bra Kitty, which Melissa turned me on to — the perfect way to pack your bras without them getting squished & misshaped.  

How sexy is that Faux Croc?

How sexy is that Faux Croc?

Have any other questions i can help answer? What tips do you have for lingerie Shopping? Share them below!

xoxo, Stephanie

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