Hello gorgeous! I am SO excited for your upcoming boudoir session! I tend to over-communicate with my clients so they know exactly how to prepare and exactly what to expect throughout the whole process. Hope you don't mind ;) This guide will give you all of the information you need to know to prepare for your session. I strongly recommend that you read this guide from top to bottom as I give some important details to be fully prepared.
Exactly what kind of images are you hoping to walk away from your session with? Do you find yourself drawn to anonymous images that show off the body? Portraits? Classic? It can be very difficult to articulate your own style, so we don’t ask you to. Instead, the first thing that I ask clients to do is to create a "secret" Pinterest board for their photo session. If you are not a Pinterest user, you can also just send me some photos, but I find that the secret board on Pinterest is the best way for you and I to get a good visual of the concept we're going for. We'll first both have to be following each other, so go ahead and "follow" me HERE, and I'll follow you back! Then, you'll have to "invite" me to your board so I can see it (search Valerie Prudon Photography)!
Once that's done, I want you to create a Pinterest board for " (YOUR NAME) Boudoir" (it's very important that you name your board with your name because otherwise I'll have a hundred "MY BOUDOIR SHOOT" boards and won't know who is who) and, without thinking too much about it, I want you to PIN anything that speaks to you and your style. We have lots of boards on our page for you to reference, but you can also take it upon yourself to venture out into Pinterest or pin images directly from this page or the rest of our website!
Try to turn off your fear and over-thinking at this point. Don't say things like "OHH that's so beautiful, but I would NEVER be able to pull that off!" or "I WISH I could look like that!". That's not the point of this exercise. After pinning 25 or so images, I will very easily be able to get a visual of your style and the type of images you are interested in. Do you like sweet, bright, and bubbly? Do you like dark, moody, and seductive? Do you like shots that capture the entire body? Do you like close-up teaser shots of body parts? We'll find out together! The purpose of this is NOT to find photos to replicate at all! It is inspiration and now that we'll both know the kind of images you really like, it will be easier to deliver a set of photos that are YOUR STYLE, as long as it matches up with what I have to offer.
So you have booked your session, now what? It can be scary as hell! It’s like the gym, the hardest part is getting here. You are going to experience a roller coaster of emotions. You might even feel sick the morning of your session. Clear your mind, take some deep breaths.... all you need to do is get here. As your session date gets closer, your list of reasons to cancel is going to grow. I beg you to not listen to them.
Here are some things you should know:
You do not have to know how to pose yourself.
You do not have to know how to give the camera a sexy look.
You do not have to lose any weight.
You do not have to feel great about yourself.
You just need to be yourself.
Here are some do's and don'ts to mentally prepare yourself for your session:
Let go of expectations for your session. Every session is different and has a different feel. Let things develop organically, and just enjoy the process.
Stand in front of the mirror naked before coming in for your session, and just start the process of being comfortable in your skin. It seems silly, but your body is amazing and tells one hell of a story, listen to it and be proud. Start every day... just one minute. See the bullet point right above this one, if you feel like skipping this step.
Get vulnerable with us. Vulnerability = growth. We are here for you.... to listen, to laugh, to cry
Eat prior to your session. Nothing you eat that morning, will show on camera. This is a workout, you are going to need a lot of energy.
Have clean, shaped nails. A manicure and pedicure is highly recommended, but not required. Nails cannot be retouched.
Over analyze. This is a breeding ground for negativity.
Even mention your dislikes about your body. If you do, we will stop what we are doing and talk about it.
Be afraid to act silly. We might ask you to dance or make sounds, there is a reason for it.
Lock up on us. You are going to be experiencing a lot of emotions that day. If you aren't able to express yourself, we can't customize the experience for what you need.
Have chipped nails.
You absolutely do not have to be a gymnast or be able to fold in half to do a session! BUT there are some fine micro movements, that will help you get the most from the poses I put you in, and more of a variety from your images. Not to mention, your session is going to be like an intense yoga workout! Yoga is a great way to help you prepare yourself for your session, and it is something everyone can do! Put your running shoes away (unless you are a runner), and just work on slow, low impact of stretches to help get you ready for your session.
THE NUMBER ONE WARDROBE RULE IS: Do NOT bring outfits that you don't love! I can't tell you how many women show up with outfits that prompt them to say "I really don't like the way I look in this one, but I'll leave it up to you!". If you don't like the outfit, it's likely that you won't like photos of you in the outfit. Leave it at home!
Here are some do's and don'ts:
Bring a nude and black thong to wear under items. I recommend getting underwear in a size bigger than what you do normally. This will allow you to pull them up over your hips, without digging in.
Bring items that fit you. Shop your closet for the items you instinctively select when you want to feel (and look) your very best.
Feel free to over pack. We'll go through all the options you bring at the beginning of your shoot. We will select pieces based on what we know will photograph best. It's always better to have more to choose from!
Pick out lingerie that highlights your every lovely curve, but please remember sometimes a tight T-shirt, soft sweater or over-sized button-down shirt can be even sexier. Let your own personality shine through.
Have panties that match your bra! Even if you have beautiful and expensive pieces, please make sure you have at least one matching set.
Bring something meaningful to you or your significant other; this serves as a great way to personalise your shoot. It may be lingerie your husband gave you on your first anniversary, for instance, or a vintage charm bracelet you found on a scouting expedition while on vacation.
Bring in super shiny materials like cheaper satins and silks
Choose thongs or g-string panties. Thongs and G-strings have a tendency to make your butt look a bit flat. We recommend doing a cheeky panty or hipster. They make the butt look round and voluptuous! The only exception to this rule is body suits, high-waisted panties and teddies. They can look amazing with a thong!
Bring in shapeless garments like baby dolls, t-shirts, men's shirts or jerseys
Bring in baby doll style lingerie. Many women are self conscious about there mid-section. We all feel comfortable with a bit of loose flowy coverage. When you put more fabric at an area you're trying to hide, it highlights it and makes it look larger. We want to highlight your waist! If you're uncomfortable with your mid section, try a high-waisted panty, teddy or bodysuit!
Buy thigh highs that are "stay-up" and have a silicon or plastic on the inside. No matter how thin you are, the stay-up stocking that use plastic to grip your skin will instantly give you sausage-leg.
BRING IN PROPS! Don’t do it. You are not a product. We do not photograph props.
You do not have to walk well in high heels. You don't have to walk much in them, at all. They are a tool that I use to help with posing, and sometimes they make an outfit. If you want to bring one pair…
Find the tallest pair of shoes. Kitten heels can make you look shorter.
Do not bring wedges. Heels only.
HAIR & MAKEUP
You will start the session with Anisha, my talented Hair & Makeup artist, for approximately an hour.
If you have ideas for hair and makeup, please bring them with you. Anisha will take your ideas and use them for inspiration while enhancing your features for camera. Please understand that your makeup might seem darker, and your hair might be bigger. It is all for the camera. IMPORTANT! If you don’t like your makeup or your hair style, please, let us know! I can’t stress this enough. I won’t be able to change anything after the session. Every woman has a vision of her perfect makeup, sometimes we need to adjust to give you exactly what you want. But we won’t know unless you tell us. And don’t worry, we won’t bite you :)
TIME TO GET READY!
Five Days Before Your Shoot…
If you wax, do so a week before your shoot to avoid any bumpiness or redness.
Don’t exfoliate the night before or morning of your session. Your skin needs time to rejuvenate and sometimes can stay red for a while after.
Make sure your eyebrows are nicely shaped and groomed.
If you’re planning to visit the salon for a haircut or colour, then give yourself a few days to make sure you are happy with it.
Be sure to get a salon manicure and pedicure for a flawless finish.
Stay out of the sun – while a base tan will be nice in photos, red, blotchy skin will not.
PLEASE – DO NOT SPRAY TAN. I cannot stress this enough. Tan skin photographs orange, and spray tans will damage our garments and bedding. DO NOT DO IT! Pale skin photographs beautifully! We cannot Photoshop tan lines, or orange skin. It also may result in you getting an invoice to replace damages pieces or furniture. Just don’t do it.
Drink plenty of water for luminous skin.
Try on your outfits and lingerie to make sure they fit properly; remove all tags and labels. Steam or iron your ensembles and hang them properly so they keep their shape as you travel to the studio.
The Day Before Your Shoot…
Bathe, shave and moisturise.
Remove ALL price tags, size & care labels, etc. from clothing, especially from lingerie and panties. They can ruin otherwise great photographs.
Double-check everything is properly packed and ready for the shoot: heels, jewelry, accessories.
Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the studio without stressing.
Wash your hair. Light product use is ok to use. If you have curly hair, and plan to keep your hair curly, for your session, you are welcome to use your products on your hair, prior to your session. If you want to go straighter for your session, please straighten to the best of your ability.
Plan for a good night’s sleep – eight hours is ideal.
The Day of Your Shoot…
Your experience will start promptly at the time booked. Please do not arrive too early. A lot of preparation goes into each session and we are usually not ready before then. Please arrive to the studio alone, we do not allow others in the studio during your session experience. Please do not consume any alcohol before your session. We are going to do everything in our power to ease your nerves and make you comfortable. Please do not book any appointments in the afternoon of your shoot day. We don’t want to have to rush your shoot because you had to leave by a specific time. If it takes us a little longer to capture those amazing images, that’s ok with me. Having to rush because you have somewhere else to be doesn’t allow you to enjoy the full experience.
Wear loose-fitting clothing to your session to avoid red marks on your skin (no jeans, tight socks or tight clothing, for instance).
Eat something light but filling before you leave the house.
Arrive with a clean and moisturised face and CLEAN HAIR (important!).
Don’t wear perfume or scented lotions.
Wear clear deodorant.
Brush your teeth and lips well before you arrive for makeup. This will allow your lip color to go on smoothly and stay better.
If you wear contacts have them in before you arrive.
What to Expect...
A couple of days before you shoot, you can expect to get a confirmation from me, just making sure we are on the same page about your session start time and location...and I'll also ask if you have any last minute questions!
On the day of your shoot, your makeup will be done by my makeup artist. You should have your face clean and moisturized when you arrive.
Once the shoot begins, you can expect me to give you gentle direction. I will not expect you to super model pose throughout your shoot. I will show you what to do, and encourage improvising whenever you feel comfortable.
The poses generally aren't very comfortable and your shoot will give you more of a workout than you anticipate. But I assure you, I know what I'm doing. Get a good stretch in the morning of your session, and the evening after your session.
Your shoot time will FLY by. That's a good thing!! That means it wasn't awkward or boring. Just the right amount of fun!
Within a few days of your shoot, I will email you a teaser image with a referral voucher that you can pass on to your friends if you'd like! Within 2-3 weeks I will schedule your photo viewing with you so that you can see all of your proofs and order anything you'd like! You should be prepared to place your full order on the day of your photo reveal and ordering appointment. Most clients find themselves getting an album or a Keepsake Box as well as a piece of our fine art wall art.
Any questions?? PLEASE don't hesitate to ask, I'm here to help!
Most important: HAVE FUN!
Take a deep breath and RELAX. It’s completely normal to be a wee bit nervous before your shoot, but please don’t worry because you will be in very good hands. We will show you exactly how to pose and work with you to get the perfect shot. Relax, have fun and prepare to feel transformed!
82 Cooper street. Apartment 404. Surry Hills 2010.
I highly recommend coming by train as it is not easy to find a parking spot in Surry Hills. This is a 5 minute walk from Central Station.