Boudoir photography is increasing in its popularity all the time. If you’re a photographer who works with human subjects, you’ve probably had requests to do boudoir photoshoots. And if you haven’t, it’s only a matter of time.
As poses play a vital role in boudoir photography, every boudoir photographer needs to be prepared for them. In this article, we have an excellent collection of poses you can use in your next shoot. And we have examples to get your imagination firing. We’ll also give you some basic info so you can get started with boudoir photography.
What is Boudoir Photography?
Boudoir photography aims to produce intimate, sensual, and romantic photographs. It combines portraiture, fine art, and eroticism and involves beds, lingerie, and suggestive poses.
Boudoir comes from the French word referring to a woman’s private bedroom. This definition gives you an idea of the type of photography you can expect from the boudoir genre—sexy and stimulating but personal and intimate.
Boudoir photography is erotic without being explicit. It’s not as blatant as glamour photography. Boudoir is more sensitive, relying on suggestion rather than demonstration. A boudoir photographer wants to tantalize and tease their audience.
Boudoir is a photographic discipline of its own. But the boudoir style can be used in fashion and product photography. And you can bring boudoir elements into your portrait photography.
Lighting Boudoir Photography
Boudoir photography calls for a gentle approach to lighting. Natural light is commonly used. Boudoir photographers also like to use soft and subtle artificial lights for romantic atmospheres.
Natural light gives you a wonderful effect. But you don’t always have control over it. Reflectors are an excellent tool for harnessing natural light. You can increase the volume and change the direction of the light. They’re an excellent camera accessory to have on a shoot.
Mesh curtains are another tool for manipulating natural light. They let light through, so you’re not in complete darkness. But the dimmed light creates a more private mood. Colored curtains will also help change the atmosphere of the room.
Hard flashes are more associated with glamour photography. But you can use softboxes if you do want a flash. Colored filters are another way of softening the flash. And purples, pinks, and reds give you a romantic ambiance. They’re perfect for boudoir photos.
The Ethics of Boudoir Poses
You can shoot boudoir photography by yourself. If you use a timer or a shutter remote, you can pose and take pictures simultaneously. If this is your method, you only need to worry about being comfortable.
If you’re shooting with a model, you need to be more considerate. Your model may be experienced and full of self-confidence. They’ll be happy to try new poses. And perhaps they’ll have a few of their own.
If you’re working with someone new to boudoir photoshoots, you need to take things slow. Boudoir is an intimate style of photography, so you need to make sure your model is comfortable during the photography session.
You should work at their pace. It’s the model’s body, so never make them do something they are not comfortable doing. You might have ideas you want to try. But you need to work together, so the model feels empowered and confident.
Take things a step at a time. If they’re new to boudoir modeling, gradually turn up the heat. Don’t ask them to strip off straight away. It may take time, but you’ll have much better results if everyone feels fantastic. No one should feel exploited.
33 Best Boudoir Poses for Photography
Strong and dynamic poses can make your boudoir photography stand out. Using different poses can deepen the romantic mood or heighten the sexual tension. They bring the photos to life, appealing to their own emotions and desires.
We want you to capture the most fabulous boudoir photographs, so we’re giving you 33 of the best boudoir poses for photography. Once you’re done with our list, you’ll have an entire catalog of poses you can use to tantalize and stimulate. You’ll be prepared for any boudoir photoshoot.
1. Pull Up the Stockings
Lingerie is excellent for boudoir photography. And stockings are a common item in lingerie sets. You can shoot your model as they pull them up their legs. The movement of the poses adds energy and a sense of theatre. This can be done standing or sitting on the side of the bed.
A woman’s time to prepare for a romantic engagement is private and personal. We’re seeing something from behind the scenes. And this type of shot has a sense of intimacy. It’s like we’ve been invited into a private moment.
These moments of preparation can be when we feel the most powerful and sexy. Anticipation is high. And there’s an excitement about what lies ahead. This kind of boudoir photo can capture that pre-tryst energy.
2. Remove The Top
This is another pose that adds movement and theatre to the shots. The subject can pull the top over their head or remove buttons. It depends on the clothes they’re wearing.
By having the model remove their top, there’s an action that brings energy. The viewer has a feeling that they’re there. They become part of the moment.
Removing clothes can be a fun part of many sexual encounters. When a person removes their clothes in the company of another, it’s an act of trust. They’re willing to bare-all and expose themselves. This sense of confidence can enhance the romantic energy of your photography.
3. Lie Stomach-Down on the Bed
The bed will be the location of many of your boudoir shots. For most people, the bed is where the magic usually happens. That means it is the natural pose location for boudoir photography. And this is a classic pose for boudoir photography sessions. Lying diagonally across the bed gives the model a sense of power and control. We believe it to be their bed. They control that space, and it’s their domain.
Being stomach-down, the model can be as naked as they wish. They can go completely nude if they feel comfortable. You’ll be able to get some fabulous shots without revealing too much.
The model can stretch out their legs. Or they can bend their knees and arch their back, lifting their bum in the air. This can show off the curves of their body. Or it can highlight the lingerie.
4. Lean Against The Makeup Table
This is a standing pose that can promote different romantic moods. The makeup table is a personal space. It’s where a woman will prepare physically and mentally for what lies ahead.
Having the model lean on the table gives a sense of protectiveness. They’re letting you in but keeping their secrets locked away. This is part of the cat-and-mouse game of attraction, as each person lets down their guard.
This boudoir pose can also be played more casually. The model can try a more relaxed stance, which is more confident and less coy. This suggests they have nothing to hide and are ready for anything.
5. On The Back With a Twist
Lying on the back is the basis of many boudoir poses. But this one adds tension and sensuality. And it also flatters the female form. It can be done on a bed, sofa, or floor.
The model needs to lie on their back and twist their hips, so their legs turn to one side.
They’ll need to bend their knees to get the right effect. They then bring their hands to their head. The hips and raised arms twist to stretch the torso, leaving the skin smooth and line-free.
6. Lie Back With Legs Up
The bed is the ideal location for this boudoir pose, especially if the bed has an ornate headboard. But you can also do it on any bed. Or the pose can be performed on the floor with the legs against a wall.
Lying back on the bed shows a willing vulnerability. And having the legs stand vertically accentuates and elongate their shape. The model can also lay their hands above their heads to stretch the skin on the abdomen. It’ll avoid any unwanted wrinkles or lines.
7. Lean Back With One Leg Straight and One Bent
You can do this pose using a sofa or a bed. A chaise longue is perfect if you have one in your boudoir studio. You can even do it on the floor if the furniture is limited. This pose is about owning the space. The model dominates the furniture, taking up all the space available. It exudes womanly confidence with a hint of decadence.
The outstretched leg elongates the body. And you can tilt the head bag for even more stretch. The leg closest to the camera is then bent at a right angle. It provides structure and becomes the centerpiece of the shot.
8. Sit Up Straight
“Sit up straight” is something you probably heard from your parents or teachers when you were younger. It may seem bland, but it makes an excellent boudoir pose for photoshoots.
This pose works best when the model sits on a backless chair or stool.
By using their muscles to straighten their back, their body is elongated. They appear strong and confident. You can add a slight twist to the torso to add extra stretch to the stomach area.
Make sure the model doesn’t slouch. They need to keep their back straight, their shoulders back, and head up. It’ll keep the model’s body crease-free. And they’ll brim with confidence.
9. Cross-Legged on The Bed
Sitting on the bed with crossed legs is more casual and less power-pose. It represents comfort and familiarity. It’s not aggressively sexual. But it creates a bond between the model and the viewer. They’re both happy to be in the company of the other.
Performing this pose on the bed gives a sense of the “morning after the night before.” It invokes those lazy Sunday mornings with your partner when there’s nowhere you’d rather be. It’s a boudoir pose with a casual vibe.
You want to keep the back straight to improve posture. And you can add twists in the hips or neck to straighten and flatten unwanted lines in the skin. Clothes or lingerie are optional. You can use the crumpled bedsheets to cover the unmentionables.
10. Kneeling With a Glance Over Shoulder
This is a playful boudoir pose. It’s not about confronting the camera directly with sexuality. It’s coy and hints at a game of cat and mouse. It creates a boudoir photo that’s shy yet inviting.
The kneeling position gives the bum a good shape, whether in shorts, lingerie, or nothing at all. The model can arch their back inward slightly, accentuating the posterior further. And it will create a gentle curve in the back. When they turn their neck, they’ll have smooth body curves that lead up from their bum to their head.
If you’re working with a shy model, it’s a great pose to build their confidence. You can use their shyness as an advantage. And when they see the results, their confidence will grow within the boudoir photoshoot. It’s also an excellent pose for lingerie commercial photography.
11. In Front of A Window
A silhouette has a great effect in boudoir photography. There’s no explicit detail, but the shape gives you clues and suggestions. Your imagination does the rest of the work.
You need strong backlighting, so have your model stand between your camera and the window. To accentuate the curves of the model’s body, have them arch their back and push their bum out. To create a solid hourglass figure, they can put their arms and legs together.
12. Arched Back with Bent Legs
With this boudoir pose, you want to tilt the head back as far as possible. You can use the arms for support as the spine arches back. Bend the legs are two different angles to add more points of interest.
It’s a sensual position, bringing to mind certain moments of female arousal. But it also complements any woman’s body. The arching of the back pulls the stomach area, keeping the skin smooth.
13. Walking With a Turn and Look
A look over the shoulder always has a fantastic effect in boudoir photos. It teases and excites. But it’s not over the top or rude. If you combine the glance over the shoulder with a walk, it invites the viewer to follow.
The model needs to step one foot forward and look over the opposite shoulder. It creates a natural twist that slims the body. You can add shape to the legs and buttocks by walking on tip-toes.
14. Arms Raised Straight Above Head
Boudoir poses don’t get much more straightforward than this one. But it’s highly effective and a great way to start a boudoir session with a new client. It’s a relaxed pose for a “morning after” style boudoir photo.
All the model needs to do is raise their arms above their head. By keeping their arms straight, it elongates the torso and neck. This makes them look slim while pushing out their chest.
15. One Hand On Head, One On Hip
This is another one to start your boudoir shoot. It’s a simple pose, which doesn’t take much flexibility. And it promotes the female form in a sympathetic way to your model.
They need to raise one hand to their head while resting the other on their hip. It creates an S shape that implies movement and lengthens leading lines down the side of the body. They can step one foot forward to help stretch the abdomen area.
16. Leaning Back on Bent Knees
It’s probably not one of the best boudoir poses for beginners. But if you have an experienced model at your boudoir photoshoot, you can give it a try. This pose isn’t about comfort or subtle suggestion. It’s a dynamic power pose that’s about shape and form. You’re creating a boudoir photo that’s sexual but almost abstract.
The model leans back on bent knees. Their thighs are raised from their ankles, and their spine is erect and engaged. You want an almost straight line from the knee joint to the head. They can place their hand behind them for balance.
This stretched the body, giving you an image of a slim figure. There are strong shapes and directional lines that lead the eye.
17. Arched Back Against A Wall
Boudoir poses don’t always need to look natural. They’re meant to help your model look and feel sexy. And this boudoir pose is a great example. It isn’t easy to hold, but it creates beautiful shapes and curves.
They need to lean their shoulders and behind against a wall. Standing with raised arms and bent knees will help deepen the spine’s arch. They need to be almost in a squat position, giving more shape to the bum.
Backlighting can help clarify the shape. The light from a window can give you an almost white canvas to work on.
18. Lying on The Side, Facing Forward
This pose is best performed on the bed. It gives the model space to stretch out, and it’s comfortable. Also, we all know what rolling around in the bed implies.
Your model can lay in their side, raising their head to face forward. It’s an exciting pose because it allows you to get the face, chest, and buttocks in the same photo. The bed also puts the model on a platform, so it’s easier for the photographer to go down to their level.
As you have three areas of interest at different distances, you can play with depth of field. You can keep everything in focus. Or you can keep a shallow depth of field, focusing on one point.
19. Kneeling and Leaning Forward
It’s another simple pose that will help your client get warmed up in the boudoir photoshoot. And the results are always sexy and sensual boudoir photos.
The model needs to kneel with their buttocks touching their ankles. They then lean forward, arching their back slightly. This arch pushes out their bum and chest, accentuating the curves. The photographer has plenty of angles to play with.
20. Lay Back With Arms Raised
This pose is simple yet effective. It’s comfortable but enticing and sensual.
Have your model lie back, so their head is on the pillow. Putting their hands on the pillow above or beside their head invites the viewer in. It’s a submissive pose that has a voluntary vulnerability and playfulness.
They can also bring their knees up while keeping their feet on the but. It’ll help arch the back and give them a slim abdominal region.
21. Sitting on Chair with Legs Apart
A chair is a useful prop in a boudoir shoot. You can get many boudoir poses out of one piece of furniture. And this pose isn’t too taxing on your model.
This is a great boudoir pose for anyone to try. It’s simple to execute, but it has a powerful final image. The model can lean forward or sit with their back straight. Both options work well. The intensity of the shot comes from the open legs. It’s confident and intimidating.
22. Knee On A Chair
Seeing as you already have the chair ready, you can try another chair pose. This pose is a bit more playful than the previous one. And it accentuates the body in different ways.
The model can arch their back by perching on the chair with bent knees. It’ll push out their chest and bum. Tilting their head back or to one side adds an extra stretch that slims and smooths.
If the chair has arms, the model can grab onto them to indicate strength and control. If not, they can put their hand on their thighs or in their hair.
23. Sitting With Knees Covering Chest
If your client wants to do a fully nude boudoir photography shoot, this is an excellent pose to try. Even when the model is completely naked, everything remains hidden. It’s tantalizing, but everything is left to the viewer’s imagination.
They can sit on the bed or the floor. They need to bring their knees to their chest and wrap their arms around their knees. The arms and knees will keep their chest covered. And they can cross their ankles to keep their private areas hidden.
24. One Hand In Hair, One on Chest
Using limbs to hide other body parts is a great technique for boudoir poses. It doesn’t require any props. It doesn’t hide the nakedness but stops the photos from becoming explicit.
It’s a pose with playful shyness, with the model only partially covering themselves. If they bring one hand to their hair, they’ll be able to cover one breast with their arm. The other hand is free to cover the other however they wish.
25. Sit on Edge of Bed, Rear View
Sitting on the edge of the bed is a great spot for boudoir poses. But with this one, the camera is behind the subject. This view adds mystique and lets the imagination do much of the work.
The model needs to perch on the edge of the bed. They should have their knees bent at a right angle with their back straight. There’s more freedom with the arms. They can use them to play with their hair. Or they can massage their neck for added sensuality. But resting them on the thighs is fine too.
26. Perched with Legs Stretched Forward
This is one of those boudoir poses that stretches and elongates the body. It’s about confidence and dominating the space you’re in. It centralizes the focus on your client and gives the model a sense of presence.
You can use a bench, sofa, or bed for this pose. The client needs to sit on the very edge, using their arms for balance. Their legs need to straighten out in front of them—bending one leg slightly adds more shape, increasing the curvaceousness of the model.
As well as add presence, it’s a flattering pose for your model. The abdominal area is flattened with the arms turned back, and the legs stretched forward.
27. Lay Back with Hair Sprawled Out
Many boudoir poses focus on the headline areas of the female anatomy. But hair has a large role to play in female sexuality too. Many women are proud of their hair. That’s why you can incorporate it into your boudoir shoot.
The bed is the perfect place for this pose. There’s space enough for the model and their hair. One leg straight and one bent is a good position to keep their abdominal area flat. But the main focus should be the hair. You want it to sprawl out around the bed, encircling their head. Photographing from above is the best way to capture the hair in all its glory.
28. Hands on Shoulders
The key to topless boudoir poses is that they remain tasteful. It’s not glamour photography, so you need to show a little restraint. And this pose is symbolic of restraint and self-control.
It’s simple and easy to perform, even if it’s their first shoot. Your client simply uses their forearms to cover their nipples, applying pressure to accentuate the chest. They can cross their arms. Or they can rest the hand on the shoulder on the same side.
29. Stand In Front of the Mirror
Mirrors are an excellent prop for boudoir poses. And this is a simple pose to get you started. The model can stand in front of the mirror, perhaps adjusting their hair. The beauty of a mirror shot is that you can see the features at the front and back of the body. It creates a boudoir photo with many points of interest.
Your client can either look at themselves. Or they can look at the camera to draw the viewer’s gaze.
30. Laying on Back With Arms Outstretched
Many boudoir photography ideas center around owning the space. And this one certainly does that with the bed. It shows off their ownership of that zone. And it’s a power pose that loves the camera.
Once their one their back, they stretch out their arms on either side. The hands should be palms down. And you need to see some tension in the body. Keeping one leg bent will help arch the spine and thin the stomach.
31. Stomach Down with Head Turned
This is another pose that has a playful shyness. It’s coy but enticing.
Your model needs to lay stomach-down on a bed or sofa. They then need to turn their head to face the camera. They can use their arm to create a frame for the face.
The squat is a powerful pose. It hints has physical strength, and it’s sexually suggestive. If your client is on the shy side, you can rest their arms between their legs. A more confident model can put their hands in their hair.
33. One Hand Behind Head
It’s a simple yet effective pose for accentuating a woman’s curves. Once the hand is behind their head, they can push out the opposite hip. Stepping one leg out will also increase the curve.
I hope this article has provided you with all the boudoir photography ideas you need to get started. We’ve given you boudoir poses for shy beginners. And there are pose for confident models with prowess.
It can be a daunting genre to get into. But these boudoir poses will help make your clients look and feel sexy. As your camera gets warmed up, so will they. And by the end, you’ll have a catalog of sexy and sensual boudoir photos.