curious about doing a boudoir session?
Congratulations on taking the first step towards some major self-love and care! (Even if this is a gift for your honey, your confidence will still reap the benefits.)
Whether you’ve already booked your session or you’re just testing the waters, you probably have a lot of questions. To help, I’ve put together a list of common questions.
Client or not, please always feel free to ask me anything! Boudoir sessions are often out of a person’s comfort zone, but I promise they are WELL worth any nerves!
What if I don't have someone to gift the photos to?
All the more reason to do it! Doing a boudoir session as a romantic gift for your partner is so special, but it still counts if it’s a gift to yourself. I heavily encourage people to do these sessions for themselves, as they can be some of the most empowering experiences you’ll ever have. Celebrate yourself! Celebrate your body and all that it does for you! As Alexandra Elle wrote, “You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people.”
DO I HAVE TO BE NUDE/IN LINGERIE?
Definitely not. Even if you prefer to refrain from showing much, a boudoir session can still be a liberating experience. I strive to produce tasteful and classy images even for clients who do choose to take it all off, but you will never, ever be pressured to do anything out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to get creative when putting together outfits that aren’t lingerie.
Modesty can absolutely be sexy and you should never let a photographer pressure you to show more skin than you’re ready for.
I don’t feel naturally sexy. Won’t I be awkward on camera?
No way. Posing scantily clad in front of a camera and a stranger may sound daunting, but even my most self-doubting clients start to relax after a few shots. My job is to make you feel comfortable and at ease, and I will pose you from head to toe.
WHAT'S THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE?
I usually start with the most conservative outfit to get you warmed up. You will be guided from start to finish and from top to bottom, so you can relax and concentrate on feeling like your sexiest self. Leave the work to me! I do my best to match my client’s energy, so every session feels slightly different. Music will be playing upon your arrival, the playlist curated around whether you are doing this for yourself or for a partner. Lots of bright flashes and lots of laughter. I assure you, I’m about as un-intimidating as it gets.
The posing flow is different with everyone. I strongly dislike boudoir “pose flow checklists.” I don’t force clients into a strict routine of pre-decided poses, because I believe every woman is different, feels differently, loves different parts of herself, has a different personality, etc. I refuse to treat you all like rotisserie chickens (“lay on your back – ok lay on your side – ok lay on your stomach – ok you’re done”).
Do you sell giftcards?
Yes, and I already adore you for being so thoughtful.
Where do we shoot?
This is your session, and we’ll shoot wherever you feel fits your vision best. I offer up my studio setup (Downtown St. Louis) to all my boudoir clients as a place to shoot, but some clients prefer to shoot in their own homes for an added level of intimacy. Others choose to rent out an Airbnb or hotel suite with decor they love, or even a secluded outdoor location. My equipment is transportable.
What time do we shoot?
I leave the time up to the client. I like for you all to get enough rest, eat, hydrate, and enjoy the morning without rushing or stressing. I typically recommend starting between 9am and 3pm in the hopes we can take a few natural-light shots, but I've also done plenty of late evening sessions that have turned out beautifully.
Do you shoot groups?
Yes! Boudoir parties are so much fun. Birthdays, bachelorette parties, ladies’ night, you name it- boudoir can be part of it. The atmosphere at a boudoir party is one of the most uplifting girl-power experiences you can have.
Do you shoot couples?
I do, and I LOVE them. You can see my couples packaging under the “Sessions” tab up top. My recommendation: Book a session in a picture-perfect Airbnb, double it as a mini getaway, and spend the night out on the town since you’ll already be in full-glam and feeling steamy. If you come to Saint Louis, I’m happy to offer up ideas for your itinerary.
ARE MY PHOTOS SAFE?
I photograph you alone, edit your images alone, and will never share your photos unless we have a prior agreement. I understand how important it is to have a boudoir photographer you can trust. Your photos are handled with respect and discretion every step of the way. You'll download your images from a private, password-protected gallery.
can i bring a friend with me?
You can, but I don’t recommend it. Be certain it's a friend you feel 100% comfortable posing in front of! When shooting in my home studio, I require that any friends stick with us as we shoot (instead of wandering around my home). If you think you would be even the slightest bit more shy with them watching, this could seriously impact your boudoir experience. Instead, consider renting a dreamy Airbnb and booking a double session!
what if there are parts of my body i don't like?
In the past, clients have asked me to photograph them in a way that leaves out a specific feature, or to edit out scars and stretch marks. This is your shoot and I will do whatever is in my means (and is reasonable) to accommodate your concerns! (Having said that, I also hope that every client knows that we are all too self-critical.)
how old do i have to be?
I prefer all my boudoir clients be 21 or over, but 18 is obviously the absolute minimum.
how far in advance should i book?
It’s possible that I’ll have the time and space in my schedule for a last-minute shoot, but don’t leave it to chance if you can help it! (I will always make time if I can.) Some clients decide to book on a whim of self-love, and others book 9 months out to save up, meet fitness goals, surprise their fiancé the morning of their wedding, celebrate a special occasion, etc.
I recommend booking your session around 6 weeks in advance to give yourself time to build your wardrobe, schedule hair or waxing appointments, etc., but it's not necessary.
Less time is needed if you're looking at a Tease or Angel session, simply because there are fewer schedules to align. It's just you and me!
when will i get my photos back?
My turnaround for finished images is four weeks after the session date. It’s often quicker than that, but everything depends on my schedule! The editing process takes time. Trust me, you don’t want me to rush! (Rush jobs are usually possible as long I know in advance.)
will my hair and makeup be done?
Some of my packages include hair and makeup done professionally on site, and some do not. I give the option to exclude professional hair and makeup services to make sure I’m accessible to clients who don't want to/can’t feasibly drop a larger sum on their session. Or maybe you already love the way you do your own hair and makeup! (Styled hair and/or makeup aren't necessary, by the way. You do you, honey.)
The women in your portfolio all look like models, but I’m not “model-esque.” Can I still do this?
Surprise! None of those women are models! They are just posed and photographed professionally. From posing, to eye movement, to breathing, to facial expressions- I’ll have you covered. You (most likely) aren’t a professional model, and I certainly don’t expect you to act like one. All you have to do is take the leap, show up, and trust me.
will you photoshop me?
I use several editing programs on my photos, but I strive to edit in a way that accentuates the natural beauty you already have. You will still look like you. I believe that some photographers go WAY overboard when editing clients, which can actually be detrimental to their confidence and mental health. They just paid a significant chunk of money to be shown they aren’t good enough the way they are! (I once had a photographer make my nose way smaller. I didn’t even know my nose was too big, but, thanks to him, I’ve certainly thought about it a lot since.) Others proudly refuse to retouch their clients at all, taking a “purist” approach. While I understand, appreciate, and value their perspective- I can’t get on board with that either. So, I fall somewhere in the middle. You’re investing a lot into this session, and you deserve a polished product worthy of that investment. I believe a lot of things are temporary, not part of you. Acne, blemishes, uneven skin, bruises, stray hairs are not you. A huge driving force for offering boudoir is getting to show you the same treatment that celebrities receive in photographs, in hopes that you see they have nothing you don’t have.
Do you accept payment plans?
Yes! You certainly do not have to pay your session fee all at once. Half of your fee is required upon booking, and serves as a nonrefundable security deposit to save your date. The other half isn’t due until 48 hours before your session.
should i arrive early?
There’s no need to show up more than a couple minutes early, and I will never rush you to finish your session.
Should I plan around my period?
Solely for your own comfort, I recommend it!
can i bring props?
Bringing props is a great way to add some personality to your session. My style typically strays from cliché boudoir props and poses, but I will happily help you come up with some unique ideas to make your session feel extra special! I’ve shot clients baking, reading, FaceTiming, eating pizza, wearing ballet shoes, playing video games, stretching in active wear, referencing their favorite book or movie, and even cosplaying! Just no guns.
where are you located?
Downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, about 60 seconds away from the Illinois border. Most of my clients fall between Chicago and STL, but I’ve traveled as far as Georgia and Rhode Island for clients before. I love traveling, so if coming to St. Louis isn’t your thing, let’s chat!
So, what's next?
After you decide which package is the best fit for you, I'll send you my calendar and you can choose your own session date. After that, I'll send over your contract and the invoice for your 50% deposit. You'll also get my Boudoir Cheat Sheet and a few other helpful planning/prepping resources! From there, we'll plan all the details based on which package you selected. The process is fun from start to finish!
who are you?
Here are the CliffsNotes: My name is Brianna- Bri for short. I grew up in Central IL, and am a Bradley University graduate. From ages 18-20, I was locked into a modeling contract with an agency based in Chicago. I hated almost every moment of it, and never renewed my contract. I was pressured, pitted against other women, and constantly criticized. My confidence had never been lower, and it took a while to recover.
Looking back, I think this is what drove me towards jobs that empowered women, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. In college, I worked at David’s Bridal, where I got to help brides blow themselves away while their friends hyped them up. Later, I started working at Victoria’s Secret and was offered a promotion to Bra Specialist. This allowed me to empower women in a more intimate setting, where they were often shopping after a breast enhancement/reduction or childbirth, celebrating an anniversary or divorce, splurging after a promotion, celebrating fitness goals or even getting their first real bra. It become my job to help vulnerable-feeling women fall in love with their bodies, and I loved every minute I spent in the dressing rooms (and fell in love with lingerie).
In both jobs, getting to help women see themselves in a new light felt so rewarding.
In addition to those experiences, I danced, coached, and choreographed at a competitive level until I was 24. I coached dancers aging from 3 to 27, studying and instructing body placement, getting creative with the human body, and fighting to strengthen the self-esteem of my female dancers.
Cut to 2016, when my husband and I started a production-quality photography, videography and marketing business and I held a real camera for the first time. A friend answered my open call for a boudoir session. It turned out better than I allowed myself to hope for, I fell in love, and the rest is history. It felt as though all my experiences served as a ladder to get me exactly where I belonged. I feel lucky every single day to have the job I do.
Shoot me a message so I can add it to the list!