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What to expect at your boudoir session

Updated: May 11, 2023

So you have a boudoir session scheduled with us and you want to know what to expect? Or maybe you haven’t booked your session yet but you’re thinking about it and want a sneak peek into what it will be like? Read below to find out!

Behind the scenes indoor boudoir session in Columbia, MO

First off, at boudoir by Belle Allee, we walk you through every step of the process. You do not have to worry about a single thing when you book your session with us!

The first thing we do after you inquire with us is a phone consultation where we walk you through the entire process and everything to expect. Then we send you lots of goodies in your email! We send you a list of Do’s and Don’ts so you are fully prepared for your session. We also send you a huge list of outfit ideas, which we call a “style guide,” that even includes links to stores that we recommend! I promise, some of the stuff on the list is stuff you already have in your closet!

Outdoor boudoir session in a creek in Columbia, MO

So, what happens on the day of your session? Let’s walk through it:

1 - Hair and Makeup

Professional hair and makeup is included in all of our sessions. That means you get to spend some time getting pampered and done up before your session. You show up (most of our clients come in their pjs! Keep it cozy!) with clean, dry hair and a clean, moisturized face and leave it all to our hair and makeup team. Sometimes I even do the hair for our sessions (don’t worry! I’m also a licensed cosmetologist.)

Have something specific in mind that you would like done? Awesome! If you can send it to us ahead of your session that’s always super helpful so we can prep the team! Otherwise, showing it to the artists on the day of your session works, too.

Don’t have anything specific in mind? Awesome! Honestly, most of our clients don’t. Most opt to let the hair and makeup team just do their thing. You can always request a smokey eye or a bold lip without sending us pictures, too. Basically, it’s up to you and if you don’t have ideas, our hair and makeup artists are ready to do their thing!

During hair and makeup, Zach and I will be there, setting up and just hanging out. It gives all of us a chance to get to know each other a bit before we start the session, which definitely helps our clients feel more at ease by the time we start. Pretty much all our clients later tell us they felt like they were hanging out with friends!

Behind the scenes Boudoir hair and makeup in Columbia, MO

2 - Outfits

Next up, we will go through all the outfits you brought and together, we will pick and choose our favorites! We recommend bringing at least 4-6 outfit options so we have plenty to choose from. And of course as we go through them, if there’s any that you really have your heart set on wearing, let us know so we can be sure to choose that one! And likewise, if you have any you’re not super thrilled with or not feeling that day, let us know so we can skip that one or see what we might do to make it better! (Sometimes pairing a piece with a lace robe is all it takes!)

Unlike a lot of photographers, we don’t put a limit on how many outfits you can wear (or the amount of time we shoot). The entire day of your session is all about you! We always block off the entire day and never make other plans for after, because we want it to be a relaxed, fun, amazing experience for you – and we do everything we can to make sure that happens! (We even offer a glass of champagne during hair and makeup!)

Indoor Boudoir Photography Session in Columbia, MO Missouri

3 - The actual session

So what happens once the cameras come out and the clothes come off? This is, of course, the part that makes people the most nervous. But I promise, there is NOTHING to be nervous about! You will have been hanging out and chatting with us for the past few hours, so you won’t be as nervous as you think!

We always start out with the most conservative outfit you bring. So generally we start off in a T-shirt, sweater, etc. You won’t have to strip down to lingerie right off the bat unless you choose to! Didn’t bring anything conservative? Then we still start off with whatever is the most conservative. Sometimes that means non-lingerie, sometimes it means a bra or bodysuit with a lining or adding a robe over something!

Once we start taking pictures, we will show you the photos on our camera so that you can see that it’s really working and you look INCREDIBLE! This is the point in the session that 99% of people relax more, gain some confidence and get even more comfortable.

We will go through the outfits in order from most conservative to least conservative so you have the max amount of time to get comfortable with the idea. And during your session, if you decide you aren’t comfortable with a certain outfit, you absolutely don’t have to wear that outfit!! We will never force you to do anything or wear anything that you aren’t comfortable with.

Your session will be at LEAST one hour but can be more than that, depending on how many outfits and poses, etc. Since we mark off our entire day/evening for you, we recommend you do the same so none of us are stressing about time! Of course, we understand that sometimes life doesn’t allow for that, so please let us know ASAP if we are going to be under any kind of time constraints! We do require a minimum of 3-4 hours to allow for hair, makeup and at least 1 hour of photos.

Remember how I mentioned before that we will be there every step of the way? That also goes for posing! Don’t worry about how to do the poses or that you’ll make weird facial expressions. We walk you through that, too! We even demonstrate the poses for you, and all you have to do is mirror us! Sometimes I show you the pose, sometimes Zach does (which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is entertaining as hell, lol). We pose you from the tip of your head to the tip of your toes. We even direct your facial expressions! The entire experience is much easier than you’re probably thinking it is.

Outdoor Water Boudoir Photography in Columbia, MO

So what happens after your session? When do you get your pictures? When do you get your products? How do you get to see the pictures?

We get asked these questions a lot!

About 1 week after your session, we will have a “reveal session.” That means we will get back together again and show you a slideshow of all your beautiful images! During the reveal, you get to pick your favorites for your album, choose a picture for your metal, etc. (or whatever products you choose, but those are our most popular).

All our products have different ranges as far as how long they take to come in. Some are as quick as 1-2 weeks, others can take 6-8 weeks! Generally, I wait until I have them all in hand and deliver them all at once! The average amount of time is 3-4 weeks to get everything. It rarely takes the full 6-8 weeks, but because some of them CAN take that long, if you need your products by a certain time, be sure to plan for that when booking your session!

That’s the general rundown of how a boudoir session with us works! Of course, when you book your session, we have a consultation call where I go over things in more detail and you have a chance to ask any and all questions!

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