The Wedding Dress- Whether this one stays in the background or half-zipped up from the back on the bride, the wedding dress is essential to the bridal boudoir shoot.
The Garter Belt(s)- What’s more essential to a bridal boudoir shoot than what the bride will wear UNDER the dress. Some tips: Zoom in and out on this one, use with the wedding dress and without, and just have fun with leggy poses.
Flower Petals- If this is any kind of traditional wedding, there will be a flower girl or girls so include some reminders of this feminine tradition. Whether the bride-to-be is laying on the petals or they are floating down over her, this is an essential. Including some that match the bride’s actual wedding colors are a nice touch for the bride and using real flowers will allow them to look (literally) more natural when they’re floating down.
Flowers- You can create a small bouquet for cheap to include and these make a great addition to the back or foreground to the shoot. You can hang the flowers overhead individually as well. They can be used loose or as a bouquet, it really doesn’t matter. Be sure to throw in some baby’s breath too.
Veil- Even if the bride-to-be is only going to be wearing a smaller headpiece, a veil is the perfect peek-a-boo piece. It’s also a great cover for a client’s face if they do not want their identity revealed on your website and across social media or parts and pieces they might want to hide (a little love-handle in this position, some stretch-marks there) so it can save time in editing since everyone waits until the last minute to get these “gifts” made. Just make sure to come out from behind the camera for these to see if you truly are hiding something or not.
Headpiece- Whether it be a tiara, blusher veil, or any other type of headpiece they have chosen, you’ll want to include it. These pictures are meant to reflect them, their personality, and their love for another. Authenticity is something that is sometimes lost in boudoir as black and white photos seem to blend together from the photographer’s end, but making sure each client’s set, props, and pictures reflect them is something that always needs to be remembered.
Pearls- This one might seem like a classic or traditional one, but it’s not lost it’s flair, if you use it right. You will see how we used it in one of our bridal boudoir sessions on our site with a client and she was able to turn it into a web and then hooked them around the heel of her shoe. We always encourage people to just move in ways that they feel are natural to them and have fun so, have fun with this one!
Ostrich feathers- We have used feathered fans and boas in the past and, most recently, we have ordered some white ostrich feathers since they’re bigger AND trending. We aren’t usually swayed by “trending” anything, but I’m willing to bend on this one because I see plenty of potential with this prop. I think this one will be a good peek-a-boo with the eyes and smile. Just my thoughts on the props.
Candles- You can sprinkle these throughout the shoot, use them as primary lighting for some reflections of the heart, or cluster together as a backlight. You could actually do all three, it doesn’t matter. I, personally, love to play with light, but it’s up to you, where your shoot is taking place, the lighting that exists (natural, etc.), and how much time you have with your client. We always want to save money, but boudoir isn’t always the place to cut corners.
Faux fur/silk/lace- Mix up the texture of the shoot. You could use a faux fur blanket or coat, a silk robe, or a lace backdrop to make this shoot different than the other pics you’ve done in the past. Again, the point is to let the client’s personality shine through. If a client is a member of PETA, a faux fur coat is likely not something that will work so it might be good to invest some time into getting to know your client. If they are going for a retro vibe, a headpiece with a feather, faux fur coat, and the pearls might be the way to go.
I recommend investing a little bit of money on the front end for these shoots to be able to make it count for the client on the backend. These aren’t always expensive props though. Seriously, curtains, tablecloths, do not rule out the linens section at the local Goodwill, flowers and candles at the Dollar Tree, and Amazon for some ostrich feathers. Search high and low for ideas and follow us on social media because we’re ingenious. 😉