3 Posing Secrets Every Boudoir Photographer Should Know

Are you ready for clients to stop trying to pose on their own? …or for them to stop saying “Now what do I do?” …or maybe even stop making that dreaded duck face?!

The 3 posing secrets I’m about to share with you will be a life changer for you.

As most of you know my studio is now a small team. I have grown it from just me to 3 full time employees.
*Regardless if you’re a one man team or more then that, these 3 posing tips will still work wonder for your business

I have a studio manager and another photographer who shoots at my studio.

When I was training our new photographer on how we shoot…

…it became evident to me that I have created a “system.”

We still allow for each shoot to be unique but when it comes to facial expressions we have a system in place.

Our goal is for our clients to look amazing, feel amazing, evoke a number of emotions in their photos, and get as much variety out of their photo shoot as we can.

Variety is key, variety sells.

With each “look” (a pose on a background), once the client is posed, we run through the same set (our system) of facial expressions.

These are my three posing secrets for efficiency, variety, and confidence in your client.

ONE. Close Your Eyes

Once I know what set I’m shooting with, they’ve changed, and I’m posed them down to their fingertips, I then ask them to relax and close their eyes.

While their eyes are closed I will usually take a quick light test shot.

I want them to start relaxing and get used to the sound of the camera shutter.

TWO.  Part Your Lips

Once they’ve closed their eyes I ask them to gently part their lips.

I don’t want a mouth gap I just want the lips not touching. Many people (especially nervous boudoir clients) will hold their tension in their mouth and lips. This step is very important for not only helping them relax but to get a sexy and relaxed portrait.

**I will sometimes take a photo with their eyes closed or “looking down” at this point

THREE. Take a deep breath in and out + bring your eyes up to my lens

At this point you’re almost ready to snap your photo. Remember we’re not here to “pray and spray,” We want to get everything perfect before we snap the shutter.

Once you’ve done everything mentioned above it’s time to gently tell them to take a deep breath in and out (you want to see and hear it), and then tell them to slowly open their eyes and look into your lens.


So when it put it all together it should sound like this. You should be walking her through this as she’s doing it, step by step.

“Ok Shelly I’m going to have you close your eyes, gently part your lips, take a deep breath in and out, and then slowly bring your eyes up towards my camera.

These three steps will give you a great “non smile” look. While they’re still in the pose we then take a photo of them with a “little smile” and then with a “big smile.”

FUN FACT: At our studio we’ve noticed when men come with to the viewings the majority of the photos they pick are smiling boudoir ones.

Now that you have these down you can do these steps over and over again with different poses, and different poses on different sets.

Once you get the hang of this expression “system” it’s super easy to breeze through your shoot and end up with TONS of variety!

Systems help streamline your business and create repeat success, right? So with these three steps as a foundation to getting a wide-variety of shots… are you ready to see a few more posing ideas that sell? Read more about poses here in my post Pleasing Poses She’ll Beg To Pay You For.

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.