Looking for some tips for a plus size boudoir photography session for women? This is the guide for you!
Boudoir photos are a great way for a woman to express herself and capture her beauty for posterity.
It’s an excuse to get your hair and makeup done, show off a new piece of lingerie, or simply feel confident and sexy in your own skin.
Whether you’re a plus-size model or the photographer, these curvy boudoir photography ideas will make your next photo shoot a huge success.
Let’s get started.
1. Highlight her Body Shape with Effective Posing
Different body types have different needs. We all know this from our everyday lives when we’re buying an outfit that looked great on the catalogue but doesn’t look good on you… or something that looks great on you but doesn’t quite work on your friend.
The same principle applies to plus-size boudoir photography – a flattering pose for one type of body might not be the best for another.
So, if you’re a plus-size model, you should know what are the best poses for you – if you’re a photographer, this will be helpful too as you can better direct your model during the shoot.
Pose 1: Arms up
Hands and arms are always the most difficult body parts to pose – that’s why it’s important to give the model some direction on what to do with them.
For plus size boudoir photos, having the arms up works wonders to highlight the natural curves and make a balanced composition. It will also direct the viewer’s attention to the face.
The best thing is that you can combine the arm pose with many other positions to create even more curves. You can be standing, sitting or crouching.
Your plus size boudoir model can be looking towards the camera, to the side or turned away – it’s super versatile.
Speaking of versatility, there’s also the possibility to have one arm flexed and the other extended. If you have long hair, you can be playing with it, etc.
Take a look at boudoir photo ideas on Pinterest for some inspiration on how to direct your model.
Pose 2: Full frontal
Most people posing guides will tell you to avoid having your body straight towards the camera because it makes you look ‘boxy’.
This might be true, but there’s an exception to every rule, and this is an important one – the power pose.
Boudoir photography is about empowering yourself, and standing proud and confident in front of the camera is a great way to communicate this. This is all the more true with plus-size models.
Looking straight at the camera doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t highlight your best features.
Keep a good posture and make sure you have the shoulders down. You can put your hands on the hip to highlight the waist or cross your legs to pop the hip.
Pose 3: Laying on your back with a crossed leg
This is a classic pose for boudoir photography. It requires the camera to be looking down at the plus-size model – it can be straight from the top or from the side at a high angle, like the example above. This gives you the chance to show off the entire body.
To make this pose more flattering for plus-size boudoir photos, you can play with the angles to form an S shape – you can do this with one leg crossed over the other, and the head turned in the opposite direction.
If you place the arm up, you’ll help elongate the body and create a stunning look for any plus-size model.
You can set different moods by changing props or clothes to make the image sexier, naughtier, more feminine, playful, etc. – the facial expression is crucial for this.
Pose 4: On the side
A variation from the laying pose with a similar effect on the body shape is to be on your side. This pose pops the hip and slims the waist to create a beautiful curve.
(You’ll notice that the majority of posing tips for females consist of creating curves in some way. The more curves the better!)
Your boudoir photo ideas can involve the model laying completely on her side or just from the waist down and have the torso upright (as shown in the pictures above) – this can have the benefit of elongating any stretch marks on the exposed side of the body.
A mid-way variation can be laying on the side with the arm bent and the head resting on the hand.
Pose 5: Sitting on a couch
Sitting, lying or reclining on a couch is very effective for boudoir photography – it doesn’t always have to be in the bedroom.
Changing location will give you more choices to find interesting poses and moods on your boudoir photo session.
For example, have you thought about doing the session outdoors? That’s also an interesting setting – just make sure it’s somewhere private so your plus-size client can relax completely.
Pose 6: Arching the back
A great way to highlight the booty is to have the model arch her back, especially if the photo is being taken from the side.
It doesn’t matter if your model is standing, kneeling or laying down on her stomach. This simple move can improve the posture and make her look curvy – as mentioned before, an essential for plus-size boudoir photography.
Pose 7: Looking over the shoulder
In this pose, your model gives her back to the camera and then looks back over her shoulder. This can be a very enticing look, as if she’s inviting the viewer to follow her.
You can play with this pose a little more by asking the model to reach her arm and hand back toward the camera – this has been a popular look in travel photos on Instagram recently, but why not incorporate it into your plus-size boudoir photos for some variety.
Pose 8: Pop the hip
For standing poses, the weight should always be on one leg. This allows the hip to pop and accentuate the natural curves – it also gives freedom to the other leg to bend a little and look more natural.
Pose 9: In the tub
Poses in the tub are great for plus size models because they allow them to show only what they feel like showing – if you use bubbles, you can mask away any imperfection.
Try milk bath photography (see our guide) to add some creative boudoir photos to the mix.
Pose 10: Hands around the hips
Putting the hands on the hips or around the waist pulls the attention towards this area which is very suggestive.
You can grab the clothes if you want to give the hands something to do and make it a bit more flirty or playful.
Above all, whether you’re photographing slender or plus-size boudoir models, the end result is the same – your photos should include some that exhibit fun and cheekiness and this kind of pose does exactly that.
2. Select Plus Size Boudoir Outfits for Curvy Models
The wardrobe is an important part of plus size boudoir photography as it helps to set the mood of the session.
Unlike erotic or nude photography, you want your outfit to be more suggestive than explicit – of course, it depends on the result you’re going for.
Either way, if you’re wondering what you should wear for a plus size boudoir photo shoot, here are some tips to consider.
- Wear the right size – This might sound like a given, but you’d be surprised as to how many women use a bra that’s a bit small and creates skin bulges – let alone finding the right corset, garter or something you don’t normally wear. So, make sure you get the right size and try it on in advance – you should feel comfortable in it.
- Use things that highlight your favorite body parts – We all have parts of our body that we like more than others. You should choose outfits that accentuate those parts – if you like your cleavage, use a V-neck; if you like your booty, wear a thong, and so on.
- Consider the ambience you want to create – You can shoot plus size boudoir photos with different styles – it can be feminine, playful, dark, etc. – the wardrobe will help you create this mood. It’s not the same to wear an airy silk teddy as a black leather corset; the choice is yours.
- Choose a color palette – in general, solid colors work better for plus-size boudoir photos and are less distracting. Choose colors that are flattering for you. A professional photographer can give you some guidance and make sure the one you choose looks good on camera.
- Not all plus-size boudoir photography needs lingerie – Many things can make you look and feel sexy that aren’t necessarily undergarments. You can use a sheer shirt and jeans or your favorite cocktail dress – look online for plus-size boudoir photo ideas.
- Accessorise – boudoir photos aren’t just about the wardrobe. It’s also about pampering yourself and making you feel beautiful. So, hair, makeup and accessories are also important when you’re preparing for the photoshoot. Accessories also allow the model to cover or show body parts or specific areas of the body, putting them in control of the photo shoot.
3. Use light in your favour
Lighting is essential in all boudoir photos, but especially so for plus-size boudoir photography. This is because it allows you to set the mood and shape the body.
You can direct the attention to specific parts of the body with highlights and use the shadows to ‘hide’ any parts you don’t feel comfortable with.
Natural light from the window usually provides soft and warm light that’s very flattering for female portraits.
However, if you’re going for a moody look, you should use strong lights that create hard shadows. You can also use gels or alternative light sources to achieve creative effects.
Check out our guide to photography lighting to see what would work best for your plus-size boudoir photos.
4. Understand the person, not just the body
Understanding how to photograph a plus-size model is important as you need to choose the light, poses etc., according to the body type to achieve the best results.
However, it would help if you also understood the model’s motivation, personality and expectations to make the best photoshoot.
Even if women are the most common clients for plus-size boudoir photography, it doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive to them. The poses, colors and ideas may vary according to your client’s gender.
You should also consider what the motivation for the photoshoot is.
Boudoir photos can be about empowerment, reinforcing a positive body image, immortalizing a special moment (bridal shoots, for example), showing off a tattoo artwork, or an anniversary gift.
Each of these requires a different approach – communication with your client is key to understanding what they are looking for and how you can deliver.
Like any other photographic genre, plus size boudoir photos need good photography composition.
Thanks to this, you can guide the viewer’s eye to wherever you want it to look. You can give or take visual weight to different body parts, and you can make your images more dynamic.
Let’s look at some ways in which composition can be of help.
If you are using props like flowers, pillows, mirrors, etc., arrange them to create a balanced composition that highlights the model’s features.
When photographing couples, use composition rules to place them and create leading lines between them.
Close-ups are a fantastic way to highlight sexy details and make suggestive images. Using composition guidelines such as the rule of thirds, you can better frame and crop the image to make them more powerful.
Boudoir photo sessions are about empowerment – the photos should flatter plus-size models, but the rest of the experience is just as important.
Professional boudoir photographers should make sure that their clients feel pampered and comfortable above all else. Communication before, during and after the photo shoot is essential.
For plus-size boudoir photos as much as any other genre, talking to your model and making him/her feel at ease is the key to natural photos.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to achieve this – if you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments section.