How to do your own boudoir shoot with a phone – update

ARTICLE originally published in 2010- updated 2017 and then clean up 2020, video coming soon!
Inspired by my popular post “how to shoot your own boudoir photos” and this picture which title is:
“NUMBER ONE USE OF CAMERA PHONES THESE DAYS” (Get naked and take pictures)

Yes, we have all done it. Good thing we are not famous- yet.
Now, this post is about how to take your naked selfies to the next level.

Here is my attempt to eradicate those pictures taken in the washroom mirror – the horror.
Fine. I can’t eradicate them for good since we still have to take a picture of the outfit #OOTD we are wearing that day and post it.

But for sexy pictures in your underwear- Please use this.


Photos from when the original article was published in 2010 (DANG!) on an iPhone 4 and about 15 pounds (pre-Lily) less and different hair. This only reinforces my thought on “you look awesome right now”. Do not wait for when I do x. Time flies.



1: Get your room ready. 
My room does not look like this every day. Everything goes into the closet and the catch-all drawers.
Pay special close attention to clutter on surfaces, I know usually nobody is going to look behind you if your cleavage is right there, but don’t be that chick of the selfie mouse on the floor 

2: GET READY
Thank goodness for push up bras. Aren’t they awesome? And my Batman undies. I nerded out for this shoot. Tips on what to wear are here.
Makeup. Pile it on.  Youtube has amazeballs makeup tutorials, don’t get lost in the rabbit hole so make sure you actually do this first.  Youtube glam makeup with the type of makeup you own.

3: PHONE

After you prop it on a chair like I did or get one of those gadgets to stick your phone on surfaces, set it up to Time Lapse Option so you have some time to move around. Make sure you have enough memory so back up all your photos before attempting this. You will need the space.

4: TAKE THE PICTURES:
All right here you go, it is way easier when no one is looking :). And you are actually looking at yourself in the phone so it helps. If you are shooting video set your iPhone horizontally – but for photos vertically it’s ok.
So start the goofiness. Use props. More tips on what to do click here Just remember, you are on your knees here so move around. Go on all fours. You can think of something 😛 Avoid using the digital zoom, it ain’t pretty.

5: EDITING: There are tons of apps out there, for simplicity I use Snapseed others even change your body shape. But if you already feel sexy in your underwear and makeup, this looks better than what an app can do.

camera

What not to do:
besides losing your phone with all those pictures- or sending them to a  jerk

All I see is the toilet.
Almost… good try, the darn toilet paper got in the way. Push that tush.
So if you must… this is a good example. Almost no crap and all you see are boobs. It’s purpose is to tease. If you ever break up – there is no face! just awesome boobs.

And also points for clean mirrors! Anyway- hope you just set the self-timer and start having fun without holding your phone.

And lastly, do not forget to back up the photos from your phone, back them up on your computer- I was going to say google drive but not sure if I trust it, ZIP it, put a password in it then save it.

Have fun! I do have a thing for Batman

Frequently asked questions about your Boudoir Session

There are some FAQ’s lying around here somewhere but this is the condensed and updated version.

1. What should I bring to the session?
I answered that one perfectly WHAT TO WEAR.  Or fancy a YOUTUBE VIDEO? How many outfits you may ask? minimum 3 but bring a variety – lingerie is not that heavy to lug around.

2. How long does the shoot last?
About two hours. The part that takes the longest is the make up application. Those fake eyelashes sometimes require effort 🙂 . It takes about 40 minutes to get ready- and the shooting part goes way faster.

3. Do you help with the posing? why yes I do. I show you all you need to do. It helps also you read my tips on how to pose standing up HOW TO POSE SEXY I think is funny. And for the close ups and what to do with your hands: HOW TO POSE HANDS
The best thing you can do is practice your facial expression in front of a mirror. It feels silly, but you will feel silly here anyways.
And I give you the general idea at the beginning anyway.

see? lie down twisty and hold boobs.

4. Can I bring a friend/sister/hubby?
Yes you can! whoever is going to help out and watch is fine. If they make you laugh even better. Takes some of my performance pressure off 🙂

5. How many files do I get?
Digital… I kind of miss the good old glamour shot days that you had 16 shots and you had to choose your 5 best one from there. You blinked- you lost a frame. Nowadays for each session I have about 300 files. Dang it. A lot of the images are similar so that just helps me decide on which one has a better focus.  You have two options: One I send you about 50 (depending on your package) so you can choose your top 25 that I can edit or you let me choose the best ones for you and you only see the final selections. Up to you.

6. What do you do with the other 250 files?
If they did not make the cut for the best  I delete them- I need hardrive space. If you want them all – the private affair package includes all digital files for you to do as you wish. Otherwise they are just deleted or sold to playboy… I WISH. 🙂

7. How long till I see the proofs?
Low season- meaning not this close to xmas and valenties day – usually you get a link of your proofs within 24 hrs. High season when I have more than 3 bookings per day is about 36 hrs. I will let you know an estimate at the end of the session.

8. I am getting married next week, how soon can I get the pictures and album?
hmm, yes I had these before. Yes, I do my darnest to get them done in a week. But album takes about 3 weeks so only prints can be done within the week. I usually send files to print on Wednesday and pick up Thursday and meet up with people on Friday or mail them.
Wednesday is print day.
Normally it will be two weeks from your session to get prints and 3 to get the album. So plan accordingly and dont give me any more stress related white hairs.

9. What is the extent of the retouching? 
Retouching includes:

  • background – any cable – carpet piece
  • skin smoothing- stretch marks, lumps, bumps, bruises, blemishes
  • face- under eye area- skin and teeth brightening
  • figure- tuck in the waist a bit and if you are sitting or bending funny smoothing extra skin aka the “roll”
  • aaaaaand my toes

I tend to have a light touch. It is still you but a bit enhanced. You can request more retouching after you see them.

10. I am plus size, and most samples the women look to be on the thin side. Any tips for plus size posing?
I shoot any bra size and any shoe size, what you see are flattering images around my blog and sometimes at request of the client I do not post any – so I may lack a bit in the plus – sized samples. But not too worry! you are in good hands. I really look for your best angles, I want you to love your pictures.
A good tip is to make sure the lingerie you get fits you properly, and skip the thigh highs if you can’t find the ones with out the elastic. Some great choices are corsets, bra sets, camisoles and sexy lacy robes. Anything lacy and see trough.
An article I wrote about this CELEBRATING BOUDOIR

and lastly my privacy policy… I will not post a faces- lips yeah, some boobs, some butt, but any marks or tattoos are deleted to prevent recognition. I sometimes distort the faces a bit too. Only you know they are your boobs.

Holiday Family Portrait Tips

For non-cheesy family photos!
Well, who am I kidding, if there is a time for cheese it should be the holidays! Here are some tips and recommendations based on my “viral” Family Portraits tips on the beach. And by viral I mean, it gets pinned on Pinterest. I wish I could get bookings from that thing but I guess reputation is great. 

First, I just want to say, take this chance to take a nice photo, even if it’s Walmart, as long as someone else is taking the photo. Dress up, print it, and hang it on the wall, not just post it on facebook.
So take advantage of the holiday pressure and kill two birds. Get an awesome family photo and send your relatives a printed photo.

So my first tip is going to be:
1. Do a formal portrait. Maybe add a touch of red, but don’t make it too Christmasy with the red and green together. Yes, a pop of red is great. But think home decoration. You do not want to print a big photo with your reindeer sweater. It doesn’t look that great the rest of the year.

2. Wear neutral colours. For the same reason above, BUT, add a Rudolph scarf? Your ugly Xmas sweater? Your Santa hat? Yes take a couple of really holiday photos but only keep it to a couple.
Wearing neutral colours will let you use those accessories quickly without stopping a shoot for a change. Remember, kids have the attention span of a, well, kid.

3. Keep it short. Kids give you a solid 10 minutes attention if that.  So be ready, have the arguments in the morning while getting ready, and drag them all dressed up all ready. Yes, promise ice cream and treats if they behave,  but use it as a last resort. Explain how this is a gift for grandma, for someone they like, and that it is very fun and short! A good photographer will capture honest laughs or action shots. I always ask them to show me how high they can jump. The joy of playing is priceless. Or instead of a kiss, to blow a raspberry  🙂

4. Tickle and play. It will be great if all of you are looking at the camera at the same time, but really, it rarely happens. So tickle away, I will make sure those 4 takes look like one awesome one. Or maybe just get a moment like this: 

And here is the fancy holiday guide 🙂 

3 reasons why not to have a boudoir session…

 

 
Video updated here, same info just less reading 🙂 
 

I am gonna get a little serious here, (this photo is me trying to do a smart face?) but the dorkiness will show up – don’t cha worry.

This one I have been cooking for a while. But first, let me say that I think everybody should do it once in their life for themselves.

And this is the important part. I’ve had clients which have told me “My husband/boyfriend/other really wants these type of photos” and great! as long as that is giving you motivation  and excuse to do it.
BUT, and this is a big BUTT

 
1. Do not do it because you have been told to do it.
Especially if you are saying to yourself: This is not me… I feel so hoochie… I can’t. Then maybe don’t. Do a glamour photo session instead.
 
A little black dress that shows some cleavage. Or your jeans and a cool shirt with high heels. You do not have to show me anything. Or anyone for that matter. 
 
2.  You do not have photos of yourself.
 
There are people that hate their photos with a passion, (my mother for example) runs away from the camera or when coerced looks at some other random spot, anywhere but the camera. PET PEEVE of mine. I have one of her with my son, and where the fudge is she looking at, I have no idea. 
If you are like my mother, try a glamour session first. You will love at least one. 
 
 
3. You have really high expectations of my photoshopping skills.
Oh, I can do it, I will give you Kim Kardashian butt, but, do you really want to? I can also make you the shade of number 6 line of the toaster. But you are super pale. It does look a little bit fake. Go to get a spray tan at schulzbeauty.ca first.
 
I will fix the tank top tan from that weekend you forgot sunscreen. Or match the belly to the arms, that I can do, and do it well. It is when you are expecting abs when there is none, or worse, because another photographer did it for another session in the past. Nope. You do not have barbie skin. Or a barbie butt. It is plastic.
 
 
And I am pro-photoshop. Enhancing what is already there and fixing little things like skin tone matching and the chin pimple, and the darn mysterious super bruise. 
 
There! I let it out of my chest, feel better now!
But again! let me emphasise! Do it for you!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Tip: Shoes for Boudoir session

I might have a small shoe fetish. I can’t wear them, but if no one is looking, I will caress them. I have like 6 pairs that I just like saying hi every now and then. I am an awkward high heel walker too. Like my grandma used to say: You walk like a chicken with thorns on your feet. A thorny chicken. It sounds as ridiculous in spanish.

Anyway. Since then I kinda know how to walk if I practice for a bit before I have to actually go anywhere, but in reality the occasions to wear them are very few and far apart. And I feel like a giant if I go out with hubby. So flats are my thing.

As a general tip, when you come to a boudoir shoot, it is nice to have a newish pair of shoes for the shoot. Your heels go all over the place in weird positions that I make you do, but you can see the heels in some shots.

HERE IS THE TOP SECRET TIP: 

“Buy a new pair and return the pair the next week.” You really are not walking anywhere except from one corner to the bed.

A suggested this to a client that wears flats and has the one pair of very used high heels, you know, thinking she is getting a $60 dollar pair at winners or something. She came in with a freaking pair of $1,200 Louboutins. OH NO, SHE DIDN’T, YES she did!

She is my hero now. I am making room on my credit card so I can do that. To at least feel what a nice pair of shoes feels like. Apparently this is done a lot for styling photo shoots and movies. The trick is to use the non-stick painters tape if you are going to practice your walking. If you are just lying down for photos then you do not have to worry about it.

There is something sexy about that darn red sole…

It might be the proximity to the butt as well. 🙂 
It’s funny I started looking in the archives and apparently I have shot a lot of Louboutins. Even those pink ones. Pink and red look good together without looking like roger rabbit. Who knew!
Oh and if your credit card doesn’t have the room for a pair like this like me, just paint a newish pair.
Old jar of red nail polish here I come.
UPDATE: Awesome client painted her shoes, she used acrilic paint from the art store, and did give it a coat of shellac to make it last. But she actually uses those shoes so she wanted it to last. If you do not care for the lasting effect – just paint works!

Boudoir as a Gift to Myself

A small intro here: this was written by an actual client! she explains better the reasons to do a boudoir session better than me 🙂
I needed to re-read this. So I am giving it the 2019 update. This post from 2011 is one of the reasons I love boudoir and what makes women feel. Feeling sexy instead of trying to be sexy by society standards.  Leigh was awesome to write this for me, and it was awesome to see her again in 2018 still a strong woman embracing her super feminine side.

 
Guest Post: A Gift to Myself at 75
by Leigh
The idea of doing a Boudoir photo session started off as a gift to my boyfriend for his birthday.  While it still is a sexy little gift for him, it turned into a bigger gift to myself.    I’ve even showed the pictures to a few girlfriends, and they’ve been inspired to do something similar.
At first, it felt a bit indulgent to want to do this. 
Then I thought – why? If I can’t feel good about my body and feel sexy when I’m happy, healthy and in a good place in my life – when will that ever happen?

I decided to get over the self-doubt, the judgment, forget about what anyone else would think, and just go for it.  So I booked my session with Marlen. 
I trusted Marlen, and because of her, I felt really comfortable doing something I don’t ordinarily do every Saturday.  
I wanted to see what it was like to FEEL genuinely sexy and sexual through my own eyes, instead of trying to BE sexy by someone else’s standards. 
 I wanted to get in touch with my incredibly feminine side.
I wanted to remember that being a girl is FUN
I wanted to know that feeling sexy doesn’t mean you have to compromise your dignity, your pro-womanhood, and it doesn’t have to be degrading to other women. 
And, I wanted some kick ass pictures to prove it!
Well, I got what I wanted.
I can’t tell you what an amazing experience it was.  Plus, I feel a little bad ass, I gotta say.  And it feels really, really, good.
I realized that not only was I doing this for my boyfriend who appreciates me no matter what I am or am not wearing, but that I was doing it for myself and that, even though I wore red lipstick for the first time, I don’t need lipstick to feel good about myself.   
When I’m 75, I’m going to look back on these photos and appreciate them.  This gift to myself at 75 is that I had the good sense to feel good about my body and get in touch with a whole new side of myself on my own terms, with Marlen’s help.
So I say life’s short.  Go for the red lipstick and just see what a different side of you can be like.

Boudoir photography for couples- updated gallery and tips

It takes a really committed and confident couple to go for this type of photography.  You have to trust the other half that these images are not going to end up on Tumblr. A great source for ideas and inspiration, I save some stuff there that I see around Tumblr. It’s fun. Check mj-couples.tumblr.com

So! where was I?

Oh yeah, you have to trust your other half that in the case you ever broke up; pinkie-promise that these images do not end on the internets for the world to see your abilities.

I updated the Couples page and a handy dandy BROCHURE
I condensed all the tips there, it comes in handy when someone purchases a gift certificate and info of what to expect is needed.

It is really a lot of making out, cute making out, not eating faces because we do not want to ruin the makeup, a lot of boob grabbing, and a lot of pretending I am not there.

Tips on what to wear:
For her- they are all here on what to wear for your session
For him:
  • Suit with tie and everything (not to worry about the shoes really) or just bring shirt and tie.
  • Jeans and simple t-shirt
  • Boxers/ briefs/thongs I do not judge. Maybe a little but I won’t tell you. Simple colours, preferably no prints.
  • Shave super early in the day on even the night before if you have sensitive skin.
  • Tweeze the unibrow and brush off your lips with your toothbrush for kissable lips.
  • Moisturize after your shower, you want to look dewy
Book yours! If you need help convincing your other half, get the brochure 🙂
(originally published in 2011, now giving it the revamp)

Finding Your Perfectly Fitting Swimsuit – Guest Post

Note: This is a guest post, and looking for images to use I realized that I do have some in bathing suits for pinup poses, but not one on the actual beach. Available for hire to go somewhere warm- wink wink.

Finding Your Perfectly Fitting Swimsuit

Dreaming of warmer days, sandy beaches, and tropical getaways? You aren’t the only one. The best part about escaping to warmer weather is shopping for new clothes. However, most women don’t exactly get excited over the idea of swimsuit shopping. No matter what size, shape or age you are, it can be a little defeating trying to find a swimsuit you feel comfortable. Which is exactly why this little guide was created. Now you can find that perfectly fitting swimsuit that gives you the confidence you deserve. It really is possible to do so without having to try on 20 others before you finally just end up settling on the one you feel the least uncomfortable in.

1.    Figuring it Out 

You’re probably familiar with the body type guide: apple, pear, hourglass, and straight. Of course, it’s very unlikely you are one specific shape to a T. However, narrowing down your body type will help you figure out which swimsuit is going to be right for you. Women with smaller busts should look for ruffles, stripes, or padded style tops. If you’re a bit on the bustier side, look for supportive styles like halter tops or a top with a built-in underwire. You can even find d-cup swimsuits from designers and brands who create swimwear for women with larger busts. If you’re a little bottom heavy, go for a lower-rise cut. Don’t be afraid of revealing some skin. A lower-rise cut or rings on the side can give the illusion of smaller hips. Darker colored bottoms can also help to minimize your lower torso, too.

2.    Show off your Assets 

The best bikini body is your bikini body. So, don’t be afraid to show off and show out a little. Patterns, colors, and embellishments can make your best features shine. Things like jewels, tassels, fringe, and any other eye-catching addition can help draw the eyes away from any place you feel self-conscious about. Look for interchangeable pieces like a fun, embellished top and a darker bottom. Or a supportive top or  women’s tankini swimwear, and fun, flirty bottoms.

3.    Get Outside your Comfort Zone 

Swimsuits are like shoes; you can never have too many. Unlike shoes, you can mix and match the suits for endless options. Experimenting with new styles, colors, prints, and patterns can be fun. So don’t be afraid to get a little outside your comfort zone. Why not trade that tankini for a supportive halter style? Or switch up the two-piece for a fun and flirty one piece.

4.    Create an illusion 

Did you know that detailing like ruching or shirring can create a slimming effect? Shirring refers to the tightly woven gathers in the fabric. This tight weaving not only holds you in but it’s basically magic for all figures and body types. It can hide any bulging and is very forgiving on your waist and curves. Ruching can be characterized by draped and gathered fabric. Ruching along the midsection can hide your tummy and keep you looking cute. Surprisingly, all over prints can actually hide a full bust or conceal a bulging tummy. So, seriously, don’t be afraid to try a swimsuit in a color other than navy or black.

Finding Your Perfect Fit 

Whatever you’re looking for, finding the perfect swimsuit is all about highlighting your best assets, and identifying an effortless fit and cut. Be mindful and honest with yourself about which cuts and silhouettes work, colors that highlight the best of your summer complexion, and fabrics that work no matter where you are. No matter what, be true to yourself and be 100% confident!

Author Bio: Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of wide range of clients including the Demand Media and Livestrong Network. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he loves to travel and is a pet lover. He enjoys working out at gym in his spare time.

Why boudoir is a great gift for the woman in your life…

Besides the benefit of your partner getting sexy images that you get to enjoy after, I think it sends a message of:

And this is good for our self-steem, bonus points if you can make that Ryan Gosling smouldering look.

So not only you get sexy art, she gets:

  • The surprise: “oh my lordy, what the hell have you gotten me into.”
  • The getting ready and pampering part of removing the extra fuzz, and she will be extra-nice  if you add a gift certificate for a mani-pedi, or a spa treatment.
  • The chance to dust off the lingerie, even an excuse to buy a few new items. Everybody needs a new nice bra set. The latex is optional.
  • The photoshoot part, is about a nice girly time, getting the makeup done and general goofiness.  Alcohol is allowed. I am telling your partner to get on all fours and lick her finger. 
  • The result: Most clients are like:” wow, I didn’t think I could pose sexy!” Which, let’s face it, we do not feel sexy that often, especially after kids or being in a relationship for a while.

Not that I am claiming to be like Dr. Phil or anything but from experience and as a witness to several women enjoying the whole experience and feeling great about themselves after… what are you waiting for?

SO! get a gift certificate from your local boudoir photographer, or me, even better, wrap it up in a pair of stockings or new undies, and write a lovely note.
Email me or purchase directly here: http://marlenjames.com/gift-certificates/ and you will be sent a personalized gift certificate. 
In the event, that she is like “no way”, she can still use the certificate for a glamour photo session (no lingerie) and have a really nice photo. Or put it towards some family photos. I do those too.

FAQ: What to wear – the Sport item edition

So you see this all over Pinterest. More when the teams are actually winning.
The man in your life loves the darn game. So take a photo with the shirt. Even better the scarf. I am digging the scarf more as you can be pretty much naked under it.
Why are these so popular? I am guessing is two things, the contrast between something masculine on your femenine acting (well, because we don’t always act very ladylike- like currently slouching on a desk with my legs open) There is a little bit of ownership as well. Like: “that sexy woman is mine!” She is wearing my thing! me like! And of course, the sport itself. 

Here are some tips to rock the sporty stuff:

When the shirt is giant, you actually do not have to wear it. Just hold it in front of you like so: Way more flattering and again, points if you wear nothing under it. Maybe even do it for a game too, just maybe not an important one.
Note: see how we are grabbing the shirt and cupping boobs up at the same time? SCIENCE
Scarf:
Really liking this! There are more soccer things but hey, if you find one with the leafs or raptors go for it. BONUS: buy one and then wrap the photo in it and give it as a present. win-win. Extra points for socks!
Hats:
This one is more easy to achieve since it can be snuck out with no problem. Small, fits anywhere.
And topless and a hat just works.
So do not stress about trying to sneak in your boyfriend’s apartment on game day to steal a shirt (true story) grab something simple! Winners has stuff in the boys department. Go crazy there and do not spend too much.
And the ULTIMATE sample of a sport boudoir idea was from a couple, that booked the hotel that faces the Rogers Centre. So they could watch the game after. 
And always, if you have any questions, email me 🙂 I check my email too much. (according to my husband)
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