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

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 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)

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)

Excuses to use to book and get your boudoir shoot done.

Yes, the ladies have to sneak around and keep it on the down low from their hubbies, or hubbies to be, or even their “too curious” friends.

The Excuse:

Here are some good excuses for the day off.

  • Spa day “I bought a Groupon for a spa day with makeup application so I will be gone a couple of hours”
  • Hair Dresser “Yes, I just went to the hairdresser but she has to fix a highlight and it will take a while”
  • Wedding Makeup trial  “we are doing another test – not sure I liked the first one”
  • Your crazy friend is having a glamour shoot and you are coming along for support. 

Keep it simple, as soon as they hear something girly like makeup and hair, their mind strays. This way you can come home all done up and even maybe go out with your nice makeup and lashes.

The Lingerie:

Now the trickiest part I think is to sneak out with a bag full of underwear and sexy things. Especially difficult when you live together. Good thing they are not heavy.

  • A good gym bag can carry most of it. 
  • If you can stash it in the car the day before great. 
  • Leave it at a trusted friends house.
Or just blame it on a friend/sister that is borrowing some stuff for a photo shoot. Don’t give details 😛

See? It all fits on a large handbag. The shoes are the bulkiest item. 

Note: Don’t stress about getting one of his items to wear that he might miss, like his hockey jersey on game night. I’m sure he will like the other pics:)

And lastly, you can shoot on what you are wearing. That white t-shirt with no bra or his favourite band shirt.

My Boudoir -updated January 2017

Where the magic happens… yes photographic magic.
Anywho I needed to post an updated picture of my place and I took this picture before clients came in on the weekend and preserve the pristine appearance that usually lasts 5.2 minutes.
🙂

SO! I moved it to another apartment I share with a neighbour. It’s like having a super tidy roommate that disappears when I have to shoot. Not like the 3 other roommates I have at my place. Lily is not the neatest.
And I discovered that the huge window made a difference in the sessions! Love the natural light now. I hardly need extra lights anymore.

It is a little bit small, but mighty, I have shot up to 5 people in here, but ideally I shoot individuals or couples. When you bring a friend I just move them around.

And some recent samples. I am loving all the natural light. 

Types of boudoir photography

Did you know that there are differences in boudoir photography? This is my simplified version of what you can get when you show your boobs. I kid.

Pinup
This one it is a bit more costume-y, for the fans of retro and really dig it. Anyone can pull it off with the right makeup, hair, outfit, and attitude. You have to be more outgoing and flirty and “out there”.
A nice article of the history of pinups by Boudoir Louisville – here

The background is plain and any colour. The outfits require more planning. Click here for info and to book!

Artistic or Implied Nude
Well, yes, you do have to take all your clothes for this one. It’s more a play of light and shape, more like a piece of artwork to put up on your wall. Barely any eye contact needed really.
Here also there is a comfort level needed, it also helps if you have an idea in mind that we can interpret. For this one, I would go for a simple white or black background.

“Fashion Magazine” boudoir
A little more brazen and plenty of eye contact. This is the Maxim style cover. TheVictoria Secret catalogue. Fan in the hair. Touching body.

“Getting ready” boudoir
My specialty. A little peek into the sensuality of you getting ready, or getting undressed. Some tossing around the bed included.
The idea is capturing you in a natural setting and the result is a little more voyeuristic.
Bridal Boudoir falls into this category. Using the elements of your wedding attire 🙂

The fun part? We usually do a combination of all! Because why not? Since most people do this usually once, except for a very special few (hi, gals!) Book your regular session and we can go from there 🙂 Click here

So there, class dismissed. Children be good. Do your homework. 

Tips for Boudoir Photography in Hotels

I just got this question on an email and remembered that I have been meaning to write a post about this. And doing it before anything else distracts me.

VIDEO HERE or just keep reading 🙂

The question was: have you done Boudoir Photography in a Hotel?

Why yes I have. And let me impart my wisdom. Note: with these tips, the photographer comes to you and you are in charge of booking and paying for the hotel. They do not apply for marathons where the photographer is booking several appointments at one tim 🙂

1. Look for hotels that are newish or have been recently renovated. 
I was at the King Edward hotel in the renovated suites. Oh, my lordy. I wanted to move in. Clean colours with hints of red. And my dream headboard. So do check pictures of the hotels and make sure you confirm you are getting the new ones.

Nice hotels I have been in Toronto:

Close to the entertainment district for dinners:

Le Germaine – it has those blinds from the washroom I can shoot through, warm tones
The Ritz Carlton
Trump – it’s so pretty! more of white and grey tones and cherry blossoms – not that I like Trump he has a nice hotel

Close to the Eton centre:
Cosmopolitan
Pantages
Cambridge suites (just went to this- pleasantly surprised! and economic)


2. Book for a Saturday or Sunday, book me 3 pm then enjoy the night.

I was told that Sundays to Monday you can get cheaper rates. If you can get in early that is great. I need to start your appointment at 3 so in winter I still have daylight.

3. Hide the alarm clock, phone, remote controls.

Even those water bottles in the night stand. I usually do a sweep to do that but if you do that ahead of time is great.

4. Contain your wardrobe to one area.

Usually the washroom works, unless you want to use it in pictures if the shower or bath is extra nice. But we usually do that until the end. We do not want to mess the makeup.
Even plan for a milk bath shot! You just need to buy a big jug of creamer.

5. Share the expense.

Maybe get a one or two friends to pitch in for the room and make it a girls night. Or surprise your other half by making plans for dinner (you come to the hotel early), so you can meet him after the shoot and stay over. Maybe even show him an outfit or two you got for the shoot.

So maybe even do a boudoir shoot for his birthday or anniversary, where you book the hotel and have the session, then surprise him with the printed book and he will be like:  heeeeeeey, I know that place! And now you have a gift that makes them re-live the experience! I get bright ideas sometimes!

Book the Renaissance Toronto on a Blue Jay game!!! Have the session for you or both of you and then enjoy the game. 🙂

5 Types of Lingerie That Fascinate Women – Guest Post

Because I haven’t been writing much!  This blog is now a monster, in a good way, lot’s of hits, thank you! And a little bit intimidating! So here is someone that has something to say that works for me 🙂 It is nice to get a guys view sometimes, welcome Andrew!


5 Types of Lingerie That Fascinate Women


While there’s plenty of hard evidence to support the appeal of lingerie for men, the right lingerie can be just as fascinating – if not more so – for women. Designed to bring out one’s inner goddess, temptress, or pin-up girl, the perfect piece can appeal to one’s playfully powerful, wild and seductive sensibilities. Here’s a brief guide to five types of lingerie that hold a special fascination for women.


Baby Dolls


A truly classic style, seductive baby doll lingerie first gained popularity during World War II, when fabric shortages prompted traditional nightgowns to take a very sexy turn. Since that time, baby dolls have held a special appeal for both men and women, and contemporary versions often range from playfully flirtatious to jawdroppingly seductive. Best yet, baby dolls tend to be universally flattering, and are ideal for every body type.



Teddies


Many women harbor a secret curiosity about this versatile and multifaceted style. Designed as a single piece, teddies are an ideal choice for reflecting the personality and desires of the wearer. Employing a diverse array of fabrics, textures, and creative configurations, some iterations are revealingly risque, while others are dramatically elegant.





Bustiers


With variations in leather, lace, mesh, and more, bustiers can vary widely, but a few core elements make this a favored lingerie style. Elegant Bustiers tend to create a lengthening, slimming effect through the torso, drawing attention upward toward the bust and downward to the curvature of the hips. Often paired with thigh-high stockings and heels, the bustier can be a striking component of a fierce look.



Camisole Sets


At once playful and sensual, camisole sets are among the most natural and flattering types of lingerie. To choose the perfect sexy camisole sets for a relaxed and luxurious fit, aim for soft textures and simple, high quality details, such as scalloped edging and deep-cut necklines. When it comes to this style, bold colors and delicate detailing are a must.



Corsets


Similar to the bustier but traditionally strapless, corsets highlight a cinched waist and help create a classic hourglass figure. Whether one’s fantasies tend toward the classically romantic or the edgily empowered, corsets are an endlessly appealing style reflecting confidence, voluptuousness, and the intrinsic beauty of the wearer. Darker colors help create a sense of high drama and rich sensuality associated with this seductive style of lingerie.



Finding Your Ideal Style


Ultimately, one’s selection of lingerie should reveal both outward style and internal desire to pose a fascinating appeal for men and women alike. Whatever your personality and aesthetic, the most crucial element to alluring lingerie is discovering what piques your interest and inspires you to be your most creative and alluring self. Browsing for exciting lingerie styles is easier than ever before. When you shop online, you can truly find your personal style from well curated boutiques, like Smitten Lingerie, which stocks a tightly edited collection of intimates for women who love to take charge of their look and style.


Author Bio: Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of a range of clients including the Livestrong Network and Demand Media. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he enjoys surfing in Santa Monica and collecting classic, first-edition novels. You can reach out to him over here.
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