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 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)

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. 🙂

What happens during a Boudoir Photography Shoot

I can’t believe I never wrote this blog post, in my ten years of blogging and boudoiring. (yes I am inventing that word)

What goes on a Boudoir Shoot?

Lot’s of giggles that’s for sure. And depends on the photographer but pretty much this is the drill:
Outfit selection
Most people come with more than it is needed, just in case – the extra pretty pink set, and the loose sexy underwear in the drawer.  It goes on the bed, and we sort it, so I can plan your shoot:
“This outfit for the window, this one for the black background, this one for rolling around the bed and this one to take off”.

Makeup
Now I get your butt in the makeup stool, depending on how much makeup you use on a day to day basis, we can go from natural: make your eyes pop – to glam smokey eye.
This will feel like a lot of makeup if you are not used to any, the thing is, photography makeup is more than the everyday stuff, we need to highlight your eyes as much as possible. And hopefully, it will bring out your inner stripper 🙂

Start
Now you got your full face on, we retouched the hair if needed, it is time show me the goodies! Kidding. We start we the most covered outfit, maybe even some headshots to easy you into the sexy part. And it is nice to have a PG photo for social media with all your makeup done anyway.
Session
Well, I won’t reveal all my secrets, but there is a lot of instruction, showing you what to do first, showing you the basic poses and lot’s of laughs. Because honestly, this is “the most ridiculous thing” you will ever do in front of a stranger. But the results are awesome! I do show you some photos along the way to show you what I am seeing. Most reactions are like: wow! I did not think I could pull this off! 
You are going to 🙂

Wrap up
I like to finish the sessions with a couple of shots between the sheets. To me, those are the most “real” and after tossing your hair and rolling around, you truly do look like you have been busy 🙂
And this is pretty much what happens in all the sessions at my place. You come in a little bit or a whole lot of nervous and that is perfectly normal. And then you forget you are prancing around in your underwear.

Boudoir: to spray tan or not to spray tan

Back in the day, the look of fake tans was so orange that I did not recommend it. Boy! Have the spray tans have come a long way!
I decided to test it out myself, being a spray tan virgin. I only did the self-tanner thing once with the orange palm result. And was forever traumatized.
So! Thanks to Jenn from schulzbeauty.ca I got to try it out.

FIRST let me give you the tips.

Schulz Beauty recommends:
1) shower and exfoliate really well before your appointment
2) after showering no moisturizers, perfumes, makeup (GASP!)
3) after the spray tan don’t get wet/gym/sweat for 6-8 hours ( 8 hours for best results)!
4) after the spray tan no heavy exfoliation
and lots and lots of moisturizing to extend the life of your tan!

More FAQ’s here 

I followed it to the T, except the makeup, I wore my naked face but never without  mascara. I figured that would not interfere and I look awake.

So I did my scrubbing and my shaving the night before, figuring too that the shaving of the winter fuzz would exfoliate a lot of it. I was a bit wrong. 
And then the sweating part.  I wear extra strength stuff, still some of my armpit area looked funny but nothing noticeable.

And here is what I recommend:

To go there: in the summer is easy to just plop on a dark summer dress and be loosey goosey but in the winter with the layers and all those skinny jeans it’s so hard! I wore my sweat pants. And of course in that area  where her place is located, everybody is so fancy you feel schlumpy. But with a great tan afterward. Bra is truly optional.

Wear: If you are comfortable wearing nothing, be naked. Or wear the tiniest G-string possible and go topless or with pasties. Jenn is cool, and the room is very private. Keep in mind that whatever you wear will leave the tan lines, so wear a bra top that looks like lingerie- like a strapless bra or a demi cup one.

I am sucking it in as much as I can.

Start exfoliating a week before your appointment daily. You can’t believe the stuff that doesn’t get scrubbed that often. Especially in the middle of winter. One spot I missed my inner arms and around my ankles. Yeah, they look clean, but the dead skin shows like dirty tan skin. So use a sugar or salt scrub a week before, and then keep rubbing stuff off during your showers. And the night before do the last one with the shaving.

Avoid white stuff. What I liked about it, it looks great right after the application,  technically after you shower (min 3 hours) it sets you won’t stain, so you can  pretty much have a shoot the same day or the next. But 3-5 days is fine too. As long as you moisturize. Mine was still ok at day 9.

And Ta-Dah! That is right after the magic, and then it develops a deeper tone 🙂 Not orange looking at all! It takes only 15 minutes!

I forgot to suck it in.

This is me and Lily- this is 3 days after the tan, no super white legs and smooth colour all over.

Can’t wait until the next one 🙂 Get yours here http://www.schulzbeauty.ca/toronto-spray-tanning/

Bridal Boudoir Photography tips

Are you getting married soon?  Here are some tips for your Bridal Boudoir!

Bring: Personalize your shoot by bringing your veil and hair accessories. Your jewelry, shoes and lingerie. Anything that has special meaning to you like gifts, jewelry he gave you even that teddy bear he won for you at the fair. (I know I am stretching it here :P)

A Toronto based lingerie design company www.LolaAndAugust.com has gorgeous stuff! And the right time to splurge on a bridal item, well look no further. Their rose items are so flatering on every skin tone! And with  Promo Code “MARLENJAMES” 15% off and free shipping

About Lola & August:
Lola & August is a lingerie label from Toronto, Canada. We believe in beautifying the body, not changing it’s shape, and our comfortable designs and luxurious fabrics are as elegant as they are wearable.
Handmade in Canada with imported fabrics, these pieces are inspired by European design for the free-spirited, modern romantic.
Ethical and eco-conscious thinking have gone into the development of the label and line, including the designers’ use of local manufacturing for every garment.

Think about: I’ve seen lots of nifty book ideas and adding a personal touch like dates- songs- and every corny thing you could think of, makes a more memorable and personal gift.

Time: Consider time frame for your appointment also. We need at least 3 weeks for a book to be ready from appointment to book in your hands. If you only want prints, they can be ready within two weeks. Take into consideration that the last week you really don’t want to be running around picking stuff up, so delegate!

Makeup: Take advantage of your hair and/or make up trial and book the same day. That way when he sees the pictures, you look like what you did that special day. But if that doesn’t happen, do not worry! If you show me a picture I can try to copy it.

Some recent samples

Wear white…

Your Boudoir Appointment Checklist

Here is a nifty easy to read pdf, for those that rather not go through my sometimes entertaining, but sometimes annoying (I know myself) blog.

Tada! easy to use checklist here. It is a handy pdf that you can print or just click as you on your screen. So simple…
Or the image you can put on Pinterest – and save it for when you are ready.

and remember, whatever you have works, even if it’s nothing! 🙂

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