My Approach to Boudoir Photography
Many people have described my work as ‘luxury boudoir photography’ – stylish, elegant and classy with the boudoir shoot itself being totally bespoke and I was delighted when the editor of Professional Photographer Magazine named me as
‘One of the UK’s best boudoir photographers’
My boudoir or bridal boudoir photo shoots take place in North Buckinghamshire (west of London) in the safety of my home and are a truly special experience. Most women are reassured that as a female boudoir photographer I understand women, how they see themselves and their bodies and most importantly how they want to be photographed. **Please note that I only photograph female boudoir – no male or couple sessions**
There are many reasons why women consider a boudoir shoot and in the next panel you will read about some of them. Most importantly the label ‘boudoir’ is not what you should be focussing on. It is a portrait shoot that not only celebrates who you are but how you feel about yourself and usually involves lingerie and you looking your absolute best. It is a hugely transformative experience that will do amazing things for confidence and self esteem. And that is why I love to shoot boudoir so much.
Some women worry about what their husband/boyfriend/partner might think but I get many emails after the shoots from men who want to say ‘thank you’. Testimonials like this:
“Firstly, thank you for giving her one of the biggest confidence boosts possible (and I think an amazing day by all accounts). When she gave me her photo book the night before we got married we initially both just looked at her photos – you captured not only her beauty, but her energy, happiness and vitality. Thank you for this.
After we’d looked at the photos on the USB, she began to talk about her experience and what she felt: her doing a shoot like this was a real awakening in her and made her feel proud of not only the beautiful body she has, but the beautiful person she is. To hear her talk about the experience and what she felt as a result for me was almost as important as the beautiful photos themselves.”
My Boudoir Photography Style
There are many different styles of boudoir photography which often means that women are not quite sure what to expect. It is something that I love to photograph and am well known for in the industry – for creating stylish, elegant and beautiful boudoir imagery that reflects designer lingerie brands. My work is a long, long way from the world of ‘glamour’ in style and tone. I tend to attract strong, independent women who are keen to have a boudoir photography session at a significant time in their life. I have 3 spaces within my home that were designed specifically to create boudoir photos. As well as the very popular chaise longue images I can also produce very feminine ‘light and airy’ photographs as well as a more ‘dark and sultry look’. The choice of looks is yours – many of my boudoir clients use all of the spaces whereas some have a preference for dark over light. Most of my client’s book Caroline, a professional hair and makeup artist, so find out more about this service here. Have a look at the two boudoir galleries below to see the differences. And scroll to the bottom of the page for a ‘behind the scenes of a boudoir shoot video’.
light and airy boudoir
dark and sultry boudoir
Who books a boudoir photography session?
Brides book a bridal boudoir photoshoot for their husbands to be, women book boudoir photography to celebrate turning 40 or 50 or 60, I also get asked to shoot boudoir photography for those who have self esteem to reinvigorate (weight loss surgery, post natal depression or divorce). It is something I believe every woman should do once in her life and whilst the thought of it may be daunting the experience is fun and liberating. I have done my best to answer the question ‘What is it like to have a boudoir shoot’ on my blog.
If you are looking at the boudoir galleries thinking ‘they are models or I can’t look like that’ you are wrong. All of the women on there cannot believe it is them and are so proud of the images that they were happy for me to share them. My job is to make YOU look your most incredible – you just have to trust me and let me direct the session. I take boudoir photography very seriously and I am passionate about giving you an amazing experience and totally individual, artistic, beautiful photographs to treasure.
Unlike many boudoir photographers I do not work to a formula but let each shoot evolve naturally so that the images reflect you and what you want boudoir to be. After all every female body is wonderfully different and I’m going to show you what is utterly gorgeous about yours. But don’t think I won’t take beautiful boudoir portraits too – those are a very important part of a session. You might love ‘light and airy’ and/or ‘dark and sulty’ imagery – it is important that we chat and collaborate to craft the results you want. I always advise you to consider having your hair and make up done by a professional and I work with a very talented lady called Caroline who will make you look and feel amazing. Find our more about here and boudoir hair and makeup here.
Styling your Boudoir Shoot
Most boudoir sessions take place at my home in North Bucks where I have decorated rooms specifically for boudoir and invested in some beautiful furniture and accessories to ensure the imagery is stylish and editorial in feel. However you may prefer to host the shoot in your own surroundings or even in a fabulous hotel somewhere. Have a look at my article on ‘how to style your boudoir shoot’ which I created to show you the decor and props that I use for boudoir shoots and bridal boudoir sessions.
Many women ask ‘what should I wear for my boudoir shoot’ and although this is quite a personal thing I have put together a blog post to give some advice on what to bring to a boudoir photo shoot.
I have a very detailed boudoir shoot document that will give you information on what to expect, preparing for the shoot, FAQs and boudoir pricing, so please get in touch via the website contact form or send me an email to ask for a copy to be sent to you. Be brave and you might just have an experience that changes the way you see yourself forever. Women arrive feeling nervous but excited and they leave transformed and full of confidence – it is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job to see the remarkable power of boudoir photography. If you want to know how people feel afterwards then have a read of these boudoir testimonials – written by women (or their partners) after a boudoir shoot.
I tend to share recent work on my instagram page which is dedicated to boudoir and you can find me @boudoirbykhs.
Behind The Scenes of a Kate Hopewell-Smith Boudoir Shoot
I know that many women have no idea what to expect from a boudoir shoot and find the thought of one quite daunting. We have filmed this behind the scenes video of a real boudoir shoot to try and show you what to expect from the shoot, the location etc. I really hope this goes some way to expressing what a fun, liberating and for many truly transformative experience a boudoir photo shoot is. We show the set ups and then the final results and you will see that I direct my clients every step of the way – this alone can be so reassuring for women considering a shoot who worry about not knowing what to do. You will see the professional hair and makeup artist that I work with – find out more about Caroline here.
*Please note this was filmed before I created the brand new ‘cream room’ so it is missing the gorgeous new space that features a lot on the ‘light and airy boudoir gallery’.