What it's really like to do a boudoir photo shoot

Taking professional sexy photos as a gift to your spouse-to-be is a growing trend within the bridal community. These photos are known as boudoir photography and are meant to celebrate the female body in an elegant way. Think more Victoria’s Secret and less Playboy.

My sister is getting married and as her maid of honor, I accompanied her to a bridal fair. We entered all sorts of raffles at various booths. I didn’t expect to win anything, but about a week after the bridal fair, I received an email saying that I won a boudoir photo shoot. My immediate reaction was to forward it to my sister because she’s the one getting married.

To my surprise, however, I found out that the photo shoot isn’t just for brides. Whether you want to surprise your significant or just want to feel empowered and beautiful, everyone is welcome to participate.

So, I booked my 1-hour shoot with Celebrate Your Sexy Boudoir Photography (CYS). My appointment was scheduled about a month in advance, but I didn’t receive the location of the meeting place until about a week before the shoot. The only things I knew were that I was going to meet someone in a San Francisco hotel and that I needed to bring up to 4 sexy outfits of my choice.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I did not get tricked into a porno shoot nor did I get kidnapped.

This was legit.

Although, I would advise you to do your research before agreeing to anything and you probably don’t want to go on Craigslist for something like this.

I did my research before agreeing to do it. Their website has pictures and short bios of their photographers. They also encouraged me to ask as many questions as I wanted. The main goal was to make me feel comfortable.

I received several emails leading up to the shoot with tips on makeup and hair. I was also assigned an assistant who would communicate via email to make sure I was ready. She asked a series of questions like, how are you feeling about the shoot? What is your motivation for taking these photos? Do you have a certain theme in mind? Have you chosen your outfits?

I wasn’t nervous at all. I was excited!

(Makeup, hair, and outfit ready!)

The day of the shoot, I headed to San Francisco and called my photographer, Kay, to let her know I had arrived. Music was playing in the background and her equipment was ready to go. I expected to feel a bit awkward, but Kay was reassuring every step of the way.

(Did a few poses on the couch and on the chair.)

Because I had already gone through their website and Instagram page, I was familiar with a few of their poses already, so it wasn’t difficult to follow Kay’s instructions. In between poses and outfit changes, we talked about the weather, how long it takes to get lunch delivered in the city, shopping. Besides the fact that I was in a pleather corset and thong, it was as if I was having a friendly conversation with a nice person I had just met.

(Did a few poses by the window and on the bed.)


What I liked about the experience was that you’re encouraged to be yourself and make the shoot your own—weather you’re into corset or just tshirts. It’s all about what makes you, as an individual feel sexy and beautiful.

Because I did this for myself and not for any person in particular or event, there’s no rush to get the photos printed by a certain date. The next step will be to go over my photos. Then, they will be ready in about 4 weeks.

Overall, the experience was great. I would recommend booking a boudoir photo shoot for anyone looking to feel beautiful, empowered, and sexy—even if you’re single! 

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