Stripping down for a sexy boudoir photoshoot for the one(s) you love or just for yourself is a hot and daring prospect, but where to start? We chatted with Nomi, a former red carpet and fashion photographer based in Brooklyn, who found that the definition of beauty was way too narrow and decided to forge a new career in boudoir photography: “When you step into my studio, your journey to empowerment meets mine. I find strength and inspiration in making other people feel beautiful through the power of boudoir.” Love her.
If you can't make it to Brooklyn to visit her Boudoir by Nomi space, check out her tips for creating your own boudoir pictures at home.
How should someone prepare for the shoot?
Nomi You, as you are, are everything you need in order to have a successful shoot. For my studio and clients, I say the most important part is that you bring yourself. I think the mental prep required to do a session can feel exhausting. That's why at my studio I offer all the services required to make your shoot successful and fun. This ranges from refreshments, a studio lingerie closet, hair and makeup, the entire studio setup, and even a same-day viewing session so you get to see your photos that day. Some women like to get their nails done, or color their hair, and do various things like that prior to their session, which I totally support if that's what you want to do, but again, the most important part is just showing up. I have everything else prepared for you.
"My focus, and where I see the trend continuing to grow, is women doing the session as a way of reclaiming her own power in her body." — Nomi
What can you tell us about poses?
Nomi My posing that I demonstrate isn't what you expect after all the times you've looked at yourself straight in the mirror and felt a certain way about what you see. When you're with me, I'm the reflection and the poses are about accentuating your natural assets. Each body has assets, and you work with me so that I can help you see yours! Posing is a lot about focusing on your core, your internal strength so that you can feel strong and curvy. Each body is different, and we work together to make sure the poses we do together are flattering and feel good.
Any tips on lighting?
Nomi Lighting can make the vibe of your photos, and the most important way to figure out what you want is to play around. Put yourself right in front of a window and take a selfie. That direct light on the body and face will make your photos bright. Partial light or using curtains and shades to block off light will create more drama and shadow. I love both the bright and dramatic vibes, just have fun with it.
What do you do to set the mood and make people comfortable?
Nomi Establishing a connection with my client is important and meaningful to me. I believe it makes the photos and the experience stronger and more fun. I have a pre-shoot call and pre-shoot questionnaire, and this allows me to get to know her before she even walks into my studio. By the time she arrives, I'll have her favorite music playing, a beverage of her choice, and then we get to just hang out and enjoy the time. I think that because I'm a woman, and I know what it's like to walk around this world where your body is both valued and scrutinized, my clients feel comfortable. I let my clients know that at the end of the day, the shoot is like the ultimate playdate.
Have you seen any changes or an uptick in the number of people that are doing these in recent years?
Nomi The boudoir market has grown exponentially over the last 5 years since I've opened my studio. My focus, and where I see the trend continuing to grow, is women doing the session as a way of reclaiming her own power in her body. Boudoir has classically been done as a present for a significant other. I think it makes an amazing present, but I also love seeing a woman claim her own imagery and feeling more beautiful as a result.
Do you find that women transform during the shoot, ie, become bolder, confident, and at ease with themselves as they feel safer in their bodies or with the photographer?
Nomi It's very much a caterpillar turning into a butterfly scenario. Women walk in wanting it to work, but it also feels like a gamble. There is always a fear of, "what if I'm the one person this doesn't work for?" At the end of the day, I believe each woman has her own unique spark of divine beauty within her, so while she may be apprehensive, I know we are going to achieve our goals. By guiding her through the process, when she sees her photos as we are shooting (I always give a preview as we go along), she gains confidence and feels more at ease. By the end, she's a pro, with different pose ideas and not wanting the session to end!
Do you ever have any couples or throuples in your shoots? How does that work?
Nomi I do couple shoots and have yet to do a throuple (although I am ready whenever that happens!). A couple session is also fun and intimate. I show various poses. It's a beautiful way to document the love between two people. So often we can become disconnected from our partners, just like we get disconnected from our bodies, and the couple shoot allows that relationship to be rekindled in a fun way.
What do you recommend in terms of outfits and boudoir lingerie? What about hair and makeup?
Nomi The lingerie is one of my favorite parts. My great-grandmother was a bra fitter in NYC until the age of 95 and I love helping women with lingerie. I love bodysuits and robes, basically, anything that shows off your curves. The biggest misconception I've found is our clients bringing a lingerie dress (a babydoll) because it feels more covered. However, a babydoll just ends up covering your shape and adds more bulk. I lean toward lingerie where we get to show off that body! That's why having the right photographer is so important because they will know what looks best.
"The growth in life happens in the possibility realm. A boudoir shoot is all about the possibilities." — Nomi
For hair and makeup, I always make sure that the look we go for feels both elevated and natural. A shoot is an investment and I want you to look back at these photos over a lifetime and see YOU. Too much makeup, or a look you are unfamiliar with, is not the way to go. I work with makeup and hair artists who understand that distinction and help you glow and use the hair and makeup as an asset to your session.
Have you ever had clients that use props? Do you recommend any?
Nomi Some clients love to incorporate props. I do have a variety of options for clients to choose from. My style is more natural though. I think the most important prop for your shoot is you!
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom you'd like to share for someone who's never done this before?
Nomi I know it can feel like a gamble and a certain sense of anxiety when it comes to doing a boudoir session. That's why finding a photographer you feel comfortable and vibe with is so important. The right professional will guide you through the whole experience as an ally, coach and friend. What you have to gain in doing a shoot outweighs the uncertainty. The growth in life happens in the possibility realm. A boudoir shoot is all about the possibilities.
And finally, any tips or advice for someone who would like to try this in the privacy of their own home and DIY it?
Nomi Try on that lingerie, take that selfie, put on the self-timer, get your partner involved. Removing judgment is the most important part because you are worthy and beautiful. Your desire to feel good is your right and having photos you feel good about is powerful, too.
Visit Nomi at boudoirbynomi.com and find her on Instagram @boudoirbynomi.
Have you done at boudoir shoot? Tell us what you discovered about yourself 👇💋