If you’re looking for male boudoir photo ideas, you’re in the right place!
Whether you’re the photographer or the model, you’ll find some great tips for elegant, sensual and masculine boudoir photos, as well as some handy examples to get you inspired.
Let’s peek behind the scenes of a male boudoir photography session.
Men’s Boudoir: 6 Photoshoot Ideas & Tips
1. Change clothes throughout the session
Some people think that male boudoir photography is the same as nude photography, but this isn’t the case. The subject doesn’t have to be naked – at least, not for the entire photo session.
Even when the model is interested in some nude pictures, they may not feel comfortable right away. For this, it’s a good idea to start with some topless photos in jeans or underwater to build up confidence in front of the camera.
You can even have an entire boudoir photo session without nudity. Some outfit ideas can be a bathrobe, pyjamas, wear only pants (or underpants), a t-shirt, a towel wrapped around the waist, etc.
The idea is that the male boudoir model feels sexy in it – using two or three outfits will give you a variety of looks to choose from.
2. Use light to create the mood
Different lights create different atmospheres, and this is especially important to remember for male boudoir photography.
You can use natural light or artificial light, introduce hard shadows or soft ones, change the direction, the color, etc. All these choices will help you to build your own male boudoir photography style.
This is what makes clients choose you over a different photographer. If they see your portfolio and most of your images are low key and dramatic, for example – it means that’s what they are expecting from a photoshoot with you.
This will make it easier to have a successful male boudoir photography session and a satisfied customer.
3. Nail the pose
Posing is one of the most difficult things in portrait photography in general – even more so in male boudoir sessions because often the model is not used to being in front of the camera and might feel self-conscious.
Having a photographer that knows how to direct male boudoir models to highlight the male body will make the subject more confident throughout the session.
It’s helpful to have some go-to boudoir poses that are flattering for any model regardless of their body type or clothing. This way, you’ll make sure you have a certain amount of successful images.
After that, any other ideas that come from the dynamics of the specific photoshoot are, of course, great, and can be seamlessly incorporated into your session.
Some visual clues usually make things easier. Have a collection of images on your phone to show the male boudoir model so that he can imitate the pose.
Also, try to mimic what you want him to do instead of just explaining – it will be easier to understand, and it works to break the ice.
4. If it’s a couple’s session – capture the intimacy
Often, male boudoir photos are meant as a gift to the life partner, as a celebration of an anniversary or any other momentum in a relationship – couples boudoir photography, whether same-sex or boy/girl, is more and more popular with clients.
If your clients are a couple, you don’t only want to make it sensual and highlight their bodies – remember to also showcase the emotions and intimacy of the relationship.
This isn’t always easy – after all, they have a stranger in their house pointing a camera at them. To achieve this, it’s important to chat with them beforehand and build a rapport.
Once on the boudoir photography shoot, give them some directions and let them interact – don’t interfere too much, just be ready to capture some candid photos while they’re kissing or laughing in between poses.
5. Find the right location
While male boudoir photography usually refers to images taken in the bedroom, you can actually get much more creative with the location.
Even limiting the shooting to your client’s home, you can do some photographs in the bathroom – which gives amazing photo opportunities using mirrors. You can also do some photos in the living room using the couch or even the kitchen.
If you’re looking for something specific and there’s enough budget, consider renting a house or going to a hotel. For example, if you want a photo in the bathtub and your client doesn’t have one in his house – go to a hotel room.
Consider doing some outdoor photos too – as long as he’s not naked, you can do them at the beach or another suitable public area.
Otherwise, you can still apply the idea of renting a location that has a big garden or a swimming pool – this way, nudity won’t be a problem.
6. Make it fun
Regardless of how amazing the photos are, your client isn’t doing a male boudoir photography session just for the pictures – it’s also about the experience.
Make the photoshoot something fun – not only because they’ll keep a wonderful memory of it but also because it will help them relax and look more natural in the pictures.
It’s important to build a rapport with your client(s) before the male boudoir photography session. Try and find some common ground, whether during a chat beforehand, using any information you collected in the questionnaire when the client booked.
Women are stereotypically more chatty than men, so you may need to work a little to ensure your male boudoir client feels comfortable. Talk like you would with friends, but remember to keep it professional.
Photographers need to discuss what’s about to happen with the shoot, but it’s also important to keep things lighthearted and friendly too.
It’s likely this is your client’s first male boudoir photography session, so they’re likely to be nervous. Don’t mistake the lack of chit-chat for confidence or arrogance – work with your model to get them relaxed.
While women used to lead the market, male boudoir photography is becoming increasingly popular in 2021.
I hope these tips and ideas will help you make some amazing portraits in this genre – if you have any other suggestions, share them in the comments section.