There's nothing wrong with heading to your boudoir shoot with nothing more than sexy lingerie and a smile. But using props, says Lanly Le, owner of Boudoir La Femme, can get you out of your own head and put you at ease with your body, making for a better experience and even better photos.
Plus, says Graciela Valdes, owner of Graciela Valdes Fine Art Photography, "the richness and depth of your session increases tenfold as you reveal yourself and share who you are on the inside and how you express that on the outside. Props can be sublime storytelling additions to any boudoir portrait session."
Here, then, are seven props you probably didn't think to use, but might want to now.
1. Items from your wedding wardrobe.
You don't have to wait until the wedding day to show off some of your wedding-day ensemble. "You will want to bring in some of your wedding wardrobe and jewelry for the bridal portion of the session," says Valdes. Think: Your veil, garter, or even your wedding night lingerie. "These are wonderful opening pages for an album," Valdes says, "while the rest of the book could express other versions of yourself."
2. Food or even junk food.
"Strawberries, bananas, and cherries might be the go-to flirty fruit that everyone is familiar with, but picture yourself looking and feeling amazing in a silk push up bra and thong, with stiletto heels that can kill, and a glamorous bun and a cat-eye that could make Brigette Bardot jealous - all while diving into some sinful snacks such as: cheeseburgers, pizza, and cupcakes," says Le. Enough said.
3. Anything luxurious.
Just as the session itself is special, so can the props be by incorporating items you don't wear or whip out every day. Says Valdes, "Consider elegance and luxury as a theme for your story, with props that could include large statement jewelry pieces, a vintage hand mirror, a mink stole or shimmering satin sheets."
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4. Items that scream sex.
If you're looking for boudoir photos that send a seriously sexy message, then employ props that leave no room for questions. "For an extra sultry session, use leather, feathers and fishnets, a champagne-filled flute, or chocolate-covered strawberries," says Valdes. "They all speak volumes."
5. Your pet.
This is the boudoir version of Male Models With Cute Animals. "Pets instantly ground us against insecurity, awkwardness, and stress," says Le. "They soften and disarm us. Your love and joy for your pet will show on camera, and when paired with some lacy or racy lingerie, can make for an unforgettable portrait."
6. Your partner's most prized possession.
Let's say your main man is a musician. "You could enhance your session with the sexy curves of a Spanish guitar, the romance of a violin or the unbridled energy of an electric guitar," says Valdes. Plus, this particular prop gives props to your soon-to-be spouse.
7. Your most prized possession.
Just as you can add in a little something your partner loves, you should incorporate what matters most to you too. "Think about what you love - or something your partner sees and is immediately reminded of you," says Valdes. "That could be piles of books or your favorite sports team's jersey. The possibilities are endless!"