Most people when they book a shoot with me, tell me that they’re nervous. When they contact me to book, they tell me they are nervous. When I check in to confirm their shoot the week before, they tell me they’re nervous. When they walk through the door on shoot day, they tell me they’re nervous.

It’s ok! Nerves are TOTALLY NORMAL!

Let me start off by telling you that I have been specialising EXCLUSIVELY in women’s boudoir photography for seven years now. What that means for you, if you book a shoot with me, is that you’re working with a specialist in the field of boudoir. I don’t photograph weddings, couples, babies, families, pets, (except for my own fur babies!) or any other genre of photography. My focus is on boudoir and boudoir only because it’s what I’m passionate about. I didn’t want to be a ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’ when it came to my photography career, I wanted to choose one genre of photography and be freakin amazing at it. I resonate with boudoir so much because I’ve experienced a shoot myself, and the experience was amazing! I want all women to experience it for themselves too. Boudoir is more than just pretty photos. I want to help all women feel, see and believe in their unique brand of beautiful. You’re in good hands!

I asked the women in The Parlour, my women’s only private Facebook group, to find out the reasons why people feel so nervous about boudoir, whether it’s nerves about booking, or nerves about their upcoming shoot.

Below are the main reasons why women are feeling nervous about their shoot. I hope I can help ease the nerves just a little bit!

I’ve never done anything like this before.

Not a lot of my clients have! Boudoir is a relatively new genre to Australia and not a lot of people have ever heard of boudoir before. It’s kind of a bucket list type thing, and most of my clients are boudoir newbies when they come to see me.

I do have clients who loved the experience so much they come back regularly for regular shoots, but most of the women I see have never done a boudoir shoot before.

I’m here to guide you every step of the way – from first contact, to tips on choosing outfits, prepping for your shoot, posing, choosing your images and designing your album.

I encourage you to ask questions if you’re not sure on anything or need some reassurance.

You don’t have to worry about a thing!

I’m worried about being semi-naked in front of a stranger

Understandable! Let me tell you, I’ve seen it all – this is my job! I photograph women’s bodies! I’ve photographed hundreds of ladies of all different shapes and sizes. There is nothing I haven’t seen before. And I know how nerve wrackng it is to be semi naked in front of a stranger because I’ve done a boudoir shoot myself. You’ll be too busy listening to my posing instructions and my non-stop talking during the shoot, to realise that you’re standing in front of me just in your skimpies!

We photograph what you’re comfortable with and nothing more – I get you to fill out a questionnaire before the shoot regarding your level of comfort when it comes to showing skin so I know how revealing you would like your images to be.

You’d be surprised how many women say they want their shoot to be quite conservative that change their mind and decide to go partially nude or fully nude by the end of the shoot, once the nerves start to die down! There is absolutely no pressure at all though, I work within my client’s comfort level at all times and am always checking in throughout the shoot. I never force my clients to do anything they’re not comfortable with.

I’m scared that I’ll be judged

I hear ya! No one wants to be judged!

My studio is a JUDGEMENT FREE SPACE! There is absolutely ZERO judgement whatsoever. I treat others as I’d like to be treated – I don’t want to be judged by others, so I wouldn’t do that to my clients, or anyone else for that matter. I didn’t become a boudoir photographer to judge women. I became a boudoir photographer to help empower women, to stand against body shaming and educate women to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.

I’m too busy dealing with my camera settings when the sun decides it wants to come in and out of the clouds the whole shoot, too busy drooling over your stunning lingerie purchases, too busy composing the shot, planning the next shot or directing you into a pose, or getting excited over nailing the shot, there’s no time to be a Judgy McJudgerson! There will be time to tell you how amazing you’re doing, to show you how hot you look in the back of the camera and doing a happy dance when I get THE PERFECT shot! You can totally judge me on my happy dance though! haha!

There’s no judgement here!

I’m too critical of myself and lack self-confidence

I’m a woman too, so I get it. I really do. I’ve also had a baby and I’m not getting any younger, so I understand the feeling that our bodies aren’t what they used to be! We are all our own worst critics. But let me tell you, no one sees us the way we see ourselves! Something that we don’t like about ourselves could be the very thing our partners or friends love about us! We always want what we don’t have instead of embracing what we were given. Instead of picking out all the things you don’t like about yourself, maybe try focusing on the things that you do love about you.

You just have to read the many testimonials from my past clients to see that a boudoir shoot is a transformative experience. It helps women see themselves in a way that they’ve never seen before. My clients leave their shoot with an extra bounce in their step. A boudoir shoot can inspire your confidence, remind you of your value and capture your unique brand of beautiful.

“I have always struggled within myself for confidence and body image but I have never been so proud of how I overcome my issues and Renee 100% helped with that.” – Miss R

“You made me see myself in a new light. I felt sexy for the first time in a long time.” – Miss S

“My self confidence was given a great boost and every time I start to feel self conscious, I just look at my photos and remember how I felt.” – Miss K

This is your chance to see the woman that everyone around you sees when they look at you. She’s in there! Allow me to introduce you. It just requires a little courage to take that first step!

I’m worried I’ll look silly, awkward, or not know how to pose right!

No girl! That’s why you come to see me! It’s MY job to pose you and make you look amazing in your images!

You’re not a professional model and I don’t expect you to be one. Many of my clients have never done a shoot like this before. I will pose you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. I have example images that I show you throughout the shoot so you can see the shot that we’re trying to achieve! I know all the tips and tricks to hide those things you’re not fond of, how to get a natural smile, how to elongate the legs, and EVERYONE has an amazing butt! I don’t care what you say, let me prove you wrong and show you how awesome your butt is!

I’ll say things like move your chin here, look in that direction, put your hand there, pop your hip like this. I’ll even demonstrate poses with you! I have an arsenal of poses that with little tweaks, can flatter any body shape.

I’ll get you to fill in a questionnaire before your shoot to help tailor the shoot and poses for your comfort level. If you don’t feel comfortable doing a specific pose, that’s ok! We’ll just move onto the next one!

We’ll have a few laughs throughout the shoot which calms the nerves. Either getting our lefts and rights mixed up, (both me and you!) smiling when I say not to smile, getting tangled in the sheet, trying to hold an awkward pose and look sexy at the same time, or watching me tripping over furniture!

Trust me when I say “if it feels silly, it means you’re doing it right!”.

I don’t look as amazing as the ladies in your photos – I’m not photogenic/sexy/attractive enough

That’s right you don’t look like the ladies in those photos, you look like YOU! All images I share are of every day women like you and I. These women are not models. You can look as amazing as the women you see in those images!

I’ll show you a few images on the back of my camera throughout the shoot so you know that you’re looking amazing! Image reveals are one of my favourite parts of the boudoir experience – I show my clients their images and they are blown away. Some even cry happy tears because they finally see how beautiful they are. They say things like ‘I can’t believe that’s me!’ or “Look how sexy I look!”

If you saw an image of one of my clients and thought – how gorgeous! They’re rocking it! Who’s to say that can’t be you? I’ve proved so many women wrong who thought that they weren’t photogenic enough, or sexy enough, or attractive enough. Let me prove you wrong too.

I’ve gained weight/didn’t reach my goal weight

When people say they don’t have the right body, need to lose weight first, or didn’t reach their goal weight for their shoot, this just breaks my heart so much. The fact that we put so much pressure on ourselves, or feel we need to look a certain way to deserve a session like this is the very reason that I feel my job is so important.

My question to those who say that they don’t have the right body type to do a shoot is: ‘compared to who?’ Who says your body isn’t good enough the way it is? Who are you comparing yourself to? Honey you are beautiful right where you are! Learn to find peace in the things you wish you could change and try not to compare yourself to others. We are beautiful at any size. Our bodies do amazing things and can look beautiful no matter what the number says on the scale, or what society says our bodies should look like to be considered beautiful.

I’m worried I won’t be relaxed enough to look good in front of the camera before our shoot time runs out

I don’t work to a timer. I do say that your session includes a 2 hour shoot, but that’s just a guide. A lot of the time I run over time for whatever reason, but for most people 2 hours is plenty of time and many clients get tired after shooting for so long. It’s a long time to concentrate, listen to posing instructions and hold poses to get the shot. You’ll definitely have sore muscles the next day!

If it takes you a little longer to relax and get into the shoot, that’s ok! I’m going to take as long as we need to get a good variety of shots for you. The best shots always come towards the end of the shoot when clients are a little more relaxed!

This is also why I believe professional hair and makeup before your shoot is so important and something I don’t budge on. It’s an important part of the experience. It’s a good 90 minutes before your shoot to relax, have some champagne if you want to, and a bit of a chit chat and pampering to calm the nerves before your shoot.

I’m worried I won’t like my images

No matter how nervous you are, it’s important that you are here for yourself first and foremost. I find those that feel obligated to do the shoot because they were gifted the shoot by a partner or are here for someone else and not for themselves, does not work out well. You have to want to do this for YOURSELF. Gifting the images to someone else is a bonus and should not be the sole reason for doing a shoot!

I’ve photographed literally hundreds of women in the 5 years I’ve been doing boudoir and I can count the number of women on one hand (with fingers left over!) who didn’t like their images.

If you don’t like your images, there is no obligation to purchase anything. It’s as simple as that! So what have you got to lose?

Clearly the way we look attributes a lot to these nerves – worrying that you’ll look silly, not sexy enough, not beautiful enough, that you’ll be judged on your appearance…I’ve seen first hand an array of different bodies that I probably wouldn’t have seen if I didn’t photograph scantily clad women for a living! lol. EVERY SINGLE client that has come to see me has cellulite, stretch marks, rolls when they sit down, ingrown hairs and pimples that pop up in interesting places! These things are natural, but we’re made to feel like they are unnatural! My mission is to try and re-educate women that we’re not meant to be perfect! We are PERFECTLY IMPERFECT and there is nothing wrong with that! ROCK WHAT YOU’VE GOT! It is ok to love ourselves as we are and there is no need to change what we look like for anyone else or to fit into societey’s cookie cutter perfect mould of what a woman should look like. I’ve come to love my own body more since becoming a boudoir photographer and doing a boudoir shoot for myself, and I think that really helps me relate to the women I photograph and understand why they are feeling so nervous about doing a boudoir shoot.

So hopefully this has helped ease some nerves! As difficult as it may be, try not to let the nerves take over. You’re amazing! You’re uniquely beautiful, inside and out! You’ve got this!