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A Personal Touch: Shooting Boudoir Videos

written by: Shawn S. Lealos•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 7/28/2011

While boudoir photography has been popular for years, consumers are now trending toward video as a medium. To be considered a legitimate business, videographers looking to specialize in boudoir video services have a variety of considerations which must first be addressed

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    Boudoir photography is a specialized form of photography that creates a series of sensual images in classic “boudoir style.” While the old style of boudoir photography may still have some negative connotations, it has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years. One of the more popular forms of boudoir photography is Bridal photography, but it is also popular for anniversaries, birthdays, maternity and more.

    The use of video has become a natural extension of the traditional boudoir photography. Boudoir videography is similar in function to boudoir photography, except with the obvious difference of using video cameras instead of still cameras. If this sounds like a business venture that might interest you, there are a number of things to keep in mind.

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    Starting Your Business

    boudoir-01 The first thing needed when choosing to start a boudoir videography business is a professional and reputable videographer. As with other specialties within the videography businesses, it is important to not just jump in and hope to make it your soul source of income. Those wishing to offer this type of service must first form a reputation for being trustworthy - even more so than with other areas of videography. The job of the videographer is to shoot sexual, sensual video of a woman or man. For this to be accomplished, it is important that the subject trusts the videographer completely. Reports of unscrupulous filmmakers are plentiful, and many individuals are leery that with the Internet, their personal boudoir video could be posted and released to the world. Keep in mind that, to build your business, it may take a while to get your name out and prove that you are a boudoir videographer who can be trusted.

    This leads into the importance of understanding the laws of your state. While meant to be a classy and sexy gifts for a loved one, some state’s might have loose versions of what they consider pornography. Make sure you don’t break any laws when operating your business, and understand your limitations based on the laws of your state.

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    One distinct difference between boudoir and other types of videography is the location of the shoot. The videographer should sit down with the subject ahead of time to determine the location, and find out what they want from the video. Keep in mind that the subject involved is the only one who has the right to ultimately decide what they will wear and what poses they will choose, If the video is created in a studio, the videographer needs to own a number of related props. Examples might be a laced covered couch, a bed, or suggestive artwork around the set.

    camera Most shoots, however, are done on location - in the home of the person who hires you to shoot it. When heading there to shoot, you need to be certain that the subject is as comfortable as possible for the shoot. Then, when they reach time to shoot the video in the specified location, the videographer needs to give the subject what they want to the letter.

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    Bringing in a Partner

    When working with customers interested in creating their own boudoir video, it might be a good idea to never work on your own. This is especially true if you are a male, since most customers tend to be females. To work as a team, with one member of each sex involved, the possibility of misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations can be avoided.

    Other reasons to work with a partner come down to the fact that, while you might be a brilliant videographer, you may need help with the aesthetics of the shoot. For one thing, there are a lot of possibilities for the setup of the shoot itself. Having someone there to prepare the subject while you set up the lights and look of the shot, can be a great help.

    Setting up an independent video business may leave you little money for a full staff. For this reason, partnering with someone who specializes in makeup, hair, and clothing styles, is an option to consider. The money made from the shoot can then be split between the two individuals as even partners in the business. Working together, the team will almost always provide better results than one person trying to manage each aspect of the shoot.

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    Boudoir videography is generally created as a gift from one partner to another. Occasionally, however, it is also used as part of a product real for actors wishing to audition. As a specific niche, it is important that the videographer understand what the client wants. A specific videography contract needs to be worked out before a shot is accomplished. Many of these subjects are shooting these boudoir videos for their loved ones and they are for no one else’s eyes. In those cases, the contract needs to state that for the price paid, the video and all copies be turned over to the subject when the project is completed. If they want no one else to see the videos, it is your job to make sure that happens. If you fail in this endeavor, you will never build a clientèle or references to build your business, and could even risk legal action.

    Some individuals will allow the videographer to use portions of the shoot on their own product reel and a different contract needs to be signed for these situations. In these contracts, there should be an amendment allowing the video be used as part of the videographer’s portfolio.

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    Whether you are shooting for anniversaries, birthdays, bridal or maternity sessions, this style of videography offers a specialized business that can be lucrative for an aspiring production company. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can grow your business while avoiding many of the common pitfalls which often plague those just starting out.

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    References and Image Credits

    Seattle Boudoir

    (Note: This link goes to a Video and Photography service in Seattle, WA that provides Boudoir Videography. While this website provides additional information on the subject, it also provides examples of the company’s work, which may contain partial nudity. Please be advised that the content at and the services it provides are intended for a mature audience.)

    Boudoir photo from Wikimedia Commons (author: Kate Sharp)

    Video Camera photo from Wikimedia Commons (author: Jana C.)