Your Boudoir Questions Answered

If this is your first time doing a boudoir session, you probably have a few questions. I hope the information below gives you a good idea for what it would be like to work together. Click to expand.

Booking a session FAQ

How would you describe your photography style?

My boudoir style centers around classic, elegant posing with a film-like aesthetic and loads of natural light. I cater to (what I usually call) the "female gaze" and love creating images that make my clients feel like a million bucks. In my opinion, the more confident women there are in this world, the better, and I love helping being a part of that, even if it's in a very small way.

There's no dramatic, unrecognizable transformations here. My intention as an artist is to bring out your natural beauty (inside and out!) and leave you feeling like your most beautiful, confident self.

Who do you work with?

I work exclusively with women and welcome women all of ages, races and backgrounds to inquire.

Because I'm also a wedding photographer, I receive many bridal boudoir requests, but please know that you don't have to be getting married or in a relationship to do a boudoir session. The best reason is always to do it for yourself.

There are so many good reasons to do a boudoir session, but a few reasons that are the most popular these days... maternity (showing off your changing, pregnant body in all of it's glory), postpartum, birthdays, fitness and health celebrations, bridal, anniversaries, and simply just because you want to.

Where do your boudoir sessions take place?

My boudoir appointments typically take place in the city of Chicago in beautiful naturally lit lofts and luxury hotels throughout the city. Your boudoir shoot location can be tailored to your vision and preferred style.

when can I schedule my appointment?

Boudoir appointments are typically scheduled Mondays through Thursdays mornings and are often a half day experience.

Because I'm also a wedding photographer, I do not have weekend availability at this time.

Who will be my photographer?

I'm Ashley Biess and I've been photographing boudoir in Chicago for over a decade. I'll be the person you will be working with along with my all-female hair & makeup team.

How much does a boudoir session cost?

Pricing for boudoir sessions begins at $1,700 and can vary from a simple 1 hour session to a half-day experience that includes hair & makeup services, a beautiful studio in Chicago, time for a variety of wardrobe change, a custom album and an experience that will hopefully leave you feeling pampered.

Packages can be customized to match your ideal experience.

Please note that while other photographers may charge a smaller, upfront sitting fee, this fee typically doesn't include any products, images or digital files. I prefer offering straight forward, all-inclusive packages to give my clients the best experience possible.

Do you offer couples boudoir?

At this time, I do not offer couples boudoir photo shoots.

How Can I Book you?

To book your boudoir appointment, first let's schedule a call to make sure we're a good fit.

From there, I require a minimum of 50% deposit and a signed letter of Agreement. The remaining 50% balance is due 2 weeks prior to your shoot date.

Custom payment plans can be available upon request.

Boudoir Wardrobe FAQ

How many outfits can I bring?

As a rule of thumb, I spend about 30 minutes shooting each outfit.

Most of my clients will book a 1.5 hour shoot which gives us time to photograph 3 total looks. I'm happy to customize your experience to include as many looks as you are envisioning. 

What Should I wear?

The more fun you have with your wardrobe, the more fun you'll have taking pictures, so really go for it!

When people think "boudoir", lingerie usually the first idea to come to mind. Lingerie is the most popular wardrobe choice amongst my clients and for good reason. Lingerie can include two piece sets, bodysuits, corsets, garter belts, stockings, robes and beyond. 

That being said, I'm a huge fan of (what I call) "everyday pieces" that you most likely already have hanging in your closet. My aesthetic very much centers around feeling "effortlessly chic". To achieve this, pair lingerie (or sometimes nothing at all) with a few simple pieces can elevate your look. 

A few of my current favorites: A linen button down shirt, sweaters and cardigans, sheer dresses, bridal veils, slips, a pair of jeans, a simple white t-shirt, blazers, jackets, etc. The list could go on and on.

When you inquire, be sure to ask about my boudoir wardrobe guide. I'll be happy to send it to you! 

What attire doesn't photography well?

Fit is the absolute most important thing when it comes to any garment. When it comes to lingerie, finding a piece that is well structured is key. 

I recommend against items that flair away from the body, such as "babydolls", because these tend to make most women look wider through their midsections than they actually are.

I also recommend steering clear of items fitted and sized for men, like men's button down shirts and sports jerseys. Most of the time, these pieces end up being WAY too big. Clothing that is tailored for women will always be more flattering.

What's your favorite boudoir lingerie wardrobe piece?

When it comes to lingerie, bodysuits are flattering on literally every woman and body type and I can't recommend them enough.

Fit is key, so be sure to try these on beforehand. The best bodysuits have enough structure built in to give you support and enhance your figure.

My other favorite piece of the moment is a simple button down shirt. Pair this with a two piece set, a bodysuit or just a pair of bottoms and the possibilities are endless.

Preparing for your session fAQ

How do I prepare for my session?

First, I don't expect you to know how to pose. I will guide you every step of the way so absolutely no practicing needed on your end.

Take good care of your skin the weeks leading up to your appointment. Avoid getting too much sun (try a spray tan from Glowout Salon instead), eat your fruits & veggies, drink lots of water and consider booking something like a hydrafacial (I love SpaDerma) so your skin is glowing.

Please arrive to your boudoir appointment on time with clean, moisturized skin and clean, dry hair that has been washed either same day or the night before.

I recommend wearing loose fitting clothes during your beauty appointment to avoid lines/imprints on your skin.

Can I bring a friend?

You are allowed to bring up to 1 friend to attend your session, but for moral support only. Your friend cannot direct or interfere with the shoot in any way. 

Over the years, the majority of my clients have come to their sessions alone and that's typically how I prefer to work.

I do not allow significant others to be present for your photo shoot.

When will I see my photos?

I typically have your finished, fully edited photos ready within 3-5 weeks from your session.

You'll see your photos for the first time during your virtual "Photo Reveal" appointment. I set your photos to a slideshow and then we will review the complete gallery, dive into your immediate favorites, and review next steps for your album and any other printed products you plan to order.

Will my photos be edited?

Absolutely yes!

My editing process is very thorough and includes skin retouching to remove any unwanted blemishes, scars, bruises, cellulite or stretch marks. 

Your photos will be edited in my signature fine art, light & airy style and you'll see the full set at your photo reveal appointment.

Please keep in mind that my mission as a boudoir photographer is not to transform you unrecognizably. Instead, it's to showcase your inner and outer beauty in a way that feels and looks naturally like you.

Will an album be included?

Nearly all of my boudoir clients purchase or include a boudoir album in their package.

If you are unsure about an album, you can always decide to purchase after you've seen your photos.

These photos are meant to be printed, and an album is a perfect way to discreetly display and enjoy your favorite photos...plus they make for a truly one-of-a-kind gift!

Album prices currently range between $500-$1,000+.

Will my photos remain private?

I will only share your photos with your written consent and will never tag you or list your name or contact information.

Many of my clients allow me to share their images in my portfolio and I'm always extremely honored when I hear they love their photos so much that they want them shared with the world.

After your photos have been released to you, we will discuss your privacy preferences and you'll approve which photos can be shared and not shared.

If you prefer to keep your photos 100% private, they will never see the light of day. 

I have never felt more beautiful. I cannot stop looking at these pictures and will cherish them for the rest of my life.

— Artistrie Co. Bride, Kristy

— Artistrie Co. Client, Kristy

Recent Boudoir Articles

For helpful tips and more photography samples of my boudoir work, please check out recent posts on the Artistrie Co. Blog.

If you have a question about working together, please complete my contact form or email me directly. I'd love to hear from you!

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Artistrie Co. is a Wedding, Portrait & Boudoir Photographer serving Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona and beyond.