Our First Boudoir Session at the Columbia Maryland Hilton

This weekend was a first for Marcus and I. We did our first boudoir session at the Hilton here in Columbia Maryland. We never actually thought about venturing into that segment of photography and the main reason is we did not think that there really was that much of a market for it. Last summer I ran into a college acquaintance of mine and he mentioned that he was also a photographer and a few years ago he left the modeling agency he worked for to venture out on his own. He is primarily a boudoir and lifestyle photographer and his sessions start at $650 for one hour, but his average sessions run about $1,200 which includes an album & prints. The conversation definitely raised my eyebrows because at the time Marcus and I were booking 8 hour weddings for an average of $1,600.

About a month after running into Jason we were contacted by a couple whose wedding we had photographed. They inquired about a boudoir session with us. Marcus and I said we would do it but they would have to find a hotel room they liked and we would schedule a session with them. To make a long story short the couple only needed the room for the one hour session and Marcus and I thought this could be an opportunity to schedule other people  that may be interested working with us.  This was also another opportunity to establish a relationship with a hair and makeup artist for future shoots. We contacted a few friends and models that we had worked with in the past and decided to give this boudoir thing a shot to see what we could do.

Over the last few months I did a little research on boudoir photography because I honestly thought that it was just something that some women do as a gift for their husbands on valentine’s day or an anniversary etc. I found out that a lot of women treat themselves to these sessions after achieving something such as losing weight, recovering from an illness and sometimes even after a divorce. They are also quite popular with some brides that want to surprise their future husbands.

Boudoir does not mean you necessarily have to be dressed in lingerie. It’s quite funny because I did a blog post maybe a year and a half ago featuring my wife and looking back that session technically would be considered boudoir J.  So I really should have named this title “Our Second Boudoir Shoot”.  I just did not consider it at that time because she was dressed in Jeans and a tank top.   Clothing for boudoir should consist of anything that you are comfortable wearing.  It can be t-shirts, jeans, sleep shorts or it can be lingerie but I think the most important things is that you have to be comfortable wearing it. If you are not comfortable it will definitely show up in the images. There are numerous opinions on this type of photography and we are no experts. I guess boudoir photography means something different to everyone.

We learned a lot during this boudoir mini bootcamp. First that scheduling 6 people and trying to stick to a six hour time frame is Ridculous! When your subjects are travelling from more than two hours away in a downpour, don’t expect them to arrive on time :-).   We also realized that we struck gold with our makeup artist Aryn. She kept things running smoothly and developing a relationship with a talented MUA with a wonderful, easy going personality is something that is vital if you want to charge an appropriate amount of money for portrait sessions. We intend to work with her ALOT in the future!

Unfortunately I have not really had a chance to look through all of the images taken this weekend. I was too busy trying to finish editing a wedding we photographed in December.  I had another image ready to go to share but when I woke up to the image that Marcus posted of his lovely wife to our Facebook fan page I decided to switch it out.  I know I am biased but I think Marcus did an amazing job with this image!!  Again special thanks to Aryn because you are really talented and we appreciate your assitance with this shoot.  Also thanks to all of the friends & models that participated in the shoot.

Location: Hilton Columbia Maryland
Hair & Makeup : Aryn Wilson Contact info: WilsonAaryn@gmail.com

Howard County Wedding & Portrait Photgraphers


12 thoughts on “Our First Boudoir Session at the Columbia Maryland Hilton

    • Thank you Maralee. His wife loves the photograph and I am a huge fan. Very happy to have him as a business partner and I think the next time we shoot I will offer to hold the reflector lol 🙂 :-)..

    • Thank you! To be honest the experience was fun if not a little nerve racking. Posing, angles etc just really tricky. Constantly thinking about if a pose is too provocative was also very stressful. I had pinned over 500 images over the last month that I thought I would like to emulate of which I looked at 4 lol. But we learned a lot and we think we captured some very nice images. Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate it 🙂

    • Hi Teija, Thank you for liking this photo. My says its the best photo I’ve ever taken, but she’s partial to it because she’s receiving so many compliments :)… I shot this photo with the Canon 6D. The lens used was the Canon 70-200 2.8L at a focal length of 155. I shot at 1/160th at F 5.0. I used a Alien Bee 800 at 1/4 power with a 22 in white beauty dish. For this shot the light was camera right at about 15 degrees. I actually pointed the light directly at the ceiling which gave her somewhat okay catch lights in her eyes. I would have used my reflector to get a better shaped catch light but I forgot it at home… “double and triple check your equipment before you leave home, lol!!! I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again, Marcus

      • thank you for answering, and feel free to say “hey stop, you are too nosy 😀 ” anytime!
        This Alien bee, this is now a second time someone has talked about it, is it flash or continuous light? Because I hate flash light, and I have now 2 led lights (with about 190 small leds in the light) and those are awesome, but the battery does not hold very long… and I have been wondering which gear to get… I wish I could do more indoor shoots, like boudoir, pin-ups… of course speed light in weddings is a must, but like these portrait sessions, I would love to use something else.

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