Boudoir Photography Tips from Brianna and Ewan Phelan


Many people dream of having a sexy boudoir photo session. Brianna and Ewan Phelan make that dream come true, bringing their award-winning photography skills to clients around the world. As Ewan explained in their class, “Boudoir on the Edge,” boudoir photography requires getting the client comfortable and creating the perfect pose, coupled with the right expression. To do that, he creates a mood.

The Right Angle

Ewan isn’t afraid to demonstrate poses for his clients, even if it involves popping his butt provocatively. The post is the opposite of thrusting forward, with clients forcing their buttocks backward to create the perfect arch in the lower back. Unfortunately, as the butt retreats, the stomach tends to move outward, as well, putting photographers in a tricky position.

“I ask them to think tight, not suck in,” Ewan says. “I never want to ask someone to suck in because that implies something.” Instead he asks them to tighten their abs.

The Right Look

Expression is everything during boudoir shoot, which is why Ewan’s boudoir photography tips include paying particular attention to his subjects’ faces. While shooting, he instructs his clients to look at the lens, not the eye that isn’t behind that lens. He also makes sure when they’re looking down, they avoid lowering their chins.

One problem boudoir photographers encounter is a lack of expression in clients’ eyes. To avoid this, Ewan always suggests they choose something specific to look at when he asks them to look off into the distance. This keeps their eyes from taking on an empty appearance. He then adds a slight smirk with little to no teeth showing, or an open-mouthed look, where he asks them to breathe through their mouths.

Achieving the Sultry Look

To create the suggestive expression that works so well in his photos, Ewan asks clients to think about a significant other. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bring the desired look to some clients’ faces, so he asks if they have a celebrity crush. If that doesn’t work, he states directly that he wants the client to think about sex. Hopefully, in channeling those thoughts, Ewan will be able to bring out the desired expression.

When it comes to clothing, Ewan takes charge of the situation. He chooses all of the lingerie his clients wear in their shoots. He has found that by touching the pieces of lingerie his clients wear, he’s able to break through a barrier.

“That’s a very intimate thing,” Ewan says. “But it breaks that wall down right away and they have to become comfortable right away. That’s just a small thing to be able to do that.”

Implied Nudity

While some boudoir shoots involve partial nudity, Ewan emphasizes to his clients that this is optional. No matter whom Ewan is shooting, his biggest goal is to create the biggest curves possible through his stances. He’ll have them bend a knee, arch their backs, and tilt their heads to create an interesting line.

Once he has the perfect curves, Ewan adds small touches, like having the client pull her bra straps down slightly or slide her thumbs into the top of her panties and push them down. He emphasizes the importance of using a calm voice and issuing orders gently.

“I don’t pump them up,” Ewan says. “I play music when I shoot, but it’s not like this big party where we’re going to have so much fun because they’re going to be distracted by that. What I want is to be able to give very simple instructions to be able to get to that point.”

Photo Week 2015 allowed photographers to learn their craft from the best in the business. Brianna and Ewan Phelan were just two of many photographers who participated in the exciting event. Check out more of the great lessons from Photo Week 2015.

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip, 25 Roses, and the upcoming Piper Morgan series.