How Long Does a Boudoir Photography Session Take?

A woman with tattoo on both her arms laying down on the floor, wearing a black shirt and posing for a boudoir shot

Particularly for first-time boudoir photography clients, doing a photoshoot seems daunting. Not knowing how long a session will last can prevent you from planning properly and conditioning yourself mentally and physically.

As a professional boudoir photographer for almost two decades, I’ve mastered the art of having an efficient timeline in taking photos. Here, you’re going to learn how long a boudoir photography session takes so you can prepare for it completely.

How Long Does a Boudoir Photography Session Take?

A typical boudoir photography session experience typically lasts anywhere from 4-6 hours. This allows ample time for changing outfits and capturing a variety of images and having professional hair and makeup services.

The duration of a boudoir session varies depends on several factors. By setting the day aside for yourself, you allow yourself the joy of being present and not feeling rushed to be anywhere else. I will coach you on everything you need to know with poses and lighting that showcase your unique beauty and build your self-confidence.

Standard Duration for a Boudoir Photo Session

My boudoir sessions are anywhere from 1.5-3 hours. This allows us time to create a collection of stunning images you will cherish for years. However, each photo session is unique. The key is to tailor the experience to your preferences, needs, and goals.

Preparation (hair, makeup, etc)1 to 2 hours
Photoshoot1.5 to 3 hours
Post-processing and delivery2 to 10 weeks


Our professional hair and makeup artist comes to our studio location, which takes 1-2 hours.

Before you come to my studio in Kalamazoo, bring everything you need for your boudoir shoot. This way, you’ll feel prepared and ready for the camera!

Photoshoot Session

The actual boudoir photoshoot generally lasts around 1.5-3 hours, depending on the your preferences and the package offering you’ve chosen. My sessions also include at 1-2 outfit changes. (we typically shoot 3 looks/outfits—the sheets count too!)

We like to keep a relaxed schedule so that you can take quick five-minute breaks to reset during the session, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed.


You will reconnect with me 2 weeks after your session for your Reveal Ordering Session when you make your final photo selections. It usually takes anywhere from two to ten weeks for boudoir photographers to complete the delivery of your products, depending on what you order. Our albums are hand-crafted in Europe but they are worth the wait!

This timeline allows us to go through the photo finishing process, any retouching you’ve requested, and making stunning final products, including the prints and album design. If you need your images sooner, I offer a rush processing option for an added fee.

Factors Influencing the Duration of a Boudoir Photoshoot

Taking boudoir pictures can last up to two hours. However, this can be shorter or longer depending on these factors.

Photographer’s Style and Experience

Some photographers may need more time to set up shots and lighting. As an experienced boudoir photographer, I prepare my studio space before your arrival so that we can maximize your shoot. There is also a planning call before your session to help finalize wardrobe choices so that you are prepared for the big day in the studio far ahead of time.

Makeup and Hair Styling

At my studio, boudoir pictures include professional makeup and hair styling, which add to the overall session time. Makeup application can take one to two hours, depending on the desired look.

Number of Outfits and Themes

The more outfits and themes you plan for your boudoir shoot, the longer the session will take. Swapping outfits and adjusting accessories takes time. Each new outfit might require a different lighting setup. 

I suggest limiting or picking the number of outfits or themes to keep the shoot manageable. We typically land around 3 outfits. Your birthday suit or the sheets count too!

Location Changes

Although I can recommend the top places for a boudoir shoot in Kalamazoo, we don’t recommend an additional location. If you wish to change locations during your boudoir shoot, this adds time to the session and is an upgraded option.

Moving between locations, setting up, and adjusting to new environments can be time-consuming. In my experience, choosing one place or set that allows for various shots and poses without sacrificing time is better.

Your Level of Comfort

Finally, your comfort level during the boudoir photoshoot is important for efficient and successful results. If you feel at ease with the photographer and the process, the shoot will likely be smoother and quicker.

I pride myself on making my clients feel comfortable and relaxed. This is so important for creating beautiful, authentic images.

Tips to Have an Successful Boudoir Shoot

A typical boudoir shoot experience usually takes 4-6 hours total with hair and makeup.

  • Communicate with your photographer: During planning and the actual shoot, I encourage you to talk to me about your expectations and desires. In this way, I get to incorporate your preferred style, mood, and level of intimacy you envision for your photos.
  • Prepare outfits and poses: Before the shoot, choose clothes that highlight your best features and make you feel confident. Bring multiple options for variety. We can help you pick outfits or plan your wardrobe, whether you’re having an individual or a couple’s boudoir photography session. We offer a planning call during your journey that is very helpful for honing in your vibe for your session!
  • Cooperate and trust your photographer: Trusting my expertise and technical skills while being open to the creative process will help you get the most out of your session. I will coach you on body language, the proper poses, angles, facial expressions, breathwork, and use of props. I’ve got you, Boo!!

Related Questions

How Much Time Is Needed for a Boudoir Session?

You will want to allocate 4-6 hours for a boudoir photoshoot experience that includes professional hair and makeup. This timeframe will allow us to capture a series of beautiful images in 2-3 outfits.

What Should I Expect During My Time in a Boudoir Shoot?

During your boudoir photoshoot, you can expect me to guide you through different poses and expressions that showcase your unique beauty. You will feel empowered in your own skin and body, making the session an enjoyable and memorable experience that helps you embrace your femininity and feel proud, confident, and sexy.

How Long Would It Take To Arrange a Boudoir Photography Shoot?

Booking an actual boudoir shoot in Lansing or a photoshoot at Grand Rapids, may only take a day, although the pre-shoot preparations typically last weeks, depending on your booking date. I recommend inquiring months before your target date so there’s ample time for conceptualizing, planning, and booking your preferred location. We also are often booked out quite a ways, so plan ahead to get your preferred date!


Overall, your boudoir photography shoot experience will take 4-6 hours with hair, makeup, outfit changes, and the actual session. With preparation and clear communication regarding your photoshoot schedule, your boudoir session will be a memorable and empowering experience.

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