REAL BOUDOIR | Viceroy Hotel, Palm Springs. + The #1 Piece of Advice (+ 12 Others!) for Girls Considering Boudoir.

Are you sitting down?

Ok.  I’m going to trust that you’re sitting down– because why would you lie to me, right?  We go so far back.  No BUT SERIOUSLY, I wouldn’t want to start this blog post, and have you all still standing up or something.  It’s just that I’m worried I’d be liable for some of kind of mass-faint reaction.  And then all the firemen in the nation would be tied up investigating this completely baffling national faint I caused, and they wouldn’t be around to put out any actual fires.

Well actually… that’s wrong.

Because this session is en fuego.

Ahh, and that surprise twist I mentioned in the graphic up top?  Oh, just a little thing I call *THIS SESSION WAS SHOT BY HER  PRO PHOTOGRAPHER HUSBAND* that’s all.

Erika’s shoot is actually an anniversary session, you guys, and her husband Mike, of Mike Arick Photography submitted it to me recently.  Isn’t that whole situation the coolest?  It also brings me to a question I have for you ladies out there: I’m curious, do you think you’d be down for a boudoir session some years into your marriage?  Have you considered it?  Do tell in the comments, lovers!

Last thing before we get into the session; here’s a little sumthin sumthin in the form of 13 amazing tips, from the man behind the camera, Mike Arick:

As far as a write-up, my wife, Erika, left that up to me. So here’s some advice I can give for those future brides and grooms or those who are already happily married like ourselves…

Being a photographer it’s no surprise that I’m always trying to take pictures of my wife. It’s also not surprising that it probably gets pretty old with me always aiming it in her direction. I’ve begged her for quite some time to pose for a fun boudoir session and for our three year anniversary she agreed to have some fun with the camera in our swanky digs at the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs. Every couple has taken photos of each other but most have never taken the time to plan and go through with a fun, flirty, sexy shoot. Trust me, it’s worth it! Erika had admitted numerous times that in order to do a boudoir shoot she had to feel totally great about herself and the way she looked at the time. She had to be tan, she had to be in shape, skin, hair, everything had to be great and only then would she want to do it. I can understand all of that but in addition to the pictures I also knew I was going to enjoy the memories and the experience of doing the photo shoot together. That’s probably what I was most excited about.

Mike’s #1 Tip if you’re considering doing a shoot:

The number one tip I would give to those women who are considering a boudoir shoot or those couples who want to do one together is… realize that your guy already finds you sexy and attractive. Boudoir photos aren’t designed to prove or remind him of that fact. A boudoir session is really about enjoying the fact that you two are head-over-heels, 100%, absolutely in love with one another. The shared memories and the experience are ultimately more important than the photographs themselves. Trust me though, he’ll LOVE the photos. Erika and I had such a fun time during or shoot! We blasted great music, we played, we flirted, we teased each other and had an amazing time together. I would not trade that experience for anything and the beautiful photographs I now have are just icing on the cake.

Besides all that mushy stuff about our own experience here are some tips and advice I would give to those who are considering a shoot…

2. Choose a location that offers a beautiful setting. Boutique or stylish hotels are awesome. Plus, the bed is already made perfectly!

3. Use the whole room. Chairs, tables, couches, walls, showers, floors, windows, and pretty much anything else you can find in a room can be a great backdrop or prop.

4. White sheets not only look great with any skin tone, they also help reflect light if the room is somewhat dim.

5. Use window light if possible. Using flash can be tough and unflattering unless you really know what you’re doing.

6. If you must shoot in a dark room, try using candles or a single lamp as your light source. Soft light is flattering. (just don’t set the room on fire)

7. Bring multiple outfits. Change is good. Pictures of you changing can be even better.

8. Consider getting your hair or makeup done by someone else beforehand. Not only can it help you feel confident but being pampered can also help put you in the sexy mood.

9. If you’re nervous about smiling for the camera at first – don’t. Look everywhere else but the camera and the pictures will still be great. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself getting more comfortable and the smiles and looks will become natural.

10. Enjoy some champagne before and while you shoot. Just not too much so you don’t actually look drunk.

11. Play some music that gets you pumped up! We just played a great Pandora station on our laptop.

12. Look for inspiration online. Find and save poses and other ideas from boudoir sessions you see online.

13. Relax, have fun, and enjoy every minute!

~ Mike (& Erika) Arick

Thanks for the great advice, Mike!  And now my friendlies… zee shoot.

If I had a shoot tomorrow, I would hope and pray I looked even *a smidgen* as good as Erika looks.  Ahhmazing!

Ok, NOW.  Me have two pressing questions for you guys – I’d love to have a discussion in the comments with y’all…

1) How lovely does Miss Erika look in these shots?!  Like, on a scale of incredible to professional model (yes I’m currently wrapping up my Bachelorette recap so kindly pardon the reference to scale)…

2) My second more serious question is: if you had the choice of doing your shoot with a photographer you’ve never met, or being shot by your significant other (assuming for the moment that your significant other was a skilled boudoir photographer), I am dying to know, which scenario do you think you’d find more comfortable?

No joke, I’m dying to know your answer to question #2 especially.  And I’ll weigh in with you on a personal level where appropriate in the comments. *wink wink* *nudge nudge* *no actually I don’t mean anything sexual by that I’m just being a ridiculous.*

xoxo!  - Alison

Photography: Mike Arick Photography

Label(s): {Real Boudoir}

Love all of this...


  1. Kelsi on June 20, 2012

    wow! gorgeous!!! i would love to have a boudoir photo shoot done…perhaps even 2! one with just me and then one with both of us. i am thinking about doing one for our 5th anniversary(next may). gives me time to look for and afford beautiful lingerie :P.

    to answer your 2nd question, i would rather have my fiance take the photos if he was a photographer. i am super shy and self-conscious, so i would feel a lot more relaxed in that situation. but, it would be beneficial to have a photographer do the photo shoot, because i’d end up booking them for our wedding(whenever that may be…we’re having a LONG engagement to get school, planning, and saving out of the way with less stress [hopefully] :P). i would have more time getting familiar with the photographer and wouldn’t be so camera shy for the engagement and wedding portraits. we have a tough time with doing a lot of p.d.a., but there are some amazing shots that i want with that written all over.

    can’t wait to have my own boudoir photo shoot after seeing this post!

  2. Alison on June 20, 2012

    Kelsi – I totally feel you on that! If my Honey was highly skilled in boudoir photography, I think it would be a blast to do it with him. Following most likely by *doing it with him* ;)

  3. francine on June 20, 2012

    that lady looks GORGEOUS, holy moley! and i think i’d have my fiance take the pics over a stranger.

  4. Alison on June 20, 2012

    francine – srsly, right? those shots came out brilliantly.

  5. katyo on June 20, 2012

    So gorgeous! I always go back and forth on the idea of doing a boudoir session, but if I ever did, I would probably opt to do it with my husband taking the photos. He shoots weddings with me, so I know he would be confident and he is quite good with flattery. ;) If I ever chose to do one with another photographer, I think I would feel most comfortable with a female. I have friends who do it, and they offer a whole day where you can book one with your girlfriends. You get to drink mimosas, get your hair done together, and then do the session at a really sweet hotel. I could totally see doing something like that, too.

    • Ashley on July 16, 2012

      I have totally done boudoir with a friend of mine shooting it for her portfolio, with other friends there with me. It was fun, we helped each other out, drank a little, had a blast. My fiances face was priceless when I gave him the pictures, since he was gone for a month when I got them done.

  6. Alison on June 20, 2012

    Katyo – you’re a brave one to do the group sesh! I know I come off open and free, but a group sesh with girlfriends frightens the bejeebus outta me. :)

  7. Jenn McClure on June 21, 2012

    My god, this girl is gorgous… and I am slightly jealous. Haha.

    I am actually planning a boudoir shoot next month as a present for my fiance on our wedding day, just something I thought might be fun. I am doing it with a photographer that I know who does bourdoir frequently. I shall definitely consider Mike’s tips.

    THanks for sharing.

    <3 Jenn

  8. Amanda on June 21, 2012

    WOW! Erika is absolutely stunning! I can only hope any boudoir session I do in the future turns out half as amazing.
    I would love to have someone I know do the shoot, mostly because they would know my personality and what sorts of photos I would like!

  9. Lena on June 21, 2012

    Holy JESUS does Erika look gorgeous! You can tell she feels incredible, and I bet having your sweetheart behind the camera couldn’t hurt! I did a boudoir shot with a close girlfriend, and while it’s hard to compare the experience to shooting with a stranger, I’m going to guess it was easier, at least to get started!

  10. Kim on June 21, 2012

    Ok, two things about this shoot. First of all, she looks AMAZING. And I love, love, LOVE the quote/advice about just owning the shoot because he loves you already anyway! I’m doing boudoir photos for my almost-husband for his next birthday (which is after our wedding), and I’m hoping he just DIES over them. :)

    The second reason that I love this shoot is for purely selfish reasons. Even though she’s stunning and definitely looks like a model, many of the poses would work well for curvier/plus-size girls (which I am). It’s been kind of difficult to find inspiration pics that will work for a bigger girl, and some of these are fabulous because you don’t see the typical “problem” areas. Thanks so much for featuring this shoot!!

  11. Alison on June 21, 2012

    Kim – I’m so so glad you told me that! It makes me so happy that it was the kind of inspo you’ve been wanting. And I’m so glad to hear you’re doing a shoot; rock it like a BOSS! :)

  12. Nyfika on June 25, 2012

    Great photos !

  13. Nicole on June 26, 2012

    wow! these photos are gorgeous! she looks awesome and i love her hair!

    and i would totally do the shoot with my husband if he were a photographer – sounds kind of fun :D

  14. Dania Maple on June 26, 2012

    She looks amazing. Love the photography!

  15. Sarah Wamuhiu on July 6, 2012

    My hubby and I are wedding/portrait photographers and we are in the middle of planning a shoot for me (and we might throw in a few together pictures too). He did a “normal” session for me for my birthday and I was stunned by the way the photos turned out so I can’t wait for my sexy session. I did some for myself (yes with a remote for the camera) for him for our wedding day…he LOVED them! These tips are great (and the photos are awesome!)… definitely have to incorporate them into our session. Oh and if my hubby wasn’t a photographer I think I would only be comfortable with another man if we were doing a couples session…otherwise I would go with a female photographer.

  16. Tessa on July 21, 2012

    I totally want to do a boudoir session! I think they are sexy, fun, and confidence boosting. And you get amazing photos of yourself as a result :)

    It seems like I am one of the few who would choose to have a professional do my boudoir photos over my husband, even if my husband were a professional photographer. Not only would he be able to be in some of them (then you’d have sexy pictures of both of you together!), but then you could really have fun together and leave the hard and focused stuff for the professional.


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