Updated: Jun 20
When we think about a boudoir session, what generally comes to mind is a female, cis-gendered space and focus on cis-femme bodies. There is rarely any representation of a boudoir session outside that demographic, which creates a great need for gender euphoric boudoir sessions. Bodies of all types deserve to feel honored, empowered, and valued. Boudoir is truly for every type of body, and should feel like a gender euphoric experience, regardless of how you identify. Here are some ways to make sure your boudoir session is gender affirming.
What Is Gender Euphoria?
Gender euphoria is about finding satisfaction and joy in your gender. How you are perceived, and how you choose to express yourself, can lead to gender euphoria. Gender euphoria can also be described as the opposite of gender dysphoria, where one experiences distress or pain with how their gender is misperceived or misunderstood. There are many things one can do to cause more gender euphoria. As a trans person myself, I experience gender euphoria through social and physical transition. Social transitions can include using a chosen name, correct pronouns, and gender-affirming language such as “mx.” (pronounced “mix”) or “sir” instead of “ma’am” (my personal preferences!). Physical transition can include wearing make up, getting a gender-affirming haircut, or wearing gender-affirming clothes that make you feel more comfortable in your body. Making these changes in my social and physical life makes me feel happy because it helps me to express myself and be perceived as the gender that I am.
Setting Yourself Up for a Gender Euphoric Boudoir Session
In order to find out what gives you gender-euphoria, it’s best to experiment! Try new things that you’re comfortable with, whether that be attempting a new look or experimenting with new pronouns or names. Make up (if that’s your thing!) can be a great way to practice new looks because it can be quickly removed if you decide your new look doesn’t contribute to your gender euphoria. An alternative or additional way to try new things is to try different styles or patterns of clothing.
Is there any particular look or article of clothing you’re drawn to? Is there one outfit you’ve always wanted to try but been afraid you couldn’t pull it off? Now is the time to give it a try! Clothing is a huge means of achieving gender euphoria. You’d be surprised how a change in fashion can truly express your identity! Finding gender euphoria is all about finding out what brings you joy, and feeling your most confident is definitely key during a boudoir session.
In order to feel your best during your boudoir session, it’s important to be able to articulate and communicate to others what causes your gender euphoria. This is crucial, because you need to be able to express to your photographer what makes you feel exceptional so that they can incorporate it into the session. Your photographer is there to capture you feeling your best!
In addition to articulating your needs to your photographer, you’ll want to be able to give clear direction to the hair and make up artist regarding how you’d like your makeup applied. Hair and makeup artists aren’t necessarily there to make you look hyper-feminine. Even if you want a masculine look, makeup can help contour your face to give you the masculine appearance on camera. Professional cis male actors use makeup all the time, so makeup isn’t inherently feminine!
A lot of boudoir photographers primarily work with clients who are cis women, presenting in a feminine way. Because of this, the photographer may be used to a particular workflow. Choosing the right photographer is important, because you should choose someone who is prepared to craft a posing flow that can be customized to your gender identity.
You can talk with them about how you see yourself and how you would like to see yourself presented in photos, both in posing and wardrobe. As a queer person who values my identity being not only respected, but also honored, I’d definitely recommend a queer photographer who specializes in queer boudoir photography.
Preparing for Your Gender Euphoric Boudoir Session
As you prepare for your gender euphoric boudoir session, have fun shopping for outfits and lingerie that make you feel confident! Confidence during a boudoir shoot is key, because the session is about you, what makes you feel comfortable, and how you chose to present and express yourself. However, this doesn’t always have to mean lingerie. Any clothes (or none at all) that make you feel comfortable are the right choice when planning your gender euphoric boudoir session.
At first, it can feel overwhelming to go into a studio. While most places have a lingerie client closet, you want to make sure you have pieces that you feel 100% euphoric in. For example, most client closets will have pieces built for an AFAB (assigned female at birth) body, and you want to make sure you have pieces designed for you! If you want to incorporate clothing items such as a binder, make sure you talk to your photographer about it so they can pull lingerie pieces that will work with it! Communicating your fashion needs to your photographer is extremely important because they’re there to capture you in your truest form. Without expressing your needs, how will they know the best way to capture you during the session?
Before your session, also try to schedule any self-care rituals you need to get done. These rituals can include facials, hair removal, nail appointments, and more. Anything you need to do to make yourself feel more at home in your body is a priority to do before the session. You want to be feeling your best.
Remember to pack all essentials the night before so you’re ready to go the morning of the session. If you’re like me, you’ll feel much more prepared if you gather your essentials the night before rather than rushing to pack up the morning of. Some sessions can happen very early in the morning, so you want to make sure you’re ready to go! And finally, remember to drink plenty of water! Practicing gender euphoria involves a TON of self care, so taking care of yourself is number one during this special event.
Having Your Gender Euphoric Boudoir Session
Choosing the right photographer for your session can make all the difference in the world. When you choose the right photographer, everything should be taken care of once you show up. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything, because your photographer and hair and make-up artist will make sure that you’re covered! When I had my boudoir session several years ago, I did not take the time to find the right photographer. It was not a pleasant or euphoric experience, because the photographer did not consider my needs or personal preferences as a transgender person, leaving me feeling unsure or uncomfortable about my body. All the photos reflected this as well. When looking at them, I did not see the gender-fluid, empowered, confident soul that wish would’ve been portrayed. This is why choosing the right photographer is so important. Your photographer should be someone who is educated, considerate, and open to all experiences of gender.
What I learned from this experience is that you have to be your own advocate in the studio. You know yourself better than anyone, so it’s crucial to let your photographer know if any posing, outfits, hair, or make-up doesn’t feel authentic to you. Your photographer is there to make sure you are comfortable and confident, so take up the space you deserve and enjoy yourself!
Choosing a Gender Euphoric Boudoir Photographer in Delaware
In need of an East Coast boudoir photographer? Whether you’re looking for a Philly boudoir photographer or Delaware boudoir photographer, Still Poetry Photography is a queer, neurodivergent, and woman-owned studio that offers boudoir to every body. Still Poetry Photography understands all the elements that go into a great photo shoot. They are educated in gender fluidity, as well as trauma-informed, which makes boudoir more accessible and sensory friendly to each person’s needs. As a queer-owned photography company, they understand the need, process, and achievement of a gender-affirming boudoir session. Have any questions about Still Poetry Photography? Get to know Sarah by sending her a message and scheduling a call with her today!