What is the Difference between Glamour, Erotica and Boudoir Photography?

The Difference Between Glamour, Boudoir and Erotica Photography

So I have been asked a couple times now, about what Boudoir Photography actually is. And although I think there can be a very vast and differing opinion on this, here is my take and what I offer in my studio!

First I want to be clear that this article is in no way ment to shame anyones personal decisions. I think everyone is comfortable with different levels of intimacy and sexuality. Ultimately it is up to each individual what they are comfortable with and what they want to explore. You do you! f you are interested in learning more about Boudoir, I have a wonderful, private, Facebook group, Boudoir by Rayven Jade that is for open minded ladies only! We have a lot of fun and discuss all sorts of subjects about love, relationships, sex, kinks and more. There is always room for more fabulous women in the group! 😉

So lets dive right in;

Glamour Photography – Usually a photography session in studio for a woman, possibly including her partner and children, or a group of friends. Often professional hair and makeup is included with this session. Although you can wear any clothing, even lingerie, most often beautiful dresses or gowns or more evening wear type attire is worn in these types of photos. The final photos are usually a beauty type portrait, sweet smiles, soft poses. These can be very intimate to a woman, but not in a sexual tease kind of way. These portraits can and are often displayed in your main living area. Often expecting moms love to do a Glamourous Maternity Session to capture the beauty of pregnancy.

Boudoir Photography – Is more sexy and intimate without showing ya bits. The Boudoir Experience is WAY more than just a pretty headshot (I’m thinking of you, Glamour). I think of boudoir as glamour, but with IMPLIED sensual actions. A sexual tease. These are still glamorous, with hair and makeup a little more dramatic than your every day style. Often lingerie is worn during these sessions, but isn’t always required. Wrapped in sheets, cozy in an oversized sweater… you can show your sensual side without getting naked. It’s more about the way your body is posed and your facial expressions.

That being said, nudity is always a possibility too. Being naked does not have to mean your being erotic! Boudoir photography can be seen as a sliding scale, from sweetly sensual to steamy sexy.  Props and toys can be seen in the photos, but not actually being used or seen being used for any sort of penetration. Couples boudoir can also be very romantic or very sensual. Poses are also implied, possibly with some nudity, but not fully nude.   Whatever you decide you want to portray, is always your call and you are always in control. Sometimes some women think they want to stay on the sweet side… but as they get into it and realize its not so scary, they choose to unleash a little.  Fully nudity can often be seen in some boudoir photography, but its usually implied, or from the side, seeing some breast or from the back showing the tush or full breast/nipple. Boudoir does not usually show full nude genitalia, that is where Erotica comes in…

Erotic portraits – well, anything goes. If you are not leaving anything to the imagination, then that is Erotica. This is usually extremely UNCENSORED and can even depict soft porn… like lots of in your face nudity or even actual penetration. Again, there can be a sliding scale of sexuality and nudity and actual acts of sexual pleasure depicted in these images. Usually these type of portraits need a special licensing and have some in depth rules for needing a high level of info and permissions in a contract and to be filed away securely for many years. Mostly for this reason, I do not offer Erotica Sessions in my studio.

In review, here are some main points to each type of Intimate Style Photo Session.

Glamour Photography is soft & pretty

  • Focuses on your beauty
  • Usually more fully clothed, evening wear style
  • More about capturing your everyday personality and beautiful smile
  • Can be for yourself or include your family

Boudoir Photography is implicit

  • Focuses on the sensual.

  • Nudity is not required.

  • Nudity is usually limited to topless and implied nudity.

  • Full nudity of women from the side, or so it does not actually show or get up close to the private parts.

  • Toys and props may be shown and held but are not actually used to their intended purpose.

  • Sexual stimulation may be implied in the facial expressions, body positioning, and placement of hands and toys.

Erotica Photography is explicit

  • Focuses on the sexual.

  • Almost always some nudity.

  • Nudity can, and probably will be, full frontal for men and women.

  • Private parts can be photographed if desired.

  • Toys and props can be used to their intended purpose and more.

  • There can be full penetration and engagement of sexual acts.

  • Often a greater emphasis on kink scenes.

I like to think of glamour, boudoir and erotica on a spectrum because there are no rules about what your chosen Experience must be. Everyone who comes into the studio has their own comfort level with nudity.

Many of our Boudoir Experiences involve no nudity at all.

You are always in charge.

Empowering Women through Boudoir Photography!

I think all of these types of session can be empowering and confidence builders! Sometimes we all need to see ourselves from someone else’s point of view and angle! Personal portraits are an amazing way to treat yourself and give you and maybe other important people in your lives a gift that is ever lasting. My goal as a photographer is to provide beautiful portraits that, when viewed, whether a week after being taken or 20-40 years after being captured, evokes sweet memories and brings that moment back to you! Photographs can be so powerful!

If you have any questions about Intimate photography… or any photography services I offer, please do fill out my Contact form to start a conversation! I look forward to hearing from you and hope to welcome you into my Studio soon!

xo Rayven


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