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preparing for your boudoir session

We are so happy that you have chosen Mercy Street Studio to photograph your beauty and femininity.

We have been boudoir photography clients, so we know exactly what it’s like to walk through this process from your perspective. What we thought we were doing as gifts for our husbands, ended up being an even greater gift for ourselves. We hope you’ll be surprised by how empowering this session is for you as well!

Here are some tips to help your session run smoothly.


Before the Big Day

Get good rest. Exercise. Engage in whatever self care rituals will make you feel good. Get the roots touched up, nails done (fingernails DO make it into the pictures), wax/shave, get a facial, drink plenty of water, get a massage. Pamper yourself!  ...and at the end of all that pampering you'll have pictures to look back on and remember how good it felt to truly take care of yourself.

We know. This is a bit idealistic. Most of us can hardly fit in one of these activities, let alone all of them. Think of this as a permission list, not a "to do" list. You have our permission to do as many of these things as your schedule will allow!


Hair & Makeup

Please arrive at The Crown A Hair & Makeup Boutique (235 Main St South Berwick, ME) at your scheduled time with a clean face and clean/dry hair. This typically takes an hour. Our makeup artist will ask you about the look you wish to achieve when you arrive. The fee for your beauty service is included in your boudoir package, but if you love the way you look, it's customary to tip your beauty professional.


After hair & makeup, you’ll proceed to Mercy Street Studio. When you arrive we will discuss your ideas or preferences & you'll change into your first outfit. You can expect to spend approximately 40 minutes at our studio during which time we will capture a sufficient amount of images to create a comprehensive gallery for you. 



If you’re nervous and feel awkward and imperfect, you are like 99.9% of our clients. We will pose, and direct you in ways that will be flattering to you and enhance your (and your partner's) favorite parts of your body. Feel free to practice poses you like at home in front of the mirror or check your facial expressions using a selfie camera. You may even want to stretch before coming to your session. It’s a little known fact that boudoir poses feel awkward and can be challenging to get into, and hold. Don’t be surprised if you are sore after your session. However, no shot is worth an injury, if something we are asking you to do hurts, stop and we will move on.



Try not to stress about wardrobe. We recommend trying outfits on at home, with heels, in front of a mirror to determine which outfits you wish to wear. That way we don’t waste time trying to figure out what you like best. If you cannot decide, you may bring 3-4 outfits and we will help you choose when you arrive.


Try to choose items that fit properly and flatter your figure. We all have areas we like and dislike about ourselves, we will pose you to enhance the areas you like and minimize the areas that aren’t your favorite.


If you aren’t a lingerie person, don't worry! A clingy tank top and panties, his buttondown shirt, a cardigan sweater, or just a white sheet can be sexy. The options are limitless. What’s important is that you feel sexy in what you are wearing; that is what will shoot well. We do not provide wardrobe.


Remember to bring some sexy heels. Remember to remove all tags from clothing (even the sewn on ones), watches, fitbits, & hair ties from your wrists prior to shooting. If you have an engagement or wedding ring, bring those. Brides, bring veils or other bridal accessories.


Editing & Wardrobe

The key to great images is to get the shot as close to perfect in camera and use editing to enhance the photograph.


Please do not wear clothing that is ill fitting and expect us to "fix it in Photoshop". While we will smooth skin, there are limits to what we can and will do. Please avoid clothing that pinches the skin, wrinkled clothing, clothing that digs in and rolls because it is too small, and tops that are too big and gape. Also, if you really dislike a part of your body, try to choose an outfit that that covers that part. Finally, please have realistic expectations.



We have seen it all; nudity doesn't phase us. We will shoot to our client's comfort level, which generally evolves throughout the session. We are happy to photograph implied nudity using fabric, hands, arms and angles to cover your most private parts, or overt nudity. We will allow you to direct how much you want to show. 


Tan lines & Skin Discoloration

If you have tan lines, they will show in your pictures. While we are skilled at retouching, skin tone matching is a tremendously laborious task and not included in our retouching services. We can even it out a little but removing them completely is a no can do. If it that is bothersome to you, try getting a really good professional sunless tan (we do not recommend self tanning applications, as skin can end up discolored, uneven, and dark [often orange] in creases). 


Anxiety – The Secret Session Killer

Everyone feels nervous before their session. It is totally normal. Once we start shooting, those nerves will fade away and you will actually have fun! Nervousness and anxiety can manifest in odd ways: spotting, early monthly visitor, nausea, irritated bowels, sleeplessness, acne breakouts, and the list goes on. Please do not freak out and cancel your appointment. You will be fine, we will have fun and the images will come out great! You’re going to love this experience!

In these Covid-times, PLEASE reschedule your session if you have ANY symptom of ANY illness.

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