Beach Boudoir Photo Shoots on Lake Michigan

White Shirt Beach Boudoir Photo Shoot Lake Michigan (4)

One of the most beautiful spots in Michigan is the lake shore along Lake Michigan. The crashing blue waves, warm sand beaches and orange-pink sunsets are a stunning backdrop for any photo shoot. Here are some tips and suggestions to make the most out of your boudoir beach shoot on the lake shore.

Top 5 Tips for a Beach Boudoir Photo Shoot

TIP #1: Scout Your Location

The most important thing when planning your photo shoot is to know where you are going to take photos. Having a vision in mind for the concept and styling will help you decide on your location. Are you looking for large areas of sandy beaches? Do you want to incorporate some of the green grass that grows along the lake shore? Or maybe more of the forests and trees? Some of the eroding sand areas make for awesome backdrops that remind you of the desert. Don’t forget the amazing lighthouses and piers that dot the Michigan lake shore all the way into the Upper Peninsula!

A second important part of planning your location is knowing where you can change outfits. You can do an entire photo shoot in just one outfit, but having multiple options with different backdrops will give you more variety in your photos! If you’re not able to find a place to change outfits at your chosen location, you can also use layers to create different looks and styles. A lacy cover-up, knit sweater, white shirt or even a flowing kimono-style robe are amazing options for layering.

TIP #2: To Makeup or Not to Makeup?

Should you wear makeup to your photo shoot? If you’re not planning on going into the water at all, then you can wear your normal daily makeup or even go bare-faced and beautiful. If you’re planning on entering the lake for photos and want to wear makeup, I suggest waterproof makeup. Waterproof mascara and a light waterproof lip tint are beautifully natural looking. False eyelashes are also a wonderful option. Be aware if you’re taking photos in direct sunlight that overly large lashes can cast long shadows on your face!

TIP #3: The Best Time of Day for Beach Boudoir

What is the best time of day to do your photo shoot? Honestly it really depends on your artistic vision! Sunset photos are absolutely gorgeous on Lake Michigan because of the stunning pink-orange sunsets that set behind the blue horizon. If you’re wanting more saturated colors of the sand and bright blues in the water, you would be better off taking photos at midday with the sun high in the sky. If you want to avoid any harsh shadows and work with soft, diffused light, you’d be best to schedule early in the morning or on an overcast day where the clouds create a beautiful softbox in the sky.

TIP #4: The Best Gear to Bring

My best tip for the gear to bring on a beach boudoir shoot is to KEEP IT SIMPLE! Don’t overly pack your bags! For one thing, sand gets EVERYWHERE. It’s a huge pain to clean all of your lenses and camera bodies after a beach shoot so keep your gear to a minimum. You also don’t want to chance anything falling into the water and getting destroyed. I suggest keeping it (at most!) to a couple of lenses, a backup camera body and a speedlight or small battery operated strobe.

A reflector is also a great tool to get the light right where you want it. Reflectors are a must have for a beach shoot. The inner diffusion material is great for keeping the bright sunlight off the subject’s face and the white, silver and gold sides are perfect for bouncing light right where you need it. I mostly use the white and silver sides but the gold side can be great for emphasizing a tan or at sunset.

TIP #5: Bring an Assistant

My last (and best!) tip is to bring an assistant! If you’re able to have someone tag along to help you during your shoot, I highly recommend it. An assistant is so helpful for holding your reflector or hanging onto your extra gear as you get near the shore line. I’ve nearly lost a number of cameras to those unexpected waves that come up and knock you over into the water! If you’re bringing a strobe along, an assistant is a must for helping you schlep your gear through miles of hot sand and holding onto your lightstand to prevent it getting knocked over by high winds.

Did you find these 5 tips helpful? Are you going to use these tips when planning your next beach boudoir shoot? What other suggestions do you have for someone planning their beach boudoir photo shoot?

Interested in booking a beach boudoir photo shoot with me? Message me to learn more!

Why I Photograph Boudoir

Why I Photograph Boudoir West Michigan Boudoir Photography Studio

I photograph boudoir because to me it’s the most beautiful and meaningful artistic form of photography. My mission as a boudoir photographer has always been to empower women to become more confident in themselves and to attract more positivity and affirmation into their daily lives. Empowering women by letting them take control of their own sexuality and bodies, master their sensuality, decide how they want to feel, how they want to look, and how they want to be seen, and learn to love themselves in an inclusive, judgement-free studio with a confidence-boosting experience. They should feel empowered, confident, excited, happy, beautiful in body and soul and spiritually-healed when they leave my studio. F*ck society’s standards and norms. I’m kicking the doors down and letting women free.⁠

My first boudoir experience was being photographed myself and that helped me to understand how important boudoir is. I spent a very long time hating on my body and not believing I was beautiful that stemmed from sexual abuse and a general lack of self-worth. Boudoir helped me to regain my confidence in myself and helped me begin a journey of healing and coming to love and appreciate my body rather than hating on it.

My assistant (and my mom!), Maria, was the perfect choice of boudoir photographer for me to come to understand what boudoir is all about. She was kind and complimentary throughout the entire shoot. If you’ve never met her, you don’t know how gentle she is and how cute and smiley. She’s the reason why I photograph boudoir and that atmosphere is one that I try to provide to every woman that comes into my studio, because it’s not easy to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. I want to create a safe space for every woman to come into herself and to open up and begin that journey towards self-love and confidence.

What makes you want to do a boudoir shoot? Send me an email from the Contact page, I’d love to chat with you!

Interested in learning more about a #MBPEmpower Boudoir Photo Shoot? Fill out the form below and I’ll send you all the info!

5 Myths about Boudoir Photography

5 myths about boudoir photography blog (2)
  1. Only people with excellent bodies should do it. I need to lose 10 lbs first. You don’t need to change! Love the you now. Doing a boudoir shoot will allow you to see how beautiful you ALREADY are. You don’t need to lose weight to love yourself. You just need to start now.
  2. You’ll hide what I don’t like and “photoshop” me to look beautiful. I’ll pose and light you to show you how gorgeous you already are. You don’t need to change what you look like. You just need to see yourself in a flattering pose and with flattering light that isn’t one of those terrible cell phone selfies that your friend took on a ladies’ night out that makes her look good but doesn’t flatter anybody else in the photo. Believe me, with a little professional guidance, you’ll see that you are as gorgeous as any magazine cover.
  3. It’s just sexy photos. Boudoir is about more than just taking sexy photos. You’ll definitely have those! But those are just the way to remember the experience. Boudoir photography is about teaching you to love yourself and your body. Women can often feel a sense of self-worth from their intelligence, their drive and their achievements, but it’s just as important to love who you are physically. It isn’t the only or most important part about you, but it is an important part. Ignoring or hating what you look like physically can prevent you from fully loving yourself and allowing yourself to live abundantly in joy.
  4. A boudoir shoot can only be done as a gift for a significant other. While a lot of women do a shoot as a gift for a lover and that’s a super sexy gift to give, it’s important to do it first for yourself. This is a gift for YOU. The gift of confidence, of love, of self-worth.

    I first learned about boudoir photography by doing a shoot for myself and it was the best gift I’ve ever given or received. It boosted my confidence and reminded me that my body was beautiful just how it was even at a time when I wasn’t willing to be kind to it. As women, it can be hard to not pick at all our flaws when we see so many images of how we “should” look. My boudoir shoot showed me that I was beautiful and unique and my flaws were just part of my story. It was truly the greatest and kindest gift I could ever give myself.

  5. It’s too expensive. Boudoir photography is an investment in rebuilding your self-worth. It’s about the experience of loving yourself enough to allow yourself to be pampered, to have a day celebrating who you are, and having reminders of the joy you found in loving yourself and being able to recreate the experience whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Interested in doing a boudoir photo shoot or learning more? Read the FAQs or Contact me to chat more at my studio and get all of your questions answered!

Interested in learning more about a #MBPEmpower Boudoir Photo Shoot? Fill out the form below and I’ll send you all the info!

New Flower Wall for the Boudoir Studio

Flower Wall Spring Lingerie Photo Shoot (2)

I absolutely adore the Spring in Michigan when flowers finally start to pop out of the ground and bloom into beautiful colors completely erasing any memory of Winter and the snow. I’ve had the makings of this gorgeous flower wall around forever, but recently cabin fever hit me hard during the Michigan Winter and I just had to make something to remind me that Spring is right around the corner.

Measuring a bit larger than 4 ft x 6 ft this flower wall took a LOT of flowers. Each individually hand-placed onto the backing. I did add a few extra rose garlands for interest and depth, but it took a lot of time and the help of my amazing assistant, Maria, to get everything in place. But the end result is well-worth the time and effort it took. I love the soft but bold colors and delicate look of the boudoir photos I’ve taken so far using it as a backdrop.

Some of the cool effects you can see in these photos are from differently shaped prisms I’ve collected over the years. Prisms are a great way to add fun miniature rainbows or even reflections and blurred special effects into your photography.

Want to be photographed on this gorgeous flower wall? Shoot me an email at hello@michelleburroughs.com or use the form on my Contact page.

Tips and Tricks for Your Boudoir Photo Shoot

Tips and Tricks for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

Here are my top tips and tricks for an amazing boudoir photo shoot:

  • Wear loose clothing to your photo shoot.

    This will prevent any lines from forming on your skin. Drinking plenty of water in the weeks leading up to your shoot will also give your skin that healthy, glowing look.
  • Bring 3-5 Outfits.

    Black is always classic but don’t be afraid of beautiful colors that flatter your complexion. Different textures (satin, lace, leather, etc.) and details also add interest. Don’t forget a pair of black and/or nude heels and a nude thong for a white sheets set! I’ve got a whole blog post about what to wear if you want more inspiration: https://michelleburroughs.com/what-to-wear-to-your-boudoir-photo-shoot/
  • Wax/Shave a few days before.

    If you don’t usually bother than don’t think you have to for your shoot, but if you do, do it a few days before so you don’t have those little red irritation bumps. The same applies to a spray tan or facial! If you don’t usually do them, then definitely don’t do one before your shoot, but if you do, make sure to get it done a few days ahead.
  • Bring fun props!

    While we definitely want the focus to be on you, it can be fun to add a couple of props to your shoot. Your wedding veil, garter, masks, handcuffs, leather jacket, your significant other’s favorite team jersey or button down shirt, etc. If you have a favorite hobby or something that really defines you as a person, definitely bring it!
  • Fresh polish, please!

    It seems like a minor detail but in close up photos can really make a difference! No chipped nail polish! Either do without entirely or add a fresh coat before your shoot. Neutral colors work best but if you’re into the colorful look, just make sure they match the colors of your outfits.
  • Don’t worry about being nervous!

    Just be confident that you are an amazing creature and you will have a fantastic experience.
Found these tips and tricks helpful? Sign up for my 7 Top Tips email and and I’ll send you even more tips for an amazing boudoir photo shoot that will have you looking forward to getting your photos taken.