The History of Boudoir Photography


The popularity of boudoir photography has been picking up over the last few years, but there are still people that consider sensual images of women taboo or inappropriate. To understand why boudoir is a beautiful art form you must know its history.


Humans have been depicting the female form since the start of time. From the early cave paintings to the renaissance masterpieces.  Modern boudoir got its start in the 1920s when cameras first became affordable and easy to use. Kodak's marketing strategy back then was (“You press the button, we do the rest,”). In the 1920s for the first time photography was democratised, the second time being now with smartphones and apps. With photography being so easy everyday people started experimenting with this new meduim and art forms. So of course some people staring photographing the female form even though depending on where you lived in the world nude or overly sexual photographs were seen as an illegal pornographic activity.  This drove this style of photography underground and even now these early photographs are seen to some as pornographic in nature and not the a modern interpretation of one of the oldest art forms and the beginning of an modern art form.


In the 1940s focus moved away from underground experimental nude photography and into mainstream pinup. The pinup girls of the 1940s were curvy and wear corsets and men’s clothing, this also when props starting being used.

In 1960s and 1970s glamour photography started to become more accepted by the artistic community and society.  This could be due to the women’s rights movement and the movement to end demonizing women’s sexuality. Also during this time glamour and beauty photographs started being featuried in mainstream magazines more. By the end of the 1970s glamour photography was accepted as a professional art.


Since the 1920s a lot has changed. Once illegal and taboo activities, such as same-sex relationships and marriage are now accepted by most of society. While boudoir photography has come a long way from its beginnings, there are still negative opinions of boudoir photography.  If only take one thing away from this let it be don’t let the pasts negatively hinder you. Posing for boudoir portraits is for all women. It’s not size or shape exclusive. Keep in mind nudity is not a requirement. Boudoir photography is meant to show a woman’s true beauty. If you feel great and sexy who cares what other people might think.