In this article we’re going to look at three of the most popular boudoir kneeling poses and show how they can add variety to your shoot. Kneeling poses are great for featuring the curve of the back and the curve of the booty and today we’re going to describe how to do just that.
1. The Seated Kneel
This seated kneeling pose is both sexy and coquettish. Since it emphasizes the arch of the back down to the shapely curve of the booty it’s best your subject fashion a bra and bottoms so that sinewy line is exposed.
Doing this pose in something like a slip, robe, or shirt will hide the “S” curve of her back which gives this pose its impact.
Have your subject rest her bottom onto her heels but don’t have her sink down onto them. You want most of her weight supported with her thigh muscles to give her body a little buoyancy.
Instruct her to lean forward a bit and arch her back, resting her hands on her thighs or tugging at her bra straps.
Shoot this in profile or (as I prefer) angled just off center from a profile a little from behind. Now, have her turn her head back towards you in a flirtatious over-the-shoulder look.
If she closes the gap between her chin and shoulder, she’ll come off as coy and coquettish looking into camera or have her gaze down her body.
Shot from this angle the pose will emphasize the curve of her back and bottom.
Anonymous From the Back
Shooting this pose dead-center from the back will render your model anonymous since she’s facing away from camera.
Anonymous shots are always good to capture since some clients will not let you publicly display images in which they’re recognizable but might be okay with ones they can’t be identified in.
The pose from this angle emphasizes on the back, waist, and booty.
2. On Hands and Knees
A suggestive pose for obvious reasons, these next few kneeling poses will dial up the heat of her images.
The Table Top
Direct her onto her hands and knees in table top fashion on a bed with her head at one end, feet at the other.
A bed will be more comfortable for her than the floor, but if she’s sinking too much into it you may want to try the floor but choose which option works best.
An Aside Here To Male Boudoir Photographers
I must admit, when I first started directing clients into this pose I was a little gun shy. After all, since I am a male photographer the male to female dynamic is different than that of female to female.
I would approach it cautiously by asking, “Do you want to try something a little more risqué?”
I soon realized though that my hesitation, or rather trepidation, in suggesting this pose was affecting the way they felt about it.
In an effort to not “offend” them by introducing this admittedly more sexually suggestive pose, I was actually sabotaging the whole thing.
What I soon realized was that the more nonchalant I was, suddenly there was no stigma attached to it anymore.
Also, the more confident I became through shooting more women, the more I trusted myself that I knew what I was doing and this confidence projected itself onto my clients.
So now I’ll say something like, “Okay, why don’t you get on your hands and knees there on the bed like a table top. Head at this end, feet at that end.”
Since I have no hesitation about it any more, they have no hesitation either.
We have to remember that we are the professionals, the experts in this genre. Most of our clients have probably never done a boudoir shoot before and they’re looking to us for our guidance and expertise.
It’s also stated in my contract that if the client ever feels uncomfortable with a pose they must speak up. So, they know going into the shoot they can opt out of anything that’s not to their liking.
If after they get into the pose, you’re sensing some hesitation or weirdness in the air, just talk to them.
“Hey, I sense you’re a little uncomfortable.”
Then take what they say and adjust accordingly.
A lot of it is going to come down to your personality, your vibe, and how you interact with women at all levels and facets of your life.
If you act in a professional manner, have pure intentions and no hidden agenda, take pride in your work, and in general, just like working with people then you’ll do just fine.
If, on the other hand, you don’t… then you’re setting yourself up for a fall.
I shoot boudoir because I truly love the art form, working with women, and showing how beautiful and sexy they truly are when a lot of them have a hard time believing that themselves.
Okay, enough on that but I felt it was important to address because if I was feeling this way, I imagine there are others out there who are feeling similar, and probably some female photographers as well.
I decided a while ago that I was going to try and share stuff that doesn’t get talked about much or that gives me pause even revealing.
So, instead of avoiding the issue all together, I thought I’d share what I had been feeling and how I resolved it and in so doing, add some insight and value to how you can approach similar situations.
Okay, Back to the Table Top Pose
So, based on their level of enthusiasm or hesitation, you can get a sense of what they’ll be comfortable with going forward.
Be sure to cover this pose from different angles and distances as well.
Shot From the Front
Shooting from the front with her head towards camera, angle yourself at about 45 degrees to capture her face, with the arch of her back and booty curve falling out of focus behind her.
Looking into camera or with eyes closed works well here.
Turning Up the Heat
For added sizzle, have her grip the sheets with both hands (if on a bed), close her eyes, then have her take a deep breath through a slightly open mouth. Take the shot while she’s inhaling.
Turning Up the Heat Even More
For an even spicier shot, have her collapse her upper body down onto her forearms or even flat, outstretched in front of her. This will increase the slope of her back which amps up the pose even more.
Her head, resting on the bed, can either be turned towards camera or away from it. Both are effective in their own way.
The Anonymous Shot
Getting an anonymous capture from this pose is easy, just direct the subject to rest her head on the bed facing away from camera.
You can also grab an anonymous shot shooting from behind off axis about 45 degrees. Shooting from this perspective gives you the opposite angle (toe to head) that shooting from in front gives you (head to toe).
3. Kneeling With Furniture
This third kneeling pose can work with the edge of a bed, an ottoman, the back of a couch or settee, or even a chair.
Edge of Bed
Have your subject kneel on the floor at either the side of the bed or at the foot of the bed with her upper body resting on top — so she’s half on, half off.
If the bed is low enough she’ll be able to rest her stomach on the bed, if not, just her arms and head. In either case, find a point where she can arch her back with her shins either resting flat on the floor or with knees bent and toes pointed upward.
If you don’t have a bed you can easily adapt this pose using an ottoman, couch, settee, or chair.
This is an easy pose to do anonymously since your subject can simply turn her head away from camera, or have her hair fall down to cover her face if it’s long enough.
To add another level of intensity, direct your subject to grab the sheets, edge of ottoman, couch, or settee with both hands, close her eyes and take a deep inhalation through the mouth — clicking away as she does so.
Having her inhale through the mouth will not only “lift” the entire pose but also infuse it with an energy that otherwise would be missing from the shot.
Try it yourself, right where you’re sitting. It’s almost impossible to take a deep inhale through the mouth and not have your body rise up a bit. It also aids in arching the back as well.
To wrap things up, try these three popular kneeling poses for boudoir next time you have a subject in front of your camera. They will add variety to your session and they’re also fun for the client.
- The seated kneel on bed or floor
- Kneeling on hands and knees
- Kneeling with furniture
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Thanks for your time!
Founder / Lounge Boudoir
Bella Mitri Boudoir