1920s Boudoir Photography: The exciting rise of Boudoir

The 1920s was a significant era for photography, largely due to the growing popularity of boudoir photography. The term “boudoir” comes from the French word for a woman’s private bedroom or sitting room, and the photos were meant to capture the beauty and sensuality of the female form in a tasteful way.

Today, 1920s boudoir photography is still popular, as it is a way to display sensuality in an ancient style, and many photographers specialize in this style. The photos are often used for artistic purposes or as a way for women to celebrate their bodies and feel empowered. Here, we will give you an outline of how to start getting into 1920s boudoir photography!

The Art Form of 1920s Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography emerged as an art form in the 1920s, capturing the beauty and sensuality of women in intimate settings. It was a time when women broke free from traditional roles and embraced their sexuality, and boudoir photography reflected this newfound liberation.

The term “boudoir” comes from the French word for a woman’s private dressing room or bedroom. Boudoir photography captures the essence of this intimate space, creating a mood of sensuality and romance. It is a celebration of beauty, femininity, and confidence.

In the 1920s, boudoir photography was often done in black and white, giving it a timeless, classic feel. The use of soft lighting and shadows created a sense of mystery and intrigue. Women were often posed in lingerie or partially nude, but the focus was on their natural beauty rather than overt sexuality.

Today, boudoir photography remains a popular art form, with many women embracing the opportunity to celebrate their beauty and sensuality. It is a chance to capture a moment in time and create a lasting memory of self-love and confidence.

Historical Context

The 1920s were known for significant social and cultural changes. The term “golden 20s” reflects this as well. The rise of the flapper culture, the prohibition era, and the emergence of jazz music are some defining characteristics of this period. The 1920s also saw the beginning of a new era in photography with the introduction of new techniques and equipment.

World War II Influence

The influence of World War II on boudoir photography cannot be ignored. During the war, many soldiers carried photos of their wives or girlfriends with them as a way to stay connected to their loved ones. This increased demand for boudoir photography as women sought to create intimate and personal images for their partners. And you can bet that they were really happy having such a nice souvenir of their loved one.

1920s boudoir photography

Techniques and Styles

Boudoir photography in the 1920s was about capturing a woman’s intimacy and sensuality in her private space. Here are some techniques and styles that can help you recreate the look and feel of 1920s boudoir photography.


As always, lighting makes the whole difference when it comes to photography. To achieve the 1920s look, you must use soft, diffused lighting to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. A popular lighting technique used in the 1920s was the “Rembrandt lighting” technique. This technique involves placing the light source at a 45-degree angle to the model’s face, creating a triangle of light under the eye on the shadow side of the face.

Another popular and the most easy lighting style in the 1920s was the use of natural light. Photographers would often shoot their models near a window or a door, using the soft, diffused light to create a natural and intimate atmosphere.


Styling is another crucial aspect of 1920s boudoir photography. The style of the 1920s was all about glamour and sophistication. To achieve this look, you need to use vintage props and accessories, such as feather boas, pearls, and long gloves.

The clothing worn by the models in 1920s boudoir photography was often elegant and sophisticated. Silk nightgowns, lace lingerie, and fur coats were popular choices. The hairstyles of the 1920s were also an essential part of the look. Finger waves, bobs, and pin curls were popular styles. So if you’re looking to recreate your own 1920s boudoir photography, try to get your hands on some of these items!

Beauty and Femininity

When it comes to 1920s boudoir photography, beauty and femininity are two important aspects that are often highlighted. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to these topics:

Beauty Standards

During the 1920s, the beauty standards were quite different from what we see today. Women during this time were expected to have a slim and boyish figure, with a flat chest and narrow hips. This was achieved through the use of corsets, which were gradually being phased out in favor of more comfortable undergarments.

In terms of facial features, a pale complexion was considered desirable, as it was a sign of wealth and leisure. Women would often use powder to achieve this look, and dark lipstick was also popular.

Hair and Makeup

When it comes to hair and makeup, the 1920s were a time of dramatic change. Women began to cut their hair short in a style known as the “bob,” which symbolized liberation and modernity. Makeup also became more widely accepted, with women using rouge, lipstick, and eye shadow to enhance their features.

When it comes to boudoir photography, these trends can be incorporated in a variety of ways. For example, a model might wear a flapper-style dress and a short, sleek bob with bold makeup to match. Alternatively, a more subtle look might be achieved with a loose updo and natural-looking makeup.

Overall, the beauty and femininity of the 1920s can be a great source of inspiration for boudoir photography. Whether you want to embrace the bold, dramatic styles of the era or create a more understated look, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Empowerment and Self-Love

Boudoir photography is all about empowering individuals and promoting self-love. It encourages you to embrace your beauty and flaws and to celebrate your unique body. The photoshoots provide a safe space for you to express your sexual energy, embrace your sensuality, and boost your confidence.

Through boudoir photography, you can explore your body in a new way and appreciate it for what it is. The images captured during the shoot can remind you of your beauty and strength, boosting your self-esteem and empowering you to feel confident in your skin.

By embracing your sexuality and sensuality, you are taking control of your body and your life. You are celebrating your unique identity and expressing your true self. This can be a powerful tool for self-love, as it allows you to embrace all aspects of yourself and feel confident in your own skin.

Whether you are doing a boudoir photoshoot for yourself or for a loved one, the experience can be transformative. It can help you see yourself in a new light and appreciate your body for what it is. So, if you want to boost your confidence and promote self-love, consider trying boudoir photography!

Our Opinion on 1920s Boudoir Photography

Boudoir Photography is really one of the most empowering and influential photography styles of the last century. That’s why we dedicated it a whole category in our blog, after all!

The 1920s had a really unique and old-fashioned style, and it’s a great way to play around with the decades when doing an old-school boudoir photoshoot. However, boudoir photography evolved and is much more sensual and more accessible to the public. In our opinion, every woman (and man, too!) should try a boudoir photoshoot. It will greatly improve your self-confidence and can make for a nice little gift for your significant other!

If you want to dig deeper into Boudoir, have a look at our articles about it:

Also, consider following us on our Socials to stay up-to-date with the latest photography trends!

What is the history of boudoir photography?

Boudoir photography has existed since the early 1900s, but it took off in the 1920s. During this time, women began to embrace their sexuality, and boudoir photography became a way for them to express themselves. These photographs were usually taken in a bedroom or other intimate setting and were meant to be sensual and alluring.

What are some popular styles of 1920s boudoir photography?

The 1920s was a time of glamour and sophistication, and this was reflected in the style of boudoir photography. Popular styles included soft focus, which created a dreamy, romantic look, and chiaroscuro, which used light and shadow to create dramatic effects.

What is the difference between glamour photography and boudoir photography?

Glamour photography is usually more focused on creating a glamorous, high-fashion look, while boudoir photography is more intimate and personal. Boudoir photography is often taken in a bedroom or other intimate setting, while glamour photography can be taken in a variety of settings. Additionally, boudoir photography often involves more nudity or semi-nudity than glamour photography.

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