Boudoir photography traditionally implies sensual and sexy and often in a bedroom setting. A clear definition can be found here. Something sexy and something sensual in a bedroom or “boudoir” environment and is usually shot in a luxurious setting or in a photographers studio. The term boudoir photography then suggests a genre that relies heavily on a setting and wardrobe, but rarely does a person talk about the lighting of this genre and how closely it resembles the basics of portrait photography,
Indeed, I could argue that boudoir photography is just a specialized subset of portrait photography. A close look at the lighting of both sets will reveal that they are essentially the same. Light shadow work using classic lighting patterns on the face and background lighting placed to balance the subject. Admittedly, there is much more attention in boudoir photography to body position than in a portrait photograph, but that is simply because portraits don’t deal with the entire body. However, the care and thought that goes into light positions for a particular individual is just as intensive as that done by the boudoir photographer.
I feel, you cannot be a complete boudoir photographer until you have understood and try to master the portrait lighting first. All photographer dealing with people are subsets of portrait photography.
One of my favouite genres is artistic photography where the entire body, or most certainly, more of the body than a portrait photo, is taken into consideration. Many, many artistic shots could be classified as boudoir, if the elements of sexy or sensual are considered as part of the criteria for boudoir. In the photo below, we have sexy, sensual elements as well as a sexy wardrobe ( being a piece of material ). This style pf photography I like to call Boudoir Portrait Photography. It has all of the elements of traditional boudoir, minus the setting. Put this subject on a bed or on a sofa in a beautiful room and you have boudoir. I will admit that having a a beautiful setting to shoot in will add another element to add to the story of the photograph, but if you do not master the story of the eyes and capture that as one would in a portrait shot, then your boudoir photography will not stand up.
So, practice your portrait lighting and learning ho to bring out the story of your subject through their eyes and expressions before moving onto the other genres. discipline will make you a professional portrait photographer..