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Should You Tan Before Your Boudoir Photo Session?

implied nude detail photo of legs and torso in a bedsheet during knoxville boudoir session / knoxville boudoir photography / photo by knoxville boudoir photographer rosewood boudoir / see more at


To tan or not to tan...that is the question. You'll likely get different answers from different boudoir photographers. It's important to follow the advice of your boudoir photographer because they will know what will and won't look good with their style of boudoir. There are reasons to tan, for sure. Everyone loves beautiful sun kissed skin.

I recommend not tanning before your boudoir session. Boudoir is all about being confident and celebrating how you look in your own skin - just as you are.

You don't need to change anything to look gorgeous in your boudoir photos. Your skin is beautiful as it is. Plenty of drinking water, professional makeup, warm studio light, and my style of editing will give you that natural glow that you want to see in your boudoir photos.

Tanning before a boudoir session has a lot of risks associated with it from sunburn to tan lines to streak marks. There's also the chance of a disastrous tanning experience that will leave you looking like an oompa loompa from Willy Wonka or Ross from that hysterical Friends episode.

If you do not normally tan, right before your boudoir session is absolutely NOT the time to start!

Tanning for the first time before your boudoir session is kind of like getting a brand new haircut right before picture day. It's just not a good move.

That being said, if you do tan regularly, or if you really want to tan before your session, here are a few things to consider.


The biggest consideration with sun tanning is burns and tan lines. Most bathing suits cover more of your skin than your lingerie will, so if you have tan lines, they will definitely show up in your photos. While I do what I can to tone down tan lines in the editing process, editing won't make them disappear completely.

When sun tanning, it can be easy to get darker than you mean too rather quickly. No one intentionally gets sunburned, but it happens to us all. I'd hate for it to happen to you right before your boudoir session!

If you're still set on laying in the sun, I recommend tanning no less than 3 days before your session to minimize redness or burns.


This is a very affordable way to get a tan, but it comes with its own set of issues.

Often these self tanners can be streaky and can leave the creased areas of your skin (like elbows and knees) with dark patches.

They can also stain your lingerie or my bedsheets if you sweat during your session and there is still some color that hasn't fully soaked in.


This is probably your safest option if you want to tan, but I still don't recommend it. Even professional spray tans can still rub off on lingerie and bedsheets if it hasn't had enough time to fully set.

If you go this route, be sure to follow all the advice of your tanning professional as far as exfoliating and showering to get the best results possible.

If you really want to get a spray tan, I suggest you go for a natural tan in only a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone.

To be safe, go get tanned less than 4 days before your session.


You don't have to get a tan before your session and I honestly don't recommend it. Just come as you are. You are beautiful in your natural skin without changing a thing. I promise your photos will definitely show it!


If you haven't already, you can book your session here today!


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