People Over 50 Stripped Down For A Boudoir Shoot — And Everyone Needs To See These Pics

"There are many photos of me as a daughter, wife, friend, aunt, co-worker and so on. But nothing that documented me putting myself first."

Spending time on social media, you might think boudoir photography is reserved for people below a certain age with a certain type of body. But these days, more and more people in their 50s, 60s and beyond are taking part in intimate portrait sessions.

Boudoir photography often captures an individual’s or couple’s sensual side, but the images may also showcase other parts of themselves, like their joy, resilience, empowerment, connection or an appreciation of their body.

Cultural messaging would have you believe that qualities like beauty and sex appeal diminish as you age. But we know the truth: People of all ages can be beautiful, erotic and strong. And for many folks, getting older only magnifies these qualities.

Here are 18 stunning boudoir images featuring people over the age of 50. Below, they explain what drew them to boudoir photographs and what effect the photo shoot had on them.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length. The age listed is age at the time of the shoot.

Tanya, 50
"I did the shoot as a birthday gift to myself for my milestone 50th. I wanted to do something I had never done before that would be an experience but would also leave me with something I could hold in my hands as a result of that experience.

"My boudoir shoot was, to this day, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. On my reveal day, when I was shown the first few photos, my first thought was that my files had been mixed up with someone else’s. I didn’t recognize myself ,and I mean that in the best way. It was an emotional moment to see my images, and I told my photographer, Jen, I now understood why she had the box of tissues on the coffee table in front of me.

"My mother was an actress and a model, and photo shoots were part of her job. She passed away when she was 50, and there was something about turning 50 myself that made me want to give this a try and feel what it might be like to be a 'model' for a day. I know the majority of boudoir shoots are a gift for a spouse or significant other. A friend of mine commented that I was brave for doing this shoot solely for myself and not as a gift for someone. I had to remind them that I am someone." – Tanya R.
Shalicia, 57, and Timothy, 59
"We found each other late in life – in our 50s – and it has been the greatest relationship either one of us has ever had. We wanted to 'memorialize' how deeply in love we are with each other.

"At one point during the shoot, our photographer, Stephanie, told Tim to 'act like it's a privilege to touch her.' He immediately snapped his head toward her and said, 'It IS a privilege!' Me and Steff both lost it at that declaration.

"It shows in our faces how much we love each other and, yes, want each other. We look at those pictures and see a beautiful memory that neither of us will ever forget." – Shalicia S.
Lisa, 55
"Originally the shoot was going to be a present for my husband, but it became a way to document the part of me that is sensual. Like many women, I spent a lot of my time and energy on others first, and COVID only multiplied what needed to be done.

"Also, too much of my adult life was preoccupied with not being attached to the sexual stereotype of Black women as Jezebels. It took therapy to realize being a fully functioning voluptuary is not shameful. Watching women like Beyoncé, Serena Williams and Rihanna fully take up space in the world convinced me to be proud of my body.

"This boudoir shoot was an opportunity to not just put the oxygen mask on me first but also have the luxury of someone doing my hair, makeup and create respectful images of my sensual nature. There are many photos of me as a daughter, wife, friend, aunt, co-worker and so on. But nothing that documented me putting myself first.

"The experience was exciting, frightening and joyful! I selected Jennifer as my photographer because her photos of women of color were beautiful — these women glowed. You may recall there was a controversy about photos that Annie Leibovitz did of Simone Biles; to me, Simone’s skin looked muted. That made me determined to find a photographer that would show me as luminescent.

"The session was several hours long but felt like a blur. As I changed outfits, I began to relax and follow Jennifer’s instructions because I felt safe and cosseted. I was able to see my photos later that day and was stunned — it was beyond what I expected. I looked beautiful, strong, sensual and joyful.

"At first I only showed a few pictures to some women I love and trust — all of them said I was stunning and were thrilled at me being daring. The new year after my shoot, I picked one of my favorite images and pinned it to the top of my Twitter account with the words, 'I am worthy. I am valuable. I am enough.' It’s there whenever I need a reminder." – Lisa S.
Margie, 61, and John, 64
"We chose to do the couples shoot because we recently reconnected after 42 years. We are having a great time getting to know each other again. Since we live five hours apart in two different states, we usually spend our free time camping, hiking and exploring new places. We felt that doing this shoot together would be another wonderful adventure on our 'adventure list.'

"I was a little nervous going into the shoot, but I trusted our photographer, Noel, to pick out outfits for me and to choose poses that seemed natural for us. We enjoyed the shoot; it was exciting and fun and certainly something we would not have done in our youthful years together. It made us feel closer since it was definitely a more intimate experience than what we have been doing since we reconnected earlier last year. I would recommend it to other couples in our age group." – Margie M.
Heather, 50
"For my 50th birthday, I wanted to push my own boundaries and do something special to celebrate such a milestone. I have battled low self-esteem for a good deal of my life, and there have been quite a few times when that prevented me from doing something that I might have otherwise enjoyed.

"Looking back now, I realize that Past Me was pretty amazing, and I regret that my low self-esteem held me back. I have always loved boudoir photography, and it was like a lightbulb went off when my photographer, Devon Rowland, started her Boudoir for All Bodies project. I was absolutely thrilled when I was able to secure a spot.

"Despite being excited about the shoot, I was going through some pretty intense turmoil in my personal life, and my mental health wasn’t in the best shape. To say that I was nervous and overthinking everything before the shoot would be an understatement. I had all the arguments with myself. Should I be doing this at all, let alone at my age? Would I be able to look past my cellulite and C-section scars? Would I be able to bare my body to the camera — and to myself? Would I actually like myself in any of the photos? Happily, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES.

"Devon and my makeup artist, Samantha Trionfo, made me look and feel amazing, and they both put me at ease right away. By the time the shutter started to click, I felt confident in my own skin. I have been able to keep a little of that confidence with me since then. I like to think that I reclaimed a little bit of myself that day." — Heather F.
Michael, 50, and Shannon, 43
"My wife was really keen on doing the shoot and researched several photographers. I stayed completely out of the process because I was honestly hoping she would get over it and decide not to do it. She found Allebach Photography and asked me to at least do a phone interview with Mike and then make an informed decision.

"Even after the interview, I had some reservations, mostly financial and modesty. I didn't want to be exposed and vulnerable. Short answer, I did it because it would make her happy, and I love her more than anything. Being in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for 17 years, I've pushed myself to engage in experiences I was unfamiliar and uncomfortable with but which turned out to be rather enjoyable and taught me valuable lessons. I hoped this shoot would turn out to be one of those experiences.

"I was anxious and fearful from the time the session was booked until our arrival at the studio. As I sat watching Shannon have her makeup done, my feelings began to turn. I watched my wife transform into this glamorous sexpot reminiscent of the starlets of Hollywood's Golden Age. She had always been beautiful to me, but this was the first time I'd seen her this way. I felt like the Grinch when his heart began to grow three sizes. I just sat and stared in awe as I watched her go through hair and makeup to the point where tears welled in my eyes.

"The actual shoot was fantastic due to the professionalism and gentle coaxing of Mike and Erika. They understood my anxiety and, with genuine empathy, allowed me to progress through the various settings and poses at my own pace. I was able to block out to a degree the photographers and just focus on my partner. By the end of the day, I was comfortable and proud of both of us for pushing ourselves into uncomfortable territory.

"By the time we left, I felt a natural high and an extremely elevated libido. The shoot brought a spark of passion we had been missing for a while. Whenever we feel life crowding us and the fire of passion dwindling, we can pull out our gorgeous album and blow some oxygen onto the embers of our love life." – Michael D.
Mary Beth, 64
"I decided to do the shoot when I was browsing a life coaching website in Tampa Bay. I read the testimonials by women who had already done boudoir sessions, and they were very empowering. I was looking for something to help get me out of my post-pandemic funk since I’d done the quarantining thing very well and needed some sort of a jump-start.

"It was a very positive and enjoyable experience. Since I’m an older, healthy but overweight woman that works in IT, the stereotypical picture that comes to mind is a semi-invisible frumpy, boring old woman. That’s not at all what I feel like inside my head or how I want to portray myself.

"I talked to Tami, the photographer, about the looks and feelings I wanted to project, what parts of my body I wanted to show off, what to de-emphasize and the overall theme, like Old Hollywood glamour, or sultry or quirky. She helped me plan flattering outfits and knew exactly how to pose me to make me look the best.

"The final pictures remind me who I am inside and give me a kind of confidence and power that I’d forgotten I had. I don’t even have to share them with anyone — looking at them reminds me that my outside body may be aging, but my spirit and inner self can still shine through. It’s made me a lot more confident in most everything and able to take on more things outside of my comfort zone." – Mary Beth S.
Lisa, 67, and Howard, 69
"Howard had mentioned he would like us to have professional pictures done. In the past, I had done solo boudoir and started looking up photographers in the Philly area. Mike Allebach's website really caught my eye, and he was running a model call, so I applied. He asked that we write why we wanted to win. My reason was that I thought mature boudoir was overlooked and that it could really open up a whole new audience. When I told Howard I had entered us into this contest, he looked at me as if to say, 'Yeah, right.' In my heart I just knew we would be chosen, and I was right!

"The shoot itself was so awesome, I still have to pinch myself to remind myself it was real. I felt so pampered! Our photographers, Mike and Erika, draw you in with the camera, and I felt that this was my chance to be beautiful, sensual and sexy. Every body type is art just waiting to be discovered. The shoot was freeing and empowering. It was easy to let out the woman within who longs to feel glamorous and desired. We have three photos blown up in the bedroom, and I am grateful every day that I had this experience." – Lisa S.
Tess, 57
"I work as a divorce coach, and I am always looking for new ways for my clients – and myself – to find empowerment, to be able to reclaim themselves after years of being wives, mothers etc. Those roles are wonderful, but they can be all-consuming. Rediscovering one’s sexiness, sensuality and beauty, after years of putting others first, is an amazing gift to give one’s self. I did this shoot for my own well-being, not necessarily to show anyone the photos.

"The experience was amazing. Over the course of the three to four hours, I could feel the body shame that I have lived with for decades lifting. I am not conventionally attractive, I carry some extra weight, and in the time with Jennifer and Kelly, I could feel all of that falling away. I found myself wearing only a black thong and 6-inch dancer heels and feeling magnificent. I was fully inhabiting my body for what felt like the first time since I was a child, loving every inch of it and feeling only acceptance and compassion for myself.

"I have carried this feeling since November when I did the shoot. The best all-natural antidepressant. And I cannot wait to do it again – maybe for my 60th birthday?" – Tess W.
Ivan, 51, and Anika, 46
"I did some photo shoots when I was a tennis player in my 20s. I ran into the old pictures, looking for things in my house, and I was like, 'Oh, wow, look at this!' And I thought it would be nice to see these pictures when I'm 80 or 90, the same way I was looking at my 20-year-old pictures now in my 50s. Then [my partner] Anika surprised me with the shoot as a birthday gift.

"Overall, we were a little nervous and a little on the shy side. Anika is more easygoing in that sense, so that did inspire me to get a little bit more into the session. It got better and better as time went by.

"Overall, it was a great experience. It really unified us. It did connect us more. And we felt that in the weeks after the shoot." — Ivan Q.
Darrah, 54, and Michael, 57
"This was actually our second experience doing a boudoir shoot. The first experience – which was with the same photographer – was extremely affirming to our relationship and incredibly fun. We determined before leaving the first shoot that it was something we would do again.

"The experience was exhilarating and empowering. Steff is a true professional who is able to get you to relax almost immediately. She is a master at posing and lighting, and we would absolutely do it again. For us, it was an experience of closeness and connectedness that will never be forgotten." – Darrah G.
Vera, 61
"I had thought about doing a boudoir shoot when I was 30, 40, then 50, and never did. Felt too self-conscious, though I had offers to do modeling in my 20s and 30s — no confidence and not much support around me at those times! Tragically, I lost my son the year before my 60th and went through a lot of changes, naturally. I thought, what am I waiting for? — really, who cares? I decided to do it and so glad I did!

"Joanna is a marvelous photographer. She made these shoots so much fun! She coached me on how to pose, was open to suggestions, had her own ideas and relaxed me. I had an absolute blast doing these. She helped me to see that I can feel beautiful just as I am and in any situation. This has been so very impactful that I told her that I want to do these every October, as a gift to myself, as long as we are both able. Luckily, she has agreed! I've done this three times and plan on doing it again this fall." — Vera E.
Michelle, 50
"I kept seeing posts about these boudoir shoots and was dying to do one but couldn’t get the nerve to actually do it. Then I was approaching my 50th birthday, and I really try and take care of myself, eat right and work out, and honestly, I’ve never really had amazing pics done, so I decided, why not? And I took the leap!

"During the shoot, I was freaking out at first. But within a few minutes, my photographer, Sindy, just made it so effortless that your nerves just vanish. It really is very liberating, and, in my case, I work hard to look my best, and this was like a prize for all the work and effort I put into taking care of myself. In fact, I’m going back again!" – Michelle I.
Michael, 52, and Hanna, 39
"We thought the experience would be sexy and fun, and neither of us had done anything like it before. We were not disappointed.

"We really enjoyed the experience with Stephanie, but it was really all about [my partner] Hanna and her enjoyment. She was pampered in the makeup and hair chair as she sipped on mimosas. Then slipped into sexy outfits and beautiful poses, which exuded confidence and had her smiling ear to ear for the remainder of the day. Stephanie was able to capture sensual and loving moments in time between Hanna and me that we can cherish forever." – Michael H.
Tambria, 55
"I wanted to celebrate the woman I had become and embrace where I was in life. It was more about the experience than the end result of the amazing photos.

"I have now done two boudoir photo shoots, each with a different focus, one more spicy than the other! It's all about loving and celebrating yourself. It is also one of the most fun and empowering things you can do. A skilled professional boudoir photographer will make you feel comfortable right from the start. I gained confidence in who I was as a woman at this stage of my life." – Tambria S.
Ryan, 56, and Maia, 47
"We happened to come across photographers Sam and Virginie’s website, and something about their work really appealed to us. It was more artistic, the fact that it was outdoors was unique, their pictures are absolutely beautiful and we thought it would be great to get some pictures with us together. We’re comfortable in our skins and generally try to stay in shape, so figured why not.

"I loved everything about the shoot and look back on it as a great day and experience that the two of us had together. We fit the photo shoot in as part of a weekend away, so it was part of a nice break from the day-to-day.

"Our photographers found a fantastic location — a deserted beach as the sun was coming up in the morning — and had us laughing and having a great time with everything. We both struggled a little bit with ‘posing’ for pictures, but the ones where we are just being ourselves turned out to be the best. I remember getting the rough images back and being surprised at how many amazing pictures we had. I look at them and can really see the connection between us.

"I can honestly say that one of my favorite pictures that Maia has ever taken came out of this. While I’m not going to share it with our parents or kids, she looks incredibly beautiful, but also so strong, confident and free putting herself out there." – Ryan
Noël-Marie, 51, and Dan, 59
"I had a bilateral mastectomy in December 2017. Due to various health concerns, I opted not to have reconstruction. While I was sure this was the best decision for me, I had a number of self-image issues in the years that followed. Not so much from the mastectomy as from other things that happened — weight gain, hair loss, scars after being hit by a car. Dan assured me I was beautiful, but I wasn’t convinced.

"I decided I wanted to have a boudoir shoot done after seeing photos that various women in one of my online support groups had done. When I heard that Allebach Photography did both single and couple shoots, I decided I wanted to go for it. I asked Dan if he’d go with me, and while I think he was a bit hesitant at first, he agreed.

"The experience was both nerve-wracking and wonderful. I was incredibly nervous leading up to it, especially about finding clothing that would look good on my new body. We both quickly relaxed into the photo shoot, probably because the photographers did such a great job making us feel comfortable. When we got to see the results of the shoot, I was amazed. Was that really me? We ended up buying lots of photos and now have them on display in our home. Most of them are in our bedroom, but a few are on display in other places where people can easily see them.

"We already had a strong relationship, and this just made it stronger. As much as I love the sexy photos, the pictures that show our love and trust of each other are even better." – Noël-Marie D.
Julie, 53
"I decided to do this photo shoot as part of a bigger life transformation and healing journey. Part of this journey has involved learning how to begin the process of healing from a very unhealthy relationship, which had left my self-esteem and confidence at rock bottom and my ability to speak up nonexistent. I had gone from an accomplished professional who managed to raise three incredible children to someone I barely recognized.

"Mid-2023, I had started to move out of my comfort zone, one activity at a time. Admittedly, the boudoir shoot was way out of my comfort zone! But I did it to show up for me. I committed to being brave and facing my fears, believing that I would find a more evolved version of myself on the other side.

"I’m not sure what it was about being in front of a camera and having someone draw confidence out of you, but it was so empowering that the impact is still there today." – Julie S.

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