Often times when you don't take an interest in a particular subject most will group different genres into the same category. This is especially true for photography, for example swimwear, glamour, boudoir, fashion and even pinup, to some might appear to be the same and while the style and look of some of these images can be difficult to categorize, it's the overall purpose of the images that will set them apart.
In the case of Glamour vs Boudoir, even an individual Google search will deliver some very similar image results, so let's start with how they are defined.
1. the quality of fascinating, alluring, or attracting, especially by a combination of charm and good looks.
2. excitement, adventure, and unusual activity: the glamour of being an explorer.
3. magic or enchantment; spell; witchery.
4. suggestive or full of glamour; glamorous: a glamour job in television; glamour stocks.
1. a woman's bedroom or private sitting room.
Though often crossing over into glamour, the genre of boudoir photography is not just about the final image(s) created, but about the premise behind why someone opts to hire a boudoir photographer as well as who the images are intended for, which can vary. Boudoir is similar to glamour but is often about showcasing fantasy that is often steeped very much in reality, as these images are very often gifts for significant others or for the clients own benefit. Commercially the genre is often (though not exclusively) derived from a market for brides to surprise their future husbands by gifting the images on or before their wedding day. Other motivations or inspiration for boudoir photography shoots include anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, weight loss celebrations, other forms of body change or alteration (such as breast augmentation or reduction) and for servicemen and women overseas. For a brief moment in time, a boudoir client is a glamour model, in front of the camera, creating fantasy.
Glamorous Boudoir ?
It's a fine line on the surface...
Boudoir Photography is typically shot in a photographer's studio or luxury hotel suites, it has become fashionable to create a set of sensual or sexually suggestive images of women (and occasionally men and couples) in "boudoir style". The most common manifestation of contemporary boudoir photography is to take variations of candid and posed photographs of the subject partly clothed or in lingerie. photographic style featuring intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects, primarily intended for the private enjoyment of the subject and his or her romantic partners. It is distinct from glamour and art nude photography in that it is usually more suggestive rather than explicit in its approach to nudity and sexuality, features subjects who do not regularly model, and produces images which are not intended to be seen by a wide audience, but rather to remain under the control of the subject. Nudity is more often implied than explicit.
Glamour photography is all about fantasy, as I've stated, and specifically sexual fantasy. That said, glamour is not - let me say it again - is not like pornography. It is easily one of the most vilified and stigma'd genres in photography, and the one genre that provokes the most displeasure from its critics. Difficult to define and even harder to describe to someone accurately, one could also argue that it's the one photography category with the most people, mostly men, who are involved "for all the wrong reasons". In this genre the subjects are portrayed in erotic poses ranging from fully clothed to nude. The term may be a euphemism for erotic photography. For glamour models, body shape and size is directly related to success. This type of photography is more commonly known as "cheesecake" for women and "beefcake" for men. Glamour photography is generally a composed image of a subject in a still position. The subjects of "glamour" photography for professional use are often professional models, and the photographs are normally intended for commercial use, including mass-produced calendars, pinups and men's magazines but amateur subjects are also sometimes used, and sometimes the photographs are intended for private and personal use only. Photographers use a combination of cosmetics, lighting and airbrushing techniques to produce an appealing image of the subject.
Conversely, Boudoir Photography has a very positive and empowering effects for it's subjects, with posing that is more relaxed and flowing.
Obviously, I could go on and on about the differences between these types of photography but for now I hope this helps give a little more understanding and separation concerning these specific styles of photography...
Here are some old, very old and some not that old glamour samples of mine...