For some reason I always have mixed feelings about Boudoir Photography.
On the one hand, I absolutely love these shoots. I love sensual, sexy images that I produce with my clients and models. I love seeing beautiful women (I’m very straight and married, just in case you start wondering here) wearing their most beautiful lingerie, sexy outfits and shoes. There’s something absolutely magical about these photo shoots.
On the other hand, when I introduce myself as a pro photographer, no matter who I am talking to, I always deliberately avoid mentioning that I do Boudoir Photography. I don’t know why. It’s not like it’s something bad, but it’s just… You know, Beauty & Fashion Photography – legit! Boudoir & Glamour Photography – meh!… I don’t know why, and I can’t explain that.
But regardless of what I think about it, I still get client requests and I still love shooting it. Not very often, but sometimes a couple of times a month. And because I do other types of photography in between Boudoir shoots, I always feel like I may have lost my touch, so I need to prepare and pre-visualize my upcoming shoot the night before and also in the morning right before I head in.
I also always bring my inspiration & reference shots on my iPad or iPhone to the shoot, so we can look through them together with the client and pick the poses or themes right on the spot. I do always discuss what we’re shooting with my clients prior to the shoot, but everything can change at any moment if we find a cool idea, an awesome prop or just decide to wing it right at the shoot.
I always use my Pinterest board “Sensual - Boudoir Photography” (feel free to use it too if you like, I keep adding pictures to it) to get inspired and help my clients come up with ideas, but I purchased Kathy Honeybourne’s (Toronto, Canada) Boudoir Lighting and Posing Guides in 2012 and I was blown away how much it helped me to get into the right mind set and execute a better shoot EVERY TIME!
Boudoir Lighting Guide – PDF with 66 pages with lighting diagrams, techniques, ideas, common mistakes, etc. GREAT STUFF!
Posing Guide 1 - hundreds of pages with poses and tips on how to pose your client/model and take the best boudoir shots. This guide consists of JPEG files, so you can upload them to your iPhone or iPad (that’s what I did) and take with you to your shoots.
Posing Guide 2 - more of the great stuff! Over a hundred poses in JPEGs and an additional PDF on flattering poses, dealing with problem areas, creating curves when needed, creating a variety of looks with minimal changes to client’s pose (you will shoot more material for the client quicker – value your time!), and a whole lot of quality tips on top of that!
And then of course I use my favorite RADLAB plugin recipes for adding beautiful colors in post-production – this is a must have color-grading tool for photographers, I absolutely love and support it.
Here are some of my client boudoir shoots for which I prepared with Kathy’s pose guides and applied my RadLab recipes:
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Amazing educational and inspirational sources for any photographer specializing in Boudoir photography or even just mainly shoots for female clients: