Today I wanted to go over my thought process and my steps for when I am styling and photographing boudoir. How fun right?
I make sure once my client books to send her my questionnaire through Honeybook (Photographer friends if you are not using this program you are seriously missing out!). Within my questionnaire, my client answers everything I need to know to prep for a shoot.
When I first walk into my studio I always look for light conditions. Depending on the time of day that I shoot the natural light changes. I noticed right away there was this beautiful soft like streaming from the window and I instantly had a vision of my model posing with the light ever so slightly hitting her body in all the right areas.
The first thing I needed to do was to grab my sheer curtain to make the lighting even softer for when my client was facing towards the window…aaahh Perfect!
Next, it is time to set up the vibe. I knew my model was going to be wearing her red wig so I grabbed this beautiful green velvet chair because the contrast between the two colors would be so beautiful! I placed the chair indirectly of the window to the side vs right in front of the window because I wanted there to be deep side shadows hitting her body and face. Since she was covered in tattoos I wanted her to be nude, lingerie would take away from the effect of the shoot and I wanted her tattoos to be showcased better, and therefore I needed shadows to hit her naked body in all the right ways!
The chair was not enough. I was going for Poison Ivy vibes, the red hair, the green couch, and the final touch plants. I placed plants all around the couch to add dimension to the photos. I made sure to place plants in front of the window to help cast shadows.
There was something still missing when I was taking practice shots without my model of the setup I had created. I needed more texture and shine within my photo. So this is when I brought in my satin silver bed sheet, pattern pillow, and my room divider from World Market as a backdrop to the set.
It was perfect!
I shoot with a Nikon D800. To achieve the look I wanted in dim lighting I had my camera settings to 1/320 sec at f/ 2.2, ISO 640 with my lens at 35.0mm f/1.4.
When my model arrived I instructed her to take her left knee and step on the chair, leave the right leg down so we can see both legs and feet, then look back at me while pulling your shoulder towards your chin. By doing this it arched her back to create shadows on the arch of her back and creating light to hit her face, chest to arm, and hip. Her body looks so flattering in this position and it is also showcasing her beautiful tattoo artwork.
I chose to edit with Candy Shop from Boudoir Tones because it doesn’t tone the vibrant colors but enhances them and also makes her skin tone look so beautiful.
I hope seeing my process helps you when it comes to your next boudoir shoot!