I shoot a lot of boudoir. A lot. You may find that surprising, as I have only shared a handful of these intimate images online. I take my client’s privacy very seriously and most of my lovely ladies prefer to not have their images shared. That being said, a big “thank you” to my lovely model, Kate, who you’ll see down below.
Kate’s boudoir session was a night-time session. There is a total absence of natural light in these photographs. I’ve chosen a selection that demonstrate some of the different lighting and post-process techniques we commonly apply with these intimate images: Bounce flash, continual lighting, ambient lighting and high key all lend a different feel to the resulting exposure. My personal preference is having access to natural light to leverage as I choose. However, sometimes that isn’t an option.
Here Kate is shot using a soft box for directional lighting and a speedlite bounced on the ceiling. The incandescent lamp in the background gives off a soft, warm glow that adds to the cosy ambience without disrupting the light I’m leveraging. Kate’s lipstick color has been changed to compliment the lace of her negligee using a deeper red on a 2nd layer with the ‘soft light’ blend mode.
Here I’m using only continual light from the soft box. The effect is somewhat more dramatic and the color temperature cooler.
Again, this is shot using only continual light from a single soft box and the converted to B&W in post process. I prefer conversions with high key/heavy contrast for boudoir photography.
Here we are shooting with both a bounced flash and soft box. The soft box is closer to Kate in this frame than in the previous set. The light is reflecting off of the bedspread and helping fill shadows, as well.
Soft box and bounced flash…
Here Kate is shot using only a soft box, though the ambient light from the nightstand lamp is filling shadows on camera left.
Soft box and bounced flash. This time the speedlite is being bounced at an angle from the wall behind me. It really fills the shadows. Using dodging and burning techniques, I’ve re-contured Kate’s cheekbones.
Again, a combination of bounce flash and soft box.
This one is using just the soft box.
Just the soft box at camera left. This resulting image is warm and inviting.
However, I prefer this image with B&W conversions.
Using only a soft box for high key lighting, in B&W the image is dramatic and interesting.
I’m shooting Kate from above and using soft boxes at camera right for lighting.
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