Boudoir Photography: how much should you edit your photos?

Boudoir Photography: how much should you edit your photos?

Boudoir photography is a relatively new genre and for many women who book a shoot, it can be a life-changing experience. If done properly it is a great confidence booster.

With this in mind, one of the biggest challenges photographers face in this genre is knowing how much to edit their photos.

We spoke to boudoir photography pro Kate Hopewell-Smith to get her expert tips on how to process your boudoir photos.

Kate Hopewell-Smith, professional boudoir photographer

Tip 01
I often get accused of not photographing larger women. But the truth is that by taking care with the poses and with the lighting, I make a size 16 look like a size 12. The only time I need to use the liquify tool is if I’ve made a mistake!

Tip 02
You need to be very critical about the pictures you show to your client, only let them see the great ones, where the subject looks at their best.

Tip 03 I use Photo Mechanic to download and shortlist pictures from a shoot. This software costs £100/$150. I rate the shots, aiming to weed out about 80% of the shots. I move the best 20% to a folder that I 
entitle ”Picks”.

Tip 04
I then open these pictures in Photoshop Lightroom. The first key decision is to choose the toning for each of the outfits or set-ups – the colour temperature, the vibrance and so on. My natural choice is always to make the shots warmer and then to desaturate them. You must try and keep a consistent look for a shoot, in 
order to create a successful album where the pictures work together.

Boudoir Photography: how much should you edit your photos?

Tip 05 Boudoir photography needs quite intensive editing in Photoshop. You need to remove marks, you need to brighten the eyes  and  smooth skin. This is a luxury product – and people expect results that are a million miles from something they could have shot themselves.

Tip 06 For skin-smoothing I use a Photoshop Action from Totally Rad called Pro Retouch. This allows you to paint away lines, wrinkles and pores – and enables you to change opacity to get the exact effect you want, without the skin ending up looking plasticky.

07 For black and white conversions I use the Silver Efex 2 suite of plug-ins from Nik, costing £140/$200.


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