Professional Photographer to the Rescue: natural, beautiful boudoir photography

Professional Photographer to the Rescue: natural, beautiful boudoir photography

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our pro shows our apprentice how to use simple studio lighting techniques and how to pose models to shoot boudoir photography that looks natural and beautiful.

Professional Photographer to the Rescue: natural, beautiful boudoir photography

Meet our professional photographer

Kate Hopewell Smith’s love of photography started when she moved from a career in brand marketing to start a family and got a D80 for Christmas. Her shortcut to professional success was to sign up for the world-renowned bespoke programme with Aspire Photography Training. Now, after two years as a pro she now is back at Aspire – teaching their popular Seductive Boudoir course. See more of her stunning pictures.

Meet our apprentice

After 30 years as a fireman, Clive Hall retires from the brigade this year. He learnt the basics of photography whilst in the Parachute Regiment in the 1970s, but is now keen to turn his hobby into a profession. He has already shot five weddings, but now wants to learn how to shoot for the increasingly-popular genre of boudoir portraiture.

Technique assessment

In order to get great boudoir photography you need to keep communicating with the subject, and concentrate on getting the poses looking perfect. But that means you need to keep your camera set-up simple. As they prepared for their first set-up, Kate gave Clive some advice on the 
best settings to use on his DSLR:

Boudoir photography tips from our professional photographer: use spot metering

Spot metering
With white shoes and dark shadows, you need to shoot boudoir in Manual metering mode. In order to get the right exposure, switch to spot metering – and take a reading from the model’s face as the basis for your exposure.

Kate uses an aperture of f/2 for most shots – occasionally switching to f/4 if she needs to ensure both eyes are in focus. You then set a high enough ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed to work with.


Boudoir photography tips from our professional photographer: avoid focus lock

Don’t use focus lock
If you are shooting at f/2 from just a few feet away you have very little depth of field, which is great for getting the soft focus effect on the body and background. But you must get the key part of the image sharp  and this is usually the eyes.

If you use the centre AF point with the focus point, the eyes could well be out of focus when you recompose. Instead, shift the AF point manually, picking the point in the frame that is over the eye.

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Boudoir photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day


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