Final boudoir photography tips from our professional photographer
Know what your model wants
Boudoir is a relatively new genre of photography and its popularity has doubtlessly been helped by the many makeover shows on TV.
The key thing that distinguishes it from other shots of women in sexy lingerie is that the women are in control. They are the clients and they are the ones who pay.
Good boudoir photography is natural, sensual and respecting. For many women, a boudoir shoot can be a life-changing experience, because if done properly it is a great confidence booster. The clients are usually aged between 35 to 55 years -old and have had children.
How much to charge
“I charge £295 for a four-hour boudoir shoot,” says Kate. “This comes with a £100 credit towards prints or albums. A popular choice is the 10x7in album finished in matt black. This takes 22 pictures and I charge £500 for one of these. 6x6in mini-albums, which are small enough to carry around when travelling, are popular as a gift for husbands.
“I use Queensberry and Folio for my work. It is important not to design your albums to look too similar to each other, as most of your new clients come from personal referrals. I use an excellent online proofing and design service called Album Exposure, which costs $150 a year (about £100) to design my books.”
Use music to create the right ambience. Some of Adele’s tracks work well. Female artists and sexy songs work best. Kate has a special boudoir playlist on her iPhone, which includes tracks by Melody Gardot, Goldfrapp, Norah Jones and Lana del Ray.
The right way to communicate with models
A major part of being a good portrait photographer is having the ability to communicate with the subject in the right way. This is particularly so in the case of boudoir photography. The subjects need to see a photographer, not a man or a woman.
Subjects will be shy, so avoid staring at them – but you do need to work out what they like and dislike about their bodies. A question such as, “What does your partner like about your body” could give you all the information you need.
Keep it dark and moody
For great boudoir shots it pays to try and underexpose your shots, as this creates stronger shadows and a greater sense of mystery. Clive was initially simply taking overall meter readings. But by switching to spot and measuring from the brighter parts of the face, he got a much more moody and sensual result. Kate explained that strong shadows are a good thing with boudoir.
Less is more
Cat held the curtain in place to control the amount of light falling on Rachel’s body as she sat in the chair. Masking the light in this way creates a theatrical effect, allowing you to spotlight just the parts you want to be lit.
Use props with poses
With this sort of pose, Kate explained that the sitter needed to appear to be doing something. Adjusting a piece of jewellery gives a context to the picture.
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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