Boudoir photo shoots can be tricky for both the client and the photographer. They are intimate and require tactfulness on both parts in order to achieve sensual, natural looking portraits. Here we will provide our top tips on tackling boudoir photography.
Make the subject of your photograph feel comfortable
If you are working with a professional model, it is likely they will have posed for numerous boudoir shoots before and are therefore likely to be more comfortable posing in front of you and your camera. A client on the other hand, is likely to be much more nervous and uncomfortable. Despite wanting to leave their insecurities at the door, it is likely that they will take a while to ‘warm up.’ In order to get sensual-looking natural portraits, you will need them to feel comfortable in your presence.
Be patient with your client and do what you can to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Prior to the shoot you may want to suggest that they bring a long their best friend for encouragement from the sidelines. You should also tell them to wear something that makes them feel comfortable, confident and sexy. Making your client laugh will also help, as it will allow you to capture more natural facial expressions.
Use natural lighting wherever possible
The best boudoir photographs are taken using natural light. Try and choose a location for your photoshoot that has access to good natural light and plenty of windows. We recommend positioning your client close to the window. This will help to create the perfect balance of light and shadow on their bodies. Increasing the ISO will also help if you are unlucky with the weather on the day of your shoot. Another tip is to have them pose on white bed sheets, as they provide a great light reflector!
Don’t go overboard on props
When it comes to boudoir photography less is more – and no we’re not talking about the clothing, but props! Many clients get carried away with props, bringing everything from costume jewellery, to hats and faux fur shawls with them. The problem with props is that they can end up making boudoir photographs look tacky. If your client insists on using props, limit them to one at a time.
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Vary poses and shots
It is likely that the first few poses your client attempts will look awkward. Give them time to settle into it and become comfortable with you and their surroundings. Talk to them whilst taking the photos and suggest different poses they could try. By getting them to experiment with different poses, you will be able to get a better idea of what works best for them. Be sure to show your client some of their poses that have worked well on camera, as this will encourage them and making them feel more confident, which will lead to more sensual, natural looking portraits.
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You may also want to consider experimenting with different shots. Not all shots need to show the whole of your subject’s body from head to toe. Try shooting from a number of different angles and taking close-up shots to offer variety.
When it comes to boudoir photography, the more shoots you do, the easier it will become for you. Whilst an awkward start is to be expected, as long as you make your client feel comfortable, provide them with direction and ensure great natural lighting, there is no reason why you won’t be able to take sensual, natural looking boudoir portraits that they love.
Image credits: Lies Thru a Lens, Robert Bejil Photography and xshamethestrongx