Boudoir is an interesting thing, it covers a wide range of photo styles and has different meanings to everyone. For quite some time I avoided using the term, instead preferring to use private portraiture, though I’m leaning again towards just using boudoir.Model: Pep Ryan
I don’t photograph much in the way of boudoir in my personal work, preferring to focus on nude, that along with not using clients work means I tend not to have much to display. Thankfully there is a certain amount of cross over between various nude styles and boudoir.Model: Andrea Model: Keira Grant Model: Tomasina Model: Lily Jay
It does mean though that there are some differences between the boudoir I shoot for clients and what is in my personal portfolio. The main one is there tends to be more nudity in my portfolio. The second is that when I arrange to work with models I typically specify no makeup or as little as they are willing to shoot with. Whereas with clients I include make up for boudoir in nearly all my packages except for some specials.Model: Meluxine
Boudoir can range from the quite tame, sometimes fully clothed through to the raw, nude, sensual and occasionally fetish based photos. Which we do is entirely up to the client and their level of comfort.Model: Alison McGregor Model: Seker Pare
Whether I’m photographing in my residential studio, a hotel room, the clients house, or on location somewhere, I typically use the available light. Preferably sunlight, otherwise room light, street light, city lights, even lights aligned around sculptures.
These next two for example were shot in a space around a sculpture that was shielded on one side by plants, it created a nice intimate spot. Light facing up isn’t often used in photos as it tends to create a bit of a horror movie/ghoulish effect, but I quite like how it turned out in this shoot.
That’s not to say I can’t use studio lighting, I just prefer not to. Mainly this is because for many clients it is their first photo shoot, and the studio lights being triggered can be somewhat distracting and off putting. Using the available light makes for a more natural process with less distractions for the client and gives me more time to make them comfortable and guide them through posing.Model: Merope Model: Alexandra Bromley
The other main thing that I do for boudoir is to shoot with the lens wide open, to create a shallow depth of field where the focus is on a small part of the scene with the rest slightly out of focus. While there are exceptions, it is my preferred method. Sometimes I will keep the photos in colour, sometimes convert them to black and white, there are advantages to both and it will depend to an extent on lighting and location.
One thing that tends to come through no matter which way of photographing boudoir is a sense of intimacy, it doesn’t always take the same form, but it’s there whether the person’s gaze is at the camera or not.
One of the questions I’m often asked is how do I get the intimate look in the models eyes or on their faces, when I ask what they mean it’s invariably along the lines of “it’s as though they want you”. Basically it’s trust, comfort and direction. While a few of the models in this post are very experienced and I’ve worked with them a number of times over years, others were still new to modelling, or I had just met them for the first time at that photo shoot.Model: Trixx Teeze Model: Rei
One thing I’ve learnt is that any discomfort on the part of the person being photographed will show up in the photo, in their eyes and in their expressions. Gaining their trust and comfort can take time, which is why I’m not overly strict with the length of a shoot.
I’m sure a few people are wondering if I photograph boudoir for men, with couples etc, yes I do, though I don’t currently have any examples to show, which I really must fix at some point, just please please don’t call male boudoir dudeoir.Model: Candace Nirvana