When it comes to sexy photography, there is a line between tasteful and NSFW (Not Safe For Work). In the boudoir photography genre, it’s about capturing images that don’t necessarily have to show any skin. In fact, a subject in a boudoir photo could be fully clothed.
If you’re planning on capturing some sensual art Valentine’s Day, check out these tips for boudoir photography.
Create a Contract
Intimate photography implies sexy poses (or a nudity) and many people do not want their photos to be shown publicly. Therefore, it is very important to draw up a contract. If you take photographs for commercial purposes, you must obtain the written permission of the model for distribution of the images.
Shoot from the client’s perspective, not yours
What do they like about their body? What makes them self-conscious? Compose your images and position your model so their best assets are highlighted while the things that make them self-conscious fall into the background. A good way to find out what your client loves about their body is to engage them in a discussion about it beforehand and encourage them to share their thoughts with you.
How would you describe your client? Playful? Edgy? Sexy? Shy? Talk to them as you capture the images by saying things that will evoke the emotions you wish to capture. Your model may feel out of sorts with a camera trained on them, so allow them to look away and guide their actions (like brushing hair away from their face). By sharing encouraging words throughout, you’ll build their self-esteem in the process.
Look for the light
Light is one of the main culprits behind unflattering images. It always helps to ask yourself where is the light falling and where the shadows are located. A good note to remember: overhead light creates shadows beneath the eyes, while light coming from directly below creates a hollow, haunted look. Make sure to consistently pay attention to the light’s direction, color and source. Fluorescent light is just about as unflattering as you can get while soft diffused window light flatters skin. A softbox, speedlight and a photography umbrella may also come in handy. One method to try is to have daylight coming through the window while the additional lightning influences the front or side.
Watch for distortions
As a general rule, objects closer to the camera will look larger. This is especially true when you’re using a wide-angle lens, so make sure to position your model in diagonals to compliment their body. Use their arms and legs to create interest in an image (such as making beautiful triangles and shapes with arms and legs).
Vary your shots
Shoot close-ups that highlight their favorite features, as well as full length and 3/4 shots (from head to knee).
Turn up the tunes
Preparing a special playlist for the photo session will serve as a pleasant background for the client and may make them more comfortable.
Choose a 35mm or 50mm lenses
A 35mm f/2 prime lens is a good choice to use. It is wider than the 50mm standard prime lens and captures more of the scene while still being suitable for a dark environment. A 50mm lens – or nifty fifty – is also a good lens for boudoir photography. It creates minor distortion while being quick and creating sharp images.
Out of all these tips, make sure that your subject feels comfortable and respected. Not only are you capturing their image,but you are also capturing their trust during what could be a very vulnerable moment. Feel free to send us any sexy, sweet or sensual images you captured (with your model’s permission, of course)!