The age old question…. Is a boudoir shoot for me? I’ve seen some of these discussions online, particularly in wedding forums, many are curious and intrigued that their friends have done it. Tossing the scenarios around in their own mind…..morality, comfort, what will the significant other or spouse think when he / she gets that gift, what if someone sees it, this photographer will see me half naked. Let’s talk about that.
An experienced photographer who does boudoir or nude/ intimate work knows the body, and seeing yours does nothing for us. – As a follow up from last article, about hiring the best boudoir or nude photographer, hiring the right one is supposed to give you a comfortable experience, not the other way around. If you’re curious, browse your favorite photographers, analyze what you feel are their strengths that are most compatible with your favorite work and vision, and get to know their process. As well as who you feel comfortable with and knows how to work with your unique body type. Skill is better than pillow arrangement. Most of us know some of you are on the fence, or are afraid of the shoot feeling awkward. We know this isn’t for everyone, and it would be counter productive for us to try to talk an unwilling participant into doing something they don’t feel good about. You just have to be honest with yourself as to the reasons you have those feelings.
If you’ve done your research and still think it’s “dirty” or something you’d feel ashamed of if someone else found out, maybe it’s not for you. – Or perhaps consider that we live in a society, particularly in the U.S. that can be shallow and judgmental, many philistines. There is nothing wrong with nude art and certainly not boudoir work. For the most part, you should think of it as something between you and your significant other or spouse. Obviously, you don’t want huge wall prints of your nude butt or chest in lingerie hanging on your wall. That’s why most of my private clients buy albums, it’s a timeless and discreet way to present the gift. And consider the fact that it’s the time in your life frozen in time. This is something you have to know for yourself.
I know it’s a personal and sometimes touchy decision, but today I am giving tips to the ladies on hiring the best boudoir or nude photographer for you. Any boudoir or intimate photographer worth their salt understands that many of you have never done anything like this before and are slightly nervous, understandable. We want this to be a fun and rewarding, liberating experience that only increases self confidence.
Good isn’t cheap, and cheap isn’t good.- I had a lady come to me who appreciated my non-traditional boudoir work, and was more interested about the female form being captured, and she liked my lighting. Good, because that’s what separates me from boudoir studios in their more pure form. She had a groupon deal and told me, something should have told me that the price was too good to be true. I thought I was back in 1992 at Glamour Shots and I looked like a cow in half of them, LOL!~ We had a good time and by me knowing her and her needs, she got what she came for. We did a lovely personalized shoot at her home.
Know what strengths your photographer has and what is important to you – Personally, my area of expertise is the female form in it’s simple context, lighting, and angles. Mood and texture as well. I’m not strong in set design, nor do I care about it, most of my shoots are on location and fit the client’s passion as well. I’ve seen some magnificent boudoir work where the photographer captured the form well and the place looked nice. Personally I find too many furnishings and accessories taking away from the form. I’ve also seen some absolutely ghastly work where I could tell the photographer may have been good at set design (which I find unnecessary and distracting sometimes, but many disagree, lol), but didn’t know a fucking thing about photography or capturing the female form. Plus horrid Photoshop. Which the latter are my strengths. Select one for the strengths, use them, don’t ask them to become someone else.
Personality– Who encourages you to meet before the shoot for a consultation and you get to know each other and put you at ease? That’s something most of us would offer, I know I do. Do you share passion on the vision for your shoot? Is this someone you feel has knowledge and professionalism necessary for you to feel comfortable going forward? I know I’m not for everyone. Some feel that because I’m a man, they can’t be comfortable…whatever, I make no apologies for that. Those willing to give it a chance and at least meet with me know that what they gain is photography and form knowledge, as well as a fun experience. I’m not trying to be like the standard boudoir studios….different client. As a client, you just have to know what is important to you.
Oooooooh I may have saved the best part for last. This was just under a two hour photoshoot, we covered some fine art figure nudes, and conceptual long exposure photography all in one tiny motel room and utilizing every area of the room. I like that challenge. All that was left by this point was a small bathroom….luckily it was an older tile bathroom with some character, not the boring hotel bathroom with the neutral colors. So, there’s a toilet, a sink, and a tub / shower. Usually you wouldn’t incorporate a toilet with intimate shoots, and shower photos have been done to death on the internet. Especially with flatly lit on camera flash and glam shower poses. So, it was time to shift gears from figure nudes to conceptual and dark. The toilet was even going to get some use. Now keep in mind, probably none of my private clients would have me do anything like this for them, but I like conceptual work for galleries, and to hone my creative skills. Good inspiration for future.
Most of us have been here before, after a rough night 🙂 Some shutter drag on a tripod for effect 🙂
Dark, grim, love it! It also takes a great model to be able to be a chameleon like that. Now for some long exposure shower photos…8 second shutter speed with very robotic and deliberate motions, and stillness. It takes both a patient model and photographer to pull this off, not something you see much of. But I felt it was the most interesting way to utilize the concept and look.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these, I feel inspired and ready to serve private clients with their boudoir and nude photography heirlooms. As well as to create a fun memorable experience for them, and for them to give a gift that will be cherished forever.
I hope you enjoyed the first of the series last post, of model Eclipse Monday and some low key lighting figure nudes. When you think of boudoir or indoor nudes, the first idea is always on a bed. Why is that? Ironic, I say that and on the last post, the bed is where she started out. So many ways to contort the body in it’s natural, and intimate bedroom setting, good sensuality that comes naturally with that domestic environment. So, we then utilized the furniture which was nothing to look at….so using low key mood lighting, In placed the emphasis on the subject and her body, and glamorous features as opposed to the environment. Even the floor in certain areas. A one bed motel room with a bathroom, how much of a photoshoot can you do there? Well, I am putting the question to test. Are nice huge mansions nice for photoshoots? YES absolutely, but are they always a necessity? No. Welcome to motel in the hood nude series 2.
And then there is always a 1960’s-70’s clothes hanging rod practically designed for nude figure study work, LOL! Great way to stretch the body and create interesting symmetry.
A 1960’s (I’m guessing?) wall heater in the small hallway to the toilet, for an industrial look. A great photoshoot can happen anywhere. It’s a matter of best utilizing what is there and blending the subject into it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this part of the series. One final part coming soon, some long exposure work in the old tile bathroom, I may have saved the best for last, though totally different looks and concepts. Stay tuned 🙂
I had a traveling model coming through town, and we decided to do an artistic nude photoshoot and some conceptual photos. It was time to revisit the roadside motel concept as seen before, different small independent Nashville motel in the hood 🙂 This not only supports the underdog to the larger hotel chains, and local small business….but also helps me utilize texture and the older features. Most of all, I can show that beautiful intimate / nude photos can happen anywhere, it doesn’t always take a fancy boudoir studio or hotel, etc. A subject, a seasoned boudoir / nude photographer, and light. And boom. Art happens. Without further delay, motel in the hood art nudes, part one of the series brought to you by Farrell Gallery Nashville!
I love using shadows and low key lighting love the contrast and how the brush light gently kisses her skin and curves of her body. A mystique and artistic touch to these works in this series. The location could really be anywhere, the lamps in the second photo are about the only motel-ish giveaway. I chose to make the location and ambiance understated and the emphasis on the simple elegant beauty of the model. The hair, the skin, the body, the soul. Just add light and mood. These next 3 have quite a sensual intimate feel, without explicit sexuality.
More to come soon! There is more to this small roadside motel room than just the bed. 🙂 I hope you’ve enjoyed this new series so far! Any interested ladies, book your private session today, be beautiful. 🙂
For me, as a freelance fine art nude and non-traditional boudoir figure study photographer, me finding my ideal intimate photo clients is something that takes care of itself in a way. I know most of the market looking for boudoir photos are newly engaged or married, or are looking to do it for an anniversary / valentines day. Most of those prospective intimate photography clients would prefer the more traditional boudoir studio, which usually has female staff. Most of those studios have well designed sets and do a lot of them, with a bright airy feel. Whereas I am more about a blank canvas and focusing on the body and mood lighting. Or we make our own canvas in a residential or outdoor setting, particularly weathered locations 🙂
I offer something different, that will greatly appeal to those looking for my unique style and skill set. It will not appeal to everyone, which I am ok with. A lot of my clients are looking for exactly what I offer, and come from out of town for their shoot, or fly me in. In that case, they look at my work and once they talk to me in form of an email, phone call, or in person pre shoot consultation, they feel comfortable and trust me. I know the more traditional boudoir clientele may not feel comfortable with me being a male photographer, or if their significant other knows about the shoot, may not have the maturity to even consider this option. Also ok. I don’t defend my gender. My work and reputation, and how I conduct myself are my bond. If you like my style and work, great! However, I’m a man, that’s the way it is. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the skills and knowledge of the female form, or the ability to provide a fun comfortable experience. I feel that my website and communication with them sorts it all out, those with different expectations go elsewhere. It all seems to fall into place. I don’t need to compare myself to boudoir studios, we’re different. One looking for one, will not look for the other.
And as always. 🙂
Last article, we enjoyed some classic automobiles at the antique car salvage yard, now we dive into the lovely outdoor nudes we did there. She was ready to set up shop and get to work. I told her, we have to feel the environment, listen to the open wind, and see what inspires us. Then we can be effective in carrying out the course for the shoot. A lot to think about when incorporating the lines of the body and textures and colors of the setting. Once I am familiar with my surroundings, we can get to it and make some nice elegant outdoor nude photos in this remarkable distressed setting. Now it’s time to work my way through the briars and get to work 😀
This lot was more about the subject in her simplest yet elegant form. I used a variable neutral density filter on my Zeiss Touit 32 1.8 on my Fuji XT-1. This way I could shoot with shallow depth of field and rely on backlighting from the sun, while lighting her from the front. Yet still have controlled exposures and contrast in my lighting. I love the natural feel of outdoor nude photography, especially if the mood and lighting fit the language of the body. This way, she pops from the background.
A nice clean outdoor headshot to shift gears, with an intimate feel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this outdoor nude salvage yard series, it was inspiring for us. A part of Americana that seems all but gone, brought to life. Thanks for viewing. Please share if you liked it 😀
As promised, a follow up article to my prior bridal themed boudoir photoshoot. Soft overcast light softly entered the room. I initially envisioned black and white, low key contrast, but liked the warmth of the room and her skin tones, so….sometimes visions and plans aren’t meant to be followed without deviation, LOL. Before we did some nice female form work / implied nude on the hardwood floor, I saw a piano in the corner that needed to be used.
An 80’s throwback with the leg warmers, just one more cool thing from the 80’s besides music and video games, and certain movies 😀
Well, ok. This one spoke to me as a nice low key black and white.
Now we move to the bedroom for some nice intimate setting implied nude photography, that will no doubt go into her pre-wedding boudoir album 🙂 Again, with low key lighting and lovely contrast, I pictured most or all of these to be black and white. I often favor black and white work as I love the mood and feel / tonal qualities. But the warmth of the color in these just spoke to me so I worked with them as they were. This is about as close as I ever get to boudoir photography in it’s traditional definition. Well, they are implied nudes in a soft elegant bedroom setting 🙂 I hope you enjoy, and thank you Angela for a great decade of friendship and being my go to muse. Congratulations, and this will hopefully be treasured by both of you 😀
And a nice moody bodyscape to top it off 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed!
A long time muse I have been good friends with and worked with for a decade, is recently engaged, and we met up to do an intimate personal shoot. Part of the inspiration would be bridal themed boudoir photos with her dress not being used, but the veil. We would start off with her in lace thongs by the window in her veil, it was amazing how the texture of the curtains behind it would match closely, but combination seemed to work well 🙂
Then we moved onto some bridal / implied nude headshots and half body photos in sitting position leaned up against a contrasting wall. I got one high key, and decided to go with low key contrasty lighting for the black and whites. We break for lunch and had some fine edibles at P.F. Chang’s and then stretched our legs a bit in the shopping centre, talked about life and what’s going on, where we are both at, etc. Soon after we were ready to get back to it, with some implied nude and a sexy elegant bedroom setting. Stay tuned, that’s coming next. Happy Thanksgiving to all the U.S. based readers 😀
It was a fairly warm but overcast Fall morning at an abandoned Kentucky farmhouse, the wind was whistling with not much around to stop it’s path. As we pulled up, there was a cow in a neighboring field making a horrendous noise, as if she was in pain, but she eventually chilled out. That helped set the tone for a rather unusual mood, and working with almost a forlorn feel to the project. Sometimes it’s about using the conditions and surroundings for inspiration for each photoshoot. As photographers / artists, I think it’s important to pay attention to these details and not be in a rush. Feel what the surroundings are feeling….make the subject feel it, and in turn the viewers will feel it. I think farmhouse artistic nudes are special. This was a small shed that stored lawn and garden equipment it looks like.
The side entrance to the house had some clutter, so the gears in my mind were turning, perhaps with the old wrench she was holding.
One other feature that caught our eyes is the perspective of the driveway and the vanishing perspectives of the fence posts along side it. And a lone tree off to the side. The best thing was to take it in for a moment and compose it in my mind, and set up one of my Elinchrom Quadras as a side light to help provide some lighting contrast, and narrow the Fstop to darken / add drama to the background. I wanted the driveway, the tree, and the subject to all be incorporated, and compose the images so the plan would be effective. The subject being the focal point and the negative space bringing in the tree and curves / perspectives of the driveway and the fence posts would balance the photo nicely. Would love your thoughts on these high contrast black and whites. Hope you enjoy!