Want to learn boudoir photography but don’t have a photo studio? If you don’t have a studio PLEASE don’t let this be a block to your progress. I shot this gorgeous boudoir pose in an uninspiring, cramped space on a bedroom floor! And yet it is still one of my favourite photos 10 years on. Because for me, beautiful boudoir is about posing and lighting. You don’t need a glamorous studio.
When I first started 10 years ago I had no studio, so I practised in a TINY spare bedroom, 7ft x 13ft long and it is NOT glamorous as you can see below! Back then, I was a wedding / natural light / outdoor photographer. I had no idea how to use studio lighting, but I was determined to learn. So I bought the cheapest (but good quality) kit I could find and, pretty much taught myself through trial and error.
Boudoir Lighting & camera equipment
I purchased 3 metres of red satin fabric and draped it over the end of the bed (to serve as a background) and on to the floor so my friend Leigh could lay on it. We closed the curtains to darken the room (and for other obvious privacy reasons) and I lit Leigh with just one Bowens flash head with an umbrella, positioned to my left.
It was a Bowens kit that cost £500 and included two flash heads with umbrellas and stands. I think you can still buy the same kit from WEX in the UK. I still use it to this day 10 years later so not a bad investment! However back then there wasn’t the vast array of cheaper lighting that you’ll find on eBay and Amazon. You honestly don’t have to spend that much if you’re just starting out.
I shot Leigh with my Nikon D800 camera, 24-70mm Nikon F2.8 lens at around F5.6. I ALWAYS use a handheld Sekonic light meter (again, 10 years old and still going strong). This ensures that I get consistently well-exposed results. Some of my photographer friends never use a light meter. It scares the hell out of them but, I promise you its easy!
Implied nude boudoir pose to keep things elegant & tasteful
When I shoot nude, I tend to shoot ‘implied’ nude to keep it artistic and tasteful. That’s just my personal preference and usually my clients’ too. Old Master paintings inspire me (especially Rambrandt) and the classic elegance, mystery and drama of Old Hollywood glamour. This photo also demonstrates an excellent boudoir pose to hide a belly!
I hope my journey inspires you to experiment. Don’t be afraid of studio lighting. It can open up a whole new world of creative possibilities. It did for me! Want to connect and learn more. Sign up for my weekly emails above.
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