Potential clients often ask me how much we can accomplish during their photoshoot. It's easy to attempt too many poses or outfits, so some photographers limit their photoshoots to a certain number of "looks," ie: costume changes. My preference is to limit my standard photoshoots to two hours of shooting time.
So what can I accomplish in two hours? Well of course it varies a lot depending on who is posing and what our goals are. If you plan well, you can get a surprising amount of good photos. I'm posting images from this shoot, because I feel it represents the maximum number of different looks and backgrounds that I've ever managed to include in a two hour shoot.
You might say I cheated by hiring a professional model and you'd be right. A pro model has two advantages over an ordinary subject. Number one: she has nearly a perfect body so you don't have to work very hard to guide her into flattering poses. Number two: she can pose herself and change her facial expressions between shots without needing much direction.
Some of my photographer friends refuse to pay models to pose for them. I think this is being penny-wise and pound-foolish. When I pay a professional model to pose for me, I get far more usable images than when I'm doing a trade shoot with a non-model friend or a newbie model who is just starting out. All photographers want beautiful images for their portfolio or web site, the question is: how much is your time worth? I consider my time to be pretty valuable, so paying a model to help me create a lot of great images in a short time makes sense.
One other thing I like about working with pro models. Since I'm paying them out of my own pocket, the clock is ticking in my head and I'm always moving quickly to get a great shot and move on. This is good practice for working productively with paying clients. They want their money to produce as many flattering images as possible and I'm comfortable working fast, because I've practiced doing it.
The model is Amelia Simone, MM# 2277933. The shoot was done earlier today. We started out in the studio...
None of these images are photoshopped. All I did was adjust the tones in Lightroom.
I'm using my usual studio lighting setup which consists of four Alien Bees, one at each corner of the shooting space. The two in front of the model are equipped with large umbrellas which have white fabric over the opening creating large soft boxes, or brolly boxes as the Brits call them. The two ABs in the rear are using the standard reflector with a 20 or 30 degree grid to act as hair lights.
A man's dress shirt make a wonderful costume for glamour and boudoir shoots. Choosing the color can be fun, but in this case I went with a neutral gray.
My studio is set up so that I can switch between low key and high key images in about five minutes if I hurry and don't get distracted.
To make the switch to high key lighting, I just take the grids off the two rear lights and aim them at the white fabric backdrop. Then I turn up the power until the background is pretty close to perfectly white. I try to avoid more light than necessary, since the spill from the backdrop can start to affect the details of the model. Notice how one of her black shoes is starting to look a little washed out in this shot.
After about an hour and a half in the studio, it was time to go outside for some fresh air. This is Portland in May, so the rhododendrons were in bloom.
You don't need to go to S. E. Asia to find bamboo! And the cloudy Portland skies create a nice soft light for photography.
After the shoot, Amelia socializes with the famous author Jack Quaiz, author of the underground adult classic, Submission in Seattle.
This shoot produced over 900 images. The ones you see here were selected quickly after the shoot. There are roughly two hundred that would be worth considering for display in my portfolio. Of course I only want to show a handful, so now comes the hardest part, choosing the best ones and rejecting the rest.
Thanks for reading my blog! If you or someone you care about needs an adventurous Boudoir photographer, please use the contact page to drop me a note.
A sex-positive photographer serving your private photography needs.
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