Welcome to the Beyond Boudoir Photo blog!
The Adventures of Beyond Boudoir!
One of the best things about being a photographer near Portland is getting to do outdoor photoshoots from May through September. Unfortunately, since my shoots usually involve nudity, finding an appropriate setting is actually quite difficult. Most of the attractive outdoor locations, like waterfalls and viewpoints, are overrun with hikers or tourists much of the time. Even if you get off the beaten path, your shoot can still be interrupted by intrepid hikers or just people who want to hang out at the river.
Downtown Portland, where I used to be able to do "guerrilla" photoshoots with flashes of nudity at certain times of day when few people were on the streets, is now a hive of activity 24/7. Some of my semi-secret locations in the Columbia River Gorge don't work as well as they once did due to things like fallen trees and forest fires.
The public nude beach that used to be usable is now off limits, because some of the regular beachgoers took to calling 911 when they saw a photographer working with a model. To make things worse, they would make false reports claiming that child porn was involved. Fortunately, I heard about that second hand through the photographer's grapevine.
So this week I was very pleased to find a couple of great shooting locations along a local river about 35 minutes from my home. It's still a weekday-only place for nude shoots, but I can live with that. The place photographs very well on cloudy days or in the evening, which also happen to be times when people are unlikely to be there.
I will post a few photos from the first shoot I did there last week. The model is Tori Victorine and we were creating some photos for her to post for sale on Bentbox.co. Enjoy!
These were all done with available light in the evening after the sun went behind the walls of the canyon. If I shoot there on a sunny day, I will probably bring a strobe or two for fill flash. The camera was my usual Canon 5D4 with EF 24-70 F/2.8 Mark II.
The Arizona Shootout is a very large group photography event that's been going on for over 20 years. It brings professional models and photographers together in a sunny desert setting near Wickenburg, Arizona. In most years it's held in both the Spring and Fall, when the desert weather is ideal.
I attend for three main reasons: First, it's good to get out of the rainy Pacific Northwest and soak up some desert sun. Second, I get some great images that I can share with you or sell to collectors on Bentbox. The third reason is the amazing desert light.
Most of my AZSO photos are taken indoors with window light, or outdoors in the shade. The sun is reflected off the sandy desert surface and reaches into shady areas to provide a soft, warm light that is ideal for portrait photography.
The models are great to work with, but I have to pay them to pose for me and of course photographers pay a substantial fee to attend, so it can be an expensive event. That's why I'm happy that I can sell my images on Bentbox. If you click on the model's name below each photo, the link will take you to the high-resolution photoset of that model which you can purchase if you wish. Your support is much appreciated and will help me create more sexy images for your future enjoyment!
There are roughly a dozen old buildings available for photography, as well as the open desert itself. The buildings are filled with old machinery and general antiques. It's like doing a nude photoshoot in a museum for three days.
All but one of these photos were taken using available light and they were all done with my trusty Canon 5D Mark IV. Mostly, I used the Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8 Mark II as my lens of choice. I love prime lenses, but this zoom is so amazingly sharp that I tend to just leave it on the camera unless I have a creative idea that needs a telephoto or a large aperture prime.
Want to see more? Here is a free gallery with some more photos from the 2018 AZSO.
Thanks for dropping in to visit the Beyond Boudoir Photo Blog!
I love my work and I've been doing it for a long time. Over the years, I've come to notice patterns in the way many people go about researching and planning an intimate or erotic photoshoot. As you might expect, the same mistakes keep coming up over and over, so this blog post is devoted to helping you avoid wasting time and energy going down the wrong path.
Please allow me to list the most common mistakes that I see so that you can try to avoid them.
1. Looking through the photo galleries of other photographers for photos that you want to duplicate exactly.
Unfortunately, you can never duplicate those photos. For one thing, the model(s) you see are not you. Also, the photographer probably retouched the photos heavily with Photoshop in ways that we can't determine. I think the goal should be to create unique images that capture your spirit in the moment, not duplicate the work of others.
2. Assuming that I won't photograph a particular sex act if you don't see it in my portfolio.
Humans are very creative when it comes to sex and there's no way I can display photos of every naughty thing you can do. Please take my word that I will photograph anything that's legal and doesn't get fluids on me or my photo gear! OK, that's not entirely true... I really don't like shooting blood play or snakes.
3. Falling in love with a particular outdoor location that you see in some of my photos.
Outdoor locations come and go. The biggest reason that one might not be practical is weather. You can't do a naughty photoshoot in the rain or cold. You can't shoot at the nude beach when the regular crowd calls the cops on you. No matter how sneaky you are, you can no longer do guerrilla nude shoots in downtown Portland now that the city is packed with hipster condos, security guards and homeless folks. I always keep a few possible outdoor locations in mind from May to September in the Columbia River Gorge area, but I just can't guarantee access to a particular site when you need it. The most reliable place to do an intimate photoshoot is your own hotel room or, even better, an upscale Airbnb vacation rental house. My studio works, of course, but it's a photo studio, not a bedroom.
4. Trying to pack too much into your photoshoot.
Most people who are not professional models or actors get tired of being photographed after about two hours - less if you are engaged in sexual activities. It's OK to prepare a list of poses for your shoot or even bring some example photos on your phone. Just keep the list reasonable so you won't feel rushed. I recommend no more than six poses per hour if you are doing a posed studio shoot. Consider scheduling two shoots on different days, especially if you have more than one theme you wish to include, ie: artistic posed studio photos and raunchy sex photos. That way you can easily make use of two locations as well.
5. Asking if I can provide a male model to have sex with you during your photoshoot.
Please, ladies, that just isn't possible and probably isn't legal. When I see this question, my experience tells me the person asking isn't really serious about booking a photoshoot, they just enjoy fantasizing about what could happen.
6. Not having a backup plan.
It's always good to have a plan B. Sometimes your partner backs out, the weather doesn't cooperate, your period starts unexpectedly or some other minor disaster. A sexy photoshoot is a complex project and you can't count on everything going according to plan. A good professional photographer will go with the flow, work around the surprises and still create great images.
If you have any mistakes to add, please drop me an email. I'm sure I've forgotten a few!
As regular readers will know, the photos I take for paying clients are not generally posted on this site. The rare exceptions occur when clients are so proud of their images they insist that I share them with the world. For the most part, the images you see on the site depict professional or amateur models who expected to have their images displayed online.
There are a few pro models that I've worked with multiple times. I don't mind paying their fee, because I get so many great images that I can share with my readers. One of my favorites is the amazing Devi. We've worked together three times over the last few years. If you're a photographer, be advised that she's based in the Bay Area and you can find her on Model Mayhem. Like all of the top travelling models on MM, she is very businesslike and reliable.
Here's one of my favorite photos of Devi. It's actually a hand-held HDR shot processed in Photomatix.
Enough talk... I'm just going to load a bunch of Devi images into a gallery and let the collective impact hit you right in the face. In a good way, I mean! Take a deep breath and click here.
About every three or four years, Portland is blessed with an Indian Summer. In October of 2017, we had many days of dry, sunny weather as the leaves began to turn. I didn't have any outdoor photoshoots lined up to take advantage of this amazing weather, but I could not just let it go to waste. I had to scramble to arrange one.
There is a hidden place on the edge of a rocky cliff that overlooks part of Northeast Portland. You can't see it in the photos, but there is a busy freeway directly behind the model and about 200 feet below. I've been watching this place for a while to see if had enough privacy for a nude photoshoot. As is usually the case, it depends on when you go there. In this case, we did the shoot on a Sunday evening just before dusk.
I needed a model who I could trust not to get too frisky on the edge of the cliff. She would need to be OK with semi-public nudity and hardy enough to handle the cool breeze for a while. The freeway noise would make it hard to communicate, so I also wanted a model who could instinctively create good poses. One name came immediately to mind, Floofie! She's something of a local treasure who is very active in the modeling community. Fortunately she said yes and I then had about 24 hours to plan the shoot.
While I was trying to think of a theme for the shoot, I happened to look at a photo of a popular statue in downtown Portland that I'd used as a backdrop for photoshoots in the past. It's called Portlandia and is considered one of the many quirky things found in the city. I checked in with Floofie the morning of the shoot and told her I wanted her to dress as Portlandia. I promised to pick up a trident at a local costume shop and she immediately loved the idea.
For this shoot, I used only one lens, the Canon EF 24-70 L Mark 2, which was mounted on my trusty Canon 5D Mark 3. Although there was a little bit of light from the setting sun behind me, most of it would be blocked by trees. I knew I'd need some pretty powerful fill light to balance the fairly bright background. I used two of my AlienBees monolights, each powered by a Vagabond Mini battery and nicely diffused by a small umbrella. I didn't want to use big umbrellas due to the wind.
First I took several shots to determine the best exposure for the background, making sure that the shutter speed was below the flash sync speed of my camera (1/125th was my choice). Then I turned on the strobes and adjusted their power output to give me just the right amount of illumination on beautiful Floofie. Some people call this technique "dragging the shutter" but I don't think that's a good description myself. By the way, this was all done manually, no TTL flash metering for me!
It's always good to have another person along when you are doing naughty outdoor photoshoots. This time I brought along my photobuddy Jeremy and we shared the AlienBees by each having a trigger on our cameras. The AlienBees cycle pretty fast so this worked most of the time. Here's Jeremy next to one of the strobes, so you can get an idea of the setup.
Occasionally, I'd trigger a shot right after my friend had done so and the strobes would not fire. The background still looked the same, but Floofie was quite underexposed, at least two, maybe three stops. Since I shoot RAW, I was able to brighten her up, but it really changes the tones of the image. you can see what I mean in the image below.
The strobes fired just fine at least 90% of the time, so I got some nice shots like these of Portlandia in super hero mode protecting the city.
Before we wrapped up the shoot, I removed the trigger from my camera and moved to a position where I could get shots of Floofie against these trees. There was a little daylight coming through the trees from the setting sun to my right.
I'm pretty sure that's the last outdoor photoshoot for me in 2017. If you'd like me to photograph you nude outdoors, we will have to wait until around May of 2018. Unless of course, you'd like to pay me to come to your place in the lovely desert Southwest. Thanks for reading!
Out of the 400+ images this couple received, we picked out eight that we feel are safe to reveal. I believe these will help give prospective clients a reasonably good idea of what a typical couple's shoot looks like in my new studio. As always, remember that these images are what this couple wanted and of course you don't have to do these same poses. Each shoot is different and is adapted to meet the needs of that particular couple.
As you can tell, this couple requested black and white. I enjoy working with B&W, even though it takes more time for post-processing. One fun thing about this shoot was that I switched between natural daylight from the windows and my studio strobe system. You really have to know your studio and your camera to make that work - it's a fun challenge for me!
If you are interested in having a photoshoot of your own, please use the contact page to send me a note. I usually reply within a few hours.
It's been a busy summer here at the Beyond Boudoir Photo studio! Word has gotten around among my kinky friends that my new studio has excellent overhead "hard points" suitable for doing rope bondage suspension scenes. In case you haven't heard, rope bondage in general, and rope suspension specifically, is all the rage among "kinksters" worldwide. No more do aspiring dominants spend big bucks for expensive leather and metal bondage gear. Now they spend money on rope, lots of rope, in many different colors and made with a bewildering variety of man made and (mostly) natural fibers.
Good bondage rope runs about a dollar a foot and most people start out with about a hundred feet. Often, people who dedicate themselves to the art of rope bondage have thousands of feet on hand. A thriving cottage industry now exists to fulfill the demand for high quality bondage rope in the BDSM community. If you are looking to buy some hiqh quality rope, Renaissancerope.com is the site of the friend who installed my hard points.
Rope artists gather in work groups to practice their skills and learn from more experienced artists. Some call themselves "riggers" but others dislike the term.
The amount of sexuality involved in a rope bondage encounter varies tremendously, according the wishes of the participants. The person who is being tied up can be described as a "rope bottom" or a "rope bunny" among other things. It is quite common to take photos of the rope session and post them on appropriate social media.
Sometimes the rope bottom is fully clothed, sometimes fully nude or something in between. When a rope session takes place in public, it's sexy, but there is rarely any sex. At most, the rope bottom may be granted an orgasm via something like the Hitachi Magic Wand. In private, it's a different story. Many rope instructors offer courses in bondage for sex. The couple below has done rope play together many times and enjoy being in front of the camera. They got a free photoshoot and you get to enjoy their pix! I plan to post more from this shoot later.
When someone is tied in this manner, it is a very sensual experience. Most people seem to go into an altered state of very relaxed consciousness. Terms for this include "subspace," being "rope stoned" and "flying," to name a few. When they reach this state, their pupils are often dilated and their gaze appears unfocused.
When suspending a person with rope, it is very important to have a reliable "hard point" above them to bear the load, as well as knowing the load ratings of all the various pieces of rope and metal connectors that are used for convenience. A good, sturdy hardpoint is said to be "rated for full suspension." Although a person may weigh less than, say, 250 pounds, the hardpoint is typically expected to hold perhaps five to ten times that weight to provide a margin of safety. The same goes for the rope and carabiners which always come with a weight rating.
I always make sure the rigger is skilled, knows all the safety rules, and follows them rigidly. I only allow expert riggers to do full suspension in my studio. Accidents do happen, but not here. If a rigger I don't know wants me to do a photoshoot for him and his partner, I ask to see photos of his past work and ask who he has studied under.
If you would like to schedule a Shibari photoshoot in my studio, but don't have a friend with excellent rope skills, I do have friends I can call on who will share their skills with you. Typically, you would meet with them in advance of the shoot so that they can ask safety-related questions and make sure you understand the simple safety rules. If you haven't been suspended before, it will most likely be an amazing new experience for you.
Photoshoots with these pro models often produce my best and most creative work, because I'm free to shoot the images I want, not those that a client has requested.
This blog post chronicles an outdoor shoot that I did with St. Merrique last week in the Columbia River Gorge. I love shooting in the Gorge, partly because I know of some secret spots where you can do nude photoshoots.
Shooting outdoors is a big change from my usual studio work and I really enjoy the challenge of working in uncontrolled conditions. I usually bring along one Alien Bees 400 studio light and a Vagabond Mini battery pack to power it. I find it to be a nice combination. You do get a little bit of light fluctuation if you shoot fast, but it's not a problem for me. I like to use a small (24 inch) umbrella outdoors. Anything larger risks being blown over by the wind, even though I have the weight of the Vagabond Mini on the light stand. For this shoot in a windy location, I also put a couple of fist sized rocks into a fabric "sandbag" and hung that on the base of the light stand. That did the trick, no toppled lights on this occasion.
These two images of St. Merrique on the red fabric were created with the Canon EF 100mm F/2 on my 5D3 at ISO 100, 1/200, F/2.5. This lens is not super-sharp wide open, but if you stop it down about 2/3 of a stop, it sharpens up nicely. The lighting on this shot was provided by the blue sky overhead with appropriate color balancing in Lightroom to keep her from looking blue.
For the photo below, I used my Alien Bee as a front light while the model was illuminated by the sun coming from camera left. The lens was my workhorse Canon EF 24-105 F/4 IS L. Exposure data: F/6.3, 1/60, ISO 100. I was able to balance the flash and daylight without using a neutral density filter, which made me happy enough to snap dozens of variations of this scene.
The next two photos show a completely different approach to lighting. Since the model is backlit, I had a choice of using my strobe to balance the light or simply let the background be washed out. I chose the latter, because I wanted to see the backlight coming through the pink fabric. I had to brighten the shadows a bit in Lightroom and adjust the color balance a lot.
I was happy to give up some technical image quality to get the artistic look I wanted. If you would like to see more photos from this shoot, click here to see a gallery of selected shots.
You can find our lovely model, St. Merrique on Model Mayhem. She's great to work with and travels to many areas.
Thanks for reading!
A sex-positive photographer serving your private photography needs.
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