• Allen Blasdell

Good Boudoir Photography and Bad Boudoir Photography

Snaps versus artistic, professionally created images.

Ok so I'm going to be critical and a bit outspoken here.

Most Boudoir photographs are, in my opinion, snaps of women in their underwear

Good photography is all about LIGHT It's then about storytelling and emotion

It's then about Pose

Ok, it's actual way more complicated but it's certainly NOT a case of grab a camera, ask your client to stand there in her undies while you snap off a few shots.

Sad to say that probably 80% of the images offered by "Boudoir Photographers" are exactly that. There's not a moments thought given to the light, either it's direction or softness. There's often little emotion or, it's so false that it just looks like a model who's wondering how long this is going to take. There's not even any effort to create a clutter free background - I've seen cups, kids toys and hubbies shoes in shots and of course power sockets and light switches.

Boudoir Photos should be "art"

Contrast that kind of shot with what I do.

I use a converted small cart lodge as my studio - it has a huge retractable patio door 10 feet wide but with curtains so I can control exactly where the light comes from. This is natural light and the patio door faces North so never gets any harsh direct sunlight. There's zero clutter yet it's obviously a bedroom - as this IS Boudoir photography after all!

As the shoot always happens in the studio everything is always predictable so we move efficiently from one set-up to another and my clients always feel I know what I'm doing which gives them confidence. There's a shower room large enough to act as a changing room and clients are encouraged to use several outfits during the 2 hour shoot. Finally there's "gear" Even good photographers are limited if they don't have the right equipment for the job. The right photographic equipment for Boudoir Photography is a high resolution full frame camera with a fast prime lens. I can choose from either my Sony A7iii or my Nikon D810 and whilst the Nikon is 6 years old I use it primarily due to it's better image quality, especially when clients ask for a 40x30 print. It also allow me to use my quite old 50mm F1.4 lens - it's not as sharp as modern lenses but has a way of creating beautiful, artistic images.

Then there's editing

An image from the camera is the raw material and I spend a lot of time in Lightroom perfecting every photo to be as good as it possibly can be.

That work would include getting the shadows and highlights balanced, accentuating the women, sharpening and blurring, and much more. I create a gallery of usually around 40 images to present to the client.

Then there are Prints

I know we live in a digital age but as humans we've lived with "human size" pictures for a million years. From cave paintings to Rembrandt to our famous photographers - all produce work that relates to us and to our real world size. The current 5" phone screen simply fails miserably to convey the real beauty of these boudoir images. I therefore offer a selection of top quality but affordable prints, acyrlics, and framed prints to do justice to the beauty that is my client.

That all adds up, in my view, to "proper" Boudoir Photography

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I've just got to do the Boudoir Shoots with the 2 Women who won my June Free Boudoir Shoot Competition. I thought it only fair to have two winners. So thank you to everyone who entered and I'm pleased