Boudoir photography is growing in popularity but it isn’t as easy as it might look. AP went on a photo shoot at Brighton’s famous Hotel Pelirocco, with local boudoir photographer Emma Joanne, to pick up some tips

 

Location

Hotels are great locations to shoot boudoir, but look for somewhere that gives you more creative options than just whitewashed walls and white linen. I like to use themed hotels, like Hotel Pelirocco, which give me a variety of different settings to inspire me, and make the client feel more at home in that boudoir setting.

De-clutter

The first thing to do before you introduce the model is de-clutter the room. If it’s a hotel room hide the kettle and cups, and avoid getting things like the TV, trouser press etc in shot.

Clothing

Make sure the model has a collection of different lingerie in a variety of styles colours so that you can pick outfits to complement the room décor.

 

Make up artist Stacie Smith applies make-up to model Angel White

Make up artist Stacie Smith applies make-up to model Angel White

 

Shooting in the 'Bette's Boudoir' room at Hotel Pelirocco

Shooting in the ‘Bette’s Boudoir’ room at Hotel Pelirocco

 

 

 

Hair and make up

Good make-up is vital for successful boudoir photography. If possible hire a professional, or ask a friend who is skilled in this area.

 

Start off slow

If you’re working with someone who isn’t very experienced start them off in a dressing gown – something sexy but not too exposed to start with. You can build up to that as their confidence grows.

 

Props

Bring props into play like a telephone, hairbrush or lipstick. They help to provide a distraction for your subject and take the emphasis off being photographed.

 

Use a cushion to hide a tummy

Use a cushion to hide a tummy

 

Use props to give the model something to do

Use props to give the model something to do

© Emma Joanne

Shoot full length shots from low down to elongate the legs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poses

There are certain poses that work for me. Find your own and get those in the bag first because you know they will work. But always be adventurous and try something new too. More experienced models will be able to suggest different poses themselves, which will give you ideas. Less experienced models will expect you to direct them.

 

Inspiration

Study the work of others, and save images that inspire you to a Pinterest board, or make an album on your phone so that you can refer to it during the shoot if you get stuck for ideas.

 

Full length shots

For shooting full length shots get down really low on the floor and shoot up – it’ll make your model’s legs look really long.

 

Primes

I always favour prime lenses, such as my 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4 as the shallow depth of field they offer gives a much more creative look.

 

 

The brightness level of Here the AEOS was used as a front fill and the output matched to the brightness of the light outside

The brightness level of Here the AEOS was used as a front fill and the output matched to the brightness of the light outside


Have an open mind

Although you should come to the shoot with some ideas already, don’t be so rigid that you’re working to a checklist. Keep your mind open to your environment and let that give you ideas you may not have thought of before.

 

Lighting

I prefer constant lighting like the Rotolight range, over flash. Constant lighting lets you adjust the output to see exactly the lighting you’re going to get and how it balances with the ambient light, and with the Rotolights you can even adjust the colour temperature to match the available light or create a mixed lighting effect.

 

An AEOS was used as the key light here, with a NEO 2 as a hand held hair light from behind

An AEOS was used as the key light here, with a NEO 2 as a hand held hair light from behind

The Rotolight AEOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma’s kit list

Nikon D700 | 50mm f/1.4 | 85mm f/1.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 – www.nikon.co.uk

Rotolight AEOS | Rotolight Neo 2 lights – www.rotolight.com

 

Thanks to…

Photographer: Emma Joanne – www.shotgunweddings.co
Model: Angel White – www.angelwhite.net
Hair and make-up: Stacie Smith – www.stacie-laura-smith.uk

and the Hotel Pelirocco, Brighton UKwww.hotelpelirocco.co.uk

 

All photos © Emma Joanne