Boudoir Model Photography

How To Start A Nude Photography BusinessTechnique and style are critically important. However, in boudoir model photography, the model is the most significant component. Your skills are very important. But, almost everything depends on the model in boudoir model photography.

Being a great boudoir model photographer comes from developing a healthy appreciation of all types of women and being able to assess their strong and weak characteristics as photography subjects. Practicing as much and as often as possible is priceless in attaining and honing your boudoir model photography skills. The more you shoot, the better you get.

The more awareness you have of yourself as a photographer and appreciation of women as people, as well as models, the easier it becomes to produce great photos from your boudoir model photography sessions.

In all good Boudoir Photography, model confidence is critical.

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Boudoir Model Photography – The Models

The easiest way to begin in boudoir model photography is to ask girlfriends or women you know relatively well, to model for you. Hiring professionals is the best option for great boudoir model photography.

If your intent is to provide portraits for clients, you will, most likely, be working with amateur models. If your intent is to make your photo available to a specific market, a professional model is your best option. Professional models know what to do. Amateur models, even with the best of imaginations, require a lot of (time consuming) directions.

Great boudoir model photography requires flair and imagination, as well as an above average body and confidently good looks. A professional model already knows how to pose to best advantage, understands about makeup, clothes, and accessories, and is able to take direction better than an amateur. This doesn’t mean that an amateur cannot produce the results you want. But, you will have to be very, very patient.

Amateur models must be approached tactfully and must feel in control of the situation. They often require time to think matters over at her own pace. Not so with professional models. Some women, amateur and professional, enjoy having their photographs taken and welcome the opportunity of modeling for a competent photographer. An amateur model in boudoir model photography spends a great deal of the time attempting to relax.

Natural outgoing personalities and professions (especially dancers, actors and entertainers) are very good at projecting their personalities in front of a camera. You will not have to expend much energy building their confidence.

Boudoir Model photography – Photographer/Model Relationships

Never force anyone who does not want to model for you to do so. Their reluctance will show in every shot. If the model is there, it is safe to assume that she is there because she wants to be there.

Relax your model by talking to her. Get her to tell you about herself. Look for mutual interests, acquaintances, etc. while talking, make mental notes of how she smiles, talks, sits, laughs, and uses her hands. Discreetly note any nervous mannerisms and use this information as a cue to reassure her is she displays nervousness during the shoot. Even the most experienced models can be nervous when working with someone for the first time and it is important that you are able to make them relax. The better photographer that you are, the easier this will be.

Make sure that the model understands from the beginning exactly what it is you want from the session. Describe what you are doing and why, and what you want her to do, but avoid baffling her with photographic lingo that she may not understand. This is especially critical if your model lacks confidence in her looks – which is almost always when asked to pose semi-nude or nude for the first time. To help deal with this, make positive comments continuously during the session ( try not to be fake or phony).

Often, models want to be accompanied by girlfriends, boyfriends, and others. They sometimes do this to help them to relax and feel comfortable. Too often this 'extra' person increases the model’s tension because she feels she has to win additional approval when posing. If a chaperone is necessary for any reason, make sure she or he is not within eyeshot of your model and is asked to keep silent.

Boudoir Model photography – Posing

An appreciation of women is invaluable when identifying the qualities in a woman that make her particularly appealing. The more you understand your subject, the greater the chances of capturing the special moments that make a great photograph. To achieve this, you must do more than establish a rapport with your models. You must develop an instinct as to how you wish to portray them.

If you have a confident model in front of the camera that is capable of striking her own poses without direction, you have won half the battle. You can then focus of your task to create the photograph; to be constantly aware of the entire image as it appears when you press the shutter. If you are not fully aware of this, your results will be disappointing.

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Boudoir Model photography – Assessing the Model

Before you begin to work, study your model and decide on the s trengths and weaknesses you intend to highlight or disguise. You want to portray and photograph the ideal, but you aren’t likely to find a model that is perfect in every respect. Good skin and hair are particularly important. In general, models should be slender with slim thighs and waist. Above all, it is the model’s ability to look natural that counts. And, as most good photographer know, standards of beauty are subjective and transitory.

From the Front: The overall proportions of the body are particularly evident. Short legs or a long waist, for example, will show.

From the Side: Posture is revealed, and also the shape of the breasts and the buttocks. Look for an upright stance and firm, high breasts.

From Behind: The model’s back and the shape of her legs can be seen. Both are important. The back should be narrow and straight, with square shoulders, and the legs should be long and curve gracefully at the hips and calves.

Boudoir Model photography – More Assessing Tips

  • Hair should be shiny and healthy
  • Facial makeup should blend with body color
  • Watch for creases around armpits
  • There should be no stomach bulge
  • Watch for veins in hands
  • Watch for dry skin on knees
  • Watch for dry skin on feet
  • Watch for dry skin on elbows
  • Watch for veins in legs
  • Watch for hair on legs
  • Back muscles should not be too tense
  • Watch for collarbones
  • Wait for pressure marks from underclothes to disappear

Generally speaking, it is best to concentrate on your model’s best attributes and not draw attention to any particular feature, unless it can withstand close scrutiny. Some problems only become apparent when seen through the viewfinder. By adjusting camera angles and the model’s position, it is usually possible to overcome them.

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