Natural Light and Posing for Boudoir with Lindsay Adler

Boudoir doesn't always require a large studio, several lights, or different modifiers. Sometimes you can keep it simple and get things done with a reflector, a window in a home or hotel room, and some easy posing tips!

Let's start with our base (a background) a sheer, thin sheet behind the subject in front of a window that will allow the light spilling in to wrap around the edges of our subject's body to give her a beautiful glow. That light will also accentuate our subject's curve and body, what we're trying to really capture during a boudoir shoot.

Metering and exposure for this kind of situation are going to be a little different than a typical shoot. Because we're really backlighting the subject, we need to adjust exposure compensation when shooting in Tv, Av, or P (shutter priority, aperture priority, or program modes) to overexpose. What happens is the camera sees all the light from the background and tries to compensate by stopping down the exposure in order to make sure detail are retained. But because we want the light coming through our thin sheet and blow out the background to white and wrap around our subject's body, we need to make sure that it is overexposing.

Now on to posing; instead of posing our model awkwardly straight-on, we want to start building curvature into her body, but naturally that works with it rather than posing her in a contorted way. First, having her kick her right leg out in front of her left leg and bending it creates a narrowing point at the bottom of the image and makes the bottom half of her body look not as wide.

Next we want to have her move her chest forward towards the camera. A good optics rule to remember is that whatever is closest to the lens, will appear larger than what is farther away from the lens. This will make her chest appear fuller and in addition gives us the advantage of elongating her neck and lifting her chin up.

Finally we're going to have subject slightly arch their lower back in order to create a flowing curve throughout the entire body. Next we'll move our subject's right hand slightly up on her thigh so that we create some negative space to highlight that curve we had her create with her lower back. Finally we'll take her left hand and have it add some mood by positioning it next to her face or playing with her hair.

Finally we want to add some fill light on our subject, and what better way to do that than to harness the light that is backlighting her! Using a Rogue 32" Super Soft Silver/Natural White Collapsible Reflector, we're able to add light back on her without it being too bright, contrasty, or overly specular. The Super Soft Silver material is a custom fabric developed by Rogue that is more of a matte silver than a standard "shiny" silver.

Whether your using these for boudoir mini-sessions at a hotel, or booking an intimate home session, a window, a reflector, and a few posing tips, we can create this setup virtually anywhere.

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Lindsay Adler
Lindsay Adler

Author

Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York City. Her editorial work has appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications internationally. A clean, bold and graphic style has become the hallmark of her work, making her in-demand for clients across the world. Lindsay is also a world renowned educator, author and sought after speaker.



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