Curvy Boudoir with Alexandra Watts

Sep 7, 2012 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, Location | 13 comments

In a bid to put balance into my product offering  this summer I chose to run a curvy boudoir workshop with a fabulous size 16 girl. Alexandra Watts stepped forward and agreed to model for me. I couldn’t have been blessed with a more gorgeous model and here are a few images from my set. All the shots are in colour this time despite shooting them all on my Fuji X-Pro1 in monochrome on the day.

01. Legs, curves and heals. The currency of fabulousness.

My take on the size issue is I treat all people the same regardless of their size. There are as many size zero and size 8 girls with attributes to enhance or minimise as there are size 18 or 20 girls. Making men and women look fabulous is all about enhancing their best assets, diminishing the lesser while maximising great shapes and minimising the less flattering ones as required. The same is true for all shapes and sizes. Since 1998 Julie and I have photographed the weddings of over 400 couples and we have worked with them all to bring out their finest qualities in our photographs.

This workshop was just sensational and we all felt blessed to be working with Alexandra Watts our gorgeous model and Vicki Waghorn my make up artist.

02. I used a Speedlight in an Ezybox to light this shot of Alex.

03. Lighting as above. Our aim was to light the interior to a similar level as the exterior. The exact balance is a matter of taste and I showed my delegates how to achieve the balance quickly and easily.

04. Lead in lines, dramatic lighting and contrasting colours all fight for attention but the core subject leaps clear of them all. My style is to simplify and reduce clutter in an image. This usually involve rearranging furniture.


06. Very simple frontal lighting gives a 'show all' look to the image.

07. Alex is a great model to work and followed my direction for poses implicitly. Notice how we minimised thighs and legs in this shot. I love Alex's hair in this photograph. We used it in a playful way throughout the day.

08. The wave of Alex's hair has a rhythm with her cheek bones and chin. The lighting here is as simple as it gets.


10. The provocative nature of this shot adds another dynamic. A lack of eye contact is essential to avoid glamour.

11. I rarely use out of focus foregrounds in my pictures because on the whole they look naff but I think I got away with it here. Amazing eyes.

12. We went back to the sofa for a natural light session with a white lingerie set.

13. I borrowed a mirror from an adjacent room to set up this voyeuristic shot. You can never have too many shoes in a shot.

14. Mirrors are wonderful at abstracting a scene.

15. Fabulous

16. I like to have strands of hair break up the face line. It narrows the face and draws the eye down to Alex's voluptuous body.



19. I created the sunlight with a Lupo Dayled 1000 light.

20. I used the Lupo Dayled light here too. This time it was going through my Venetian blind prop.

21. This shot was inspired by a painting ithat is hanging beside the bed.

22. I showed the group how to be minimal with natural light.

23. Some of my delegates were surprised when I said shoot from below. The best beauty images are often from way below the eye line.

24. I used a high vantage point here to see over the screen.

25. I love lines, curves and eye contact.

Unfortunately there were less delegates than expected and I was saddened by this as all my previous boudoir workshops have been a sell out. Please feel free to comment on these pictures.


  1. Tony Cashen

    Damien my other half is size 8-10 however as been said before seldom do clients come in such sizes today so is lovely to see your gorgeous images that represent todays real women and indeed real clients, I think maybe it’s the climate and perhaps time of year rather than the class title, I would have loved to come along and learn body sculpture with your lighting expertise but things are tight this time of year, however cracking shots of a beautiful curvy girl. I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot at London fashion week this year and where as I understand it is a different Genre, I feel it’s still sad to see stick thin models modelling cloths, as you say every woman is different but still beautiful and as a photographer I guess it’s good that we are not judgemental.

    • damien

      Hi Tony,

      Wise words and thanks for the compliments. Stay creative and inspired, Damien.

  2. Tony Cashen

    At long last gorgeous pictures of real women, love them Damien, lets get those stick insects off of the catwalk and start seeing girls that represent todays nice curvy women :-))

    • damien

      Hi Tony,

      I have to say all sizes are equalin my opinion. My daughter is thin and her friends arn’t. I’m not in fashion so I rarely get to see or shoot catwalk. My models are often classed as ‘plus size’ by the agencies.To me they are normal, healthy people. I’m shooting a ‘plus size’ model on Tuesday and I’m sure she will look fabulous. Unfortunately this Curvy Boudoir workshop didn’t sell out so I won’t be running another one. My regular boudoir workshops are far more in demand. I tend to use a size 12 or 14 when I can for that genre. However I love shooting less voluptuous women too.

      Best regards, Damien.

  3. Thorsten

    Yet another great set of images Damien. I’m intrigued by your comment that you shot these in monochrome but then decided to run with the colour version in the end. I guess we’re so used to shootingn in colour and then deciding to go mono, that it’s a little unusual to hear someone going to opposite direction. At the end of the day it’s what works best for the image that counts and here digital offers a distinct advantage over shooting film.

    – Thorsten.

    • damien

      Hi Thorsten,

      Yes indeed, I set my camera in monochrome mode but was setting up colour images for the delegates. I styled the shoot for colour but I rarely process boudoir or nudes in colour. When Lightroom made colour previews from my mono shots the colour was so significant I decided to run with them.

      Thank you for your continued support,


  4. Mike

    Excellent set of images Damien.
    As tracy says,a shoot with real curves, sexy images and proof that all can look good,with a little thought to the posing,lighting etc.

    • damien

      Thanks Mike.

  5. David Cooke

    Wonderful shoot, great model, fantastic use of light, brilliant as usual Damien.

  6. Tracy Edwards

    At last… a shoot with real curves. Very sexy images and proof that we can all look good irrespective of dress size.

    • damien

      Thanks Tracy,

      You’ve hit the nail on the head there. I loved shooting this workshop with the gorgeous Alexandra. Finding models in a variety of shapes and sizes is always a challenge. It’s great to have the effort appreciated. Thanks,


    • damien

      Thanks Kim :)


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