Chantelle dans le boudoir

May 4, 2015 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 12 comments


01. I let a hint of daylight glance into the room under the Roman blind to simulate moonlight. I gave the blue a bit of a boost in Lightroom too. The light on Chantelle comes from a Lupolux LED 1000 spotlight with a Scattergel to break up the light into patches. The light also has a 1/2 CTO gel. There’s more about that gel later in the post. Chantelle is sitting on pillows in a pair of jeans. I try to keep the shoot as comfortable as I can.

Here are 45 photographs taken wide open on my Fujifilm X-T1 with 16mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 prime lenses and my X100t with it’s fixed 23mm f/2 lens.  I only used one light and it was a Lupolux 1000 LED daylight balanced spotlight with a colour temperature of 5600k. I used a Scattergel and a 1/2 CTO gel from time to time to warm up the light as required.

Chantelle did her own hair and makeup. Her complexion is amazing and I’ve not done any retouching in Lightroom or Photoshop. My only post production work has been my usual photograph enhancement routine in Lightroom 5 as shown in this video.


02. I used the Lupolux Spotlight from behind Chantelle to simulate sunlight streaming into the room. The rim light in the top picture is from the Lupolux and it looks as if it comes from the distant window. The forward leading shadows in the bottom picture are characteristically hard and look like sunlight. The light from the camera side is coming from a North facing window.

This shoot was a 1:1 training session for an amateur photographer who wanted a first class learning experience to further develop their skills at photographing women. The stayed the night in this boutique hotel bedroom in Bristol and we shot in it the day after. A late (17:30) checkout meant we could shoot all day. Lunch was fabulous too at the pub just 100m away. If you would like to have a 1:1 or a small group training session to hone your photography skills then click here for more information and prices.


03. As you can see in the shot on the right there was a bit of sun from time to time but it never penetrated deep into the room. It came and went but we didn’t need it as we made our own sunlight with the Lupolux. I love not having to rely on the weather to shoot. Everyday is a sunny day with the right light.


04. I like to start a boudoir shoot session with a bit of fun as it gets rid of the nerves and gives the room a buzz. Chantelle is lit with the Lupolux from the left of camera and a bit of light coming from a window to the right. The Lupo has a colour temperature of 5600k (sunlight at noon) and the light coming through the North facing window has a colour temperature of about 8000k as it is coming from a blue sky with the odd cloud. You can see the variance between the sources on the right side of the duvet.


05. I used the classic key and backlight technique that utilises just one light and a mirror for this and the next set of shots.


06. In black and white this set look like stills from an old movie. I love this timeless quality that can only come from a light with a Fresnel lens like the Lupolux spotlights.


07. I taught high key and low key shooting. For High key images like these I like to keep the frame simple and uncluttered.


08. Adding design to the imagery is important when shooting in one hotel room for a complete session. The trick is do some research, make up moodboards and never run out of ideas.


09. These images and the ones below right down to set 14 were lit with the Lupolux 1000 and a Scattergel. I couldn’t have taken these shots with a Speedlight or with any flash system. With continuous light you get to see exactly where the light is going and how much of it there is.


10. The hard shadow under Chantelle’s chin and her well defined cheekbones are clues to the hard lighting style used.


11. I shoot into the light, with the light and at 90 degrees to the light to mix up the shots.


12. The Scattergel really makes these images timeless. They could have been taken in any of the past six decades. (Calvin Klein logos excepted)


13. Most of my boudoir work gets printed in black and white as it simplifies the shots however when the colour element in a shot is exciting I like to keep it in colour.


14. Close ups and detail shots make album layouts more exciting. Boudoir is definitely a genre that favours albums.


15. In the background of the left shot you can see the Roman blind. These are less useful than curtains but they can still be used to make night scenes in the daytime.


16. A little bit of Hollywood glamour emphasising Chantelle’s cheekbones was a must for this shoot.


17. The paneling in the room makes it look interesting and gives a grid to help get the verticals upright.


18. These two shots and the ones in the panel below were lit using window light.


19. The Fuji X series cameras are so easy to shoot with. The technical quality of the images is a given. The lenses are spot on wide open too. My client shot on a Canon 5D mk3 and there were times that it struggled to keep up with the little Fujis.


20. These shots were taken on my Fuji X100t It is a joy to work with and near silent too. The X100t is my desert island camera. If I could only have one camera and one lens the X100t would be it. I feel so creative with it in my hands.


21. Here’s another frame shot with the wonderful Fuji X100t. I said at the top of this post that I’d discuss the 1/2 CTO gel so here goes. We set up this shot in the middle of the day, the Roman blinds although good didn’t keep out all the blue light. The walls are a blue/green Farrow & Ball type flat matte paint. I set the camera white balance to 3800 Kelvin and the table lamp must be about 2800-3000k hence the wall colour above the lamp being orange. I then put a 1/2 CTO (colour temperature orange) gel on my Lupolux 1000 LED that has a core white balance of 5600k so that made it about 4500k and slightly blue in the frame. You can see the blue from my light on the bed sheets. I then warmed up Chantelle’s skin tone with a brush loaded with a white balance shift in Lightroom. This gave me the moonlight and tungsten light mix that you see here. Easy really once you know how.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures below.

Chantelle is the model for my one off fashion and boudoir workshop event on the 8th June 2015 in the Cotswolds. It will be a spectacular day at a sumptuous location. Take a look here for all the details and to book your place.


    • Damien

      Thank you Toni :)

  1. Dan

    Fantastic work Damien! I’m just discovering your site and I simply cannot get enough!

    I know that from previous posts you’ve explained that you always carry your camera bag and believe that you should have a main/secondary set up, however, if you’re out taking a stroll (or traveling) – and you could only bring one – are you picking the x100T or the XT-1 with XF 23mm f/1.4 as your daily shooter?

    • Damien

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for your kind words. When I’m out shopping or doing chores I carry my iPhone 6+ as my only camera. When I’m out for the day with friends I take my X100T and when I’m out sightseeing with the intention of taking a few photographs I take the X-T10 with the 18-55 and 55-200 lenses. If I’m on a shoot I’ll use my X-T1 with 16, 23, 35, 56 primes and either 90mm or 50-140 depending upon needs. I might use my 14mm or 10-24 too if I need a wide view. Photography is my life hence me having so much kit. I hope this helps,


  2. mike gill

    The shot at top in the bath,stunning.

    • Damien

      Thanks Mike :)

  3. Robert Wilson

    Fantastic Images Damien wonderful work !!!

    • Damien

      Thanks Robert :)

  4. Andrew Brown

    I’m not going to comment on the virtues of the Fuji x series cameras – I was sold on them almost 2 years ago with an X-Pro 1.

    I’m not going to comment on the looks of Chantelle, I think it goes without saying that her looks tick all the right boxes, especially for this shoot.

    I will work on the premise that all the pictures are gorgeous with the following worth a special mention (IMO):

    Block 1 – how many of us would dream of getting a picture with this much atmosphere?

    Block 4 bottom image – so much fun in this shot and so beauitfully lit. The whites actually look white! Chantelle’s grin looks for real as well! Were you the target? :-)

    Block 10 left – I’ll leave it as in need of a mention just because every one else! Nuff said!

    Block 12 right. The lighting really does serve to enhance Chantelle’s features to almost perfection. Certainly any male missing some red blood cells would get them recovered after looking at this shot for a few minutes. Same could also apply to 13 right… Similar shot except in mono.

    Block 16 top – this really does show just why mono will always be superior to colour. 256 shades of grey used to absolute perfection – and again, Chantelles features really do suit this shot…

    • Damien

      Hi Andrew,

      Wow! Thank you for your kind words about my photography and your recognition of Chantelle’s beauty. It’s comments like yours that make me want to continue to strive for new.

      Thank you, Damien.

  5. fotodano

    Thanks for a bit of a walk through your creative process. I’ll be taking more than a little of this to a hotel room shoot I’m planning in the near future.



    • Damien

      Thanks Dano :)


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