Beauty photography in the boudoir ~ pictures

Nov 29, 2015 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 35 comments

I’ve been very quiet lately on ProPhotoNut and social media because I’m writing a book on portraiture. I’ve been threatening to do it for over 5 years now and the time is finally right. I’m putting everything I know about shooting portraits into this book and shooting fresh content for it too. The book will run to 500 or so pages and all of the 300 or so photographs were taken on a Fuji X camera within the last 4 years.

Here is a shoot for the chapter on boudoir. I’ll elaborate on each image, deconstructing the lighting design and the narrative in the book but for now I’ll share the shoot concept with you. The brief was to shoot commercial grade aspirational beauty photography shots suitable for perfume adverts and the like. My shoot location was Clevedon Hall, the model, Victoria Bond with make up and hair expertly prepared by Vicki Waghorn. My assistants and fellow creatives on the shoot were Tom Museeuw and Ioannis Tsouloulis.

I used the new Lupo dual colour 1000 and 650 LED spotlights bare faced or with a Scattergel. The camera lens was fitted with a Tiffen Black Pro Mist ½ strength filter.

Try to read the emotions and narrative in these shots…

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06. I do love black and white.

06. I do love black and white.

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08. My lighting style is all about beauty, cheekbones, facial structure and the wow factor. That’s why I and many of the top commercial photographers use hard light. No softboxes in sight. No brollies, paras or other light flattening kit were used in this shoot, just pure Lupo Fresnel led spotlights.

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A little nugget of inspiration… At the time I shot these pictures of Victoria her baby was just 4 months old. Through exercise and sheer determination she had regained her pre pregnancy figure. How amazing is that!

I’m over 15,000 words in on the 50,000 word book project so it should be finished soon. Thank you for your patience at this busy time for me. :)

Please feel free to leave comments below:

 

35 Comments

  1. Isky

    Hi Damien, I’m trying to decide between a pair of Lupos 1000 + 650, in either the daylight only or dual color version. From the chart you included here: http://lovegrove.lighting/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/lupo-lux-comparison-1.jpg …. it seems that the dual color versions give out MUCH less light. Am I reading this chart correctly..and if so, and I’m interested in the strongest amount of light, am I better off with the 5600K only version? THANKS SO MUCH!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Isky, I picked this up on Twitter earlier in the week. I hope you are loving your new lights. Let me know if you need any more advice. I look forward to shooting with you soon.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  2. Keith Haase

    Hi, Damien:
    Fabulous work as usual. Looking forward to the book.
    I’ve purchased some of your material but I have a nagging questions: How do you meter for
    your shots. Are you using evaluative, spot, or what?
    Thanks in advance,
    Keith

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Keith, Thank you for the compliments. I don’t meter anything. I look at the screen or EVF and if the picture looks too dark I brighten it or visa versa before I take the shot. I use the “preview exposure in manual mode” function on the Fuji X cameras. I hope this helps, Damien.

      Reply
  3. Walt

    The secret is out – these are Fujifilm X-Pro2 images! Well done!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Haha, not much of a secret Walt, but yes X-Pro2 images. Thank you :)

      Reply
  4. Matt Selby Photography

    Epic as usual Damien! (Love the mono shots!)

    I guess the narrative is along the lines of; She rings her partner to see how long he’s going to be… he said he’s working late but not to worry because all good things come to those who wait! – here is the moment she’s waiting and day dreaming, slightly impatient, but with a sense of satisfaction, because she’s lost all her bay weight in no time!

    I look forward of the release of your new book.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Haha, Matt :) Have you thought about becoming a novelist? Thank you for your continued encouragement. Have a wonderful 2016 :)

      Damien.

      Reply
  5. Daniel

    Hi Damien, I’m very much looking forward to read your book. Your pictures are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your ways of creating. I wish you many creative ideas for this book.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Daniel,

      I’m at the 30,000 word point now and well on my way.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. Steinar Knai

    Nice shoot Damien. I have to think that The major advantage of the hard Lupo lights is the ability to see shadows and forms before you shoot.
    Cheers and good luck with the book.
    Steinar

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Steiner,

      I’d say the major advantage with the Lupo is the ability to control the light with dapple or the barn doors in a way that just cant happen with flash. Flash kills the ambience when the Lupo creates it. Obviously what you see is what you get so adjusting the brightness is done by eye before the camera is even picked up. Oh and you can shoot video too. :)

      Cheers,

      Damien.

      Reply
  7. Arjan

    Really looking forward to it!
    Wish you all the best with your creative process.
    The best thing is we will be able to get inspiration from you and your work, even when not online!
    There is always something magical in having a book.
    Good luck!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Arjan :)

      Reply
  8. William Cowan

    G’day Damien

    Stunning work as usual.

    I have an idea for your book.

    Most of your work is done with exceptionally good looking young models. Is there any chance you could add a chapter on posing and lighting fit and healthy women in their 40s and 50s? They can look beautiful too, however the lighting and posing is often different to a girl in her 20s. Your favourite hard light is often not the best choice and brings out too many imperfections.

    Do that and I promise you I’ll buy a copy (I’ll probably buy it anyway!)

    Cheers

    William Cowan

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi William,

      Thank you for your compliments. It sounds like you have an idea for a book of your own there. I tend to use the same lighting for people of all ages, young and old. I love people the way they are wrinkles and all. I pose people the same way too no matter what age they are. I photographed over 400 weddings and there are plenty of examples of how I work with “healthy women in their 40s and 50s” in my wedding book here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Guide-Professional-Wedding-Photography/dp/0240808908

      I don’t use Photoshop for my portrait work although I often had to use it with my brides and grooms at their request. I like to shoot what I see. Hard light make faces narrow and defines cheekbones etc. Soft light widens faces and reduces shape definition. If you want to remove or reduce character in faces Photoshop or Photoshop plugins are the way to go and will work whatever light type has been used. Here is a recent ‘Photoshop free’ session I shot of a lady in her 40s: https://www.prophotonut.com/2014/09/07/yulia-kep-sessions/ Shots from that session and a few others like it will make the book. I lit that set with daylight so it has a soft light look but her beautiful character makes the shots for me :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
      • William Cowan

        G’day again Damien

        Your style has evolved significantly in the eight years following the publication of that book. Yours and in particular Julies look was softer and lower in contrast compared to your current work, making it easier to get right on a busy wedding day. I love your current style and agree with you about the natural beauty of a woman, however many women want to see themselves in a more….um….flattering light. Different situation with guys, most are comfortable with their natural character.

        Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading your new book. Your work is consistently some of the best out there and you are a great teacher.

        Cheers

        William Cowan

        Reply
  9. nikolay76

    Great series of image, and the model is amazing!!!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Nikolay 76 :)

      Reply
  10. Graham Cartwrightgt

    Great photos Damien, when will book be on sale?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Graham,

      As soon as I’ve finished it and declared it to be as good as it can be. It will then get printed and released as an Ebook too. The more I write, the more I realise there is to write. ;)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  11. Randell John

    Beautiful work as always Damien, and a stunning model.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Cheers Randell,

      I love this set and as you say, Victoria is stunning especially with make up by Vicki :)

      regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  12. Sasa

    Wonderful images Damien! Can’t wait for the book.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Sasa :)

      Reply
  13. Mark dell

    Great work as usual Damien
    I will be looking forward to your book

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Mark, Me too. I’ve so much to write and so many distractions. I’ll get it finished soon :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  14. Jay Mijares

    Lovely photos, Damien! #9, left photo and #14 bottom right photos are my favorites. There’s an elegance in both photos, especially #9. And even though #14 is black and white, the rim light make her hair glow, almost making you picture it as blonde. Nice work! And congrats to Victoria too on her baby boy!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Jay,

      Your kind words are always appreciated.

      Damien.

      Reply
  15. ailukewitsch

    What a master of lighting, wish I could attend to one of your workshops….

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Ailukewitsch,

      Maybe you can. Come to the USA with me on our Wild West adventure. Thanks for the compliments :)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
      • ailukewitsch

        Will love to be able, but from where I am living right now, it’s quite an extensive journey. Will wait for the book, hope there is a digital version.

        Reply
      • Daniel

        A version in Spanish would be too much to ask not? hehe .. If so you already have a buyer! excellent work. regards

        Reply
    • Damien

      It will be an Ebook too so don’t worry :)

      Reply

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