Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boudoir photography II (might be nsfw)

As promised in my previous post i update my blog with some pictures from my last shoot with Manon.

Mua and Hair by Valérie de Roeck

I know i should keep the quantity of pictures low but for once i'll post a bit more pictures than usual... (I really could not choose, Manon is my muse!)

In this series i really worked a lot with available light only, i had a shoot through umbrella ready but never used it, only the mini sunbounce with silver fabric got used a lot
The light coming through the blinds caught my attention in the bathroom, it was only a question in posing Manon in the right spot, no additional lights or reflectors used

Just a bit of posing on a sofa.. D700, 85mm, big window with amazing light and a sunbounce silver reflector (mini) to fill the shadows, post in LR and PS

Manon thought we where going a bit too much mainstream, she asked me for something different... we gave it a try, hope you like it

This was outside, only lit by very harsh afternoon sun, Manon could not even look at me, that's why her head is turned away, i like this picture a lot because of it's look & feel and it's hard light, not something i use often.

Window in the back and a window behind me, perfect light sandwich for Manon, 100% available light (turned of the lights because they would have casted their yellow tone in the picture, mixing different light temperatures is not a good idea, well not here anyway!)

And a bit more Editorial style pictures, slightly overcast weather and the mini sunbounce for fill.

More glamour, more glamour..

Classic Hollywood style without the butterfly ;-)

Here i used the Falcon eyes reflective Sun umbrella behind Manon (picture left) to give an extra light effect, big window with natural light in Manon's right side

The Umbrella is powered with an SB-900 in manual mode with the RF-602 triggering system, the flasheads temperature is raised by several 100 degrees kelvin because of the "soft sun" reflective interior in the umbrella (bit of gold-ish an silver-ish like a Zebra panel but with more contrast)

Boudoir photography

Boudoir also known as bedroom photography, a soft style of photography where the mood is very important, often the female model will only wear some lingerie. I think this is one of the most difficult forms of model photography because of the need for a mood in the lighting and the danger for a pose to become vulgar or unflattering.

Finding a proper location for boudoir is a PITA* the "problem" with most of them is the cost, i agree on people asking money to let us use their location but in the end it's me who has to sell the entire packet to my client. Most of my clients are models at the start of their career or even people who just want a nice set of pictures for "later", not the kind of people with a big budget.

Luckily some shoots are done at the models home, in their own bedrooms and this is good for their confidence as most of them expose themselves for the first time to a photographer wearing almost nothing or even less than nothing.

However i've planned a lot more in this style at the studio, i simply convert the studio to a bedroom with a inflatable bed (Intex) and some curtains (Ikea) and i will add some more stuff later (bedside lamps, clocks, lamps etc..) 

This is one of the latest attempts made in our small but cosy studio.

How it's done?:
Dropped down the seamless white paper in the back and illuminated it with a standard reflector on a Bowens 500Ws head

Between the bed and the seamless, attached the (semi transparant) curtains to the ceiling, do this in a natural looking wave form so you get a backdrop on your photo that looks realistic. With this you get a nice soft directional fill light.

(The idea is to simulate a window with soft light by bouncing against the white seamless en softening it further trough the extra diffusion layer, if you want harsher light add a second flashead, throwing it's light directly through the curtain aimed at the model)

So in order starting from the back of your photo: White Seamless | flashhead | curtains | bed and model | camera and photographer


The main light was done with 2 white shoot through umbrella at a 1/2 ratio (one at f:5.6 an the other at f:4), these 2 heads move around all the time depending on the pose and the position of the head and are often positioned just slightly out of the frame to have the best effect of the umbrella.

Posing your model and making her feel confident about it is the hardest part, i'll have to work on that even more and as i don't like to work with zoom lenses i used my 85mm fixed focal, this makes searching for a good composition and DOF even harder.

One tip is to talk to the model while choosing your point of view, tell her she's looking great, the pose is perfect and that you're searching for the perfect composition. Set yourself in her place, she's lying on a bed, in a maybe pretty strange position, wearing almost nothing, anything that can set her at ease is welcome, so keep talking and explain what you're doing.

After taking the shot, show it to the model so she also gets en idea of what you're doing!! 

Model: Xira
MUA= Miqel Thiriaux

In the next blogpost I'll show some resultst from an on location boudoir shoot, performed with 95% natural light and a bit of speed-light

(*) PITA = Pain in the ass

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back to school

Headshots, that's really my cup of tea, this is right in my comfort zone. These are the first shots for Equipe Haircare, more will follow but the publications are meant for the end of the year so I'll wait a while before posting them on my blog.

Choosing apropriate lighting to create a good mood in the picture, keeping it modern, appealing and commercial and off course keeping enough lighting in the hair to emphasize what these pictures are all about, haircuts!

Of course the models where pretty amazin' too, they made my job easy :-)

Mua: Tanja Dassy
Styling: Sany Jeans

Models Brian & Talyssa

And the publication of Talyssa's photo

It's September so back to school, Talyssa is waiting for you !

La douce France, 2011 edition

It's that time again, I'll annoy you with some pics from our yearly trip to the south of France...

The light is different over there, in the mountain area it's only slightly so because of the altitude i guess but near the sea it's definitely different in color temperature and spectrum, i see a lot of warmer tones, orange & pink are rendered much better, ideal for skin-tones i would say.
Bur we are not here to shoot models this time, we're here to relax and enjoy our stay.

First picture was taken from the small village of St-Croix, you can see the lac de St-Croix with it's amazing color and the Gorges du Verdon in the back (left side)

Nikon Af-s 24-70 with Circular polarizer

This is from the village Saint-Paul de Vence, if you want to create depth in an image try including some elements in the foreground said the book, so i did give it a try
Af-d 50mm @ f:2.0

The old city of Antibes (near Cannes)

And the covered Mediterranean market of Antibes

Oh my, Mojito time!

This is what i mean when talking about better color temperature

Fréjus coastline taken form the Jardin Bonaparte (St-Raphaël)

the Jardin Bonaparte (St-Raphaël)

The harbors are always amazing to visit, it's decadent to see how much money some people own :-p

Between all that luxury a fisherman's working horse

After comming here for years i tried something more abstract, you can still tell this was taken in a warm place with palm trees, don't you?

I was ready to photograph the firework, but because of a big storm they launched the firework early, too early, i was still at the restaurant, everything was set to take pictures so i photographed some other firework.
A pretty violent thunderstorm, the cloud hang so low it had a hard time passing by because of the Alps in the north

And a more close-up shot, exposure time about 15 secs (Bulb)

This is also a classic, Roquebrune, bit of an HDR from 1 photo to be honnest as lighting was not optimal.
"Little house on the prairie"

On route to the "Parc National du Mercantour"

And i even made you guys a little panorama from the "La vallée des merveilles" :