Boudoir Photography Outdoors

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”— Marilyn Monroe

Boudoir photography or Intimate Portraiture, as I prefer to call the genre, is typically shot in a moody interior or studio setting but there’s no reason you can’t shoot outdoors. One of my favorite outdoor lighting techniques is backlighting, which  can produce  highlights on the subject’s hair and blow out the background to create a pseudo high-key effect and perhaps minimize the effect of a less than exciting background. Want to try it?

Tomiko.outdoorsThe next time you plan to photo-graph somebody outdoors, place her in a position that you might normally use, with the sun on her face, and then turn her around!

Right away the subject is more relaxed because the sun is behind her and she won’t have to squint! Next turn on your flash. Be sure to use it, otherwise she‘ll be a silhouette. In order to get a final image that you can live with, you may have to open the lens a few stops over the metered exposure just as you might with any backlit subject but this method will produce and attractive glow around all or part of your model. If you plan to shoot full length portraits instead of close-ups, a more powerful show-mounted flash will be more effective than the weaker pop-up flashes found on entry-level digital SLRs or mirrorless cameras.

I photographed Tomiko in Arizona using my basic flash technique for backlighting. Exposure with a Canon EOS 60D and EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens with 550EX speedlight used for fill.

Available Light Glamour Photography


Tomiko appears in my book “Available Light Glamour Photography” is available from Amazon with some of their associate vendors (non-Prime) selling new copies of the book for just $9.99 plus shipping, which is a heckuva deal for one of my favorite books.

Author: Joe Farace

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