Nowadays, I have an in-home studio but in the not-so-distant past, I made all of my portraits on location in my home working mostly with window light in my dining room, where this shot was made, and a loft area outside my home office.
When shooting boudoir photographs on location, don’t get fussy about posing: Watch what she does naturally and have them interact with the background in some way that’s physically comfortable. To show them how and where I want her to stand, I put myself in the pose but let her give me her interpretation of that pose, whish is usually better than my original idea. Once she’s in a pose, I select camera angles that accent their good features and minimize anything she’s self-conscious about—even if she’s wrong about it.
One way to increase communications is to show them some of the images on your digital camera’s LCD screen during the shoot. I don’t show her every shot, just the ones I like the most. Most subjects respond positively to this but with some it totally breaks their concentration and you have to start all over again. If this happens; don’t show any photos until your finished with a specific pose or clothing change. When it does work—and that’s most of the time—seeing how great she looks gives her confidence in your abilities and makes the session progress smoother.
This image encapsulates the problem of obtaining proper exposure from the blown out highlights in my back door’s window to the deep shadows at the bottom of the frame. That’s not a mirror at camera right. It was a glass-framed poster that depending on the camera angle reflects what’s in the glass. Camera was a Canon EOS 50D with EF 28-105mm lens and an exposure of 1/160 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 400.
Joe is the author of “Posing for Portrait & Glamour Photography” which is available at your friendly neighborhood bookstore or Amazon.com.