One Light Boudoir Photography

Experiment. Don’t go out with preconceptions of what a picture will look like. That will block you from being receptive to something new and exciting. — Mason Resnick

BroncolorMason’s statement applies to all kinds of photography, including boudoir or intimate portraiture where it’s too easy to pose a subject in “Pose A”, then move then into “Pose B,” making the whole process so mechanical R2D2 could make this kind of portrait. But that’s not what your intimate portraiture clients want. They want a portrait of themselves that’s different from the last one you made and one that captures their individuality or essence.



The same goes with your lighting. I once helped a sick friend by shooting some of his high school senior customers. Before getting started, one of the studio’s assistants showed me their lights that fetaures strings with different knots representing different subject-to-light distances that were used to maintain a consistent lighting ratio but you don’t have to do it that way.

Sometime you can get by with just one soft box—no strings required. In the above setup, I used a single Broncolor Litos head with 28-inch Broncolor soft box placed at camera left and aimed at the subject.

As you can see above, the light was placed at camera left out of range of the Canon EOS ID Mark IIN and (now discontinued) EF 135mm f/2.8 SF lens used for this portrait. Exposure was 1/60 sec at f/10 and ISO 100. Lighting was metered with a Gossen Star F light meter and, as always, I typically shoot a few test shots to get one that produces the best exposure and histogram.

If you’re interested in learning how I shoot portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio and on location, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere which is available new from for $23.34 and for the giveaway price of $2.31 used, as I write this. If you’re interested in learning how to shoot better portraits and would like some hands-on training, check out my one-on-one workshops


Author: Joe Farace

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