Boudoir Photography By Brad Williams – NSFW

Guest post by Brad Williams from Model Citizens Photography. You can check out his website here and his Facebook page here.

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Winter in the Ozark Mountains can be a time of immeasurable beauty.  A white tail deer leaping through fresh powder across rolling hills. A fresh frost covering the ghost of a ramshackle barn.  The baron trees can look like crucified thieves with the first rays of a December sunrise darting through their gnarly limbs.

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It’s also as cold as Frosty’s snowballs, which is why you’ll find me photographing none of the above, and instead, hauling my happy glass (and camera) indoors!  Now, I don’t have a fancy studio, so I do a lot of my shooting in people’s homes or in hotels.  These locations leave one very much obliged to do some boudoir photography, at least that’s how I sell it to my wife.

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The female form has been inspiring artists since the first caveman etched a likeness of the girl in the cave next door on to his wall.  And, when pursued with a noble mind, boudoir photography can be very artistic, even though some will never view it as anything but high brow porn.

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Taking photos of someone in various states of undress, sometimes completely undressed, can obviously come with tensions not found in the everyday portrait shoot.  Everyone has their own comfort level with their bodies, and some may have no issue at all stripping down for the camera.  But I would say the majority of the time, your subject is going to be at least a bit nervous, heck, YOU might be nervous if it’s your first shoot in this style.  Still, it’s up to you to break any tension that is in the air and make your subject feel relaxed.  Otherwise, you’re going to end up with a stiff model, forced smiles, and boring photos.

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I try to bring humor to all my shoots, and especially boudoir shoots.  If you can make a woman laugh while she’s undressed and at her most vulnerable, you can more easily dictate the mood of the session.  This is NOT to be confused with making a woman laugh when YOU’RE naked, which can lead to years of costly therapy.

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I’ve mentioned it previous articles, but it bears repeating: keep your hands to yourself!  There are plenty of ways to direct your model on posing without touching them.  Point to your own body when asking them to move a certain way, for instance.  I myself have struck many a pin-up girl pose in order to show my subject how I wanted them positioned, and looked damned sexy doing it :p.

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Also, use discretion when coaching your model. A few, well placed, “looking great” or “you’re doing wonderful”‘s can put your subject at ease. “Holy jeez, look at those jubblies”, on the other hand, will probably earn you the reputation of a perv and, perhaps, a trip to the hospital.

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In summary, be funny, but be professional.  Be yourself, unless yourself is a jerk, then be someone else.  Be encouraging and a good director.  Be respectful and patient, and walk the line between capturing something sexy, yet artistic.  This is my advice for a successful boudoir shoot.

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