As a Hudson Valley Boudoir Photographer who will be celebrating her 10 years as a Hudson Valley Pro next year – ahhhh, where has the time gone – I am constantly finding new ways to photograph each and every session. Each type of session has a starting guide to what the session will be like. However, boudoir and glamour photography has a direct intention behind it that needs to grab the audience, aka the viewer. What do you want your viewer to see and feel from the image?
After getting to know my client, her outfit choices, her likes and dislikes we start the session. The way I like to work and always have is getting to know what the client can do naturally while posing. Some women have a natural instinct and can flow into more complicated poses without guidance. The majority of women cannot, at least not in the beginning of the session. There are several tips, tricks and tools I use to help the non-model achieve the best pose/look for THEIR body.
Once I get to know the client’s abilities and limitations I then look for the intention of each pose.
INTENTION is such an overlooked concept in boudoir posing. There are so many gorgeous poses out there but for every one of those there are quite a few that make no sense to the viewer. As a visionary artist I must keep aware of why I posed my client the way I did. Posing is 2 parts: To flatter a body type and to tell a story. That story is what sometimes gets lost in all that ‘making the body look good’ stuff.
Give yourself the 5W speech (who/what/where/why/how) when looking for your intention. If you cannot answer them then change the pose even if just slightly. The first 3 W’s tie into each other so make sure each answers each:
- WHO – who is this pose for? Her? Her partner? Or both…and why?
- WHAT – what is she doing in the pose? When answering the what and the answer does not make sense then make an adjustment in your pose. For example: She is sitting with her hands resting near her crotch, however the angle looks like she’s touching her crotch…if touching her crotch wasn’t intentional and it just looks awkward then adjust the pose so it makes sense to the viewer.
- WHERE – where is she? Not only place but thoughts, too! And, why…why is she there?
- WHY – why pretty much answers the first 3W’s! If your why does not make sense then make a posing adjustment. For example: Why is she standing up there? Answer – The height of the table (where) is to appear domineering (what) because I want her (who) to feel powerful in this image!
- HOW – how would you set up the intention? Many times my how is asked twice, first in the beginning and then at the end of the pose. The how, to me, is a check and double check of the intention.
Boudoir photography as an art should always be to highlight your subject’s natural beauty. Boudoir photography as a service should always ensure a wonderful, comfortable and fun experience. As a boudoir photographer you should hone the skills necessary to pose properly, know your technical camera, read light and know how to create with it and know your intent! Why are you creating with that pose, that scene and what is the story behind each image you shoot!
Below is a fun session I did with Monique (Makeup by Monique) for inspiration. Our beautiful model, Meghan, wanted to gift herself a well deserved session to celebrate a new chapter in her life! She was amazing and I loved every moment photographing her!
If you are a photographer and want to better your boudoir posing and intent, contact me for upcoming boudoir classes.