What comes to your mind when you think about the term Boudoir photography? If you have followed any of my previous blog postings, you know that I have been advocating for a change to how people think about glamour and boudoir photography. (See: http://www.vontrappphotography.com/blog/2014/6/what-is-glamour-photography and http://www.vontrappphotography.com/blog/2014/3/glamorous-night/-austin-dallas-houston-san-antonio-glamour-photography). I feel that a misunderstanding of what boudoir photography is keeps some women from ever considering having their portrait taken in this manner. Boudoir photography is empowering and liberating and it is my hope that a better understanding of what it is, and what it is not, will allow more women to seek out the opportunity to be photographed thusly.
Richard von Trapp is a boudoir and glamour photographer in Central Texas who is creating evocative and elegant images that connect you to your glamour, and allow you to fall in love with yourself.
Elegant and evocative boudoir photography has been created for decades, and is being increasingly regarded as a art form that is worth being noticed. It is being featured with increasing frequency at internationally recognized professional photography conferences and seminars, and a considerable amount of very good to exquisite examples can be found on line in search results.
A well crafted boudoir image provides an immense opportunity for a woman to explore her beauty, grace, sexiness and glamour. No matter what your body type, a professionally produced image will bring out a side of you that you have not seen in a long time, or perhaps one that you never imagined existed.
I do feel, however, that anyone who is new to the genre may feel uncomfortable when they search on line for examples of boudoir photos. It is so easy to be confused by the variety of images that will be returned in a search for "boudoir" as to what boudoir photography really is.
One will find a wide variety of photographs lumped into the genre of boudoir. Images of a woman in either lingerie, partially nude or nude, and taken in almost any setting will be referred to as boudoir. I find this to be confusing and potentially off-putting at worst, and inelegant at best. The "boudoir" by its very definition is a ladies' sitting room, parlor, dressing room or bedroom. As such I am discontented with an image of a woman in lingerie who is photographed out of doors as being called boudoir. Out of simplicity or expediency by both photographer and lay-public, it has become common to call the above example…boudoir. I choose to classify such an example as lingerie glamour or sexy glamour, but not boudoir.
I find it more desirable to sub-classify such images for clarity and ease of helping my clients to describe and decide on what look and feel of imagery they are wishing to create. This is my breakdown and classification for the variations of boudoir photography.
Classic Boudoir: Photographs taken in the setting of the classical definition of boudoir. Featuring the subject getting ready such as doing hair, make-up etc. She may be dressing, dressed, undressing, or undressed. She may be wearing clothes or in her lingerie. Her attitude, pose and expression are not overtly sexual in its styling.
Classy Boudoir: Can be similar to the above example, but without clear reference to the boudoir as a setting (such as on a living room sofa) but is still indoors. This category has a greater number of possibilites since it is free from the limits of the definition of the boudoir, however, follows somewhat closely the idea of not being overtly sexy. Playful, however, is more often classified into this category.
Sexy Boudoir: Images taken in a setting as above but with emphasis on sexiness and playfulness as depicted by the choice of pose or body position, clothing, or communicated through the expression given by the subject. In this category, I also include the choice of locations other then the boudoir which may even add some degree of eroticism to the impression given by the image.
Images of a woman wearing lingerie, or that are nude, sexy, or evocative and don't meet the definition of boudoir as above, I classify in other ways. You can see how I classify these images on my Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/SAGlamour/.
By breaking down the images into these categories I feel that it is easer to communicate with clients about styling, mood, pose, setting, expression, message, clothing, etc.
When you consider a boudoir photographer and their work, look for a photographer who is producing a style that fits your vision and desire. If you find one who has an interesting style but who may not have examples of their work that fit into a subcategory which you desire, contact them directly to discuss your thoughts. Often a photographer's online portfolio for boudoir will be limited in the variety of examples shown because clients may not wish to be featured on line.
How the artist styles the image in terms of lighting, coloring, sharpness, and setting should also be considered. It is often the hallmark of their style and can be seen throughout their work. Some artists may have a variety of looks to their works, others will create a singular signature style. Lets look at how a style can be described in terms of lighting.
Natural Light: This refers to the light created in nature, i.e. sun, moon and stars. This light can produce beautiful results, but is extremely limiting. It has to be there at the time of shooting, and it is constantly changing. When available in the right location (light from a north facing window is the best), or at the best time of the day (sunrise to mid morning and late afternoon to sunset), incredible results can be obtained. The image above is an example of the use of natural light.
North light will produce soft evenly lit images. It is often used to produce a romantic look to the photograph. Morning light too is soft and cool in its color which is not the case with the warm color to late afternoon light. Generally afternoon light is not as soft as north or morning light, but allows for the creation of warm etherial images as the photographer shoots into the light coming from behind the subject. The glow of the light coming from behind the model and into the lens creates a flair of light which reduces the sharpness of the subject, creating the etherial feeling.
Availible Light: This is any and all light that is available at a location, but which is not provided by the photographer. This too can afford the artist unique and interesting opportunities to create beautiful images. It is also limiting in several ways. A suitable location has to be found with the right available lighting. If shooting in color, the various "temperatures" of the lights on location must be considered and possibility balanced. All light has its own color temperature resulting in a range of tones from warm to cold. Combining different color temperatures can be used for artistic effect, but can also create a displeasing mishmash to the look of the image. The ability to control the light, although slightly better than natural light, is still limited to what is present and how it can be turned on and off.
Studio Strobes and Speedlights: This is the choice for most commercial photographic work. It gives the artist significant to total control over the light. The color temperature, intensity, and direction of the light can be finely tuned and by this method, the artist is said to be able to shape the light.
See the following three posts for examples how light can be shaped using these tools.
In the image above two strobes were used to create this boudoir image. One was used along with a soft box as the main light to light the subject. A second strobe with a gobo (material of some kind which is placed between a light and the subject) of foil with irregular shaped holes was used to create the light and shadows on the wall which add interest to the photograph.
If are thinking about having a boudoir or glamour session, let us at Von Trapp Photography create a work of art with you as the subject. We will put you in touch with your beauty and glamour. Contact us today.