Before we begin, I just want to say that I had a great vacation last week so there was no blog post. I had a great time visiting my brother and his family in San Diego, and want to thank all the military and veterans for what they do.
Now, on to Expression in Boudoir Photography. I believe that expression can turn a good image into a great image, especially in boudoir photography. You can have warm or dramatic lighting and a sexy pose to create a beautiful image. but adding a great expression is like icing on the cupcake. (And who doesn't love cupcakes!) In the image above, Amie made an intriguing look seem natural. She is one of the best.
So, how do you get those spell-binding emotions? For me, it comes down to communication between the photographer and the subject. This is also true for any kind of portraiture. I like to learn about the women I photograph by talking with them before their boudoir session. Finding out their likes and dislikes, and learning their stories helps me during the session. I can learn why they want to do a boudoir photography shoot, and what they want to get from their experience. When I learn about them, it helps me talk while I photograph and hopefully bring out their emotion and confidence. A fovorite quote comes from Eve Arnold: "If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument."
There are a few tricks to getting expression. And for obvious reasons I cannot share them now. If I tell you now that would subtract from an authentic look that I am hoping to capture. I will tell you this one thing, though. I was at a workshop with my mentor Don Hales. We were sitting around the table after the session with the model and Don's associate, Tony Clapp. Don mentioned that Tony was a master at getting expression. He said, " Show them, Tony." (Tony was kind of put on the spot, there.) Tony thought for a second, looked at Kayla and asked, " Do you like Chick-Fil-A?" Her face just lit up! Of course she does!
But sometimes the best expressions come when you least expect them. I found this in almost every wedding I photographed. There would be this great pose and the shutter would click, creating a nice image. And right after the bride or groom would relax and laugh or do something very natural to them and I would have another natural, fun image. With boudoir, I like to give you something to do, like gently tugging on the stockings or lingerie. I like to give some simple direction to help you look your best and combine that with your natural beauty.
My goal for you is to show your best self, and see yourself as someone who is strong and feminine. My hope is that you will come out of your experience feeling more confident than when you began. And have a little fun, too! Do you like Chick-Fil-A?