Welcome! I am hoping everyone had a great July 4th! I am fortunate to live across the street from where fireworks were displayed so I had a great view. It never gets old!
On to this week's post. We have been talking about mood lighting for boudoir photos. Today I give two examples about how light can change the mood in a portrait. As you know, I love the soft, existing light that comes with shooting indoors by a window or door. However, there are times to shoot outdoor boudoir. If there is some privacy, outdoors can give some great settings. In the first example, I chose to go strictly with available light and not use any added light source- not even a reflector. The exposure is set to show Madi as you would expect to see her in a properly exposed photograph. I set the exposure to light the viewer's side of her. She is standing in shadow on the deck, so this exposure blows out the background if not using any other lighting. ( I will show how to change this later in this blog post. )
The second image does just the opposite. The background is what you would expect to see, but Madi is in the shadows. This is not a mistake. I actually did this on purpose! I like the moodier feel that it gives her. Although we are in the same location and almost the same pose. we get a more intimate feeling from this capture. I am feeling like this is more boudoir, don't you? I like the emotion in more dramatic lighting, whether natural light or flash is being used. I think that feeling and emotion are a great part in boudoir photography, and that can be achieved with different types of lighting.
So you say that you want the background and the subject to be bright? Here is how that can be done. This is from an engagement session from the last wedding I photographed last year. They were a great couple to end my wedding career with. I had the pleasure of photographing her other two sisters' weddings, also.
As you can see, the sun is behind Melissa and Eric. That gives me a nice hair light to show depth. If that was all the light there was, they would be in shadow like the second image of Madi. However. if I add some flash I can brighten their beautiful faces. This shows them and the background in a well exposed portrait. Even with this type of lighting, though, I can feel the connection between them and the emotion they have for each other. Emotion just gives life to a portrait!
As we can see, there are different ways to light any type of photograph. The main thing is to choose what you are going for, and select the lighting that fits the emotion and mood of the photography. I wouldn't think that having the couple in shadow and smiling brightly would be very effective. But when Madi is in shadow you get a feeling of intimacy.
I hope you are enjoying this short series. It has given me even more purpose to give to my portraiture. Next week I will talk about studio lighting and show you how I got a shot by mistake! Have a great weekend everyone!