Boudoir-NSFW

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by twocolor, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    For those familiar with my business and my style of photography, you know this is so far out of the norm for me. I have only done 2 sessions like this, and feel very out of my comfort zone. These were done for a friend who wanted to give her husband a Christmas gift.



    I am open to criticism and critique on these! Not sure if I'll be offering boudoir sessions as part of my business or not.

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  2. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    I like 3 & 4. It seems to me in general, you need to make the WB warmer. It is just that her shirt is a little blue. Maybe increase saturation of yellow and orange a little bit as well.
  3. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I like this style of image, with large expanses of defocused areas, and soft,ethereal lighting, when it is done with the very-best equipment. Just looking at these, I see all the bokeh chromatic aberration...the purple hues in front, the green hues behind...this lens looks terrible for this kind of work...I can just tell by looking that this is a Canon 85mm lens...the strong green fringing around her white bra...the purple-ish hue on anything to the front of the focus zone...

    Not trying to be a brand warrior, but this lens is not good for this kind of work. You need a lens that is free from "longitudinal chromatic aberration" if you want to pull this kind of effect off properly, and at a high level. This optical problem is often called "bokeh chromatic aberration" these days--and unlike lateral chromatic aberration, it is NOT easily correctable in software...which is a real bummer.

    If these had been shot with a lens that is free from bokeh C.A., the out of focus whites in the foreground would look purer in color, and the green color fringing along the edges of objects behind the focus plane would be eliminated...once again, I really LIKE this kind of photography, when it is done with a lens that is free from bokeh CA...but with a white outfit, this particular lens really,really shows that characteristic in a bad way on this type of subject. To me, the lens's rendering is what kills these shots. Like in #5...her out of focus hand in the foreground looks less than optimal and all of the white blouse that is in FRONT of the focus zone--it has that Canon 85/1.2 purple CA, ruining the entire white blouse...in #4, one can see the strong green outline all around her bra,and its straps, and the valley between her breasts is also...greenish-tinged...because it is behind the point of focus...

    This is an example of a "legendary" lens that does not live up to its reputation.
  4. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    Thanks Schwetty, I will go in and add some warmth to these.

    Derrel, that was very informative, thank you. Learn something new everyday! These were shot using a Pentax 50mm 1.4. They were all shot at 1.7 which is defineately not the sweet spot of that particular lens, but I think that the bokeh chromatic aberration makes alot of sense in looking closer at these. If I understand you correctly, by tightening up my aperture, this would fix the color aberrations, but I would lose the extreme depth of field I was going for . . .
  5. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Damn derrel.. double whammy!
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  6. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yeah, I'm not one to bother pulling images into an EXIF reader...the Pentax 50/1.4 looks just as bad as the Canon 85/1.2-L does...very strong longitudinal CA in both lenses at wide apertures...the effect of shallow DOF is really nice, as long as the dogoone lens doesn't turn a white shirt purple, and turn skin on the chest green...

    You'd probably be better-off using a better-corrected zoom lens than that old Pentax 50/1.4 design. When the purple color is so bad that Schewtty thinks it's a white balance issue...you know the technical issues are pretty bad...I would go so far as to say that "most" 50mm 1.4 lenses are not that good for this type of work.

    Here is the Canon 85mm f/1.2-L, which has bad CA from 1.2 to f/2.8 loca_f12.jpg

    T
    he Pentax is equally as bad...everything in FRONT is polluted with purple fringing and behind the focus point, it's got green fringing...
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  7. ababysean
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    ababysean New Member

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    I am not sure if it is the lens that caused the blue/purple fringe or that she tried to pull them back in post because the shirt was blown and ran some sort of highlight protection...

    Either way nice photos, but her eye liner ruins every.single.pic for me. She looks sort of tranny and I say that with the nicest of intentions... not sure if you give pre session consults but if so, I would suggest less is more concept. She is so pretty she doesnt need all that on her face... her lips are neutral, add a smokey eye and call it a day, skip the black sharpie under the eyes.
  8. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    I actually didn't worry about pulling back blown highlights in these.

    As far as pre session consults, if the client asks for tips or ideas, I openly give them. I specialize in infants, babies and children. I do alot of families sessions as well. In these cases, I don't usually need to give out make up advice, although I give tips for helping your newborn be happy and sleepy when they come in, I give advice on color coordinating outfits for family sessions etc! I agree, she is beautiful and doesn't need such extreme makeup, but I just don't feel comfortable telling someone what I do or don't like about their personal style in makeup or other things that is part of them on a daily basis.
  9. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    I know that 'Boudoir' is the catchphrase these days...but these look to have been shot outdoors...not in a boudoir. :er: I'm not sure what to call these...but that doesn't really matter.
    As usual, your use of what I assume is natural light, is great. I just wonder if that's the best choice for this type of shoot. To me, these type of shoots should be about light and shadow and using them to define the model's body, hiding or revealing as needed...well, maybe that's not what they 'should be'...but that's what I would prefer.

    I do like the shallow DOF style, although these may be a bit too shallow. She looks like she has a great body...so let her show it off, don't hide it in blur. Also, I have to agree with ababysean about the eye makeup...it's terrible, and only focusing on the eyes, makes it worse.

    Lastly, her expression doesn't look comfortable. In that last one, we're starting to see the faintest hint of a smile...a good expression, but the eye makeup (and their sharpness compared to the soft face) kill this shot for me.
    These types of shoots, 'should be' about mood. I'd think that she is trying to convey a flirty sexy mood for her husband...the right expression makes or breaks that. Also, these are about confidence. She's confident enough to have these photos done and show off her body etc...again, the right expression makes or breaks that.
    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that that is often the hardest thing for the photographer to control. If she's not feeling it, it will show in the photos. Sometimes it helps if the model/client has a drink or two (not too much). Sometimes it helps to have close friends around for support. Sometimes they just need to get a shoot or two under their belt, before they truly feel comfortable in front of the camera.
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  10. rub
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    rub New Member

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    Hi twocolor!

    It's a much different world, isnt it? hahah I think her man will be very happy with the images.

    1) Everytime I look at this the pose confuses me (but I'm also 1/2 zombie based on the amout of sleep I have had this past month). I feel like her legs are spread open, but they arent. It's just strange position for me, and my eye tents to go to the back of the couch rather than to her face.
    2) Looks good - wish it wasnt cropping her head, but its not a shot killer.
    3/4) Both look good. Flattering pose, but watch the forehead wrinkles. One tip I use is getting them to relax their face and close their eyes, then on 3 open and take the shot. Usually they are still relaxed enough that you can avoid those wrinkles, and if not, change the position a bit. Lowering her head (slightly off the edge of the bed for example) can help a lot, or take theshot from the side a bit more.
    5) Good - watch the crop on those hands.
    6) Good!

    Overall its a nice set, but not up to your usual total awesomeness ;) I would warm them up a bit as well.

    A few tips in general that I can offer, especially if you are thinking about doing more boudoir:
    - Get them to smile! The sultry look is good, but I've found men prefer a true smile.
    - Give them champagne to loosen up ;)
    - Have professional makeup done. Sure its an added expense, but SO worth it. Her look is a little harsh, and while I realize thats her and probably how she has done her makeup for years, a pro can work with that but then bring it to a whole new level. Not only does it make your job easier, it also makes the women feel more confident, which translates in the photos.
    - For off camera looks, still have them smile. The way it raises the cheekbones is more flattering.

    I look forward to seeing the next session.
  11. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    Thank you Mike. I debated about doing studio for these. For the reasons you mentioned, and because it's winter here in Utah, and we froze our butts off! My studio is so small, I use it for babies and toddlers, and my props and backdrops are more geared toward that. That's why we ventured outside. I guess I could have brought a few lights with me and played around to get some of that "mood" . . .

    Very interesting idea to get them a little less inhibited!!
  12. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    Thanks Rub, I'll have to give the tips a try next time! I'll have to research make-up artists. How much do they generally charge for their services, is that something I pay for and put the expense onto the cost of the session, or is it something the client pays for?
  13. rub
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    rub New Member

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    Tack it on to the fees. My 2 favorites charge $60-$75. You can find people cheaper for sure, but just like with photography (or anything) you usually get what you pay for.
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  14. twocolor
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    twocolor Active Member

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    Thanks Kristal!!!
  15. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    I think that the most common 'studio' for boudoir (for those that don't have a large studio), is a nice hotel room, (preferably a fancy hotel).
    That is one reason why many photographers are shooting boudoir in 'marathons'. They book a nice hotel room, and book 3, 4, 6, etc. ladies during the day. So you can essential spread the cost of the hotel (and the make up artist) over several clients. A good friend of mine, didn't have enough 'paying' clients to fill out her marathon day, so she asked a (very good looking) friend or two to come as well. That way she got more practice shooting boudoir and she got more portfolio material.

    Yet another thing I've heard of...a friend of mine went of a really quick tour of Europe (he's from Edmonton). At each stop, he arranged for a model to shoot. Mostly fashion type stuff, but he wanted to shoot some boudoir in a fancy London hotel. The price for the room was astronomical, so he invited 4 or 5 other 'internet friend' photographers to meet him there (even crash in the room for the night). So they shared the cost of the room (and maybe the model's fees), and they all got portfolio material...and the other photographers got a good lesson on lighting etc.
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