Where to put the light?

Where to put the light is a question I am often asked when teaching my boudoir photography workshops.  Of course as many of you know, there is not simple answer to that question.  Even moving the light just a few inches can have a huge impact on the final result.  Look at the next two photos.

Boudoir light hidden behind

Boudoir light hidden behind

And version two.

Boudoir light partially hidden behind

Boudoir light partially hidden behind

Both shot have the light behind Charlie’s head.  One it is completely hidden and in the second it peaks out over her shoulder.  The frames were take just a minute or two apart.  With the change in pose came the need to change the light.

Now of course I could have kept the light hidden in the second shot too.  In fact I shot the first frames that way and wasn’t loving it.  So I move a few inches to get a hint of light and the shot worked for me.

I always start with a “standard” lighting set-up, but often I will fiddle with it as poses changes.  This is even more critical in fine art nudes, where I typically use less lights to achieve the effect.  A move of just a inch or two can mean all the difference.

Of course the rest of the lighting for this shot was also important.   There was a large softbox up and to camera left and a large reflector to camera right bouncing both the softbox and the backlight onto Charlie.  Two lights and some reflector panels is pretty typical for me.

I will be teaching a boudoir photography workshop this summer.  If you would like more information just drop me a line at workshops@orcatek.com

Phoenix Boudoir Photographer – Orcatek


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