Boudoir on Location

Sometimes it is fun to get outdoors and shoot some boudoir photography.  Of course you need to be careful not to go too crazy and violate any public decency laws.   But great boudoir doesn’t require that type of image anyway.   Here is a recent shot I did on a dry lake bed.  It was only 45 degrees and a cold wind blowing, but she made it work!




Valentines Bookings Starting

It’s hard to believe, but it is already time to consider booking with your photographer for any boudoir or pin-up photo sessions you want for Valentine’s Day.  Sexy gifts are very popular for this holiday, making sexy photos a favorite.

Sexy Valentines Day Boudoir or Pin-up

Make it a Sexy Valentines

Give the gift that will never be forgotten.   An experienced photographer will be able to help you pose to make you look your very best.  And with retouching, any little flaws will be corrected so you will look like you just stepped out of one of the sexy magazines.   Don’t miss out by booking too late.

In Phoenix, see Orcatek Boudoir and Pin-up Photography.

Reality TV and Me

Recently I had the chance to appear on reality TV.  It was a fun experience and everyone I worked with was great.  The show brought the wives to me to shoot a charity calendar in a conservative pin-up style.   As the photographer and you get to see a bit of me at work.  Of course the real show is all about the wives.  I am in the last 15 minutes or so of the show episode 2.

Orcatek Photography – Phoenix

Boudoir in tight spaces

Whenever I get to shoot boudoir on location, I often have no idea what I will be faced with.  Sometimes it is large rooms with more space that I can dream about.  But in many cases I am presented with smaller locations that can be interesting to work within.

Boudoir in tight spaces

Boudoir in a hallway

This shot a hallway was the location of choice.  Sure I could have her stand in the hall, leaning against the wall.  And I did for some of the shots.  But I like to take advantage of the space and show it off.  By bringing her down to the ground, the close walls could be used to create an environment focused entirely upon her.

I like to emphasize the confinement of the spaces to make them a feature as opposed to a limitation.  Small places do create lighting challenges, but most photographers know how to bounce light around to get it where they want it.

Boudoir in the Sauna

Use the whole Sauna

Here I was shooting using a sauna in a home.  So of course it wasn’t that large.  In fact both me and might lights were outside the sauna.  Now if she was lower spread out on a seat, the sauna could have been any size.  But with her standing, reaching to the ceiling it creates a whole new mood, like she is trapped in the corner with nowhere to go.

Yes smaller locations can be a challenge to work in, but they also let you create looks and moods that are unique and interesting.  I’ve gotten to the point where I look for these opportunities when shooting on location.

I’d love to hear from other photographers and see some of their tight space boudoir photos.

Orcatek Boudoir Photography, Phoenix, AZ

Implied Nudes?

Implied nudes is a term often used for photos where the person is nude, yet their modesty is protected.  Some feel the proper term is covered nude.

Implied nude sitting in blue

© Orcatek - Implied nude in blue

This pose on blue is a variation on a classic.  You see in done a lot in advertising.  The key to this type of photo is careful placement of hands, arms, legs and props.  This is actually one of the tougher poses to get this tight as many woman cannot bend into this pose.   Jennifer Aniston did a variation with a tie for the cover of GQ.

Jennifer Aniston - Copyright GQ / Condé Nast

What makes this style of image popular with boudoir photography clients is that it allows them to preserve their modesty.  They want to be sexy but don’t want nude photos of themselves out for everyone or anyone to possibly see.

I often hear my clients say, ” I want to be naked, but covered up.”  I like the way you’ve done that on your website.   I tell them that the reason I do this style is because it is not what you show that makes a photo sexy, but what you almost show.  The key is to tease and let his imagination fill in the details.  Once you put it out there for all to see, it loses it’s mystique.

Of course there are plenty of other poses that can be used to create this look.

Pin-up style nude in the Sauna

© Orcatek - Pin-up in the Sauna

This pose is the sauna is classic pin-up style pose.  A simple drape of the arm across the chest is all it takes to bring this photo into the more subtle sexy style of implied nude.

Of course there is one method of covering which I just hate.  That is the classic hand-bra.  I hate it so much I don’t even have a photo.  The hand-bra is where the woman takes her hands and grabs her breasts to conceal them.  Just say no to hand-bras in professional boudoir photography, please.

Elle nude in shower

© Orcatek - Elle in the Shower

This photo is an example of a standing pose.  The easiest way to achieve the standing pose is to bend the leg closer to the camera and then use arms or props to conceal the chest.  In reality what they usually really want concealed is the nipple, so as you can see here, you can still show quite a lot of breast and still meet that desire.

So hopefully I’ve cleared up the term Implied Nudes.  It’s a term that photographers use a lot that the rest of the public often doesn’t understand.

Orcatek Boudoir Photography

I am teaching several boudoir photography workshops where you can learn hands on how to work in this style.

Orcatek Photography Workshops

Pin-up vs Boudoir Photography

Every once in awhile I get asked what is the difference between my pin-up and boudoir photography.  Some think that it is wardrobe and others think it is props. And many think it is the expression and pose.  Those are all parts and pieces of it, but there are a few more key differences.

My boudoir photographs are designed to beautiful, tasteful and sexy.  The photograph shows the woman inviting you into a private world that she is sharing just with you.  Smoldering eyes and that come hither look are all part of it.  They tend to be more overtly sexy in nature.

White lingerie and mirror in this boudoir photo

Boudoir Style

Whereas in my pin-up style the look is more of a flirt and a story.  There is none of the seduction with the eyes.  More often than not it is a surprised look as the pin-up accidentally shows more than she planned.   When it is not accidental exposure, it is a flirt and smile as if to say look at me everyone, a pose that says “I know everyone will see this.”

Caught on hat rack pin-up

Accidental Pin-up

Witch pin-up by Orcatek in Phoenix

Flirt Pin-up

Now of course not all pin-up art follows this definition, Alberto Vargas is perfect example of a great artist who has another style for pin-up.   Gil Elvgren’s work tends to be more along my thoughts.  Both artists vary across time and both are very different from each other.  To me it is this variety that gives pin-up a lot of its attraction.

Take a pin-up photography workshop

Phoenix Boudoir and Pin-up Photography by Orcatek

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

Phoenix Boudoir Photographer – Orcatek