Holiday Photos

I know you probably hate it when people start talking about shopping for the holidays early.   I know I can’t stand it when I see Christmas stuff before Halloween.  But photography is one of the exceptions.

Great  photographs take time to create, retouch and print.  It is not like a DVD or shirt that you can buy a few days before.  The best photographers book up early so don’t miss your chance by waiting too long.  The photo labs start having backlogs.  Everything takes longer.


So contact your favorite photographer now to get those photos in time for the holidays.






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

Boudoir to fulfill your fantasy

There are so many reasons that women come to me for their boudoir photography.  But the one that tends to be the most fun is the women who come to fulfill a fantasy.  There are so many fantasies that it never ceases to amaze me how creative they can be.

One of the more common fantasies I get is the “Men’s Magazine Fantasy“.  The concept is pretty straight forward.  They have always dreamed of what it would be like to be one of those sexy models you see in a magazine.  To recreate this fantasy I bring the shoot together just like when I actually do the shoots for the magazines.  So every detail is there.

The story often goes something like this–

She was dared by her friends to submit here photos to Playboy so she could be the next playmate.  Of course she doesn’t want to but eventually she sends in a snapshot of her in her bikini at the beach.  She doesn’t think much of it until the phone rings a few months later.

It’s the magazine and they want her to be in it.  They have a photographer in town and would like have her shot the following week.  She can’t believe that she says yes.  Next thing she knows the wardrobe stylist is calling to set up an appointment to prepare the wardrobe.   They go shopping and pick out a number of outfits for her to wear.

A few days later she arrives at the shoot location.  The wardrobe stylist is there, a familiar face.  She meets the photographer for the first time – yikes he is seeing her with no make-up.  They told her to come like that, but she hopes he doesn’t think she can’t do this.  The photographer then introduces her to the make-up artist (MUA).  He takes a look at her and comments to the  MUA that she has great eyes so he really wants to see them pop in the shots.

Next she is given a robe and told to remove all her clothes and underwear and come back.  The stylist explains that they don’t want and lines on her skin from her bra or panties.

While her make-up is starting she can hear the photographer chatting with the wardrobe stylist on what outfit to shoot first.  The photographer and the stylist talk and she can her the stylist telling the photographer how some outfit really makes her rear look great.  They decide to go with that one and the stylist comes over and shows it to the MUA so she can work the look for the outfit.

The photographer smiles and tells her she is looking great and the goes off to check the lights.  She sees lights flashing out of the corner of her eye for awhile.  The photographer then returns to check on her progress.  While the MUA continues her work everyone chats about the typical stuff.  The conversation would range from pets to the news.

After her make-up is done it was time for the hair to be styled.  She took a quick look in the mirror and couldn’t believe how amazing she was looking.  The photographer wanted her hair down for the beginning of the shoot.  He said that later they would do shots with it up.  Probably when she was in the tub.

Her hair is done and it was time to get dressed.  The lingerie outfit they had selected was one she had liked in the store.  She put it on and the stylist adjusted the fit here and there.  Then the photographer came and took a look.  They talked about accessories from heels to rings.  Every detail was planned.  After a few more minutes she is ready for the camera.

The room is simple, just a chair on a wooden floor.  She is told to sit over in the chair.  The photographer explains what he is looking to create in this series.  Which direction to face and how he will tell her to move.  She is so nervous as he lifts the camera and takes the first shot – FLASH!

He looks at the camera and frowns.  Oh no she thinks, he doesn’t like me.  Then I walks over the lights and does something and comes back and FLASH!  He looks again and smiles.  He brings the camera over and shows her the photo.  Wow, she looks amazing.  Just like in the magazines.

He directs her from one boudoir pose to another.  When she doesn’t understand, he shows her.  It’s was funny to see him do those poses.  The stylist and the MUA where always jumping in adjusting things, moving a strap – fixing hair.

Then came the part she most feared, when the photographer told her to remove her bra.  She had had known she would eventually be nude, but it was still a bit strange with everyone right there.  She took it off and everyone just continued doing what they were doing.  A few more poses and it was time to remove her panties too.  This time she didn’t even think about it.

The photographer moved her through more poses.  Even though she was nude, he kept the poses within her comfort level.  Nothing was every trashy or worse.  Everything was so tasteful.  The photographer would often show her the photos we he paused or when she wanted to see a few.

Redhead sitting in her boudoir in this implied nude photo by Orcatek Photography Phoenix Arizona

Her boudoir fantasy shoot

When it was all done she had a book created from the photos.  They were all retouched just like in the magazines.  She lived out her boudoir fantasy and has a memory to keep for a lifetime.

Some of the more unique fantasies I get are always fun to create.  Maybe in the future when I have a client’s permission I will tell you about another one.

Phoenix Boudoir Photographer – Orcatek

Mirrors and Boudoir Photography

One of the most fun challenges in boudoir photography is the use of mirrors.  If you follow my blog, you will see that I do use them when available.   Some my find them cliche, but there are reasons why they work.

Using mirrors to show off sexy Abigail in white lingerie by boudoir photographer Orcatek

Clients really like having both a front and rear view in the same photograph.  It never fails as they go thru my idea book that they will ask to create a photo like one of the mirror photos.

There are a few challenges that are created when using mirrors.  The first is creating a pose which is flattering from both the camera side and the reflection.  A lot of standard posing tricks that good boudoir photographers use just don’t work well in this type of photograph.

The next challenge is where to hide everything.  Hiding lights and yourself from the mirror is often the hardest part.  It is usually made even more difficult when the mirrors are in small locations as they frequently are found.

For lights I find that  instead of using my standard softbox, I will turn a wall and/or ceiling into a bounce card to reduce the space required by the light.  The light will still be diffused enough to create the softness I want.

Hiding myself can be a bigger challenge.  So often I will find the perfect angle, only to see myself in the reflection.  I often will distort my self and lean into the shot.  This will reduce the amount of photographer removal I will have to do in Photoshop.

The photo shown here I was able to find an angle where I could lean in and stay out of frame.  If the shot was a few inches wider you would see me in the mirror.  Sometimes the world smiles on you and things just work out.

My clients really like the mirror photos, so I will continue to create them.    Each location has it’s own challenges, but in the end the shots are worth the effort.

Orcatek, Boudoir Photographer in Phoenix

Class up a stripper boudoir set

For a long time I have been requested to add a stripper pole set to my boudoir studio.  I was hesitant for a while because I wanted make sure that my style could be represented in this set.  I want my boudoir images to be sexy and classy, nothing that someone might regret later in life.

So how to keep the concept of a strip club from becoming raunchy was the challenge.  The solution was actually more obvious that I thought.  Just keep the poses classy.  Sometimes you just can’t see the shot until you try it.

So stripper pole set was created.  Use a variant of my musician stage set lighting to create a mood.   Colored gels and grids for control allowed me to get the look.  Then some time in Photoshop to bring the club into the set.   And viola!

Phoenix photographer Orcatek added a sexy stripper pole set to his boudoir studio

Phoenix Boudoir Photographer, Orcatek

Valentines Day in the Boudoir

Valentines Day is a time for lovers to show one another just how special they are.  Gifts often tend to be very sexy and boudoir photographs are the perfect gift for the occasion.  It is a chance to create a bit of a fantasy world for the two of you to share.

Sexy intimate photos make a great Valentines gift.  This photo by Phoenix boudoir photographer, Orcatek.

Every year a wide variety of woman decide to create that extra sexy gift for the man in their lives.   With this variety comes a desire for a different styles.  So I chat with them about what they would like to create.  This makes each session unique and interesting.  I am always getting requests for unique ideas to fulfill a secret fantasy.

A new trend I have been seeing is men buying boudoir photography sessions for the women in their life.  It is a way that they can tell her they find her sexy and want her to be their fantasy girl.  Every woman who has come in after receiving this gift has told me had special it made them feel.

Shoots take place in my Tempe studio, the clients home or a nice hotel.  Every location has its pros and cons, so during the consultation we decide which will get the desired result.

After the shoot the client reviews the proofs and selects her photos.  They are then retouched by hand to create the perfect fantasy, with as little or as much as the client desires.

I am always get messages about what a great gift this ended up being.  In fact, many clients come back and do it again.

Phoenix boudoir photographer, Orcatek