Boudoir photo session w/ Westcott Spiderlites TD6 and TD5
When Morgan contacted me, I knew I wanted her tattoos to feature. (Check her Model Mayhem portfolio.) We met up in my studio for the shoot to try several ideas.
First, I tried ring-flash, but as usual, disliked the look of ring-flash. I just can’t get into it. A funny thing about style – I like soft light – so I went Westcott Spiderlites (continuous lights) and a large softbox on Morgan, and a Profoto flash head to light up the white paper backdrop. It looked pretty cool.
Then, for the final part of the photo session, I continued working with the Westcott Spiderlites, veering more towards a boudoir photo session. Moving the couch to the middle of the carpeted area of my studio, I set up the lights to give a nice flood of light on her. The pull-back shot shows how they were set up …
The main light on Morgan was the Westcott Spiderlite TD6 with the 3’x4′ shallow softbox.
I had to pull the main light further back than I normally would, because the light-stand on the dolly was too high to use it closely to Morgan where she was lying on the couch like that. In other words, if I pulled the light closer, then the light came from too high up, and her eyes would be shaded. So I pulled the light further back so that it came in from a better angle. I’ll have to fix that for future photo sessions, and bring the light closer to the ground.
Having the light further back like this, then also affected my camera settings. Still, I had intended to shoot with wider apertures.
The background light is a Westcott Spiderlite TD5 (affiliate), with the diffuser screen pulled off. I wanted to give a brighter, more direct light on her from behind, and act as a kind of rim-light. The idea was to mimic daylight flooding in, but my timing was off – the actual daylight was already rapidly fading.
With these lights, I used the Daylight balanced fluorescent lights.
What I love about continuous light, whether the video lights I regularly use on location, or these Westcott Spiderlights, is that you can immediately see what you’re getting. And you can adjust your subject’s pose subtly if need be. In this instance, because of the slightly elevated position of the main light, I could micro-adjust how she turned her head.
Books on Boudoir Photography
Camera settings & photo gear (or equivalents) used
- 1/200 @ f/3.2 @ 800 ISO
- Nikon D4
- Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR II / Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
- Westcott Spiderlite TD6 w/ 3’x4′ shallow softbox
- Westcott Spiderlite TD5
- More articles on boudoir photography
- NJ photography studio rental
- Portraits with continuous lighting – Westcott Spiderlites (model: Lauraine)
- Continuous lighting – Westcott Spiderlite TD6 (model: Anelisa)
8 Comments, Add Your Own
1Troy D says
Its hard to go wrong with such a stunning model!
Nice job, thanks for sharing.
2Trent Gillespie says
Love the article. You do an excellent job of writing and changing things up every shoot. My one bit of feedback, is that I don’t really dig the combination of her tattoos, pink/black lingerie with the tan/wood couch. It clashes just a bit.
“Inked Magazine style photo session” would require a model that fits that description. There are many models with tattoos that are sought after for that look.
Here is her profile: https://www.modelmayhem.com/morganjoyce. It may not appeal to everyone. I do like how this photo came together.
Nice job Neil.
What were your camera settings?
camera settings: 1/200 @ f/3.2 @ 800 ISO
6Bryan Bailey says
I love your website and no question you’re a big help to those of us who seek to improve our photography.
I have an observation about this particular portrait that I’ve seen dozens of times elsewhere. It’s about feet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen boudoir photos that are well lit, well posed and composed, and then……..you see the soles of their feet. No matter how hygenically conscious a person is, most people have less than desirable color and texture on the soles of their feet and in boudoir photos I think it’s very distracting. They’re not “dirty” but they draw the eye away from the desired features.
In your opinion, would it be bad form to make it part of a pre-shoot check list to ask a model (boudoir only) to do a little peroxide soak and buff on the feet the night before to soften the contrast of the soles of the feet?
I would have to agree with Bryan on the feet issue, also the pink/black lingerie doesn’t really work, but the pose, the lighting and everything else is superb.