Planning a shoot

I’m very excited to have a boudoir shoot booked in for Monday.  I love boudoir, so I’m going to talk you through the steps I take when I plan a shoot.

When a client contacts me about a shoot, I first ask them if they have anything in their head already about how they want to look and who the shoot is for.   Usually they will have found shots on the internet and these are easily sent through by email.  Other times, they may be cuttings from a magazine or a photograph they had done previously.  Anything is good because if I can get inside your head and see what it is that you’re thinking, this makes it 100x easier to do the shoot.

Boudoir shoots I’ve done have been for both the model and for partners – they make a great birthday present, which is why this client is doing hers.

I can see these things when I meet you for the first time and I’ll open my client book and create a nice new page for you.  I use a book because it’s hard to clip magazine cuttings to a computer.  đŸ˜‰
My client today I’ve met before so that made the initial meeting easier.  Sometimes, though a client may REALLY want to do this thing, they’re still very nervous.  It’s perfectly natural because there’s a trust thing here, especially when it involves doing something as intimate as this.

There are a few things I explain to my clients.

1. I may remove what I call ‘distractions’ such as a pimple which is bound to pop up on the day, but in general, I won’t remove your laughter lines, airbrush the heck out of you and leave you looking bland.  There’s no point in having a bunch of shots which don’t truly reflect who you are. Whilst some people request this and whilst it can be done, it’s better if we don’t.   I can do it and you’ll still agree that the shot where you look more natural is the better one.

2.  I know you’re probably worried about your wrinkles, your tum, you chin and all the other stuff that makes people insecure about their bodies, but this is where you’re going to trust me to pose you to get the very best off your body.  There are angles and techniques that I know that I will exploit to get the very best out of who you are.  Not only that, but there are different exposures, lenses and processing which I can use which will minimise such detail.  Trust your photographer.

3.  Whilst you’re seeing faults in yourself, I’m seeing curves, potential, angles, your eye colour, your jawline, your hands, whether you’ve got great legs/shoulders/neck/ankles/hips…. because these are the things I am going to aim for when we shoot.  You don’t have to look like a model to be sexy.
My client’s got beautiful hair and fab legs.  The rest I’ll assess on location, but already, I’m seeing the shots in my head.

4.  If you don’t normally wear make-up, then don’t wear it for the shoot.  Don’t be something you’re not.  Beauty is from within, not from within a mascara tube.

5.  I don’t shoot ‘slutty’… ever.  It’s just not my thing.  We’re after beautiful, timeless, elegant, quiet quality…  classic boudoir. 

After I’ve got a good idea about how you want to look, we’ll talk about how we’re going to shoot you, talk through some ideas and styling and what you can expect of the time you’ve booked.
This client has sent me a couple of pics of Marilyn Monroe.  It’s not the model in them which is important here, it’s what she’s lying on and how she’s posed which is what’s grabbing my client’s attention.  Running with that theme, I then talk about the other things we can do and how we’re going to do them.
I’m now thinking of yards of muslin, a very big chunky jumper a la Marilyn on the beach …  Client likes this idea.
The shoot is a present for her partner’s birthday, so I’ve asked her to steal anything of his that we can use on the day as props.  As luck has it, he has lots of hats….  I’ve suggested shirts and ties too.   How much fun is this going to be?

I try to always use natural light for shoots like this because I think natural light is the best.  If it’s going to be a lousy day, then we have lights but we’ll try not to use them if we don’t have to.

A few days before I shoot, I will set up everything and do a practice run to make sure it’s all going to work.   For this shoot, that involves backdrops, possible lighting and a ladder so I can shoot down.  I’ll pick my lenses, I’ll shoot some practice shots and then we’re all set for some fun.

Finally, a shoot is a fluid thing which can change direction.  Try not to have a too fixed idea about what you want, because those things are our starting points of inspiration.  We’re not out to copy Ms Monroe and nor will you look like her once we’re done, we’re doing something unique for you.  Without exception, all boudoir shoots I’ve done have morphed and developed into the end result which clients have always loved.  We develop your style, your look and your images together and I promise that you’ll love it as will your partner.

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