Photographer Critsey Rowe has a way with women, making them look beautiful and sensual while wearing little. A boudoir photographer who has a ton of experience helping women present their most sensual, authentic selves to the camera—and has written a book about it, also—Critsey Rowe agreed to share some very Practical Glamour tips on how to prepare for your boudoir photo session, along with DIY tips on lighting and how a boudoir photo session can be the gift that keeps on giving—to you!
Constance: What is an effective way(s) for a non-model to feel at ease in front of the camera, particularly when the photographs are of a boudoir variety?
Critsey Rowe: Every woman is usually nervous before their boudoir session. And honestly who wouldn’t be nervous posing in their skivvies. Even as a seasoned boudoir photographer when I had my very own session taken I was super nervous. Luckily for me I had a close friend snapping my pictures so I quickly became at ease.
My best advice would be to hire a photographer you feel comfortable with. Someone you feel you can chat with easily. Wear items you are confident in. There is nothing sexier then confidence. If you are a little unsure about a piece of lingerie you may not feel as confident so be sure to try on outfits prior to your session and be sure you love all the pieces you plan to take to your shoot.
Some clients like to have a glass of champagne or wine before their session, this is perfectly okay. Just be sure to limit to one glass. Bringing a close friend you feel comfy with can also ease your nerves. Your photographer will be there for encouragement and to cheer you on.
Constance: I like your lighting style, which illuminates your subjects while simultaneously making them look natural and real. Do you have an indoor or outdoor lighting tip that is gold, and might be something the non-pro can use to lend a natural luster to her or his subjects?
Critsey Rowe: I love all kinds of lighting so choosing one tip is so hard.
For someone that is just starting out or a non-pro photographer I would recommend shooting early in the day when you have the best natural light. Choose a location with big open windows that allow a lot of natural light to shine through.
Later in the afternoon could be great for dramatic lighting as the sun is lower and is more direct.
The biggest tip I can give however is to experiment with all kinds of light. So many photographers are afraid of trying off camera flash (OCF) or using stones but this is such a great way to control the light on your subject. You can make a setting that has very little available light look warm and inviting by using off camera lighting. If using OCF is still scary then using a constant light source such as a modeling lamp or a video light.
Bonus tip for anyone wanting to do great selfies: again this is best in the early morning light.
Find a nice spot where you are directly facing a window stand or sit two-three feet away and take your photo from there. Using alternate light sources in your home work well too. That lamp in the corner will do nicely too, take the shade off or direct it toward you.
Just be sure not to hold your camera in front of the direction of the light or it will cause a shadow on your face. Take a few practice shots until you find the light you love the most.
Constance: I think we live in rather homogenous times, with much of the mass-produced images of “sexiness” all kind of looking the same.
Yet, every woman (man, too) has their own sensuality, and that is what makes them exciting and unique to others. How do you suss out a client’s personal sexy, then bring it alive on film?
Critsey Rowe: Ah! Good question because I love the uniqueness of every woman (and man too) and I truly wish for each person to discover and see their very own distinctive sensuality. I give my clients the freedom to be uninhibited and share a very intimate and personal side of themselves that is normally only shown to their partner.
This is why I think having a boudoir session can be a empowering experience for a woman. They see a side of themselves outside of their everyday setting and really get to see just how amazing they truly are. I say this a lot and it really is true: most women come to me for a boudoir shoot as a gift for their significant other, only to discover that in the end it was the biggest gift they could have given to themselves.
I am sure there are many ways to discover your own sensuality but I highly recommend having photos taken even if you just do a beauty session which is similar to boudoir but fully clothed. You are still posing in sexy sensual ways but you are showing less skin. This is for the shy or timid girl that just isn’t ready to bare it all. ♣
About Critsey Rowe: :
Critsey Rowe of Couture Boudoir® has been at the forefront of the growing Boudoir Photography genre for many years. She is the best selling author of Boudoir Photography — The Complete Guide To Shooting Intimate Portraits, available on Amazon and in bookstores.
Critsey teaches boudoir workshops and seminars across the nation and abroad. She has been a guest speaker about her Couture Boudoir® brand on The Wedding Planning Audiocast on iTunes, Guest speaker on MimikaTV, Convention speaker for DWF at Imaging USA, Convention speaker for WPPI’s Road Trip, speaker for Pictage Users Group and has been featured on The Perfect Pose and many other online resources.
Critsey’s work has been published in many popular magazines, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Today’s Bride, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, You and Your Wedding London, The Bride’s Book, Weddings Unveiled, The Knot, Carolina Bride and Queen City Weddings. She has been a featured photographer on Platinum Weddings and several times on My Fair Wedding with David Tutera on the WE Channel, and featured in Popular Photography Magazine about her Couture Boudoir® brand.