Boudoir prize winner gets her shoot

She couldn’t believe that she won.  She said that she never wins anything.   Well this time she did win, and it was going to be a very special prize.

She came down to the studio this weekend to receive her boudoir photography prize session.  She was very nervous as she had never done anything even remotely like this before.  I told her that most of my boudoir clients were just as nervous as her, if not more, as they too had never done this before.

She had brought someone to help her with outfits and provide moral support.  I never find that this really helps some of the women who come for boudoir shoots.  Others prefer to keep it a secret and come alone.

The typical boudoir session starts with a standard set of shots.  This allows my client to get use to being in front of the camera, and allows me to learn how they react and follow direction.   I did the same with my winner, and then towards then end of this very brief set I discussed her desires and ideas for what she was hoping to see in her photographs.

Once we had her desires and limits down, we progressed into the main session.  As we moved through the various sets and outfits I would stop every so often just to show her a few samples of what I was seeing through the camera.   She was amazed by what I was capturing.   She wanted to know how I could make her look so good without even retouching.   I explained that with some proper lighting and posing I was bringing out her true beauty.

The next day I sent her secure proofs out to her for her selection of final boudoir photographs.  Her first response, “I’m amazed at how well they turned out,”  followed quickly by the all too common, “I am having a very difficult time choosing.”

Once she gets me her selection list, the will be hand retouched to create the final photographs.  She will then see another secure proof before the are printed.

Sometimes people ask why there are often no pictures in my blog from a boudoir shoot.  My client’s privacy is very important to me.  As a result, I only show photographs with prior permission of my clients.

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography – Phoenix, Arizona

Why people give boudoir photography

Our boudoir photography contest ended yesterday and the response was terrific.   We asked the entrants to say why they wanted to win and the reasons given were different with each entry.  There were a few themes that ran through the entries though.

The most obvious theme was the desire to make it a gift, from anniversary present to gift for future groom on their wedding day, and of course a Christmas present.  Giving something special was a very common reason.

Another popular theme that ran through the submissions was a gift for themselves as well as their loved ones.   Women wanted to lift their spirits, boost their confidence, feel sexy and capture their youth.  A great reason for a boudoir photo session.  Being captured as a sexy, alluring woman in a photograph is a great feeling.

The most unexpected group of entries came from men.  They wanted to give the boudoir photography sessions to their wives to tell them they think they are amazing and sexy.  The men said that wanted to show the woman in their lives that they believe they are beautiful, sensuous and just plain hot!

Whatever the reason, boudoir and glamour photography make a great gift for that special person in your life.

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography – Phoenix, AZ

Free Boudoir Photo Session Drawing

Boudoir photographs make a great gift for the holidays.  It is a gift that will not be forgotten.  Now you can win a free boudoir session package.   Just follow the link for the rules and your chance to enter.  And of course no purchase is necessary.

Orcatek Boudoir Photography – Entry, Phoenix, Arizona

Couples fine art nudes enter the boudoir

When a couple comes to my studio for their boudoir photo session, they often don’t really know exactly what type of photographs they want, other than they would like to pose together as a nude couple.  So one of the first things I like to show them, as a photographer, is some of my couple’s fine art nude work.

I find often the fine art nude style is something they had not even considered, but are very interested in doing some once they have seen the samples.  They will describe these types of photographs as “classy and tasteful”, something they would actually display in their home for others to see without feeling embarassed.

The are of creating complimenting shapes with couples does present some extra challenges.  You now have two bodies that the photographer needs to protect modesty.   Additionally they both may have some physical attributes which they would prefer to be managed or concealed.  With careful posing and lighting, the photographer can create photographs which anybody would be proud to display in their home.

One of the methods photographers like is to intertwine the bodies of the man and women, wrapping arms and legs into a twisted puzzle.  When I use this technique, I like to shoot tight, often making in a challenge to identify the body part owner’s in the photograph. 

BunsAnother great technique it to compare or contrast the same body part.  Chests, backs and rears are all great choices for this style of photograph.  He likes her rear, she like his, and a great photograph is just waiting to happen.

Even though fine art nudes are not typically thought of as boudoir by most, adding them to the styles available to boudoir photography clients provides another an opportunity for couples to create photographs that are tasteful and beautiful. 

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography – Phoenix, Arizona

Bodyscapes for Fine Art Maternity

This week I had one of my most enjoyable shoots, a maternity photography session.  A woman’s pregnancy is such a special time that it really needs to be captured in a way that will create a lasting memory.  I have found that using non-traditional techniques for pregnancy photography gives my clients something different.

Bodyscapes are a style that I find is very effective for capturing maternity photographs.  Traditionally this style is reserved for the fine art nude community, it makes an excellent way to capture the magic of pregnancy.  My favorite technique is to use a rim light to really show off the shape of the belly. 

Baby Belly Bodyscape

I have an elevated table for the mothers-to-be to lie on so they won’t have to face the challenge of getting up from a low bed or mattress or worse,  the floor.  A single step up and they can easily lie down on the padded table or return to standing.

When I mention I would like to shoot some bodyscapes to my clients they often have no idea what I mean.  But once they see some sample photographs they are sold.

 Orcatek Maternity Photography – Phoenix

Boudoir Photography – Chicken Soup for the Soul?

This week I received an unexpected e-mail from Ellen, a woman that had a boudoir photography session a few months ago. She talked about how much she her husband still loved the book we created, but she also wrote about something else the book had done for her.  Something she had not expected, but it was something she could not thank me enough for.

Ellen was my typical client, a real woman – in her late thirties who didn’t live in a gym.    She only did the book as her husband had been raving about how much his friend loved the one he got from his wife. 

She said I could quote part of her very personal letter here:

“I never really saw myself as beautiful.  I always felt plain or average.  Whenever I would look in the mirror I would focus on what I saw as my flaws.

But now my life has changed.  The boudoir photographs you took brought out all my best features and made me look more beautiful than I had ever imagined.  I have found a new confidence that came from seeing myself they way Dave has seen me.  He has always told me that he loved the way I looked and now I see it too. 

I just didn’t know where to look for my own beauty before the session.  I was blinded by my own point of view.  Now when I look in the mirror I give myself a quick look and do a little turn and there I am, SEXY Ellen.  It sets my mood for the entire day, confident and proud.

Thank you so much for finding the real me.  Dave says thanks too!”

It made me feel good to get this letter and know that I had an impact on someone life.   Good luck Ellen, you deserve the best!

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography – Scottsdale

The Girls Come to Town

This week was an extra fun week in the photography studio.  A group of 3 wonderful women came to town for boudoir / glamour sessions.  They were a referral from a prior client whose book that had seen and decided they all wanted to do one too.  They liked how sexy yet classy the photographs looked.

The group had scheduled just over a month ago so I was able to find a time where they could all shoot on the same day.  Groups like this are especially fun for everyone.   They help each other with changes of outfits and encourage one another with their comments.  The fun of doing the photo shoot with friends creates a party atmosphere.

The decision on who gets to go first is always an interesting group dynamic.  This time the decision was easy as Beth was ready first.   I always start by doing my “warm-up” set on the first outfit.  It is a quick set to see how the woman responds in front of the camera and to let her begin to develop her comfort level.  The set runs through some standing, sitting and laying poses and allows me to quickly show them how good they look.

Beth was a bit nervous to be first, but after about 5 minutes Jessica was ready and began to watch and encourage her with comments on how sexy she was looking.   And just a few minutes later Sharon was ready too.  The two of them continued rooting Beth on through the warm-up.  I then did Jessica’s and Beth’s warm-ups too.

The ladies were all now really getting into their grove as we progressed onto their next outfits.  This time Sharon went first.  As the others finished getting ready they came to watch and would often comment on how they wanted a shot just like the one I just shot.  As their turns came up I made sure to get those shots they had requested.

Each girl typically will get a set of similar poses, but not the same as I like to work with the flow as I shoot each of the women.  I see how she moves and what looks best for her body type and adjust as needed to bring out her very best.  I never want my boudoir photography to become boring or formula.   Each shoot needs to be different to bring out the special something that makes each woman unique. 

This group had two who wanted to do some nudes, whereas Sharon had said she didn’t think she wanted any.  I prefer to shoot my nudes low-key and in black and white, but depending on the mood of the shoot will stray away from B&W and the low-key set.  Today it ended up being a mix of set-ups as we moved between the different sets in the studio.   Jessica saw the implied nudes, which most of my nudes actually are, and decided since she was actually covered in the photograph she wanted some too because they looked so sexy.

Jessica ended up being the star of the nude session.  Once she started to see some of the images she really got into the mood and did an amazing job.  Something just switched on and she became so relaxed and her photographs showed her new confidence.

We continued the day through various outfits and sets.  Each one of them ended up with a wide variety of looks to choose from for their books.  There are going to be a lot of very happy men next month when they get their books.


Orcatek Boudoir Photography – Phoenix

Couples Boudoir

Boudoir photography of a couple presents a whole new set of challenges.  Each of them can be overcome by the photographer.  Many of these issues are the same in a multi-person photograph, but some are more specific to boudoir and glamour. 


Lighting multiple people is always a challenge, but boudoir tends to use much more dramatic lighting than your typical portrait.  More shadows from direction light.  Often the couple will be facing each other so care must be taken by the photographer to keep one of the faces from falling too far into shadow.  I always use the main light on the woman’s face, the guy is secondary.   Here I may use a fill card to bounce some light, or a fill light with various modifiers to keep the light from hitting parts I wanted in shadow.


Posing the couple also adds some challenges.  First you always make sure that she looks great.  Then he is posed to work with her body.  The limited to lack of clothing also adds a few challenges.  In my studio, no shots can show genitalia, poses must always conceal.  Additionally clients may have other levels of modesty to preserve in the photographs.  Sometimes it is a movement of a fraction of an inch of an arm or a leg to provide the needed coverage.   Always checking through the viewfinder as they move from pose to pose, it takes a careful eye to keep the shots perfect.


Probably the most difficult challenge is the interaction portrayed in the photographs themselves.  The photographer has to work to create a sensual image without it looking like something from an adult entertainment site.  The best inspiration comes from fashion magazines, where they often show couples posed sexy but not trashy.  The emotions I work to evoke from my clients are desire, love and passion, but avoid lust.


I have found boudoir couples sessions to be an emerging trend.  I have been getting more and more questions about this type of photography.  Hopefully the trend will continue, as the couples who choose to do boudoir together tend to be great fun to work with. 


Orcatek Boudoir Photography – Phoenix, AZ

Nervous Nancy Does Boudoir

I got a call a few weeks ago from Nancy about doing a boudoir photo shoot for her future husband.  She said that she had thought about calling before but got too nervous.  This time she said she wanted to at least find out what boudoir photography was all about.  I explained that boudoir was about finding the beauty that everyone has bringing it out in photographs. 


I asked what her concerns were and she talked about how she wasn’t a model and didn’t have a perfect figure.  I discussed how with posing in lighting we would make her look great.  I explained how people in magazines look in print and in real life.  She said she would like to come in and see some samples.


Nancy came to the studio and we reviewed the options and looked over my work.  I showed her some before and after images of other shoots (I have permission to show these, privacy is important).  After seeing this and talking more about her desires, she decide a book would be the perfect package.  We scheduled her for last week.


She arrived at the shoot and was very nervous.  She had brought a friend as we had discussed to help her change.  Heather did Nancy’s hair and make-up as we chatted about various topics she began to relax a bit.  I looked at her wardrobe and started planning the shoot sequence to minimize set changes.


As Nancy stepped in front of the camera I could see was nervous.  I posed to show her what I wanted her to do.  Me posing like a sexy woman always helps to break the ice.  I took a few frames and showed her how she looked.  Her friend took a look and told her she looked amazing, Nancy thought so too.  Her nerves melted and we continued shooting.


I would stop every once in a while and show her how the shoot was progressing.  Each time Nancy would just love the shots.  Her friend flipped through my “idea” book and showed her some poses she should do.  With her confidence at a high she agreed quickly and changed to an outfit for the new poses.


By the end of the shoot Nancy said she was having the best time.  She said she can’t believe how relaxed I made her feel in such a short time.  She had no idea boudoir photography would be so fun.  Her friend decided she was going to come back next week to get some boudoir photographs for her husband.


Nancy called me after getting the proofs and said they looked even better than she imagined, and they haven’t even been retouched.  She said it was going to be hard to pick just the photographs for her book.   She asked if she could come back to do some more when her first anniversary comes around.  How could I refuse?


Orcatek Boudoir Photography – Phoenix, Arizona

Fine Art Nude Photography Vs Boudoir

Fine art nude photography is very different from glamour and boudoir photography, yet often clients like to add some photographs of this style to their shoots.  They often feel that the fine art images can be displayed about for all to see, whereas they may find the boudoir images a bit too personal for such a public showing.


Boudoir and glamour photography is about making photographs to show beauty and reflect a sensual and sexy attitude.  The pose, lighting and expressions are all designed to make the woman look stunning and glamorous.  The photographer works to create an emotional response of desire in the viewer.


Fine art nude photographs are about showing the natural beauty of the human form.  The shapes and textures of body are photographed.   The expressions are typically serene; eye contact with the camera is less common.   Poses are often less inviting than boudoir.


Sometimes the photographs are abstract in nature.  The photographer limits the frame to a small portion of the body leaving the mind to ponder exactly what is shown.  It is more about the shapes and lines than the actual body.


A common style of fine art nudes are bodyscapes.   Lighting is used to create strong shadows and highlights, bringing the edge or shapes into the image.  Clients find these images especially appealing as you can’t usually tell who the image is.


Fine art nude photography is still heavily black and white.  Boudoir is more often photographed in color.  Both disciplines do cross over, so take this generalization with a grain of salt.  I personally tend to do my fine art in black and white.


Adding fine art photography to my offerings has given my clients another option for adding to their photography options during their sessions.


Orcatek Boudoir And Glamour Photography – Phoenix, Arizona