On Location PhotographySubmitted by Michael on Wed, 2011-12-14 21:34

Boudoir Photography Tips for Speedlights

Where ever you go, there’s always a bedroom somewhere. It’s ready to act as your studio for an awesome boudoir photo shoot. Especially during the winter season a nice warm bedroom is a much more convenient location than anything outside. In this video, I’ll share a simple lighting setup with you, that gives you nice, soft, warm boudoir photos, which also got a bit of punch. Just the right mix to be eyecatching. The setup is ideal for small bedrooms. No need to check into the presidential suite of a Waldorf Astoria, instead you can do it in your “home, sweet home”.


Along with a couple of boudoir photography tips, I hope this video makes some appetite to go and organize your next photo shoot.


So have a look at the video now:


Here’s the lighting setup shown in the video:


Model: Emily

I wish you good light!
-- Michael


Maybe I have to reenable reCaptcha and disable Akismet. Since last week cousins have problems submitting comment on this blog. Seems like Akismet got permanent issues.

Hard to get my thick German accent? Here's the transcript!

Hey fellow photographer, how's it going?

I'm Michael Zelbel
Today I've got a simple lighting setup for you
which enables you to turn any bedroom into
your own photo studio for boudoir photography.
Why that?
Well, because currently it's winter holliday season.
Outside it's blistering cold and
I'm really glad that our location for today
is a warm and cozy bedroom.
Ain't that good?
My initial idea for todays video was quite different.
I actually wanted to make a "making of" video of a photo shoot.
A "making of" of the shoot that
you see right now on your screen.
That is a photo shoot that I made for an ebook.
I published that eBook a couple of days ago.
But, you know, having such a "making of" video is nice,
I can put it onto my blog or
upload it to my social networks, but then again,
what is the use for you?
You know, what is the use for the viewer
if you see a "making of" video?
No benefit!
That is, why I now completely changed my mind
and I thought: "No, let's take one lighting setup
out of this ebook and explain that lighting setup".
Because then you have got something
which you can use in your photography,
which you can replicate and which you can try out
right today in your own bedroom or tomorrow,
in a hotel bedroom. It's quite easy.
So let's jump into that lighting setup
and I am going to explain it.
So, the fundamental thing is a bed.
Over here we have got a king-sized bed, 2x2meters.
And shooting such a bed is nice,
but can be quite boring at times,
that's why we should add a model.
We can pose the model in any way, shape or form on the bed,
but the main point is, we need some light
in order to see the model on the photograph.
That's why we add a speedlight over here at the side.
I used a strong speedlight, guide number 58,
but I dialed the power way down to 1/32nd of it's power
because the bedroom was quite small
and got white walls so I don't need so much light actually
I did let it go through a big shoot-through umbrella
so that the light is nice and smooth and soft
and I positioned the umbrella just above the bed,
so that the light is coming from a quite low angle
making all the folds in the bedsheet quite 3-dimensional.
The camera is positioned exactly oposite
at the other corner of the bed.
The settings are, well, most of them quite standard
1/200s, f2.8 for shallow depth of field, ISO100
but I dialed up the white balance to 10000 Kelvin
Why? Because the speedlight is delivering
very blue-ish, daylight-quality light of roughly 5800 Kelvin,
but I wanted to turn the thing
into a very warm and cozy scene, quite yellow-ish scene,
that is why I dialed up the white balance in camera,
so that the stuff comes out of camera quite yellow-ish
just like it would be Tungsten light, or even warmer.
This is one little trick, but wait there's more...
We have got another trick and that's a good one:
we add a second speedlight for much more punch.
A second speedlight is over there.
It's not quite as strong: guide number 43.
It's also dialed down to 1/32nd of it's power.
It's going through a lamp shade, a lamp shade of a bedside lamp.
Actually, the speedlight is inside the lamp,
so when you see the lamp in the photograph,
(the camera is shooting right towards the lamp)
when you see it, it looks like the lamp is glowing
but what you actually see is the speedlight
going off inside the lamp.
That gives the photos quite a bit of punch
and it's very easy to do. Just take a lamp shade,
put a speedlight inside and there you go,
there you got your punch. That's all it takes.
So, it's not so much gear, two speedlights,
a lightstand, one umbrella. I think that is somthing
that you can easily take with you, for instance
into a hotel room when you travel.
But you can also try it out at home.
Because it's working in very small bedrooms
you can have the tiniest and an ugly bed
but with that sort of lighting, you know, it will pop.
You can iluminate just a piece of the room
and it will be just fine. So go try it out!
Tell me how it worked for you.
Drop a comment under the video
and come back next Thursday.
Until then I wish you good light!

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