Creating a Boudoir Series

A "boudoir series" is similar to a portfolio of images of one woman. If you are just photographing one woman, such as your wife or girlfriend, then this will be a natural for you. If you are a professional, or want to turn professional, the understanding of this concept will provide you with much better financial rewards for your efforts. The concept is to develop a cohesive body of work with one woman as your centerpiece. When you think in these terms as you photograph, it will lead you to produce a series of images that go well together. If you are a professional, it will lead to an album with many images in it. This means larger sales because your client will want all of the images if they go together. If the images are a jumble of styles, techniques, and the like, they won't flow well together, and your client will not be as inclined to purchase as many. If you are an amateur, the rewards for following this will be great praise from the woman in your life and pride in putting together something special.

Since a series is a group of images that go together, you need to determine the underlying theme. Of course, the woman herself is one theme. Another theme could be a costume, a location, props, or a situation. Each client's album or a portfolio is often made up of several different series. What is needed is variety. By providing variety, you are giving your client a choice. If you give her more variety, she will want to include more images in her album.

Some theme suggestions:

■ Pick out one costume and use it in as many locations as possible (indoors, outdoors, different rooms, studio, different outdoor locations).

■ With one costume, try for as many poses as possible (sitting, standing, lying down, front, side, back, from above, from below).

■ Gather a group of related costumes, such as sports uniforms or different lingerie sets, and use them.

■ Tell a story. It could be a woman getting ready for her bath (brushing her hair, running the bath, adding bubble bath, lighting candles, getting undressed, getting in the bath, and bathing).

■ Try one location and do as many different costumes as you can logically fit in.

■ Use the same prop in every photograph.

■ Use a variety of related props (gloves or costume jewelry, for example).

A single session may have more than one of these themes, or it may require several sessions to accomplish your goals. Edit tightly before showing your client or model. The first image shown is a lasting one.

Pose Series Here is a series of images of Jessica photographed in one location with one costume. Notice how she moves around and plays with her costume to give a lot of variety in only these few images.
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