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The most fantastic part about having a best friend who’s a model, is that you get to test out different lighting setups just for fun! I very rarely shoot boudoir photography as TF work because I want to keep my portfolio as “genuine” as possible. I want my boudoir clients to look at my portfolio and know that the women they see are not models who know how to pose in front of the camera. Having said that, in the beginning I did shoot a lot of boudoir TF work to really understand the genre and practice. But now that I am comfortable with the way I shoot, I make an effort to not show clients my printed portfolio with images of models. I love that I can tell them that the women they see had the same apprehensive feeling of shooting a boudoir session for the first time. I can tell them that they also didn’t know how to pose, or what face to make. I am able to show them that every woman can create stunning images and come out of the session proud and feeling beautiful.

In this case, I couldn’t say no to a fun session with Carlyn. We have been friends since preschool back in our little home town, Tsawwassen, BC and she has been my trusty assistant on many of my boudoir sessions. She has been building her portfolio as a model and wanted to add a boudoir genre. This gave me a chance to play with some lighting setups which I always enjoy! (What photographer doesn’t…)

If you would like to book Carlyn for a shoot, she can be found through City Models.

MUA: Bailey Elliott

Hairstylist: Felicia Carson

I always feel so honoured when I get the chance to share images from my boudoir sessions. I completely understand that some women like to keep their photos private, but I love when I can show off how beautiful my clients are!

We shot this session in her own home using mostly natural light shining into her living room. The walls and furniture were all white so I was able to use soft bounce flash and a reflector (held by my reliable reflector assistant, Carlyn) to create a little more pop to the images. I find with boudoir sessions that the less equipment I have to deal with, the easier it is to get the client comfortable. I would love to shoot with purely natural light, but sometimes the location, the weather or the setting doesn’t allow it.

Also, when I’m shooting in some locations where my 50mm lens can’t see the whole picture, I end up in some pretty funny shooting stances. I think in this case, I was shooting from one side of the room to the other with my head against the wall trying to get as far back as possible. Throughout the session I was lying on the floor, sitting in the window, kneeling on the edge of a couch and leaning over a counter. I think I should make another behind the scenes boudoir video to show how much of a work out it is! (Watch the first BTS video here). I won’t shoot with a smaller focal length (wider view) because it creates unwanted distortion. I would sacrifice the total view of a scene over stretched facial features or limbs. (Which can be fixed in post, but my goal is to be shooting more and editing less).

Having said that, I have a lot of editing and posting to catch up on, so keep checking back for more blog posts!

The best thing about working with a team is the input from each perspective. When you have 4 different areas of the industry present, you can get all sorts of ideas, and the best thing to do is to work together! This shoot was SO MUCH FUN! All parties were so involved and so eager to make everything possible with the vision we were going for. We just understood each other and understood the feeling of the shoot.

I have always been inspired by the harsh raw kind of light, and have been striving to create it, but never got it to where I liked it. I think I did this time. We did two slightly different light setups (both hard light), and I have to say in this case, the harsher the better.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE soft invisible light too, but harsh lighting just gives a feeling of “rockstar” light. I want viewers to see the images and go, wow, she’s pretty kick ass.

What do you see?


MUA: Alaura Timmons – https://www.facebook.com/makeupbyalaura

Hair: Dorothy Smith

Model: Hanna Ramsay

Studio: Aperture Studios – www.aperturestudios.ca







The first photo I ever saw of Ian, I said he looked like a model. Luckily, he already told Carlyn that he wanted to try modelling a while back, so we set up a quick test shoot. This was his first time in front of a camera, and it was definitely a great experience for the both of us, as I hardly ever shoot men for fashion stuff unless it’s for designer’s collections. I’m so used to coming up with poses for women, that I was almost completely stumped when we were ready to shoot. It took us a few frames to get comfortable, and to stop laughing, because the three of us were joking around, just being us. 

At 7pm the night before this shoot, while I was in Truro celebrating a family birthday, I received a text message from Aperture Studios saying that there was a power outage in their area. My first reaction was to postpone the whole thing, giving the team enough notice, but my husband suggested to call NS power to check if it was going to be back on before the shoot. They said it would be, and that only the Foggy Goggle on Argyle was still out. I let the team know that it was still a go and I would see them in the morning, therefore putting the power outage at the back of my mind.

When we arrived to a dark hallway and dark studio, I suddenly regretted not double checking with NS power… All of my ideas for lighting this shoot went out the window, and I was trying to figure out what we were going to do in a dark studio with 2 speedlights.

Luckily, Athenaïs and her mom were staying at a nearby hotel so she was able get ready in their room. While Alaura and Felicia headed back with them to do make up and hair, I was trying to think of ways to use my 2 speedlights to create something interesting. But after taking apart one of the studio’s beauty dishes to try and figure out if and how to connect it with a speedlight and with what parts (which I haven’t attempted before), I gave up and decided to go outside. In case any photographers were wondering, the beauty dish is back in one piece, safe and sound.

Carlyn and I walked around the Barrington/Prince St block to find interesting backgrounds, trying not to head too far as it was definitely chilly outside and none of us had obviously planned on being outdoors for any length of time. We found a few spots and hoped that Athenaïs would be up for shooting in the cold (it was lightly snowing). Personally, I think working with a model in the cold is asking a lot, and I always feel guilty for putting them outside in winter. Not only do they have to pretend like they aren’t actually freezing, they have to be in heels. On ice and snow.

During the shoot, we were informed that the power would be back on around 12pm (which of course was when another photographer was booked to arrive). So we shot 2 looks, one of which was picked by Alaura (MUA) who matched the lip colour to the burgundy jacket. (Excellent choice!)

12pm arrived, Athenaïs and her mom had just walked out the door to go back to their hotel, and the lights turn on. Good timing right? It was all just my luck. We were then informed that the next photographer cancelled because of the power outage. So, we could have shot in the studio, with my original lighting plan, with another look… but I suppose my setup idea will just have to wait for another time.:)

However, I think despite the power outage and my lack of knowledge of rigging equipment, we got some killer shots. 

MUA: Alaura Timmons – https://www.facebook.com/makeupbyalaura

Hair: Felicia Carson – https://www.facebook.com/FeliciaCarsonsHairPortfolio

Model: Athenaïs Testi – https://www.facebook.com/AthenaisModel

Assistant: Carlyn Shaw



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