Overall the best boudoir portraits tend to be in black and white. Sure, there are some great colour boudoir photography portraits out there, and it is possible to capture some yourself however on the whole the best boudoir photos are black and white, and the good news is it is easier to capture and awesome black and white boudoir photo than an awesome colour boudoir photo.
Boudoir portraits are meant to be sassy, seductive and sexy and a black and white photo conveys this perfectly. With black and white boudoir photography it is possible to leave different parts of the model in the shadows and only partially visible. “Hiding” the model in this way will get the viewers imagination running riot and leave them wanting to see more, which obviously they can’t. Getting a viewer to stare at a photo for a long time eager to see something they can’t but waiting for it anyway is something all boudoir photographers (and their models for that matter) want and once this happens you know you have cracked boudoir photography.
Black and white photos are more flattering than colour photos, and this also applies to boudoir shots. No-one has uniform skin tone and no-one has perfectly smooth and flawless skin. Boudoir portraits, just like all portraits will highlight spots, pimples, blemishes and variations in skin tone. These normal imperfections are more noticeable in colour photos than in black and white, therefore black and white boudoir shots are instantly more flattering.
To get flawless colour boudoir portraits you either need to apply a lot of make up to the model, and considering the model will be in some state of undress this is going to take a lot of time to get it even applied, or you can spend ages in the digital darkroom with some decent photo editing software cloning out blemishes, adjusting skin tones etc. Either way you are going to need to spend some time and effort on colour boudoir portraits to get everything even.
Taking black and white boudoir portraits also gives you more flexibility and room for manoeuvre with the lighting. As we all know lighting is key in portrait photography and the direction of the light (i.e. where we place them) and the intensity of the light (i.e. the power) has a huge impact on the final photo. In colour photography shadows look darker than they do in a black and white photo, and the highlights look lighter than they do in a black and white image. When taking colour boudoir portraits you need to get the lighting spot on and nail it to get awesome shots. When taking black and white boudoir portraits you need to get the lighting right, but it doesn’t have to be as precise.
When taking black and white boudoir portraits you can have high contrast photos that look awesome, whereas the same level of contrast in a colour photo simply wouldn’t work. When taking black and white portrait shots you can really push the contrast and have areas that are totally black (and under exposed), areas that are totally white (and over exposed) and everything in between. Alternatively you can use low key lighting to produce awesome boudoir portraits that are almost in total darkness, or high key lighting where the portraits are almost overexposed. The lighting and creative options for black and white boudoir portraits is much greater than for colour portraits.
I have to say that I am a fan of black and white boudoir portraits and I think, overall, they have more impact than colour boudoir photos. The fact that black and white boudoir portraits are more flattering, easier to create and has more lighting options is just an added bonus. Whenever I take boudoir portraits I lean towards black and white however at the end of the day you have to do what the model wants.
Other Boudoir photography links
If you found this article useful and are thirsty for even more boudoir photography tips and tricks the following links (all open in a new window) may be of interest to you. Please do feel free to take a look and check them out.
“Can you capitalise on boudoir photography?” The demand for boudoir photography services is ever increasing. Is this something you can take advantage of, jump on the bandwagon (before it’s too late) and earn some money?
“So you want to be a boudoir photographer” You have decided that boudoir photography is a service you want to provide. Here’s an article listing some things you need to think about.
“Capturing awesome colour boudoir photos” Capturing colour boudoir photos is a challenge however with these tips and tricks you will avoid the pitfalls and common mistakes and capture classy and seductive full colour boudoir photos.
“Boudoir photography lighting” Lighting is important with all types of photography and boudoir photography is no different. You have to master the light to capture flattering boudoir portrait shots, and whilst this may seem daunting with these tips and tricks it isn’t as difficult as it first appears.
“How to pose boudoir photography models” Being able to pose a model is crucial for boudoir photography and changing the pose can turn a good shot in to a great shot. If you can’t pose a model you are highly unlikely to capture awesome boudoir shots, even if you nail the exposure and the lighting. This article gives some tips and tricks on posing models for boudoir photography.
“Props for boudoir photography” If you want to make a boudoir shot totally unique and personal using a prop or two is a great way to achieve this. Use the right prop and you will get awesome boudoir shots. This article is dedicated to boudoir photography props and provides some tips on what to use for boudoir shoots.
“Mobile boudoir photography services" The good thing about boudoir photography is you don’t need your own studio. In fact, there are times when being mobile has advantages in winning work, as explained in this article.
“Equipment for mobile boudoir photography” To be a successful mobile boudoir photographer you need the right tools of the trade, and all the essential bits and pieces are explored in this article.
“Bridal boudoir photography” Boudoir photography services is something all wedding photographers and bridal photographers should offer. A shot or two of the bride in her bridal lingerie is a photo many happy couples want just as much as the more traditional wedding shots. If you don’t offer bridal boudoir photography services “why not?” Take a look at this for more details.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.