How To Use Natural Light for Boudoir Portrait Photography!! 3 Tips!

How To Use Natural Light for Boudoir Portrait Photography!! 3 Tips!

( upbeat music) – What’s up guys! Welcome back to the channel. I’m Mike Sasser, boudoir photographer in Los Angeles, Calfornia. And today is gonna be,
maybe the most valuable video I’ve shared on YouTube, yet. I think this is where my channel peaks. Reminds me of fourth grade. For you the same? Fifth grade? Sixth grade? The number one question that I get asked from photographers is do I use strobes and the answer to that question is no. I don’t use strobes, I
use 100% natural light for my boudoir shoots and today I’m gonna show you how to do the same. I decided to make this video because well I think a
lot of photographers know that lighting is important boudoir photographers have a tendency like focus on posing and therefore they kinda miss out on what light can do for them so, the way I look at it its like, lights most important and then posing. I’m gonna walk you through the basic three natural lighting techniques that I use, front light, back light, as a little bonus Silhouette and at the end of this video I’m gonna bring these pictures in the light room and show you guys how to the most out of
these lighting set-ups. And just as a reminder, we’re doing this without any extra pieces of gear so, no light modifiers, no reflectors, no popsicle sticks, no Legos, no chocolate chips
[Man’s Voice] They get it! (upbeat music) – Sup’ Olivia (laughs). – You picked the wrong
person to be on camera – Hey guys, this is Olivia, she’s gonna be helping us out today so thank you so much Olivia. If you guys want to check out her stuff there’s gonna be a link somewhere. Somewhere on the interwebs. First look that we’re gonna do is basically just called Front Light that’s what I’m calling it, I think that’s what most people call it, so that’s what were gonna call it today. This basically anytime I
wanna light up their face really beautifully, anything
that’s like portrait I want their eyes to shine, is you want your back to the window and have your client
looking towards that window so, over here we’ve got this, lots of windows, there’s a
lotta windows in this place. Quick little natural light bonus tip I recommend getting these sheers, I just got them from
Amazon, there’s a link in the description, but
they basically filter the light, make it really
beautiful and clean and good for skin tones and its the best. So, what we’ve got she’s looking into our light source and I’m gonna put my
back up against the back next to the window and
I’m gonna be shooting in towards her. So here you see it in a diagram that top thing is the window then you’ve got you and then your client I couldn’t get over how
adorable that client little icon was, so I
just, I had to use it. You put your back towards the light source and you have your client
looking towards that. So, its gonna go Light source, you, client. Client, you, light source. Light source…
You get it. So, we’re gonna get just a test shot. (Laughs) One, two, three that’s
great, separate your feet a little bit and just rock your way onto one hip like this and go ahead and play with your necklace a little bit. (Camera clicks) In this case you can
see basically the whole point, there’s like no
shadows under anywhere it’s super soft on the
skin, this is glow we’re going for with this front lid. So you can use this if they’re standing, if they’re sitting, if they’re on the bed, pretty much no matter where they are. So let’s look at a second example of this. This way and your feet facing this way on your stomach. Like this, perfect! Okay so basically, exact same example we’ve got our window light coming this way which is gonna light her up real nice eyes are gonna glow
and we’re gonna put our back to the windows and
have her look towards the windows, lighting
Front Light, with the light at the front. (upbeat music) Maybe like a hand on the e- All right so the second light we’re going to focus on is just called
Back Light or rim light or edge light, or ledge light. I wrote down more. Ledge light, rear light, side light. For purposes of this video we’re just gonna call it Back Light. So the whole point of
Back Light is to highlight the shape of your clients body. For me I use this anytime
I’m trying to show off lines for back, or her
legs or anything like that, collarbones, this is the
kind of light that I’m using and it’s a little bit
different than front light. Basically what you’re
trying to do, is form a triangle between the
light, you and your client. Just let me explain that here. Fingertips here and arched back. So basically here the
triangle that we have is from this window, to Olivia, to me. That’s the shape, that’s
what triangles look like. Depending on how small
you want your triangle, the further I move over
here, the more extreme that highlight to shadow
ratio is gonna be. The more you move over
here, the less so more even the light is gonna be. (Camera clicking) Perfect. So you’re gonna go hands
here, hips way back here. Okay. (camera clicks) So in this case we’re using the light that is coming from,
from these lights that is highlighting the front
of her body and there’s also this window in the
back that’s highlighting the back of her body, but
the real key to this is shooting into a dark
background, so we’ve got this wall right here behind
her, she’s gonna go from dark skin in the shadow
to light, highlight that’s the light is hitting and
then that’s gonna show the dark background and that’s gonna show that depth, let’s do another example. So I love coffee table
shots, they’re really good for extending your clients
body, it stretches them out really nicely,
actually when I was in my studio in Denver I
wanted to find this cool coffee table, I found one
and it was like custom made I went up to pick it up
from this guy and it looked like a little bit flimsy, so I asked him I was like is this pretty
sturdy could this support somebody’s body weight? (laughs) and he was like does it need to? I was like nevermind
you have a nice night, I just drove away (laughs) In this case, our triangle
is is not here horizontal but because it’s like
light, me and then her. So the triangle is now
this way, I’m gonna be shooting down onto this
wood and then she’s got all of this light coming and it’s gonna be hitting the sides of her body. Just go ahead and grab the side above you and bring your elbows in
really nice and close, that’s perfect. Deep breath and arch your
back just a little bit and breathe through your mouth. To make the shot stand
out more I recommend closing all the other
windows in your room except for the one right next
to your client this is just gonna increase the
effect because there will be less light in the room to fill in those shadows. (upbeat music) Okay so the third that’s
kind of like a little bonus option for how I do natural light shots is called a Silhouette and
basically you only need two things for a Silhouette. You need for the front
of your subject, the part that you’re shooting into
to have no light coming towards that area and
the second thing is that you’re gonna be shooting
into something really bright so in the same
way that we were making a triangle with our initial for Back Light we’re gonna close that triangle we’re just gonna make it a straight line. So we’re gonna shoot
directly into the window directly into the light
source and that’s going to give us our Silhouette,
our figure that only shows the shape so we’re
gonna do that with you up against the refrigerator
does that feel nice and cold? Nice and good. – Great – Refreshing Here’s my camera. So go ahead and arch,
point that toe we’re gonna start just with your
hands just right here. Get down in my little nook. Then go up high, reach up all the way touch the ceiling. Okay so the next
Silhouette we’re gonna do, we’re gonna do right on over to the bed. Hands and knees with your
hands here and your knees kinda towards that corner. – Whoa – Oh I didn’t blow it up again (bed blowing up) Air mattress, got to make
sure it’s nice and full. (upbeat music) (laughter) So from this side of the
room there’s basically no light coming forward
here but we have these windows in the back they’re
coming in behind her so that’s what we’re gonna shoot into so again if we shoot from
above we’re gonna see that triangle we’re gonna
get all that rim light that looks so beautiful,
but if we get down on her level and shoot
directly into the windows we’re gonna get that Silhouette. So let’s do both. Amazing. (upbeat music) (camera clicks) That’s great, you’re just
gonna shift your weight forward a little bit, yeah right there. In this exact same pose
we did Silhouette for from low, we did rim
light getting from above and if you come over here and you put your back to the window you can basically shoot this exact same thing with a Front Light. Naturally just lay down. So here are most of
the images that we used in the video, we’re just gonna go through and take a look at some
of the ones that are front lit, how I would edit those. Some of the ones that
are back lit, how I would edit those, some of the
ones that are Silhouettes and how I would edit those. So let’s go ahead and
just bring this one up here real quick. Now you can see that this
image just to start off with is actually really
pretty nice that’s kind of the whole point of that front lit, not a whole lot of shadows,
she’s lit up really beautifully, probably
the only few things that I would do here are to do a Preset. Love this one for inside
and then her face is, I like really, really bright face. So what we’re gonna do is shift M and just draw this little guy over
her face, so basically to be able to do this is the radio filter I put my exposure plus 0.3
and then I do an invert and then you just drag over the area at which you want it done. We’ll take a look at
this one, we’ll start off the same way, her skin is
a little bit too bright we’ll bring it down a little bit. We’ll do this as well
and this one maybe even a little Vignette, let’s
throw a little Vignette. I’m super happy with
that so we’ll go ahead and leave it so that’s basically how I would edit a front lit, just brighten up their faces a little bit, get the exposure right. Let’s take a look at some
of the back lit images. So here’s that one where we had the light, there’s a window coming
from here, there’s a window coming from here and so we’re
getting these beautiful lines, these highlights here on her body here on her forehead, and on
her shoulder and on her arm. So basically we’re also
gonna start with this. Now to get more contrast
in this image to really make it pop, some people
will drag the blacks down I don’t really recommend
that because you can see what it’s doing to her
skin it’s pushing a bunch of color into it, you’re
losing all this information instead of doing the
blacks, I really recommend doing the shadows, so look
at the difference here when we bring the
shadows all the way down. Super smooth, you still
have a ton of contrast. But it’s not as intense. Her face is a little bit dark for me now, so I’m gonna brighten
that back up using that shift M trick, there and
that is pretty much it. That’s pretty much what
I would do, let’s take another one here, we’ll
go this beautiful shot. So again we can see these
little highlights here shadow, highlight,
shadow, highlight, shadow, highlight, shadow. So all we’re gonna do is do a Preset then we’re gonna do the same thing we’re gonna bring our shadows all the way down. And this is just like such a cool little dark and moody shot. So you guys can do this
anywhere that you got a window, make that
triangle, bring it into your editing software, bring the
shadows all the way down you’ll be set. Let’s take a look at a Silhouette. So Silhouettes are
pretty much already done, except that the windows
are a little too bright. So we are gonna just
bring the highlights down a little bit for that and that’s pretty much it, you can do a
Preset but also you’re not gonna see too much of
a difference there just because there’s, her
skin is already so dark. This picture will do so we’ll do a Front lit version. Oh what a fun shot! We’ll do this, we’ll brighten up her face. Throw a little Vignette. And I love that, let’s do
the dark and moody version. We’ll do a Preset, we’ll
brighten it up a little bit and then we’ll darken
the darks and then we’ll bright up the face. We’re gonna have to do this a couple of times
so we can really get it to where it brightens up,
maybe bring up the shadows a bit just so we can see a tiny bit of information in there. That looks really beautiful,
so there you go that’s how I would edit these three
different types of pictures. Olivia’s gonna stick around we’re gonna shoot a little bit so I’m
gonna flash the pictures at the end of this video
of the ones that we are about to take so stick
around and enjoy those and then I’ll see you
in the next videos for more Q and A’s, more
tutorials, you know the drill. I’ll see you then. (upbeat music)

10 thoughts on “How To Use Natural Light for Boudoir Portrait Photography!! 3 Tips!

  1. Excellent video Michael – Thanks so much! You don't really need a reflector with that much light coming into a small space (the back walls become giant bounce fill surfaces) and having it come in via two different directions instead of just one. When if out door or especially indoor locations with just one window light source, do you use a reflector for fill then?

  2. It seems like you are the coolest guy on this planet. You make look it effortles with great confidence, your models must love you

  3. Great video! Lovely pics! Great model too. Couple questions, what time of the day did you make this video? what brand is her outfit?

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