Using different props in a boudoir shoot is a great way to make your subject feel more comfortable. Here's how you can liven up your images with ease.
Boudoir photography is all about bringing out the sensual side of your subject. But for the camera-shy posers out there, this can be a challenge.
Using props in your shoot is one way of getting your client to feel more comfortable. They also add a layer of texture which enhances your images and makes them more interesting. Plus, they help to set the mood of the shoot and add excitement and intrigue to the session.
Here’s how you can incorporate props to take your boudoir photography to the next level.
Less Is More
Keep it simple with props. Including too many clutters the image and distracts from your subject. Instead of going all out, choose a few key props that complement the shoot and fit the theme.
A simple bed sheet or a man’s shirt may be all you need to get your client feeling comfortable and looking sexy.
At the end of the day, the focus should be on the person you're shooting, not on the props around them.
The most obvious props are luxurious lingerie and high heels. These quintessential boudoir props are sexy in their own right, but they don’t stand out.
Consider incorporating a wider variety of items into your shoot. Ask your client to bring props that they have a personal connection to, like a piece of jewelry or a headpiece. You can also consider objects that go beyond the subject and work to create interesting shapes and textures, like a vintage mirror or suitcase.
Getting creative with your props will make your image stand out. If done tastefully, it will also give your client something to lean on to feel more comfortable.
Choose Props That Complement The Theme
Props can reinforce the theme of your boudoir shoot. For example, incorporating a veil, garter, and wedding lingerie suits a bridal theme. Vintage props like a typewriter can create a romantic and nostalgic theme.
The visual interest created by props enhances the theme by adding an extra layer of depth to the composition. If the shoot is vintage-themed, then including a vintage suitcase in the foreground can add dimension and atmosphere to the shot.
Choose Props That Create A Contrast
Creating contrasts immediately makes an image more visually satisfying. If your subject is wearing black leather, then consider contrasting this look with a delicate flower or lace. If they’re going for a soft and feathery look, then add something dark and edgy like a whip.
Creating contrasts is more striking than straightforward images. They’re sure to make your boudoir shoot stand out.
Use Props That Add Movement
Like contrasts, incorporating movement into your images adds a layer of dynamism and intrigue.
A flowing scarf or dress and a fan are easy ways of achieving movement. You could also ask your client to reach for something on a shelf, like a book, or to put a prop on the ground.
This gets them moving and less anxiously focused on how they look posing.
Choose Props That Complement The Color Scheme
Complementing the props with the color scheme creates a cohesive image. A neon yellow umbrella wouldn’t suit green lingerie, no matter how interesting the prop may be. Rather select colors that complement the lingerie and other elements of the shoot.
Use Props To Highlight Details
Props can highlight a part of your client’s body that they like. Incorporate a piece of jewelry like a necklace, bangle, or ring to this effect. A pair of sexy high heels can accentuate their legs. Bold makeup can also be a prop and is an easy way of highlighting their best features.
Using props to highlight the small details that your client loves will leave them feeling more confident. This confidence will also reflect in the quality of your images.
Personalized props make your subject feel more comfortable in front of the camera and adds a layer of authenticity to your images.
If your client is a writer, then incorporate a pen and notebook or a typewriter. If they’re a musician, include a guitar or music sheet. If they’re an artist, use brushes and paint… The possibilities for creativity are endless when you personalize the props.
This option comes with the bonus of being more cost-effective as your client can bring these props with them from home.
Use Props To Pose
This is the easiest way to get your client comfortable during the shoot. You can incorporate props into poses by, for example, getting your subject to hold a bouquet of flowers, or wrapping a scarf around their shoulders.
Posing with props creates more natural poses, as your subject is less focused on how they look and more focused on the prop.
Pay Attention To The Lighting
Lighting can make a big difference to the appearance of props in an image and it can influence the mood of a photo, too. There are many great ways that you can change up the look and feel of a shoot simply by adjusting the lighting.
If you’re incorporating a reflective surface as a prop like a mirror, then make sure that the light is positioned in a way that doesn’t create unwanted and distracting reflections. This will take away from the quality of the image, and may even disturb your subject. If your prop will cast a shadow, like a sheet, sheer scarf, or lace curtain, then be aware of how this will affect the shoot.
Just because the lighting isn’t the main prop doesn’t mean that it won’t affect the quality of your image.
It’s easy to get carried away with props, but make sure that they are stable and secure. Avoid props that could cause injury, like knives and ladders.
Your client’s safety is more important than an interesting shoot.
Be Aware Of Your Subject’s Comfort
Props should ease your client’s nerves, but they may have the opposite effect. Make sure that you communicate during the entire shoot. Check in with them on their comfort levels and ask them if there’s anything that they’d like to change about the props.
The quality of your shoot greatly depends on the comfort of your subject. Using props suggested by your client is a good way of avoiding unintended discomfort.