Kelly Schneider is a photographer from Fort Myers, FL. Kelly was named Portrait Photographer of the Year in 2017 by Maryland Professional Photographers Association and again in 2018 in the state of Maryland. He is also a recipient of the 2018 FujiFilm Masterpiece Award and FujiFim Wedding Photographer of the Year and First Place with WPPI First Half 2019 - Boudoir Category.
He is currently writing his first book on photography, “The Salient Portrait—The Science Behind It and How to Achieve It.” The information he shares in the book is the core of all the workshops and training events he offers.
We asked him a few questions and here are the answers:
01)What does boudoir photography mean to you?
To me, boudoir should be called intimate portraiture as there are few boundaries or rules on where, how, who, or when these images can be created. Boudoir is capturing a tiny essence on someone’s deeper emotion that you can help bring to the surface.
02) Why did you choose to pursue a career as a boudoir / fine art photographer? What got you started in boudoir?
Like the master painters in the past, the intimacy captured is a powerful force, not only for those who get to see those images but for those who are blessed with taken them. It moves me.
03) What kind of creative process is there behind boudoir photography?
As a professional educator, I find that teaching others about scene development, lighting, posing, camera and gear set up and use, and then post processing is best done using boudoir because there is so much finesse needed to get it right.
04) How do you communicate with a client or model you’ve just met to make them comfortable for boudoir / nude photography?
Most of those I have photographed were in a way prepared for the shoot because of my extensive portfolio and daily content flow. When they decided to do a session, they were fully aware of the types of images they were going to be participating in creating. While shooting, I like to start with more conservative images (more clothes, less intense posing) and keep them involved in the creating process (Showing them images often) until they start becoming more and more comfortable, relaxed, and into the process.
05) How do you educate yourself to take better photos?
I try to invest in one workshop each year to learn new skills or at least become aware of other ways to accomplish something that I already do. As we get more skilled in our craft, finding that education becomes harder and harder. Far too many people think watching a video is an effective way to learn, but that is only for theory, concepts, and knowledge learning, not skills.
06) How would you describe your photography style?
Soft, moody, and hopefully an emotional ride
07) What type of cameras do you shoot with, boudoir and/vs other?
Nikon always with the Z9 as my go to body.
08) What kind of other gear do you use for boudoir and/vs other?
Fast lenses as I shoot with very shallow DOF. I also use GODOX lighting.
9) What is the most difficult part of being a boudoir photographer for you?
To stop and put the camera down so they can change into another outfit! I get so into shooting that I can forget that there are other outfits and styles we want to shoot!
11) What is the most rewarding part of being a boudoir photographer for you?
The power of boudoir as a self confidence booster and positive mental experience for the subject. I think boudoir can significantly change a person’s view of themselves because over time, the daily grind of life can have a way to hide the true beauty and sensuality of oneself and boudoir can, like a mirror, bring that back to life.
12) Just for fun, if you could shoot in any location, what would it be?
Some royal palaces, inside and outside!
13) Do you have any other profession or anything you are passionate about?
I hold a master’s degree in Human Systems Engineering and have been involved in training programs from delivery to director level and so educating others is my other true love.