A list of boudoir poses is not the answer

 In For Photographers

Knowing a good set of boudoir poses is an important skill set; however, it is neither the most significant, nor the safety net of a photographer. Boudoir poses are the sum of a photographer’s experience and they come in handy to use the knowledge in a quick and easy way. Boudoir poses are not what will make a photographer out of you.
Faby and I work shoulder to shoulder when it comes to photograph women. We have a great affinity, the result of years of shooting together. We also have a very healthy internal competition, a competition that helped us learning from each other, creating a unique style. One of the drawbacks in this is comparison, so when for the past shoots I saw her images excel, and I felt in need of stepping up in my game; however, it is not through boudoir poses that I did it (even if I tried).
Do you wish to know how know how I stepped up, without focusing on boudoir poses?

Technical Skills VS Style

In our “Posing Women” workshop (the next one is on the 15th March. If you want to book your spot, just get in touch), we focus a lot on the relation between photographer and subject. We believe that boudoir poses, despite their importance, are far less critical for a working photographer, than the interpersonal skills. Good photographs are not those perfectly exposed, but are those that create the right environment and capture the right moment.
I would pick style over technical perfection every day, but what I actually did was the opposite, as I was not able to let go of my need to control.

Boudoir poses may not work in a plateau

I wanted to step up the game, capture better photographs. Healthy competition with Faby was pushing me to do better, but resorting to boudoir poses may not be the best thing to do. I was trying to control my environment more, becoming a control freak, yes.
And what happened? My photographs were perfectly composed and my subject perfectly posed. Unfortunately they were soulless, while Faby’s shoot were just creamy and intense. Boudoir poses are not the solution if you are in a creative plateau, if you are looking for intensity.

What did I do?

In the end, I let go. I switched the lens on my camera, I forced myself out of my comfort zone and I decided to stop using my boudoir poses. I let my subject go, giving Fabiana the freedom to direct more, and stepping in, just for tweaks. I stopped over-analysing details, and I focussed on shooting from my heart. I looked for angles I don’t normally use. I used crops I generally tend to avoid. The tricky part was to avoid falling back in the things I normally do, in the usual, in the known.
I forced myself to be comfortable outside my comfort zone.

What happened?

Funnily enough, the perfect boudoir poses came out nonetheless. Letting go of the poses and focusing on the moment ended up producing the same style, the same feeling. But the real advantage was that shooting from the heart pushed more warmth in my images. The emotional part of my photographs, the same thing that fell flat in the last shoots, came back.
There is one thing that is even more important than that. I enjoyed photographing, I did not feel the pressure and I took real pleasure in being a photographer.

Knowing how to move, how to create great boudoir poses is an amazing knowledge to have. Knowing who you are is even more important though. If you are looking to step up the game a notch, come to one of our workshops. We won’t give you a fish, we won’t teach you boudoir poses, we will teach you how to fish, how to look at all the details so to create beautiful poses. Moreover, we will empower you to look for your style.

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