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The World of Photography–Chapter Twenty-Eight–Glamour, Boudoir, Nude and Cosplay Photography

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/250, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 320)

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 200)

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 200)

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/20.0, 35mm, iso 320)

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/160, f/11.0, 45mm, iso 250)
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R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/13.0, 45mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/11.0, 50mm, iso 160)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/250, f/11.0, 90mm, iso 100)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/160, f/9.0, 45mm, iso 125)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 35mm, iso 125)
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R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 35mm, iso 100)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 40mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 35mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/10.0, 30mm, iso 100)

Glamour photography is something you’ve seen many times, but you probably didn’t know that’s what it was.

Think about a close portrait of a beautiful model with a perfectly sculpted face on a magazine page, maybe as an add for a makeup foundation.

Or maybe the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe in her flowy white dress. Even if they seem different, they can both be considered a glamour shot.

Glamour photography isn’t well understood. It is a genre that can celebrate sexual attraction. Because of this, it sometimes makes photographers apprehensive.

And other times it reaches extremes that no longer qualifies as glamour.

Image by David Hofmann, Unsplash

Not all master photographers agree on what qualifies as glamour photography. In it’s most accepted definition, glamour is photography that focuses on beauty and charm.

This is unlike fashion photography. This field can often feel similar in posing and lighting. A glamour shoot isn’t about the clothes.

Glamour sets also aren’t about the props or location. These can be important, yes, but less so than for a fashion shoot.

Glamour shots focus on physical beauty. Photographers piece together several different aspects. This is to highlight that ethereal fairy tale beauty. From the wardrobe and makeup to lighting and post-processing.
All the different elements work together to celebrate the subject’s beauty.

For many, glamour photography is about giving women confidence. And about making all women feel beautiful.

For photographers, glamour photography is a portrait session. But one that maximizes the subject’s beauty. It’s a portrait session that can involve makeup, wardrobe choices, and fine-tuned poses.

Others define glamour photography as something a bit more sensual. These types of images still celebrate beauty but in a more flirtatious way. These glamour shots highlight attraction. But photographers can do that with posing and light. Not only wardrobe.

That doesn’t mean the model is always wearing revealing clothing. But sometimes photographers will define glamour as boudoir-like shots. Even if they are outside the boudoir (or bedroom).

The genre also doesn’t stick to one specific style. Some glamour photographs are about confidence, others, shy flirtatiousness. 

Glamour photographers can use hard light, soft light, natural light or studio light.

What matters in glamour photography is how everything comes together to celebrate beauty. Whether that’s in an understated way or a more alluring one.

Although glamour is a type of photography, it’s closely related to many others.

What is Glamour Photography?

The straight answer would be that it’s the photographic genre that photographs beauty. Everything else in the picture plays a supportive role and is only used to enhance it.

Although this might be very clearly expressed in words, it’s not as easy to identify when it comes to images.

Glamour photography has a very thin line that separates it from other photographic genres such as boudoir, fashion, portrait, and even editorial photography.

For example, boudoir photography is also about beauty but it portrays it more sexually. It’s usually done in a private setting, with a model wearing lingerie, and sometimes you don’t even see the face of the model.

On the other hand, glamour photography is all about the model’s beauty with an emphasis on facial features perfectly sculptured with light and makeup.

The location can be private or outdoors and the wardrobe is set according to the mood of the picture.

Another example is fashion photography. It’s easy to confuse both genres but in a fashion shoot, everything revolves around the clothes and the model is used to show them in a flattering way.

In glamour photography, things work the other way around. It centers on the model and it’s the clothing that enhances her.

Another thing to note about glamour photography is that it’s often focused on ‘regular’ subjects – i.e. people who aren’t professional models but would like to capture pictures of themselves looking their best.

I hope you’re getting a better idea of what I mean, but to make it clearer I’ll give you some tips and examples for you to focus on and develop as a glamour photographer.

In other words, glamour photos are a form of portraiture that include elements of fashion photography and boudoir photography. “I think the word glamour keeps evolving. When I first started with photography, it was all about old Hollywood glamour, with that high-contrast, black-and-white look,” explains photographer Martha Galvan. “But ultimately, it’s photography that glamorizes your subject.” From classic, fine art portraits to avant-garde fashion photos, it’s a glamour photographer’s job to showcase the inner personality of their subject or client and highlight their unique beauty. 

How to Become a Glamour Photographer

The first step to becoming a glamour photographer is to master portraits. This is because you’ll need to know how to light your subject to make their beauty shine.

Once you’re a good portrait photographer you can start to specialize in glamour shots. For this you don’t need to spend a lot of money on production, they can be quite simple exercises.

Remember that practice makes perfect. You can hire models to build your portfolio the way you want it. But it’s also important to get clients to choose you to make their portfolios.

This way you won’t be stuck in a comfort zone and you’ll gain experience and versatility in dealing with different beauty types and multiple looks and expectations.

Prepare for your glamour shoot.

Plan your shoot.

Consult with your client and find out what they want out of the photography session. Depending on whether they want to display their new fashion line, get an editorial portrait for a magazine, or capture an intimate boudoir photo, you’ll approach the shoot differently. Ask questions to better understand what their goals for the shoot are. From there you can build a list of shots you want to capture. If there are multiple outfits or locations to consider, be sure to factor extra time into your schedule.

Pack your gear.

Whether you conduct your photo session in a studio or on location, you’ll need the right gear. Lighting is important in any kind of portrait photography but is especially key in glamour shoots. “Natural light and reflectors are always good. Reflectors help bring the light in to open up shadows and highlight the face,” notes Galvan. Bring extra lights, reflectors, and light modifiers. It’s always better to be prepared if your natural light at the shoot is acting fickle.

Your client will probably want to use props for their shoot. Be thoughtful about how you use them. “Simple is better. Your focus is to make your subjects look beautiful and glamorize them. So you don’t want to get caught up in all the props,” notes Galvan.

Prepare your client.

Unless you work with professional models, people typically aren’t used to being in front of the camera. “People don’t think about their facial expressions. Have you seen how you smile? Have you seen how you look when you are sad, mad, or when you’re feeling something deep inside of you? Many people don’t know their own expressions,” explains photographer Carlos Chinchilla.

Give your client some homework before the photoshoot. Have them stand in front of the mirror at home and examine their own facial expressions. “Have them pay attention to every single detail,” notes Chinchilla. If your subject discovers angles and poses that make them feel glamorous during their homework, when they are comfortable in their body, they’ll be more comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t focus on the imperfections. Instead, focus on what makes them special and beautiful.

Some Glamour Photography Tips

Next time you make a glamour photo shoot, try out some of these tips to improve your results.

1. Choose the right gear

Fortunately, this isn’t a very demanding type of photography when you’re referring to the required gear.

You can make excellent glamour shots with almost any camera and lens, it’s the lighting that’s more important. However, if you have the possibility to choose, here are some things to consider.

Camera – You should keep in mind quality and resolution because you need images with lots of detail.

Lens – Continuing the discourse about sharpness, prime lenses are the best. However, zoom lenses do offer more flexibility.

Whether it’s prime or zoom, you need to consider at least an f/2.8 aperture to get a nice bokeh effect that separates the subject from the background. Also, the focal length is important to avoid any distortion. I would say nothing under 35mm.

Most portrait photographers prefer using telephoto lenses because a slight compression is flattering, but this isn’t always possible to use with indoor photo sessions.

On-camera flash – Usually speedlights and any type of on-camera flash are not recommended. There is an exception though: the ring flash. It’s not a must but it smooths the skin, provides even light, and creates the ring reflection in the eyes.

ripod – Using a tripod will help with your composition and avoid camera shake. There’s no specific tripod that you should use, just make sure it’s steady.

2. Choose the appropriate lighting

Some photographers like to use natural light, but this doesn’t mean that you have to do the photo shoot outdoors. You can always use window light.

If you’re outside though, avoid the hard light from midday. Make sure that you’re under a tree or any other shade to create soft shadows.

If you decide to use an artificial lighting setup, you’d want to use soft light to avoid hard shadows. You can position the light source either coming from the top front, or from the sides. Softboxes and reflectors will help.

If you’re using more than one light source, don’t make too much difference between the power. A 1:2 relationship should keep the light to shadow grading very smooth while still adding volume.

That said, every face has a different beauty and sometimes a well-done hard light can be exactly what you need.

3. Hire a good makeup artist

Glamour photography requires a professional makeup artist. You’re not going for the everyday look, you’re aiming for perfection.

A good makeup artist knows how to enhance the natural beauty of the subject. This way your images will look more glamorous and you’ll save a lot of time in post-processing.

4. Learn to pose

Posing people is one of the most difficult things to master when making portraits. Hands usually need special attention.

Also, if you’re doing a full-body portrait then you have to consider many elements. It’s important to enhance lines and curves, which can be helped with the use of high heels.

Study some fashionable poses in magazines and on social media in advance, which you can use to direct your model. You can also ask her to contribute with poses she already knows. Remember to keep things well proportioned by choosing the right lens and angle of view.

5. Composition

As I mentioned before, every decision is made to support the physical beauty of the model. The composition of your image is no exception to this.

The way you position the elements inside the frame should be harmonious and beautiful to look at. Also, it should guide the gaze through the frame towards the best features.

For example, notice in this photo how the details on the sleeve complement the space while the position of the arm guides your sight to her face.

6. Choose the right color scheme

The choice of color can make or break a glamour image. You want to choose the colors that complement the model’s skin tone, eyes, etc.

If the combination is not pleasing or if it draws attention away from her beauty, then it won’t be a successful shot.

Look in the above image how the green from the garments around her head matches the color of her eyes making them stand out.

7. Use solid color to avoid distractions

Intricate patterns or busy elements can take the eyes away from the model and that’s not something you want in a glamour photo.

If you’re having problems balancing these things, it’s better to use solid colors. This can be applied to clothing and accessories and to the background.

8. Interior locations

Interior photoshoots are not just studio settings. You can find any number of locations that could work.

It’s better if you already have a mood or a concept in mind when you’re scouting. Remember that also the models’ bedroom can be the setting without becoming a boudoir shoot if you choose the right wardrobe and expression.

9. Face expression

Although this isn’t as crucial as it is in other types of photography, it does count. A particularly happy expression could shift the image into a portrait for example.

You also need to consider that the expression doesn’t interfere with the beauty, which is the main subject of any glamor shot. For example, a slightly open mouth keeps the muscles relaxed which is good, but if that turns into a smile, then wrinkles start to appear.

10. Try outdoor locations

Glamour shots can be done basically anywhere which is a great advantage. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different locations to change the mood of the pictures.

Even seasons and weather conditions can become an interesting element.

11. Play with contrasts

Sometimes playing with contrasts or opposites can make things stand out. For example, smooth skin can be enhanced by a grungy, textured background.

This can work with materials, colors, or light. Experiment with different combinations to find what works and develop your style.

12. Be bold

While glamour photography is not particularly conceptual, there’s nothing stopping you from experimenting. Some famous glamour photographers stood out exactly because they broke the scheme.

As long as you keep beauty as the main subject, you can be bold with your location settings or the lighting technique.

13. Show range

We all have a comfort zone that’s sometimes hard to break. Still, it’s important that we do it if we want to become better photographers.

Sometimes you’ll face a challenging situation if your model has a special request because of something she wants to incorporate, a particular feature she wants highlighted, or simply a specific color scheme.

Pushing yourself to deliver great quality photos in any situation will diversify your portfolio and improve your photographic skills.

14. Use more than one model

It’s not written in stone that glamour photography needs to be about a single model. It might be a little tricky though.

All models need to be enhanced with the same lighting and color scheme, so maybe this will be difficult, but definitely an exercise that will help you grow as a photographer.

15. Male glamour

While female glamour photography usually takes up most of the spotlight, you shouldn’t forget that it’s not the only type.

Male models and actors are beautiful too, and they need glamour shots for their portfolios so maybe this is something you should try.

16. Beauty retouching

There’s always some post-processing involved in this type of image. Use Photoshop to fix any imperfections, smooth the skin, and highlight the cheekbones and chin line. Don’t forget to whiten the teeth if they’re visible and retouch the eyes to make them shine. Photographers need to take care not to cross the line from beauty to plastic. Glamour editors also often focus on the eyes. Use editing tools to bring out the color, while burning can bring out the eyelashes.

17. Put your subject at ease.

Like any genre of photography, it’s important to connect with your subject before you start. Catch up with them and break the ice to help make them feel at ease with you. The first photos are always a little stiff, so use them as a warm-up to help your client relax into the setting.

18. Guide your client.

Research and plan poses beforehand. You can even try them out yourself to learn how to better direct your client. Give direction clearly and patiently, and walk them through the poses and facial expressions. If they still appear stiff and uncomfortable, take a quick break, lighten the mood, play some music, and try again.

 19. Play with different angles.

Experiment with the position of your camera and the composition of your photos. Get shots of your client from above and then take low-angle shots. Follow the rule of thirds for a few photos and then consciously break the rule and snap pics of your client straight on. Create a range of photos, and you’ll have more to work with when retouching them later in apps like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

20. Make it dramatic.

Glamour portraits aren’t like corporate headshots. If you want a more vintage look, get dramatic with the hair, makeup, and lighting. It’s a good idea to work with hair and makeup artists you or your client trusts. If your subject doesn’t like their hair and makeup, odds are they won’t like the images. 

21. What to Do Before the Shoot

Glamour photography brings several elements together into a cohesive image. Planning is necessary for that cohesiveness.

Before you get started with props, location, clothing, and shooting – define the goals of the image.

What look are you going for? What type of beauty are you hoping to highlight? What’s the client looking for?

Once you’ve identified your goals, pick the location, lighting, posing, and props. You’ll have more to work with to create that look.

Glamour photography is not a cookie cutter formula. By defining your goals and the look you are going for from the start, you can work through the entire process.

That helps your artistic vision come through. Right alongside the beauty contained in the shot.

Image by love_k_photo on Flickr

22. Why Clothing and Makeup Matter

Glamour photography is not fashion photography. But that doesn’t mean clothes aren’t important. Clothes aren’t the focus, and the wardrobe doesn’t have to be from a name brand designer.

The clothing should help the photographer highlight the model’s beauty

In glamour, the photographer will work with the wardrobe more than a portrait photographer would. Choosing clothing that highlights curves, rather than hiding them is important.

The wardrobe should flatter without being too loose or too snug. That’s not a hard and fast rule though. Some boudoir, for example, hides enough to tease with a loose “boyfriend” shirt.

The focus is on the person and not the clothing. The wardrobe also shouldn’t be too distracting. Solid colors are preferrerable. Any patterns need to be minimal, not busy or distracting.

High heels are also often a favorite for glamour photographers. This is because of the way the arched foot helps highlight curves in the calves and thighs.

Glamour photographers also often work with a makeup artist to achieve the right look.

Whether you are going for 50s glamour with bold red lipstick or a natural look. Well-done makeup and nails can play a big role in the final results.

23. You Can Shoot Glamour Almost Anywhere

From an all-white photo studio to an old abandoned building. Glamour photographers aren’t limited in location choices.

You can have your own glamour shots studio. Or you can rent a studio for local glamour shots. Even take your photo shoot outdoors.

Expert glamour photographers will ensure the location works with the clothing. Also the light and everything else to create a cohesive look.

If you are a glamour photographer working in an old warehouse, torn jeans work as part of the wardrobe. 

Or, glamour photographers may work to bring out the model’s beauty by juxtaposition.

Placing a model in an elegant evening gown at that same abandoned warehouse. This an example of juxtaposing the location and the wardrobe.

How to build your skills.

Create a portfolio.

To pursue a career as a glamour photographer, you need to build a showcase of your work. You don’t need to conduct a bunch of professional photoshoots all by yourself to get started. Work with friends and family, and slowly add to your portfolio. Practice makes perfect, so focus on your skills by compiling work over time.

When you do get paying clients, don’t ignore your portfolio. Your skills will keep getting better, so it’s important to update your work samples. “When I’m working, I always tell my client, ‘I’m going to use a few photos in my portfolio,’” notes Chinchilla. Make sure to get your subject’s confirmation, then pull images from your favorite shoots and add them to your portfolio. It will begin to speak for itself.

Make connections.

A great way to build your skills is to watch someone else do a glamour shoot and pay close attention. Research glamour photographers in your area, engage with them online, and build connections within the community. Everyone started somewhere, and most people are willing to help out beginners.

How can I do glamour shots at home?

Create the look you want with hair, makeup and wardrobe styling. Choose a suitable backdrop – it could be a plain white wall or something more elaborate. You can either use natural light from a window, or an artificial light source such as a flash or ring light. To photograph yourself, set up a camera or smartphone using a timer or remote shutter release. Then, pose away!

What do you wear to a glamour photo shoot?

Wear whatever makes you feel good! It should be something that you identify with and that you’re confident in. Aim for colours that compliment your skin tones, and remember that solid colours can be a great way to avoid distractions and keep the focus on you.

Final Words

While glamour photography can stand alone, it needs skills and techniques from other types of photography.

That’s one of the reasons why famous glamour photographers also tend to work in fashion, portrait photography, and boudoir photography.

Take inspiration from them and find your style.

No two photographers approach a subject the same way. Take note of what you like when it comes to glamour photography, learn what your clients like, and go from there. You may find you love intimate black-and-white photos, or you might like idyllic family portraits. Whatever you prefer, pursue it and build your skills.

Whether you’re new to the world of photography or a pro who wants to try something new, glamour shots can be a beautiful addition to your portfolio. Be sure to give your photos a little extra polish in post-production. Explore presets and effects in Lightroom, and add a final flourish to your glamour shots.

Tips for Taking Your Own Modern Glamour Shots at Home

Many seem to be under the impression that modern glamour shots have to be done in a pricey studio with high-end equipment and using a thousand-dollar camera. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like any other form of photography, modern glamour photography is an art form, which means that all you have to do is be creative and resourceful to pull off the perfect shots.

For those who are not familiar with modern glamour photography, it’s basically a type of photography that highlights beauty and charm</a>. Unlike fashion photography where the focus is on the clothes, shoes, and accessories, glamour photography highlights the beauty of the person in the photograph. It’s ideal for people who are into makeup and hairstyling, as it’s a good way to showcase your skills.

If you’re just starting out, you might not have the resources yet to rent a studio nor procure expensive equipment, so here are some tips that can help you prepare for a successful glamour shoot at home.

The hairdo

Transformation is at the heart of contemporary glamour photography. Your model should change outfits and looks, including their hairstyle, depending on the theme of your shoot. If you’re going for an extravagant concept, then it might be worth hiring a hairstylist to work on a fancy hairstyle for the model. On the flip side, if you’re leaning towards a more muted shoot, then having the subject’s locks either up or down should work.

The makeup

The whole point of modern glamour photography is putting an emphasis on the subject’s beauty – so makeup is key. Ideally, you would want the look to highlight their redeeming features and conceal their flaws. If you’re not too adept at applying makeup, you can always hire an expert makeup artist to do the work on your behalf. Just remember that as long as the look matches the overall vibe you’re going for then it should be good to go.

The clothes

Glamour photography is not fashion photography, so clothes are not as important in perfecting your desired shot. In fact, it would be better if you just ask the model to wear a solid-colored outfit. Big prints, loud patterns, and other similar designs are a big no-no as they can ruin the overall effect of the photos. Another tip would be to make sure that the outfit fits the model to a tee. You wouldn’t want the clothes to appear too loose or too tight. If you can’t adjust baggy outfits, you can always use safety pins or clothespins.

The posing
Since the beauty of the subject is the emphasis of modern glamour photography, posing is crucialEmploying proper posing will help draw the eye</a> to the beauty and away from the flaws. You should pay attention to the placement of their hands, shoulders, and the chin as they work together to create a pose that highlights the subject’s beauty. If you want to highlight their curves, arching their back is recommended. The model will also need to match the pose with a genuine expression to suit the overall feel of the shot.

The equipment

There’s no one forcing you to shell out thousands of dollars on expensive equipment. You can make do with your trusty smartphone and makeshift materials you have lying around at home, as long as you follow best practices in photography. However, if you want to take things up a notch and take high-quality modern glamour photos, you will eventually need to invest in the proper equipment. From the proper backdrops to the appropriate lighting equipment and reflectors, the correct equipment can help take your photos to the next level by adding drama or setting the mood for your shots.

Having these key elements on your glamour shoot can help it be a success. As long as you have the proper equipment, appropriate poses for your model, and apt hair and makeup, then you can meet the goal of your shoot.

Choosing a Location for the Boudoir Shoot

The setting for a boudoir photo shoot will help to create the right mood and tone for the images. It should also make your subject feel comfortable and sexy so the boudoir photos turn out well.

Go for a Location with Natural Light

Good lighting can make or break a boudoir photo shoot, especially if you don’t want to worry about a complicated lighting set up. To keep things simple and flattering, look for a location with lots of natural light, preferably diffused behind light-colored curtains or blinds. Avoid locations with harsh top light or fluorescent lighting, as they tend to be unflattering. A bright, naturally lit room or a studio with natural light is an ideal location for boudoir photography.

If you are doing outdoor boudoir photography, pick a bright location with cloud coverage to avoid glare. Shooting at sunset can also create a beautiful setting with great light for the boudoir photo shoot.

Go for a Spacious, Open Location

The location of the boudoir photo shoot should have just enough visual interest to fill the frame, but not too much to overcrowd your subject. Go for a location with a lot of space for you to move around and pose your subject. Avoid cluttered or busy locations with too much going on in the background. The location should complement your client and make them feel like they have room to move around.

For example, you may opt for a bedroom with minimal furnishings or a studio with a few key props and a plain background.

Ask Your Subject About a Preferred Location

Before shoot day, discuss possible locations with your subject. Perhaps they would prefer to take boudoir photos at home, where they feel most at ease. Or maybe they want to try outdoor boudoir photography at a beautiful, private location. Some subjects might be more open to a boudoir photo session at a studio. Find out what location is best for the subject so you can have a fun, comfortable shoot day.

Preparing Clients for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

Have a consultation with your client before the shoot to ensure they feel comfortable and sexy in front of the camera. Discuss their ideas for the shoot and create a shot list so they have a sense of what the boudoir photo shoot will be like. For example, you might do a mix of wide and close up shots. Or you might decide together which parts of your client’s body you will highlight in the boudoir photos.

Have Your Client Bring Several Outfits

Suggest that your client try on a few outfits before the shoot to determine what they feel most comfortable and sexy wearing. Advise them to pose in front of a mirror in different outfits to ensure they can move around and can achieve the look they want. Ask them to bring a few different looks for the shoot so you have options to work with.

Make sure your client wears loose clothing ahead of the shoot so their skin is free of any marks, impressions, or lines.

Discuss Styling and Appearance Beforehand

Find out if your client is looking for more of a glamour shots boudoir photography look or a more natural look, as this could determine their makeup and styling.

Your client may arrange for a makeup artist to come in for the shoot or you may offer to provide this service as part of the boudoir photography package. If your client prefers a bronzed look, advise them to opt for a natural-looking tan so it looks attractive in photos.

If the boudoir photos are going to reveal a lot of skin, your client might get certain areas groomed or waxed. Determine what your clients would like to highlight during the shoot and ensure they are well prepared on shoot day.

Posing Clients for Boudoir Photography

Perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of a boudoir photo shoot is posing your subject so they look sexy and beautiful. Because every person’s body and comfort level is different, maintaining strong communication with your client is key. Discuss each pose with your client and make the shoot feel collaborative to create strong boudoir shots. Maternity boudoir photography and plus size boudoir photography may require some extra discussion to ensure your client feels sexy when they pose.

Playing music in the background can also help to make posing for boudoir shots more comfortable for clients and set a relaxed tone during the shoot.

Start with Simple, Flattering Poses

A good starter pose for boudoir photography is on the knees, with their feet tucked underneath them. Have your client place their hands on their body in a natural, relaxed way. If they have bra straps or jewelry on, instruct them to play casually with them for a playful look. If your client is wearing a cover-up or top piece, ask them to wrap it around their bodies to highlight their natural shape.

Another strong pose is arching their back with a pillow under their arm to prop them up. Remind them to keep their feet pointed and turn their chin over their shoulder.

For an easy pose, have your client lay on their back and place their arms over their head. They can also arch their back and play with their hair or run their fingers along their neck to create a sensual pose. This pose works great for male boudoir photos as well as female ones.

Another go-to pose is lying on one side, with the bottom leg straight and the top leg bent to accentuate their natural curves. If your client wants to cover their midsection, they can place a hand in front of them to shift the focus to other areas.

Do “Flow Posing”

To keep the boudoir photo shoot loose and comfortable, ask your client to move naturally from one pose to another. This is called “flow posing,” and it allows you to take a variety of boudoir shots, following the natural movement of your client. It’s also a good way to help your client stay in the moment and not feel too awkward or stilted as they move from pose to pose.

Use Props During the Boudoir Photo Shoot

Props can be a great way to give your boudoir photography additional detail and interest. Use props that will create a sensual, engaging image, such as feathers, pillows, mirrors, or chairs. Ask your client if they have props they feel comfortable using during the shoot. Position your client with the prop so it highlights their body in a beautiful, intimate way.

Go for props that are simple and classic, rather than distracting. If the boudoir photo shoot is a wedding gift, try highlighting the subject’s wedding ring or pose them wearing a garter belt to mark the occasion.

Highlight Your Clients’ Best Features

A good boudoir photo shoot will showcase your clients’ body and face in the most flattering way. Make sure you get a variety of shots that highlight any areas your client wants to show off, such as their lower back, butt, legs, or chest. Your client may also want a few close-ups to highlight their face and upper body.

When you’re framing your client, shoot straight on and avoid cutting off their arms or legs. Try to get ¾ of their body in any wide-angle shots so the images are flattering and full.

For lower body shots, ask your client to pop their butt back with one leg bent in front of the other, tilting their hips to one side. Angle the camera so their behind is slightly above your eye line to create a flattering shot.

Processing and Pricing the Boudoir Photos

Some photographers prefer to process black and white boudoir photos, especially if the images use light and shadow to beautiful effect. Follow your clients’ preferences, or present them with black and white boudoir portraits and a set in color so they can decide which they prefer.

Do Light Retouching of the Boudoir Photos

Once the boudoir photo shoot is a wrap, you may want to do some light retouching using a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can use the program to remove any blemishes and soften or smooth any minor imperfections. In some cases, you can use the liquifying tool to subtle do some minor tucks. But, only retouch the boudoir photos with a light hand. Overdoing it can ruin your hard work and make your subject unrecognizable.

You may decide not to do any retouching, especially if your client does not want you to or prefers a more natural image. If you do retouch, do so in a way that is empowering and makes your client look their best.

Price Boudoir Photography by the Hour

When it comes to pricing your boudoir photography, most photographers charge by the shooting hour. The average price can vary from $100 an hour to $250 an hour. Budget for a two-to-three-hour shoot, at the low end, as well as time for processing the boudoir photos.

Another option is to provide different packages to clients that are tiered. On the low end, you might offer a $500 package with two hours of shooting and all processing/retouching. You may also note the types of images you will provide, such as a mix of wide and close up shots.

On the high end, you might charge $1000 for four hours of shooting as well as all processing/retouching. You could even include the option of a boudoir photo book with the best shots, a great option for clients giving the boudoir portraits as a gift.

Adding Boudoir Photography to Your Online Portfolio

Once you’ve created stunning boudoir photography, make sure you include them in your online portfolio website to attract potential clients and showcase your skills.

Don’t have an online portfolio yet? Use a website builder to build one in 10 easy steps and take your brand to the next level.

Pick one that has gorgeous templates to choose from, and offers features like a built-in blog and online store, plus client proofing.

This way, you can attract potential clients by showcasing your boudoir photography and increase your chances of getting hired for more boudoir photo shoots in the future.

Nude Photography Guide


Nude photography isn’t pornography. When done correctly and respectfully nude photography is empowering, beautifying and a celebration of the human body.

What is Nude Photography?

Nude photography which you may also hear as fine art nudes or bodyscapes is the art of capturing naked forms of the human body. This isn’t just a female-only discipline, there are many male nude models as well as many incredible female photographers shooting nudes.

That old-school notion of old men photographing young naked women has really altered over the years. Nude photography (as well as boudoir and glamour which are different areas) have become a growing part of the industry.

Nude photography focuses less on the idea of expression and personality of the model but more about their form, construction and shape as a human being. With that said they are still a person and thus needed to be treated that way – which we’ll come to later.

Nude Photography Examples

To give you a clear understanding in this nude photography tutorial we’ve got some perfect examples of the style. Boudoir and glamour photography is different from nude.

Use these examples to give you an idea of what a good nude photographer can capture with the right lighting, setting and camera kit.

Make a Plan First

Before you even turn on your camera and start shooting a good nude photography session begins with a piece of paper (or a computer). You should make a clear plan of what you want to achieve in your shoot – which is why we’ve given you some examples already to get your mind thinking.

Collect a range of images you find online (Pinterest is a great place to start) and make a mood board of shots you’d like to recreate. It’s not cheating trying to recreate a photo when you’re starting out in nude photography – we all need to get inspiration from somewhere.

Look at the photos and consider the following aspects;

● What props you might need (chairs, blankets, flowers).

● How has the shot been lit? Is it flash or natural?

● Is it a wide or close shot? This will help you with lens choices later.

● Does the model require any accessories? (jewelry etc).

● What kind of pose is the model doing? Make some rough sketches to be able to show your model later – they don’t have to be perfect.

● What are the hands and feet doing in the shot? It’s important to pose limbs that may not be fully visible as they change the form of the body overall.

Choosing a location for your nude photo shoot is important to get right. Not only has it got to look right but you need to set the right tone with your model. Asking a model to let you do a nude photoshoot in your bedroom (when they’ve never met you) may seem uncomfortable.

Instead, why not invest a little and hire a studio for a few hours to make the whole shoot look more professional. Plus it gives you more space for angles, lighting and potentially new spaces you hadn’t considered shooting in. A photography studio won’t be surprised by accepting nude photoshoots so don’t feel awkward by enquiring.

Some photographers hire hotel rooms to do nude photoshoots but considering you’ll only be using it for a few hours to pay for an overnight rate may seem excessive if you’re on a budget.

Top 7 Places to Find a Photography Model Online

Finally, once you’ve got a plan on what you’d like to shoot and where you can stage it all you just need a model. Finding a model isn’t that hard once you start an internet search. The most popular networks for models and photographers to collaborate listed below;

1. Purple Port

2. Model Mayhem

3. Net Models

4. Model Management


6. GlamHunt

7. One Model Place

Have a look on Facebook for local groups that offer model & photographer collaborations.

When looking for a model take into consideration their level of experience. If you are hiring a model who hasn’t done nude photography before then you’ll need to factor that into how much time you’ll need as they may be very nervous. Plus it’ll require you to direct them more in terms of poses etc so you’ll need to be confident to do that.

We would recommend that you look for a model with at least some experience in doing nude photography so it takes the pressure off you initially.

Camera Kit for Nude Photography

With the plan all sorted it’s time to sort out the camera equipment. Any DSLR or Mirrorless camera will carry enough of the typical features you’ll need for nude photography.

You don’t need a high megapixel camera (unless you’re intending on printing out the photos big). What you will need is a fast lens – with a widest aperture of around F/1.4 – F/1.8.

The reason for a fast lens is to create a shallow depth of field in a small space. Nude photography relies on the enhancement of skin texture and making the body look smooth and alluring – a shallow depth of field will help to blur the skin in parts and the background.

As well as the shallow Depth of Field (DoF) a fast lens will also help with shooting in low light conditions. While nude photography doesn’t have to be staged in a dark room, to create that teasing atmosphere and using shadows to disguise certain parts of the body means you’ll need a wide aperture to pick up on the light where needed.

Best Lens Choice for Nude Photography

The best focal length for nude photography falls somewhere between 35mm-85mm (full frame) depending upon the space you have and the type of shots you want to take.

Anything wider than 35mm will distort the body shape and anything longer than 85mm means you’ll be so close to your subject it could be hard to tell what you’re looking at.

Other Kit Considerations

● You probably won’t need a tripod as you’ll want control over the angles and tripods can be restrictive in this way.

● Packing a gold/white reflector is a good idea as a backup.

● Leave your flashes at home, they’ll be too harsh for this type of photography (unless you intend to diffuse/bounce the light off a surface).

3 Ways to Prepare the Room

Before your model arrives you need to get the room ready. Whether it’s a home studio, hotel room or studio space it needs to be set up and pre-tested to make sure you’re not wasting time when your model is ready.

1. Pick out a couple of props for them to sit or lie on or lean against. Test them out yourself to make sure it’s comfortable as they may be there for a little while – this connects further to respecting your model, which we’ll talk about later.

2. Make sure the room isn’t freezing cold – they are going to be naked after all! If you’ve got multiple layers on then it’ll probably be too cold for them so bring in a fan heater or turn the central heating on.

3. Look out for reflections – mirrors and glass surfaces can show up objects you don’t want in your images so just make sure everything looks considered. Take a few test shots of the scene beforehand to make sure the light falls where you want it.

How to Light for Nudes

When deciding on how to light your nude photographs, think about what type of light quality looks best on the skin – the answer is generally soft light.

Soft light shows off more texture and depth on a curved surface and is a little more forgiving in the shadows too. Natural sunlight will be the best option for most nude photos. Set up close to a big window and shoot on a cloudy day when the light is diffused or place some net curtains or bed sheets over the window to soften the light.

You could instead purchase a set of continuous LED panels to do the same if you won’t have enough natural light. You can change the colour temperature on these lights to give you the effect of daylight. Plus having more than one light means you can get more creative with designing a 2-3 point lighting setup.

Nude Photography Lighting Setups

Based on whether you’re using 1, 2 or 3 lights here are some diagrams to give you an idea of the best positions to set up your lighting.

Color or Black & White?

Should you shoot your nude photography in color or black & white? Well, that choice is yours but here’s what we’d advise.

● Shoot in RAW regardless. This gives you choice later on but there’ll be more image data to edit with if you need to brighten the shot up.

● If you do shoot RAW you can still (on some cameras) apply a B&W virtual filter over the shot to give you an idea of what it would look like. It’s not a permanent filter as the RAW will always still be in colour.

● If you can only shoot in JPEG format then any filters you apply would be permanent. It’s best to shoot in colour with no filters applied and decide when editing.

● Black & White nude photos look classic and timeless which is why you’ll see a lot of them. Skin, in colour, can look blotchy and not one tone. While you can edit this out black & white solves this issue quicker.

● If you do decide to stick with a colour slightly desaturate the shot by 5-10% to soften the appearance of blotchy skin.

Some pro nude photographers hire a body make up artist to help cover up these types of blemishes in advance if the shoot is for a magazine. But this somewhat goes against the ethic of celebrating the human body in its natural form.

Don’t be Explicit – Look for Angles

Remember to refer back to your moodboard to keep your mind on capturing the shots you want. By all means it’s fun to experiment if you get a light-bulb moment during the shoot, but don’t go too far off track or you’ll kick yourself later for not getting everything you wanted.

Nude photography doesn’t mean you should be directly shooting the private areas of the body. There are other areas you could capture the create a similar sexual feeling.

Think of yourself as a tease to the viewer, giving them a little hint, but not showing everything leaves a tantilising thought in the audience’s mind of wanting to know more. There is more skill and artistry in this approach than being obvious and explicit.

While there are many fans of nude photography, some are put off when the images are more explicit and pornographic. Glamour photography touches more on these elements, but not fine art nudes.

Tilt the camera to show off the curves of the body. Your job is to make every model look as amazing as the last. We said earlier that nude photography is about empowering the model and they may feel quite nervous about stripping off in front of a stranger so give them confidence in what you can do by showing them some of your favourite shots mid-shoot.

Keep it Fun – Talk to your Model

A few times already we’ve talked about respecting your model. It’s vital that you create a friendly rapport as soon as you can without being overwhelming.

Think about how you would feel getting naked in front of a stranger – the same feeling applies to your model (even if they’ve done it before). Don’t stand and stare at them, it’ll only make them self conscious and close off to you.

Just treat them as if they were clothed and talk to them normally. You can chat about how long they’ve been modelling, what they enjoy about it, what they want to do in the future etc. Conversations will naturally develop during the shoot and hopefully you get a few laughs to relax everyone.

Do’s & Don’ts of Working with a Nude Model

● Never touch a model without their permission and only if it’s something they can’t do themselves.

● Don’t use crude/explicit words about private areas. Be a little more graceful.

● Demonstrate poses yourself if the model isn’t understanding your directions.

● Don’t ask your model to do something they aren’t comfortable with. Establish boundaries when hiring them and never cross them.

● Ask them during the shoot, ‘is everything ok?’, ‘do you want to take a break?’, ‘are you warm enough?’. Keep their wellbeing in mind throughout.

● Show them some of your favourite shots during the shoot – this will buoy their confidence.

● Compliment them on their poses and thank them for their patience if they are waiting for you.

Sign a Model Release

To make sure there are no legal or awkward ramifications after your photoshoot ask your model to sign a model release form. It’s standard practice and we’ve got a template one for you to download here to use as a guide.

The model release form protects you and them from problems in the future arising from public use of the images and ownership. Most commonly the photographer will retain 100% copyright ownership of the photos from that shoot, with the allowance of them to do what they need (publication, online sharing, portfolio purposes etc).

But there will be a clause to all the model licenses on the final edited images provided to again be used in a similar way (but with no financial benefits being allowed).

Make sure the model release states roughly how many edited images you expect to be able to give them and how long that will take. Obviously until you see all the photos back it’s impossible to give an exact number so it’s best to dramatically underestimate to cover your back. Quoting something like 10 photos would be fine.

As a general point, model release forms need to be co-signed by a parent/guardian if the model is under 18. 

BUT you should never be shooting nude photography with anyone under 18 anyway.

Nude Photography Tutorial (5 Top Tips to Remember)

By now you’ll be packed with information and understanding from this nude photography tutorial on how to go forward and capture some incredible shots.

There is much more to learn about nude photography which you’ll only discover while you’re shooting. Here is a great guide about posing men and women which you could apply elements of to your nude photoshoot. 

5 Top Tips to Nude Photography

1. Make a plan before anything else – write down what you want to achieve and build yourself a mood board of ideas.

2. Find a model with some experience of nude modelling if it’s your first time and share your plans with them.

3. Set up the room and lighting in advance. Take a few test shots so you’re not wasting time when you’re on the clock.

4. Talk to your model and make a good impression. Praise and direct them where necessary throughout.

5. Both parties should sign a model release form after the shoot to protect each person from legal complications.

How To Shoot Awesome Cosplay Photography

Cosplay, also known as costume play, is a fun way for people to express their love for their favourite characters from filmsbooks, comics, and more.

You can use cosplay photography to experiment with fantasy themes, take vibrant photos, and give your imagination a chance to roam freely.

Take Screenshots of Scenes You’d Like to Re-Create

Even if you’re familiar with the character your model is cosplaying, it’s important to do some research. In addition to having a conversation with your model (more on this later), you can watch the fictional character in action.

Cinematography is the perfect source of inspiration. It’s great for photographers who want to improve their knowledge of lighting, depth, and framing.

If it’s a TV or movie character, watch parts of a film or an episode. Take screenshots of scenes that stand out to you. You can use these as posing or lighting references throughout your photo shoot.

If the character is from a comic book or another source, you might still find inspiration by reading the material. Or you can look at other photographers’ approach to the character.

Investing even a little bit of time in cosplay research will make your model feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

Understand Why Your Subject Loves a Character to Take Impactful Cosplay Photos

The most important part of any photography session is communication. Before the photo shoot, find out what your model wants to express and what cosplaying means to them.

Why do they love that character? If there were different costume options, why did they choose that specific outfit? What kind of atmosphere do they want to see in the finished product?

You can take notes so that you don’t forget anything. Be aware of their favorite anglesposes, and storytelling techniques. That way you’re both on the same page during the shoot.

Also be aware of your model’s personality and openness. This will make it easier for you to befriend them and give them the right kind of instructions as you shoot.

Use a Posing Guide to Make Your Model Look as Flattering as Possible

There are hundreds of posing guides made exclusively for cosplayers. A few general rules to remember are:

Catberry Photography, a professional cosplay photographer, made an extensive posing guide that you might find very useful.

Ask Your Model to Interact With Other Cosplayers so You Can Take Candid Photos

Many cosplayers are very active in their community. There are meet-ups happening all over the world as you’re reading this!

This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people and improve your candid photography. It’s also a great way to distract your model from the camera and take beautiful photos of genuine reactions.

If your model finds people cosplaying characters from the same universe, you can take epic group photos of them.

For this to be as natural as possible, use a zoom lens. This will allow you to take a few steps back and take stunning photos from a distance.

Choose the Right Location to Enhance the Character’s Story

Sometimes, an empty studio is exactly what you don’t need for a shoot. The right kind of surroundings will deepen the story and give you more elements to work with.

For example, there’s a very popular game called The Legend of Zelda. Its main setting is the outdoors, particularly green pastures and forests.

To make a Zelda cosplay look as authentic as possible, the best thing you could do is shoot in one of the aforementioned locations.

To make a location in the background stand out, use a small aperture like f/11. Don’t use the smallest aperture possible or else you’ll end up with photos that blend into each other unnaturally.

Use Interesting Props and Effects to Make Your Photos Atmospheric

Once you’ve chosen a location, you can enhance it even more using props and effects. You can use props like fake butterflies or snow to make your compositions stand out. If you make these details subtle, your photos won’t look too busy.

You can also add subtle effects in an editing program or during your photo shoot. Examples of this are additional bokeh and colorful smoke from smoke bombs.

If you want to make your photos stand out even more, use creative photography techniques. Double exposures, heart-shaped bokeh, and panning can all make your cosplay photos more interesting.

Use Natural Light to Take Striking Photos

Artificial light in buildings isn’t made for professional photography. Try to avoid it as much as possible, especially if you’re at an event.

The best times to use natural light are in the afternoon and during the golden hour. If you’re going for a moodier look, you can shoot during the blue hour.

Since cosplay photography is often based on fantasy, you can experiment with different lighting tricks that might not be appropriate in other styles. Examples of this are light flares, overexposure for a dreamy effect, and harsh direct light to bring out textures.

Unless you have a specific look in mind, always make sure that an even amount of light is hitting your model. This will bring out their best features and make their eyes sparkle.

Shoot From Different Angles to Make Your Photos More Interesting

Shooting from different angles is useful for a number of reasons.

Your model probably has a favorite angle that makes them feel confident about themselves. If they don’t know what it is, shooting from different angles might help them find their best poses.

Different angles also make for unique results. The more creative and diverse your shots, the easier it will be to choose great photos for your cosplay photography portfolio.

You’ll be able to make the most of the location and your model’s outfit by capturing them from different angles. You might discover new perspectives that you can use in future photo shoots.

If you have two or three points of view, you won’t challenge your imagination or take photos that truly stand out. So feel free to get creative with all kinds of angles.

Take Photos of Costume Details to Make the Shooting Process More Fun

Once you’re comfortable with shooting from different angles, zoom in. You don’t necessarily need a macro lens for this. You can photograph the costume’s fabricpatterns, and logo with any lens you have.

Details are just as important as expressive portraits. A photo of a hand holding Spiderman’s mask tells a deeper story than a simple cosplay photo of Spiderman.

It brings out the subject’s humanity and, when used with the right light, creates a moving atmosphere.

You can use these close-up shots in photo collages or double exposures.

If You’re Taking Photos in a Crowded Place, Use a Large Aperture and a Fast Shutter Speed to Avoid Shaky Pictures

It’s easy to feel lost and stressed while taking photos in busy places, especially if you have a specific vision in mind.

Use a large aperture to make your model stand out from their surroundings. The right amount of blur will get rid of distractions and might actually create interesting abstract textures.

Lenses with large apertures such as f/1.2 are considered fast, which means that they’re better at capturing quick movements.

Use a fast shutter speed to ensure that none of your subject’s movements end up looking like a bunch of shaky lines. Most photographers go by this rule: use a number that’s slightly higher than your focal length.

For instance, if you’re using a 50mm 1.4 lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/60 seconds.

If You’re Photographing Strangers at an Event, Ask for Permission to Avoid Uncomfortable Situations

Photographing multiple models in different costumes is a great way to grow your cosplay photography portfolio. It can also lead to new photography opportunities.

If you want to photograph a variety of people at an event, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Color Correct Your Results Appropriately to Complement the Theme

Once your photos are ready, you can enhance them further by using color correction.

Color correcting doesn’t have to be a long and tedious process. You can simply use a tool like Curves to add contrast or change the entire mood of your photo. Even small adjustments like that will make a big difference.

You can also use other photographer’s pre-made Lightroom presets or Photoshop actions to do all the work for you. Just one click will transform your image within seconds.

How To Take Your Own Cosplay Photography At Home

If you’ve ever tried to get pictures of your cosplay, you know how difficult it can be to find a photographer, a good location, a time that works for everyone. It can be a huge hassle, when all you really wanted was a few good photos. Fortunately, you don’t need fancy equipment, a perfect location, or even another person to take cosplay pictures! You can do it in your own house, with just yourself. And in this article, I’m going to teach you how.

While I have occasionally done photoshoots with another person behind the camera, the vast majority of my cosplay photos were taken by myself. And while some of them were taken at a specific, outdoor location, many of them were just in my bedroom!

Let’s start by talking about the set. While taking pictures in my house, there are two main backgrounds I choose between. First, I’ll simply use a blank white wall, which is great for a smooth, even backdrop. Plus, it’s super easy to find, since most houses have… a lot of white walls. These can be good for portrait, mid-length, and closeup shots. Or even full-body shots, if you don’t mind showing a bit of the floor. Below are two cosplay photos I took using a plain, white wall in my bedroom. Even with that simple backdrop, you can still get some nice photos.

For the second option, I’ll hang up a sheet to use as a backdrop, usually draping it over my curtain rod, and hanging it in my closet. This can be good for similar pictures as before, but you have more control over the color and location, as you can hang up the sheet pretty much wherever you want. I’ve used both white and black sheets as backdrops, though you can use any color you want, to get a specific look. Below are two different cosplay photos I took using a black sheet as a background. Just using the one background, you can still get a nice variety of shots.

Now that I’ve talked some about the background, let’s talk about equipment. You don’t need anything fancy to take cosplay photos, but there are some things that will make it a lot easier, especially if you’re shooting alone.

First is the camera itself. While I have shot cosplay photos on a DSLR, you can still get some really nice results with just your phone. The main advice I have when shooting on a phone is to use the BACK camera. While it is nice to be able to see yourself when you’re shooting, the back camera is much higher quality than the front, and picks up colors and details much better. The end results almost always look much sharper and higher quality. Or, of course, you can just use a DSLR, or any other camera you may have. It depends on your preferences, what kind of photo you’re trying to take, and what you have on hand.

When you’re actually taking the pictures, there are three main things you can do, if you’re shooting alone. The first is to take selfies. You can still get some nice results with these, and things like ‘bathroom selfies’ can be good to show off the costume. I almost always take some of these, as I like how they look (especially since the lighting in my bathroom is really nice).

The second method is using the self-timer. Whether you have a phone or a DSLR, you will almost always have the option for a self-timer. You simply set up your camera with the angle you want, set the self-timer, and get into position, holding a pose until the photos have been taken. Then you can go back and check the photos. This method includes a lot of going back and forth, but it allows for a ton of different shots and options. And, of course, you do need a tripod, with a phone attachment if you’re using your phone. A tripod isn’t strictly necessary, but it makes everything SO much easier.

The third method, and the one I use the most, is a remote trigger. You can get these for incredibly cheap, and they can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Then all you have to do is make sure the trigger is hidden, whether in your hand, behind a prop, or even pressed with your foot, and take the pictures by clicking it. I use a remote trigger for most of my cosplay photos these days, as it’s super convenient when you’re shooting alone, and it allows you to take a lot of different photos at once, without having to go and reset the self-timer after every shot. But, again, it’s totally up to you!

Lastly for equipment, let’s talk about lighting. I most often use two umbrella lights when shooting, positioning them to get an amount of light that I’m happy with. In addition, my room that I most often shoot in has a nice window, and I get a lot of natural light through that. Getting well-lit photos is always a struggle when shooting indoors, but shooting by a window can help a lot, even if you don’t have any studio lights. My main bit of advice is to shoot near a window, or in another well-lit location, and to not use your overhead ceiling lights, as these can cause more unflattering lighting. It may take some trial and error to find a setup you’re happy with, but good lighting is super important for good cosplay photos, and it’s worth the extra work.

Finally, let’s talk about post-production and editing. While you can leave your cosplay photos as they are, it’s almost always helpful to do a bit of editing afterwards. You can improve the colors and lighting, smooth over errors and inconsistencies, and help create a certain mood in your photos. I edit most of my cosplay photos on my iPad, and I use the built-in editor in Photos, and the apps Procreate and Snapseed. These are all super handy to get a better result with photo editing. Below you can see the before and after for one of the cosplay photos I took, and there’s definitely a clear improvement! Again, while editing isn’t necessary, I find it incredibly helpful, and I love the results I can get with it.

And there you have it! You are now fully educated and equipped to take your own cosplay photos at home. And it doesn’t have to stop there, either! Even if you don’t have someone to shoot with you, you can still go on-location, and get some really nice cosplay photos by yourself. When shooting on-location, I’ll bring my tripod, phone attachment, iPhone, and remote-trigger. With all of these, I take most of my own cosplay photos, and can get some pretty nice results! It takes practice, but I’m confident you can take your own cosplay photos as well, whatever experience level you are, and with whatever equipment you have on hand! Below are two different cosplay photos I took by myself, on-location. It’s many of the same principles as shooting indoors, except you don’t usually need any studio lights!

While self-shooting can sometimes be difficult, and requires a learning curve, it is also a ton of fun, and you can get some great results with it!


Cosplay photography might seem more challenging than anything else. But it’s actually vibrant, fun, and inspiring.

You’re taking photos of imaginative people and their stories. This will help you embrace your inner storyteller and learn how to take awesome cosplay photos in the process.

More Examples of My Work:

R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 80mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony SLT-A99V Sigma 85mm 1:1-4, 1/1250, f/1.8, 85mm, iso 80)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony SLT-A99V Sigma 85mm 1:1-4, 1/1250, f/1.8, 85mm, iso 80)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony SLT-A99V Sigma 85mm 1:1-4, 1/1250, f/1.8, 85mm, iso 80)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony SLT-A99V Sigma 85mm 1:1-4, 1/1250, f/1.8, 85mm, iso 80)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 320)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 70mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 160)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 60mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 50mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/160, f/11.0, 50mm, iso 125)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 70mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 70mm, iso 200)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/250, f/11.0, 105mm, iso 100)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/250, f/11.0, 70mm, iso 100)
R. Landry Gallery ( Sony DSLR-A900 Sigma 24-105mm 1:4 DG, 1/200, f/9.0, 85mm, iso 200)

Resources, “GUIDE TO GLAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.” By Ana Mireles;, “Capture elegant shots with glamour photography.” By Martha Galvan and Carlos Chinchilla;, “Tips for Taking Your Own Modern Glamour Shots at Home.” By Sheen Magazine;, “What Is Glamour Photography? (And How to Get Gorgeous Glamour Shots!).” By Hillary Grigonis;, “A Beginner’s Guide to Boudoir Photography.”;, “Nude Photography Tutorial for Beginners.” By Stephen Walton;, “How To Shoot Awesome Cosplay Photography.” By Taya Ivanova;, “How To Take Your Own Cosplay Photography At Home.” By Winterstar Cosplay;

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