Lighting for Lingerie Photography

When photographing lingerie and boudoir style images, it’s especially important to make sure the lighting flatters the model. There are a few different techniques you can use to determine which light pattern works best, but as Michael Zelbel explains in the video below, one of the best ways is to experiment. Take a look and learn about an easy way to discover how different light and model placements affect the finished images:

Practice Makes Perfect

Try visualizing the times on a clock face when adjusting your light setup. Experiment by moving your light to different positions on the “clock” and take a test shot. Examine how the light falls on the model and take note of any shadows that are cast. Which light position looks best for the photograph you are trying to create?

lighting diagram

Always keeping your camera at 6 o’clock, experiment with different patterns by moving your light and/or having your model face different times.

You can also experiment by having your model face in different directions. You will find that as she turns, your image will become more dimensional depending on where your light is placed. You can use this to fine tune the lighting pattern once you have established a good base position for your light source.

boudoir photography

Planning for the Future

Use this exercise to create a visual reference for future use. By keeping the test shots, or even writing a quick line or two about each in a notebook, you will always have something to look at which can help you more easily select a lighting setup for future shoots.

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2 responses to “Lighting for Lingerie Photography”

  1. Pam says:

    Thank you for posting this great information.

    We normally use the images from the manufacturer when we put our ranges on the website, but when we put items onto our SALE site we take our own photos using a mannequin. I’ve struggled with the lighting, trying to get the best shots, but having now seen your video I know exactly which way I should be going.

    Many, many thanks! :)

    Pam (Blush Lingerie)

  2. Victor Dalziel says:

    I love this system, simple, easy to apply and remember the results, and hence easy to be consistent. Thanks, this is the way my brain works and remembers stuff.

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