Skip to main content

Shoot: French Postcard

Lesson 25 from: Boudoir Photography

Rachel Stephens

Shoot: French Postcard

Lesson 25 from: Boudoir Photography

Rachel Stephens

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

25. Shoot: French Postcard

Lesson Info

Shoot: French Postcard

when a client comes in with a concept and if you have the freedom to be able to so felt to facilitate that something like this is very, uh, it's very detailed. I can't show you guys these pictures, but what I dio like 40. I know. I know the the idea of what she wants, but when people have concepts like this, they really are particular. So I asked them to send me pictures, and then we we agree on pictures that Aiken dio. So, um, I've we've got three pictures, I print amount. I keep him with me, and I see how kind of closely I can create that vibe without totally copying it perfectly. I don't worry about that, but we want to make sure that we create the vibe. So I'm just gonna keep this down here. And then, um, this is my mole Richardson Light that I talked about, I know that I had mentioned I think on day one that when I started when I was learning, I had Home Depot floodlights that I clamped to a stack of paint cans. So that's how I was shooting. And I had that very like, heavy contras...

t, Deep Shadow looked to my images, and I didn't even know who George Carol was at that time. People kept telling me that my work looked like that. So then I looked him up, and I was like, Whoa, that's awesome. I work. Looks like that. And a friend of mine found this in a dumpster in Hollywood and gave it to me. And I've had this ever since. So this is kind of this has a lot of sentimental value. Um, for me. So I'm really excited to be able to demo with it today for you guys. Okay, so let's come on out. So it's just sit for a hot minute and just, uh, we want to give you a chance to tell your story, okay? In mica in the mike. Okay. Sorry. So So I'm an actress, and I'm kind to focus a little bit more on film and just kind of getting myself out there more being more comfortable in front of a camera. So this is a really great opportunity for me to just dio some character work and some fun, play around and just be comfortable in a room with the film crew and all of you guys out here and, um, deal with making me feel comfortable in my skin and the body I have That has changed after having a baby. And, um, you know that that's kind of women. So even though your you have your familiar with being out in front of people, you still do carry all those things that the rest of us carry about exchanging bodies. And as we get older, Absolutely. If if not even more hypercritical because, you know that is what does that mean for me? Oh, I'm sure. Yeah, definitely. Okay. Well, I'm excited. You look amazing. Thank you. I'm super excited to do this French postcard. Look, and let's get let's get to it. Okay. But so one of the de fusions that I use with this this is my normal light, but you can buy an egg crate. We turn this off for a quick so I don't blind you guys. You can buy an egg, create it just goes right over. I keep my diffusion panel on. I just throw this guy on. If I want a heavier shadow, I don't travel with my remote Richardson just because of the weight issue with airlines. I can't have it with me, which makes me a little sad, But, um, I've learned I figured out this trick to kind of Jimmy rigged the look. I want the image behind the students over here on the wall was shot with this only with this diffusion panel. I put it right up against the wall, right at her, had her kind of lean on the wall. And we got this beautiful, fine art looking shot. Okay, so let's go ahead and start with this one. Good. Yes, I am about this. About the thigh area. Okay. Of course. This is not my first rodeo. I will take care of You will make sure that you look awesome. So what we're gonna do is you're gonna come in with your hip with this hip, you're gonna put your arm here, So let's get you into that position and let's see where your body naturally feels. Feels comfortable, and then we'll kind of reposition. Does that feel comfortable to you? I would say even come a little closer to the back of it. There you go. Perfect. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna just kind of, like, show a little more skin. Is that Okay? So that's going to do this here with this? Gaarder doesn't want to tuck it cause it doesn't want to stay flush. Perfect. So you want to be on the toes In what legs cost? Um, I'm liking legs Cross. Definitely. And then we'll do a couple of variations of it, so let me just come back here. Oh, quick. I'm just gonna fix this drug. So when you get concept work like this and you're looking at the images, you definitely want to make sure when you are posing your client with expectations, they may bring a picture in that their body type just doesn't is not gonna work. You need to let them know as you're communicating as you're posing them. That this this is this is what it's gonna end up like, So we want to make sure as we're shooting our clients that we keep our expectation level realistic. We don't want them to think they're gonna get the picture that they bring us. You're gonna kiss. Keep looking that way for me. This is another reason why I love continuous light. You can just see what it's doing. I get I have a very kind of low patients threshold. So trying to, like, fiddle with things that aren't working. I call it Rachel Rage. I'll just throw it. I get so mad. So just turning it on and I'm done. That works for me. So this is like a bright as the sun. So just be very careful not to look right into the light. And if you dio remember to blink, we don't want you, Teoh, tear off all of your makeup. It was brands, so this kind of lighting is a little bit more detailed. Teoh just kind of got a fiddle with it till you get it where you want it. Here we go. So let's keep everything the way it is. I want you to turn your head this way just a bit perfect and kind of point your toes a little more gorgeous. Don't move. So the way that I haven't lit, I'm really liking the vignette that's around her. I'm not worried that I know that from the knee down it's going darker. I want that with these old images, you're gonna have a lot of in yet. So it's something that you can get in camera. And it's also really easy take you move the light and then get everything well lit too. Rachel, just a quick clarification for the folks online and G is wondering whether you still have the nd film in the soft box or No, that is only for stroke. I am all hot light right now. Perfect. Thank you. I am back in my grooves. That's how do you kind of bring this shoulder it? Yes. Don't move. Uh, lower Don't move. Standby. I'm having a nervous breakdown. Testing light. Stand by. Well, life long neck for me. Beautiful. Hold that looked down again. Turn your chin This way. This way. And down. Look down, Gorgeous. Beautiful. Ah, Lord, Yes? I'm gonna need for you to hold that the hand. It's like this on top. I want you to bring it like this and you're gonna bring this part of your hand to your temple, and then I want yes. And you gonna bring that shoulder over here in like this even more. You're gonna kind of kick the hips out of it. Part the lips for may Are you guys dying, Teoh because I'm, like, dying right out so good. I lived on love. I was going to shoot it a little with a little more even light. But we still have that beautiful shadow under her chin. Ice to me, please. Beautiful. And when I get cords or the soft box in the shot, All that kind of stuff. I don't worry about that stuff because I know I'm gonna take it out. Impose those air. Could save a lot of time if you're not worrying about that kind of stuff. Just letting people know. I know it's there. Keep looking that way for me. Relax your mouth. Take a deep breath. What? Your shoulders sink down. Let your that shoulder sink role in towards me. Roll it in. Roll it in. Okay, so now I don't want you to do is uncross the legs and we're gonna have you instead. Let's bring the inside me up just a bit. So you're still Don't listen to me. Do your thing. That's awesome. So instead of hooking the foot Okay. You need some help with anything? Okay. Okay. How you feeling? Good. You having fun? So I'm gonna just go ahead and let this stuff come off the edge. Let's get a little sassy. Can it get? Yeah, I agree. So it's a little bit like bulky here with this elastic, so I'm I can take care of that in post I think I'm gonna do is I'm gonna twist it. Is that okay? How does that feel there? There we go. Tryto a mask. This a little bit. Just let me know if I'm pulling it off your boob. No, I've got that. See? Normally I would go with the jokes, say, but don't worry. I'm gonna see them anyway. But we're not doing nudes with her today. Okay? So you're gonna really just kind of like a kitty. I could go crawling up the side. It's a little higher with that hand and then that yet And you're pushed back like this yet in this hand? Yes. Perfect. Don't move. Daniel, Can I have you, um, tuck the tool behind her? Her foot? I just want her foot on the outside of that fabric. Thank you. Beautiful. Gorgeous. And I want you looking that way, but keep your head tilt Turned to me like it was but a little bit. Turn your head this way. Little more Lift your chin and eyes that way. Hold that. And our char charge eyes to me Beautiful Won't hold it. Hold it, Hold it. Eyes drift This way You turn your head this way a little bit yet and let your eyes kind of drift down And to let your head kind of come this way And ice drift down that way. Part your lips. Beautiful. Holy cow. Don't move to keep doing it. Eyes to me. Don't move. How's it going? We're gonna get tan today. Come this way. Shoulder this way, Little. There it is. Hold that. Wow. Okay, Okay. So I really like that, like, drapey thing. So, thinking maybe we could do something like this. Did you have? Did you will have, like, something else you wanted to switch into for that or we're doing this. Okay, cool. Cool. I'm wondering. Is there any way that we can make the straps look like? Make it look like a course? It do you think there's any way we can tuck him to tuck them in? So the straps look like, so it makes it look like a corset. Yeah, I just don't know. I'm gonna look, so I'm always trying to like Jimmy rigged things like this, and I travel with little tiny clamps. So if something looks a little funny, I'll just get behind an old oh, fold the fabric of just clamp it. Perfect. Let's to the other side to just in case I just get I want her toe the position that you're in right now, I'm gonna want you to hold for me. So how you were back like that, I want you to do that. Oh, sandbag from help and lift your chin. Gonna look out that way from me and the yep, And like, relax the left shoulder down there it is. Perfect. And let's kind of bring up that right shoulder just a little bit. And you're kind of switch. Spring your shoulder blades back towards each other right there. Hold that for me. Oh. Oh, yeah. You're here. I forgot. Okay. So, shoulder billions come together a bit. There you go. I'm gonna swivel your body to the right. Your whole body? Just a bit. I kind of like with, like this. Just a little. There you go. And look that way again? Yep. And on bringing her right shoulder forward. Your right shoulder. That way. More that way. That way when your shoulder blades together, Look up. Let's do this Seated. One of the seated poses you. Whichever one's your favorite. I'm a tangle. Er I'm sorry. I Saudi, um Let me see. What do you think? About What do you think about a stool? What do you think about a stolen? We can throw fabric over a stool with Papa or even its share? Maybe. Maybe the vintage chair? Yeah. This is what's so fun about doing these kind of shoes is you can just really let go on. Be as creative as you want. Yeah, so Yeah. So if you can come back and help me arrange which one did you want to really have? Time for one. The one on the bottom. These air for you. I want you to be happy. Let's do the one on top. So you will need a bunch of pearls. So for this one of us, see if we can get you actually see which weighs. So you have to be careful because the back of the chair you're actually gonna be. You're actually gonna be leaning like this so we don't want you to break your head. Okay, so let's be careful. Okay, so we're gonna go ahead. And Danielle, can I just get some help with joining together? She wants to do the top one. So just arranging the fabric as best we can to get that vibe Perfect. You have to punch. Thank you so much. You guys having fun? Cool. We just want to be able to try to see the shape through the fabric so we might want Oh, yeah, I think that's a good idea. So I travel with tool. It has. It has multiple purposes you can like. If you do have a window that needs more diffusion, you can throw it up. I have those clamps open. I also have a Gaff tape that I carry with me so I can tape it up. If I need Teoh, you can use it for nudes. If someone doesn't like the sheet, it's a really pretty kind of ethereal effect. Could drape it over chairs. It's just really like a multipurpose awesome thing to have with you. Yeah, I think so. What do you think? Yes, I think that's good. I think the kind of went like more bareness here. So you'll be you'll be doing, like so the inside hand will be higher than the other. So you'll be like like, Oh, these pearls air like Amazing. I'm let's see spring this guy that I can see that. Let's bring this guy. Thank you. Here we go. Are you having fun? Okay, let's see it. Don't move. Absolutely loving the shadow behind you. Don't move. Just moving this cause I don't want the shadow curls on your face So again, when you're posing people always consider post what you're dealing with in post and you're gonna kind of, like round out the back just a little bit And then we're gonna bring the face up into it. Gorgeous. Tilt your head towards me a slight bit. I love like this, but I want you this way a little. So the top your head tilts towards me a little, and you're gonna lean in towards the pearls because they're so awesome and amazing. Bring clean and lean in. There it is. Part your lips. All right. Oh, yeah. It was for God. We are going to do something super cool for you guys. So back in the day they used to use, so we don't want the toe. I used to use nylons to defuse on the lens. So we're gonna do some of that for you. Double it. Yeah, just be careful. Perfect. Perfect. Thank you. Same thing, please. Yeah, I like that. You're trying your head. That's nice. Just gonna move this curl some of the exact same settings. But I take one quick shot. The same settings actually. Really like that. Don't, Merrick. Okay, now, I kind of just want you to bring the pearls, like the kind of, like, over your shoulder. You kind of have it like but over your back, like you're holding it. Exactly. You're just gonna kind of you're gonna arch in this way. Now come back little bit. Nice long neck, and that's and that's it. We are done

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Client Policy
Example: 2 Day Schedule
Lightroom Presets
Lightroom Presets Installation Instructions
Client Session Information
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Partt 1
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Part 2
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Part 3
Longhand Retouch Part 1
Longhand Retouch Part 2
Facebook Ad Creation
Full Edit in Lightroom

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Let me first start off by saying that Rachel puts her subject first. She has a passion for empowering the everyday woman, showing them that Boudoir photography by no means only belongs to the "supermodels". She shows them that they're amazing and beautiful, and it was so comforting and heartwarming to see this in action in her Creative Live course! When Rachel's shooting with a client it's almost like no-one's in the room but the two of them. Rachel gives her undivided attention to the client's safety and well-being and general comfort. I was so glad I tuned in for the course as I learnt countless tips and techniques about lighting, angles, posing, different settings for the different types of shots you'd want to grab. Another reason that watching the class was such a pleasure for me is that Rachel comes across as that awesome, down to earth, lovely friend you might have in your life, who just happens to be one of the BEST Boudoir photogs on the planet! This was an excellent workshop, top to bottom, and I'd recommend purchasing it to anyone who wants to learn everything about this type of photography, including the business side of things which her husband, Sean, explained thoroughly. I have absolutely no idea what a couple reviewers were "disappointed with" but take it from me - this is a STELLAR course and if you're looking to get into the business, or just even honing your skills on photographing the ladies, this is most definitely the course for you! Tons of info - great guidelines on how to handle your models, great info on lighting, lenses and settings! Rachel will make you fall in love with Boudoir photography like your life depended on it! She's just THAT good! So go on, purchase the course and have her invaluable instruction at your fingertips whenever you need it!


I mainly photograph landscapes but I'm interested in learning other types of photography. Being introverted it's a challenge for me to photograph people but I it's a barrier I want to get over. I purchased this course and some others on portraiture and boudoir photography. While Rachel and her husband aren't polished speakers I thought they were honest and straightforward. The "clients" being photographed seemed a bit nervous but I imagine that had a lot to do with the fact they were doing the boudoir session live in front of thousands if not millions of viewers. Rachel also had to keep in mind she was tethered and the recording of the session while photographing her client so I don't think this was optimal and Rachel's back began to bother her so I'm sure she was in some physical pain. Regardless, the resulting pictures were beautiful so Rachel was able to make her clients feel "safe" enough to get through the session. Also it seems part of the audience were women who had been photographed by Rachael so it says something that they came to learn from and support Rachel. I appreciated Rachel was photographing real women, not models. What I liked most about this course is it made me feel like little 'ol ordinary me could be a boudoir photographer too If I am ever inclined to do so. Her style of photography isn't quite mine, but the session was still useful and instructive especially with regard to her lighting set up. I wish Rachel had talked a bit more about setting up the support team that goes around with her like her make up and hair artists, how she finds and decides on houses to rent and what cities she goes to, etc. but I guess you can't go over every single thing in a single course or maybe that can be a future course. Rachel and her husband seemed like a nice down to earth couple who put their family first and they were quite honest about some of the difficulties and their concerns over safety for themselves and their clients. I was touched that Rachel photographs women who have gone through cancer treatment for free as I do volunteer work in a hospital. I thought the bonus and included materials which had Rachel's Lightroom presets and her client info packet was very generous. Some of the other photographers charge for getting a copy of their client documents and presets. I purchased Rachel's eBook off Amazon and wanted to purchase Rachel's Photoshop actions but in searching for the purchase links I read Rachel is going through some health issues, I think it was spinal fusion, and it seems has suspended her business until she recovers. It looks like she plans to still make her "return" sessions starting with Hawaii during April 2017. I wish her and her family the best and will say a prayer for her quick and complete recovery. Thank you Rachel and Sean for coming to Creative Live and I hope you will teach another class or at least participate in a critique of boudoir photographs.


Warning: You are about to encounter a large number of exclamation points. ;-) This was such a great course! It was great to learn boudoir with such a caring, generous, and knowledgeable pair! Rachel really brought it with her posing, shooting, and building rapport with her clients. She even kept going while in intense pain! Also, the sections on retouching were EXCELLENT! I had trouble following the first retouching segment where she used her actions, but then she came back to retouching later and showed us how to do each step "longhand". Knowing what each action is designed for makes such a difference! I feel like Rachel read the audience and saw that we were floundering, and tailored her presentation to just what we needed! Sean was also very thorough in his presentation of the "business" side. It is hard, as an artist, for me to run my business like a business. Sean showed how it can be done. He also showed the need for a strong "why" to focus on when telling others about policies. "It's a business. I need to feed my kids." I need to reach down and find my "why" that will keep me strong enough to stand behind my policies and pricing. I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and go through all of the bonus materials yet, but I am so excited to see what's in there! I saw that Rachel had posted a longhand version of the "little hug," and I watched it, and I have been trying it out on some of my older images. Just that one little tweak makes such a difference! Thank you, Rachel and Sean, for giving us SO MUCH usable content! I'm so glad I decided to watch and then purchase this course! And I can't wait to see the two of you again for your next creativeLIVE!

Student Work