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Boudoir Photography

Lesson 4 of 28

Shoot: Implied Nude

Rachel Stephens

Boudoir Photography

Rachel Stephens

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Lesson Info

4. Shoot: Implied Nude

Lesson Info

Shoot: Implied Nude

I'm going to get rid of these two. I don't need this. Thank you, man. I'm getting spoiled with us with this assistant business. All right? Are you a shoe person? You'll be more comfortable without him. Way better already. So with the top shape this top part here, always make sure it's not on away from the shot as possible. I always looking for this, too. Trying to get that like down here. Okay. Ready? Yeah. Let's drop trial. All right. So go ahead and wrap. You got it. You got a hold on that. Yeah. All right. So normally, I won't hand hold like this, but since we're basically we got cameras and everything, we don't want anything to pop out, so I'm gonna help her up. So go ahead and kneel on the bed for me. We'll be right in the center there. And what I like to do with all this extra fabric is I like to like, it goes back to that homer made underwater thing. I like to trail it behind the client and get some texture in there because I know that I'm gonna put throw that into blur. It just...

creates this awesome. Um, interest in the negative space of your image. All right, You ready to show some skin, girl? Okay, So what we're gonna dio is we're going, Teoh. See, you're gonna pin the sheet under your armpit on the side so you pin it down and you're gonna hold the sheet down here, and you're gonna show some skin on the fly. So normally, what I'll do is I'll try toe, be showing the backside, But because we're here trying, Teoh preserved her modesty a little more. And with this hand, you're gonna hold here like holding up like it could almost fall down right in the center there and these apart just a little more feet together. I was gonna mess your hair up just a little bit. It's all about the implied right. All right. How you feeling? Having fun? I love that. So I like when the hair gets kind of messy in the face like this. But just because you shooting digital's like shooting HD. So all the little hairs that kind of come here If you're back here talking, you don't notice all the little hairs. Then you bring a photo shop. You know, So just do yourself a favor and then just pushed the stray hairs away from the skin. And everyone's going to get that one hair that, like, won't go. And I'm like, messing up ahead claims just, like, yank their hair out for May. All right, so we're gonna get sassy. Okay, So you're holding like this you're holding up like that. Gonna kick this hip out a little bit more. Stagger those shoulders this way. There it is. Feel that. But you'll see, once they once they get in the position, they'll get, like, this. Look on their face, like around. I'll even do that and get them laughing. So let's have actually, Is this pretty taut? Like it won't fall off if you don't hold it. We're not grabbing the bottom of the other side to Let's show some knee on that side. There you go. And the little lower and then the side a little higher. There you go. I'm gonna bring this shoulder in. There is perfect. Beautiful lift The chin. Just a little bit gorgeous. Beautiful. So all sometimes even get on the bed. Whatever that pose we did on the floor where they were kneeling. I'll even get up on the bed and shoot down here a couple times. And I'm like, literally, like, crawling all over the room like a monkey, you know? And one of the great thing about shooting prime lenses because since you don't have a zoom, it forces your body to be the zoom. So then you're like, discovering poses that you would have never even thought of gorgeous. Oh, yeah, girl, You feeling it? All right, Something. How do you lay on your side? You're gonna come this way. So what I'm looking for when I have them lay on their side, I'm looking for where their part is. So since her hair comes this way, I'm gonna have her lay that way. Otherwise, if she lays this way, her hair is gonna come across your face like that. So you're gonna come this way just a little bit. And typically what I like to dio is I like to have them positioned so that for these kind of laying down shots, I like to try to get as much white around them as possible. So a lot of times I'll have, ah, a whiter bed. So they'll have them lay and I'll prop the pillows behind them. And sometimes I'll do some flattened than some higher. Just depending on what? Sometimes you have you get there in the headboard. Sucks. Yes. So you never really know what you're working with when you're going into Ah, right. A rental sometimes looks great in the picture, and then you get there in your leg loose. So off stacked pillows. That's how I deal with that situation. Okay, so I'm gonna have you go back this way with your upper body. Just a little bit. Your elbow back. There you go. Perfect. You bring your top me forward like this, and you're gonna drag that sheet up and just bring it under your leg. Can that leg down? There you go. Perfect. Your point. That toe. I'm gonna bring this put out just a little bit so this we can come down. I'm just gonna fix this. It's going. It's all over. So how are you feeling here? Do you feel like you to put your elbow out? Just a little bit more? Maybe just a little so you can go ahead and you can get them into a comfortable position and then repose it. So even if it's looking good for them, if they're not oppose, it really feels awkward. It's gonna be really difficult for them not to show that expression on their face. So you want to get them and then reposition your opposed so that the expression is not like and you're gonna stretch the neck up, head up like this, You're gonna bring your shoulder forward right here in this way, A little bit top your head comes this way. Turn your Children its way towards that shoulder. You pop that shoulders a little more there, it iss Okay, beautiful. Hold that. Perfect. Stretch your neck up. Just a little bit more up this way. There you go. Turn this way a little bit. So you have them push their shoulders down and stretch their head up a little bit and you have them pop out shoulder in. You're gonna have them turn the chin towards that shoulder. You can see how it creates. When I talked about creating poetry, you don't want you don't and you ever want the shoulders to be blocky. You always want him to kind of come in. So then you can see that there's there's the images flowing. Okay, Have you lay on your back head here? So I'm gonna have her sketch down to where I have enough room. Enough negative space around her head to arrange her hair. Okay, So what you gonna do is you're gonna cover. Just go under the sheet and cover and get your, um, nipples underneath your palm's you good check. Okay. Perfect. If you have, like, a client that's really conserve, you can start and have the street up like this. Just make sure you tuck it all the way down their bodies. So it's like a little mini dress, and then you have it flow off the side like a train. So since I know that she's sensitive about her midsection, I'm not gonna bring the sheet too far down. If they're comfortable with the midsection, sometimes I'll bring it down just right over the hips, Elbows out just a little bit. You gonna arch back? Arch your back. So if I wanted to put my hand on your lower back, I could bring both knees up, lower one. Me finishing together and come together halfway. There you go, Pop. your shoulders towards the ceiling. Elbows pinned down. Pop your shoulders. Bring him out like this. There it is. And bring your face back. Beautiful. Turn your head this way. Turn your head this way. Slide your head that way. Little eyes up to me. Bring your chin to me. Beautiful. So what? This shot as well. You want to be careful with the forehead when people are looking up like this, a lot of times their forehead will get those lines. And if that's happening, you have them close their eyes and relax and then open really quickly. And then close your eyes again. Okay. I think that's all we have Time for. Fantastic. Let's give a round of applause for awesome. Awesome. Uh, as I've been saying, chat room loves you, Jenny. Congratulations. And I hope that she loves these pictures because they're beautiful. I've been watching them as they come in, so we've got a couple seconds here while we're switching out and getting our next model ready. I want to read something. Evil Co actually jumped in the chat room. Who is a previous client of Rachel's and commented about the the meeting someone for the first time and not having that connection ahead of time, she said. It's a very natural experience. Not knowing the photographer means you can separate yourself from the experience. But is your conversation develops. You make the connection. I can say how powerful it is. I've gone with girlfriends, and each of us have always discussed different topics with Rachel and all leave with euphoria. It actually is more comfortable going in, not knowing her and leaving with a gift. At the end of the day, her photos made me cry and she captured my very essence on bats, something that I think is really an interesting perspective that, you know, we haven't seen as much of. But I love hearing from an actual client. Exactly, exactly. And so before we bring our next modeling, we wanted to just talk t you guys in our studio audience as we have really deep conversations going on here in our chat rooms and again everybody could get to those chat rooms by clicking on the link beneath the video. But what are some of the challenges or successes that you all have found in terms of creating that connection with your clients? How do you go about it? Well, I know for me. I'm also to a siren or former siren of Rachel's eso. I've had the pleasure of working with her and shooting her as it was shooting with her as a client. And I think it's important for us to be very authentic with ourselves because other people can feel that as well. And so when I instantly walked in the room and met Rachel, she just had a bright, you know, energy. And she was fun. And the first thing I said was I'm not getting naked. That was the first thing I think we joked, called her The Naked Whisperer because all the video once I purchase were all nudes, not even a sheet, like not even a sheet. And I walked in saying, I'm not getting, you know, naked. She So I think that helps you to connect when you're just yourself when you're authentic and you're sincere, people can feel that with you. So I've had people come in. One client had a flat tire on the way. She was just such a bad mood, you know, But you can relate. You share your car trauma and then, you know, you get them to relax is well, And then, you know, just use that. I always call it like an American top model session. You know, just relax. It's a spa day using, you know, your camera. And so when you when they feel pampered, I think it's easier for them to relax. Well, so that the naked whisper I thought she was the queen of skin way of making people show skin. Maybe that works. Anybody else Anybody else thought is a guy coming into this, you really have to know in your head with the intention is as she said it. It's for the client. You're not doing photos for me. You have to please yourself for the clients a lot. A lot of guys I know come in and they're there to nervous, and you have to come up with You have to get yourself calm and centered and know why you're there and just be confident, you know, Come in and say, I'm gonna move your hair. If I come in, can I? And I get kind of really weird about it. It's gonna make them feel weird. I just have this confidence that we're professional here, and we know what we're doing and just know why you're there.

Class Description

Becoming a successful boudoir photographer is all about making your client feel confident and beautiful. How else can you expect them to relax, overcome any shyness about their body, and follow your specific posing directions? Boudoir photography is a delicate, intimate art that takes time to hone. Join Rachel Stephens for a three-day course that will cover everything from gear to lighting to posing — and show you how to build a thriving boudoir business in any market.

Drawing on over a decade of experience as a boudoir photographer, Rachel will share the shooting, marketing, and communication techniques that she used to to build a luxury boudoir business from scratch. Rachel will start by showing you step-by-step how to create an amazing high-end experience for your client — from the first contact to the final portfolio. Rachel will also arm you with a plan to efficiently scale your customer service into a national outreach program including strategic multi-city tours.

If you are new to boudoir photography, or want to learn how to make an existing glamour or boudoir business thrive, you won’t want to miss this hands-on, comprehensive course.

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

Student Work

Related Classes


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!