Boudoir Session

#TBT Model: Menakshi | Leighton DaCosta, Dubai Boudoir Photographer

With any portrait, I've always felt the emotion of the eyes reveals everything about the moment. I loved how the natural light from the window, just fell on her face, and created a moment in the eyes that just captures you!

With any portrait, I've always felt the emotion of the eyes reveals everything about the moment. I loved how the natural light from the window, just fell on her face, and created a moment in the eyes that just captures you!


Back around 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting Menakshi while visiting Dubai. A lovely British model, Menakshi was just absolutely amazing to work with. 

I had sent here a vision board for doing a boudoir themed photo session with the details that I wanted to emphasize at the time. Items from metallic flash tattoos, to a loose-end fishtail braid. I wanted to emphasize not only the beauty of the subject, but also how the subject embraced the light. 

Like with most of my boudoir shoots, I've never posted them online, because they are intended to be printed in an album or an image display box, but I am sharing with you on this throwback Thursday.


Menakshi as the subject, beautifully framed by the window light around her, with the light in the room reflecting on the metal tattoos enough to make them stand out.

Menakshi as the subject, beautifully framed by the window light around her, with the light in the room reflecting on the metal tattoos enough to make them stand out.


As a photographer, you want the subject to have fun during a boudoir shoot and to be able to capture it. It is beautiful when the subject becomes comfortable in their vulnerability. 

As a photographer, you want the subject to have fun during a boudoir shoot and to be able to capture it. It is beautiful when the subject becomes comfortable in their vulnerability. 

Tips for your boudoir sessions:

  1. RELAX. Don't force the session. This is a vulnerable time for some, but really should be fun. Boudoir and fine art should not be about the sexuality of the subject,but the ESSENCE of the subject. That "hidden room" of their personality that very few are able to see, masked by the physical facade.
  2. Conceptualize and plan. One of the things that makes awkward situations more comfortable, is a sense of familiarity. Knowing the intended looks, direction, themes, props, accessories and other things will make the time not only fly by, but make it more fun for the subject.
  3. The light is in control. Whether artificial or natural light, the light should set the mood. Use as much, or as little as needed to set a mood. Find ways to shape it, bounce it, color it, and let the light do most of the work for you.
  4. BONUS: Remember, the photographer and subject are teammates working with the light. 

Also, don't be afraid to experiment. While I was loving the braid, by the end of the session, I wanted to try a "messy" look with her hair, and I think it worked. What do you think? Please leave your comments below!

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Makeover Session in Charleston, SC with Misherald

Misherald Makeup and Hair by Nivi Grimball @nigrimball Photography by Leighton DaCosta @LeightonDPhoto Restoration on King, Charleston, SC

Misherald
Makeup and Hair by Nivi Grimball @nigrimball
Photography by Leighton DaCosta @LeightonDPhoto
Restoration on King, Charleston, SC

Misherald-Head-Shot-Leighton-DaCosta-Photographer

Nothing makes us feel better sometimes more than a "do over." A fresh start to the day, to life, or to our image. Think of it. Ever left the barber shop or hair salon with this amazing cut that you just cant stop looking at every reflective surface you pass by at yourself? Car mirror, storefront mirror, spoon at Waffle House, even the security cameras at the convenience store; you just have to get a look at yourself. A new cut, look, or image can be a great boost to self confidence, but more so, it is a great start at giving people a new view of YOU. 

A new look makeover is a great start when we reach different milestones in our lives, such as birthdays and even job promotions.

 

I was so happy when Misherald, or "Missy," as she is known to many, contacted me about doing a new look makeover. With some awesome life events happening in her life right now, she wanted to take control over her look. I suggested that she try a "Boardroom to Bedroom" makeover session. Essentially combining, the look of the everyday "Corporate Warrior," with the stunning looks of the temptress who likes to play hard as well. 

While the process may seem simple, it does get pretty detailed. I was fortunate that Missy had a few months to prepare for her session. Not only did this allow for anticipation and excitement to develop, but time allowed for great planning, which allowed for great execution. Great execution leads to a great experience.  

(TIP: Many photographers offer installment options to help make a makeover session more budget friendly. If you have several months to plan, always ask if there are options to break up installments. You may find that this increases the options that you have involved in your makeover, such as location and wardrobe.)

Charleston, South Carolina Hair and Makeup Artist, Nivi Grimball, works attentively at Misherald looking fabulous for her "Boardroom to Bedroom" Makeover.

Charleston, South Carolina Hair and Makeup Artist, Nivi Grimball, works attentively at Misherald looking fabulous for her "Boardroom to Bedroom" Makeover.

Misherald-Makeup-Leighton DaCosta-Photographer

Missy's day started roughly around 10am, at he historic and well awarded, Restoration on King (ROK), where Nivi began to work her magic on her. I enjoy working with cosmetologists that specialize in BOTH hair and makeup, because not only does it give you an excellent backup if needed, but it keeps the team moving at great speed. 
 

On many of my sessions, I like for my clients to be treated like guests, so there are drinks and snacks available for them to sip and munch on while getting ready. The makeup and hair process can take anywhere from 60-120 minutes, depending on the detail of makeup and hair involved. Wardrobe is preselected, and with Missy's session, we went the extra mile of taking her with us as we selected the wardrobe. I feel that this is essential in being able to maintain the new look. The wardrobe for the most part came from Banana Republic. I love BR because they tend to carry clothing that allow you to go from work to play, with only a few changes. If you were looking for a conservative look, you could get 2-4 outfits for well under $500. That's value! 

(TIP: A great wardrobe stylist can run from as little as $300/look to $2500/session. This may be a viable option depending on the expense and detail of the look you are trying to pull off. Often giving you image power of 10-20 times the cost of the stylist. For more budget friendly options, consider shopping at traditional outlets like Brooks Brothers/Banana Republic, or some of the higher end consignment shops in your area.)

Misherald in chic business wear

Misherald in chic business wear

Another thing that I recommend to many of my clients, is to also contact the makeup artist (MUA) before the session to not only get a trial run, but to also schedule a learning class on how to maintain the look they will have from their makeover. All too often, something that we do routinely could be done much better and efficiently if we only knew how. Who better to teach us, than the experts who do it daily? 

(TIP: Look for licensed MUAs and Stylists. They are well worth the investment, and being able to have them on set the whole time during your session will prove to be a great convenience.)



There is nothing more sexy...than FEELING sexy

There is nothing more sexy...than FEELING sexy

 

We ended up doing two looks and a boudoir session afterwards. I must say that she really enjoyed the attention and the pampering. I can't wait to deliver her final album and prints of her session. 

 

 

I want to take this time to Thank the following:

Misherald, for being a great client and supporter.
Nivi Grimball, Makeup Artist:
Restoration on King
Banana Republic
Borrow Lenses for the Profoto B1s that were used.
POST labs for the b/w previews.
The Leaf for letting me use their patio. 


And my awesome wife, for being my personal assistant and getting things done!

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