Charleston Photographer

Back To Business Basics Workshop Recap & 3 quick lessons | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photography Instructor

Back To Business Basics Workshop Recap & 3 quick lessons | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photography Instructor

“in my quest to help photographers solve these problems, we learned that we have to do more than just take “pretty pictures” for clients but solve their core problems, wants, desires, and needs while always striving to provide additional value.” ~Leighton DaCosta, Photographer

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Living the Lavender Life: Donna Maria - Public Speaker | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Event Photographer

Living the Lavender Life: Donna Maria - Public Speaker | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Event Photographer

If the name Donna Maria sounds oddly familiar it might be because she has been all over television and media from ABC to the Wall Street Journal. Maybe you have followed her journey of helping and empowering others all over the world as they build businesses while maintaining life balance through the Indie Business Network. However she has entered your life, one thing is probably true, your life is the better for it!

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The Nikonos Project: Day 1 | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photographer

The Nikonos Project: Day 1 | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photographer

The one thing I know about shooting with new equipment is to always do a test roll first, just so that you can have a baseline, or to learn things that you wouldn't see unless you were shooting. The worst time to find out something is wrong is when you're on a shoot for a paying client. 

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Head Shot Session: Gill Luck | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Head Shot Photographer

Head Shot Session: Gill Luck | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Head Shot Photographer

Your head shot portrait is often the first thing people see, and the last thing they remember, so make it a great first impression.

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Model Session: Shante | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Fine Art Photographer

Model Session: Shante | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Fine Art Photographer

Shante has been a blast to work with as we work through this project, but recently while reviewing the images from a session, one image jumped right out at me. 

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#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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Model Nijera's Test Shoot | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Model Photographer

Model: Nijera C.
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta
Assistant Photographer: Geno Porter
Styled by Leighton DaCosta
Location: Charleston, SC

(Cameo by Nijera's Son who braved the chilly air)
 

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