Category: for photographers

Raising the Bar with Boudoir

January 19, 2015

My new Boudoir video is here!!  This is so exciting!  I’ve been working on this for the last three months, but this idea has been brewing for years now, so I’m thrilled I was finally able to make it happen.  I think it’s the best boudoir video I’ve seen, although I could be biased.

Since I started my boudoir business 5 years ago, my goal has always been to raise the bar, and with this video, I believe I have done so!  Every day, every week, every year, I am raising the bar for myself and for my boudoir business.  If you frequent my blog and you know a little about me, you might know I actually really dislike the word “boudoir.”  I just think it’s a little cheesy.  When you google the word “boudoir,” some very questionable photos pop up.  There are some photographers out there posing and lighting women in ways that make me cringe.  I’ve created my own term that I prefer to use which is “editorial intimates.”  It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?  Sigh… Until my new term takes off, I reluctantly have to continue to raise the bar with “boudoir.”

My goal is to take the viewer into my world, my studio and behind my lens.  It’s important to me not to just create pretty photos, but rather to tell a story and make a connection.  I want the viewer to be as taken away as I am when I’m behind the camera.  Women are beautiful, mysterious and fascinating creatures.  The passion in what I do lies in creating portraits that are unique, timeless, and make my clients feel the sexiest they have ever felt.  I don’t just take photos; I create art.

Any woman that watches this must believe that I can tell her story.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Am I raising the bar with boudoir?

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100mm for boudoir photography

August 15, 2014

Why the 100mm is one of the Lenses for Boudoir Photography 

Listen up ladies and gentleman!  I know how much you love your “nifty fifty” (or if you have a ƒ1.8, your “thrifty fifty”), but there’s a new contender in town for best Boudoir lens, and it is:

The 100mm!

I cannot begin to describe how much I absolutely adore this lens!  But I’m sure as hell going to try because if you aren’t using it, you’re missing out.

Obviously, being a creative Boudoir photographer doesn’t hinge on having this or that piece of equipment. There’s no such thing as the “right gear” for the job.  But there are tools that are superior to others, and your choice of lens is absolutely one of them.

Why the 100mm is the Best Boudoir Lens 

Your Boudoir clients are a tableau of beautiful details – the curve of her spine, the length of her neck, the light in her eyes.  You want to capture these elements in all of their fabulousness, but sometimes you just can’t do that with a short focal length.

So why not just use a zoom lens?

Prime lenses make your shots deliberate and intentional.  They force you to frame your subject in such a way that flatters her.  Although telephoto lenses allow for some freedom of movement, I find that when I use them it’s easier to be lazy and not set up my shots as well as if I used a prime.

The reason why I love the 100mm (rather than the 85mm which is also a great lens, the 50mm, or something else) is because it’s a macro lens; it focuses on the important parts of your frame while deemphasizing the less important stuff.  You have better control of background, access to angelic light, and more of that enviable softness which always flatters your subjects.

Check out these shots I took with the lens.  Try it yourself, and be amazed by the results.

xx- Marisa

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Spoiling your boudoir clients

August 2, 2014

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Three Ways to Spoil Your Boudoir Clients 

I know without doubt that I have one of the best jobs in the world.  I get to meet and photograph so many amazing and beautiful people, and I get to listen to their incredible stories.  These gorgeous women come to me from all walks of life, and each has a unique and extraordinary tale to tell.

Because I am thankful to these women for bringing such color and beauty into my life, I want to do my part to make sure that their Boudoir experience will be the best they’ve ever had.  I want them to leave feeling transformed, invigorated and spoiled.

Give them Goodies 

As ladies, we spend so much time telling ourselves no.  “No you can’t eat that piece of cake.”  “No, you shouldn’t buy that dress.”  “No, you shouldn’t ask out that guy you like.”  We surround ourselves with so much self-restraint that when someone gives us the opportunity to indulge, it gives us pause, yet makes us feel special.

When my Boudoir clients step through the door for their session, I want them to indulge to their heart’s content.  I want them to leave “No” at the door and begin saying, “Yes.”  Yes to champagne!  Yes to chocolate!  Yes to gorgeous lingerie!  YES because they’re worth it!

2. Compliment Them 

We tend to be so self-critical, don’t we?  Do we look in the mirror and smile at what we see?  Most of us scowl and do our best to make it better.  So very few of us know how beautiful we are, and one of the big reasons for that is that no one takes the time to honor us by telling us that we’re beautiful.

During a Boudoir session with your clients, you need to communicate with them, and let them know how fabulous they are.  If you want them to leave looking and feeling amazing, you have to say the words which make that possible.  Compliment them like crazy, and do it honestly (which is the easiest thing in the world if you just LOOK at what’s in front of you).  Watch your clients blossom.

3. Create the Best Images of Themselves They’ve Ever Seen 

One of the absolute best things that you can do for your Boudoir clients, in addition to giving them goodies and telling them how awesome they are, is to create beautiful images of them that they will love and cherish for the rest of their lives.  Spoil them by photographing them better than anyone else ever has; it will mean the world to them.

xx- Marisa.

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No Place for Fear

July 23, 2014

No Place for Fear in Your Photography Business

The only thing separating you from the life you’ve always dreamt of is YOU.

It’s not your bank account, your family, your past, your friends, or anything else that you can think of.  The only one standing in the way of your success is you, and your fear of your own greatness.

There’s something inherent in all of us, especially in women, but we do so many things to make ourselves seem smaller, less significant.  We apologize forty times a day for things we have no need to apologize for, we step aside and let others take the glory (even if we’ve done most of the work), and we put our dreams on hold because we’re “not pretty enough” or “not smart enough” or in our own eyes just simply “not enough.”

But here’s the truth, ladies and gentleman.  You are enough.  Once you start truly believing that there is nothing on earth that has any likelihood of standing in your way, nothing will.

Think back to the first time you held a camera in your hands.  Each of our stories is different, but if you consider yourself a photographer, then you know the connection you feel with that piece of equipment and your personal creativity.  Over time you gained confidence, started to build up your portfolio, and maybe even found a few clients.

But something has happened recently.  You’ve hit a wall, afraid to take the necessary steps to promote your business and find more clients, afraid to put yourself out there because you might fail at it…or even worse, you might succeed.

Did you hear me??  You might succeed.

I encourage you to silence those negative voices in your mind and embrace the gift that you’ve been given.  Tell yourself, “I will not be afraid.  There’s no place for fear in my photography business.”

No place for fear at all.

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How to Flatter and photograph Curvy Women

June 20, 2014

Curvelicious:  How to Flatter and photograph Curvy Women

“Cultivate your curves –they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.”- Mae West

Magazine covers today are plastered with images of teensy tiny women; ladies with extra flat tummies, a size 00 waist, and absolutely no curves.  It’s such a strange thing to see, considering the glamour icons of our history include Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield and I could go on and on.  I mean, c’mon, Marilyn was notably a size 12.

The truth of the matter is, all women are beautiful, not just the super skinny ones.  Fortunately, society’s fascination with one style of woman has started to change, and curvy women are beginning to be appreciated in ways that haven’t been seen in the last few decades.

I did a shoot with the lovely Raven Simone a couple of years ago and I just LOVE these photos of her, so I decided to go through them today and retouch a few of my favorites.  She is definitely one of the sexiest curvy women that I have ever photographed.  Shooting with her was so much fun.  She just has “IT,” an amazing ability to captivate you with her eyes.  The connection in these photos is spot on, and this is something that I search for with every single client.  It’s the one thing that will sell your photographs and it’s just magical when you get it right.

You as the photographer can help this trend along.  Here are some tips for how to artfully capture your client’s magnificent curves:

1.Use the Right Lighting

Regardless of whom you’re photographing, you need to make sure your subject is properly lit.  Voluptuous curves cast shadows if the light is too harsh, so use soft light to even out skin tone making her look fabulous.

2. Lengthen Her Legs

High heels and the right lens are the keys to making this work.  Use a longer lens, take a step back, and frame your subject from a distance.  This will soften features, trim images, and create the illusion of legs for days, which is what you’re looking for.

3. Highlight Her Shape

Try to avoid photographing your client square on.  Shoot from an angle, and have her rotate her body to three-quarters and pose so that she’s highlighting her curves, instead of subduing.  If she’s got it, she should flaunt it.  She shouldn’t have to hide a thing.

4. Shoot Just Above Eye Level

Shooting from low angles is unflattering to curvy women because it broadens the hips, and takes away from the bust line.  By shooting just above eye level, the focus will be on your subject’s face, and everything else will seem slimmer and more appealing.

5. Pay Attention to Her Jawline

Inappropriate chin position can make even the skinniest model lose the shape of her neck and develop double chins.  It’s absolutely necessary that when working with curvy models, you pay attention to the jawline.  Once again, don’t photograph her square on, but instead do a three-quarters turn.  Also, make sure her neck is lengthened and her jaw is down.

Photographing curvy women is one of the BEST parts of Boudoir Photography, because their shapeliness gives the finished images that much more va-va-va-voom, as long as you do it right.



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