Xander Angeles's Creative Lens Series - Boudoir Photography
Monday, August 02, 2010
I was like a kid in a candy store. It was like my first day of school again when I got the chance to be with my idol Xander Angeles and his protege Niko Villegas. Two of the best fashion photographers in the world. Doing this to give back something to the craft that made them who they are today is commendable. I was in for something big and I know how lucky I am to even get to know these people; let alone shoot with them this weekend. I wasn't disappointed because they delivered as expected on the workshop. Who am I to second guess the Jedi Masters (ha-ha!) I REALLY learned a lot... and here's a rundown of the day.
I woke up around 6am (not excited huh?! =P ) and to tell you honestly I did read off a couple of things a few weeks before I got the slot. It pays to be prepared and I don't wanna look clueless right off the bat. Xander Angeles, Niko Villegas and Daryl Quioge was at the door of The Picasso Boutique Residences when I arrived. I think I was a little late (around 10 mins) which I apologized for (thanks to Makati City's one way streets!). It doesn't take a genius or a lot to research about what boudoir photography is; and I would pretty much get this combined with wedding photography packages in the future. When asked one by one about what it is and what's it all about, I think I had the right idea what it was used for in the olden days. Boudoir is French for bedroom. This is a "suggestive" and sexy shoot made for soon to be wives as a present to their husbands right after ceremonies. This is something for them to remember too on what they looked like before they get into the motherhood business of it all.
Starting with this concept, we need to make use of lights. It is important to set the mood in photography and you use this to enhance her assets and create drama. Doing the make up for us in this shoot was Ms. Michelle Literal, if you are going to shoot something exquisite as our Brazilian Model (of which I'm going to show you after minor post processing) you need to have a make up artist that can do it flawlessly. Every setup and shot we had the MUA went in and retouched the model probably to create consistency to the overall look and get her hair in place. It is so important to also have art direction and styling involved even before you execute the concept. We had so many lights to use but I chose to have one light done on my first setup. To be able to create the drama and shot that I want I wanted her to lean on a wooden plank and have the light have some well lit and some covered in shadows. Emphasis would be on her face and body. I had a really yellow to near orange background and I didn't choose to have it softened. I blatantly had it on hard lights so the shadow didn't get diffused light but total cuts with it. It ended up with details still but I had the darkness I was going for. The light became so bright that I thought I had sunshine inside the room. It was nice to see the whole perspective of the first shot done sunny since my foreground had that color I mentioned. Some problems with posing cutting off of other body parts off the frame but I still had to have her shot there so I could get post process wise details of what would be sexy and attractive in print. I was planning a layout and it is important to have those done first. In 10 frames or a little more than that I had to do it. I wasn't rushed but I chose to be inside the limits of the challenge and get me some of the money shots without thinking that I can manipulate them on the computer after wards. The result in this case were photos that I couldn't do anything with anymore because they were already good right there and then. To say the least, I was happy with that but if I had more time I would probably have had her pose more in different frames. This was actually the second time that I used gels. I never had one of my own and since they just had their creative lighting session last week they had this shoot using those for the background. It was nice to see the effects while lights were being diffused by glass over at the bathtub. I was looking at the others who had their lights setup differently and I learned a couple or two from that. The output was awesome; we got the best shots uploaded on the computer for post processing I guess. I'll wait for that too.
What have I learned?! There's a lot actually.
1.) Create Drama with Lights
2.) Getting gels and using them on creative setups. I learned where to buy them too! ^_^
3.) Maximizing all details before shooting, getting the best MUA, Stylist, Hairstylist and Production Design, Location
4.) Planning schematics of lights
5.) Posing to accentuate body
6.) Deconstructing Photos - which is important so it would be second nature to you!
7.) Lighting makes a difference
8.) Using same set of lights but on a different angle
9.) Using Fill Light and Soft Lights to see details of the subject
10.) Making photos 3 dimensional
11.) Using warm and cold lights
12.) Rim lights
13.) I used some of the lenses Nikon had there too, you should definitely switch to Nikon if you haven't done that yet! =)
14.) Meet Joe Black can change your life! Ha-ha!
I wouldn't want to go into minute details anymore because it would spoil the fun if you guys plan to have the seminars with the masters. There's another one this weekend and I hope you guys try to get that or any of their future ones. It's all worth it believe me!
I would like to thank the other photographers who attended this Boudoir Workshop. I must say you have lots of great shots too. I had a really nice LEARNING time with you guys. Thank you also to Sir Niko Villegas for teaching creative ways in shooting, I'll never forget the water bottle and Vaseline! Thank you also to my idol Xander Angeles, you just don't know how much you have inspired me and my work. I'll definitely do my best from hereon and get to the NEXT level. I know there are still new things to learn but I'm glad to get the best of them from you guys at Elite! =) Thank you!
Thank you also to Sir Nick Tuason and the people behind Digital Photographer Philippines for hooking me up on this awesome opportunity! I'll show my shots later! =)