Boudoir & Glamour Photography with Mirrorless Cameras

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

I get lots of e-mail from photographers interested in boudoir and glamour photography, which is one of the reasons I wrote Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography. My techniques for this kind of portraiture are simple and don’t require lots of expensive equipment, all you really need is a camera and a subject. But that book was published before I fell in love with mirrorless photography.

Boudoir photography, or as I prefer to call it, intimate portraiture, is a perfect medium for mirrorless cameras, such as the Olympus E-M10 Mark 1 I used to make the image of Pamela Simpson at left. They’re perfect for many reasons, starting with a camera size that’s less intrusive than a large DSLR. Just compare a mirrorless camera, like an Olympus E-M10, with a APS-C sized Canon SLR (top) and you’ll see what I mean.

The photograph of Ms. Simpson was shot in my home studio using Paul C Buff Alien Bee and DigiBee monolights. Camera was a E-M10 Mark I with the impressive and tiny Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens along with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 200.

Boudoir or Glamour Photography is always about mood, which I why I like to make some of these images in monochrome, although shot in color using the RAW+JPEG technique I often write about. The black & white JPEG provides direct feedback to the subject and helps them understand what I’m trying to create with her portrait. But the RAW files is used for retouching and processing, which I did using Imagenomics’ Portraiture, Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro.

The mirrorless camera’s smaller size may help for ease of mobility but the biggest shooting advantage is the EVF, which lets you see the image at the moment of capture. You don’t have to flip the camera to chimp; it’s right there in the viewfinder without removing  your eye from the camera. You won’t miss any blinks because you’ll see them right away, something you can’t do with a DSLR—and be able to instantly re-shoot



My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography features information about using minimal equipment demonstrating how to shoot boudoir and glamour photographs in available light situations or using minimal lighting gear. New copies of the book are available from for $23.95 and use copies for $15.17, as I write this.