Shooting Boudoir & Glamour Photographs with Entry Level SLRs

by | Apr 5, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your soul. -Alice Walker

Today’s tip: I strongly believe that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on camera equipment to make really good boudoir or glamour photographs. Although it’s true that most professional photographers shoot with top-of-the-line DSLR’s or mirrorless cameras you don’t have to do the same thing. (Especially if you can’t afford to.) There are plenty of reasonably priced DSLR or mirrorless cameras available from the Big Two as well as Panasonic, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and Sony that offer sophisticated electronics. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to check out some of their lower and mid-priced models. And while you’re shopping don’t forget refurbs.

As a beginning glamour or boudoir photographer, you may discover that it’s more practical to invest your money in a $600 (or less) DSLR or mirrorless camera along with a couple of lenses, instead of owning a $2,000 camera and a single lens. Recently I recommended the under-$500 Panasonic Lumix G7 with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS. lens to a young photographer as something that would perfectly fit their needs.

How I Made this Shot: Take the above no frills boudoir portrait of Pam Simpson: It was made in my family room (just outside the door to my home studio) with an Olympus E-M10 Mark I and their amazing M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens. Lighting was also affordable and provided by a single Paul C Buff Alien Bee B800 with 16 x 30-inch Westcott Apollo Strip soft box that was placed at camera right producing an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 400. The image was retouched and then enhanced using the Glamour Glow filter that’s part of Color Efex Pro. As I write this, you can purchase a reconditioned and newer E-M10 Mark III with its surprisingly sharp 14-42mm kit lens for $374.99 direct from Olympus. It doesn’t get more entry level than that.

Other options. These days most of my contemporary glamour and boudoir images are made using my workhouse but also problematical Panasonic Lumix GH4 or my new Lumix G9, both using the Micro Four-thirds format. As I write this, I am considering (key word) purchasing a Lumix S5 full-frame mirrorless camera so I really don’t know what will be my first choice for glamour and boudoir photography will be going forward. But I have lot’s of options available, including that very same Olympus E-M10 Mark I.



My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography features information about using minimal equipment for glamour and boudoir photography demonstrating how to shoot portraits in available light situations or using simple lighting gear, including speedlights. New copies of the book are available from for $22.03 with uses copies selling for $8.90 as I write this, which is a good a bargain as you’ll find anywhere. The Kindle version is $19.99 for those preferring a digital format.