boudoir lighting setup

Boudoir lighting setup – Easy one light setup with reflector, explained step by step.

Boudoir photography, is all about making your clients look flattering. For doing that all you need is, this easy lighting setup. This lighting setup will require, one basic flash with inbuilt receiver and a reflector. I keep my lighting setups easy and effective. With very less gears, you will be able to deliver amazing boudoir pictures to your clients.

You can throw a flattering light across your client’s face, and bring a sparkle to her eyes with just a single light source, even when the natural light is behind her. In this quick and easy post to boudoir photography lighting, we’ll take a look at how to set up your camera and lighting equipment to create a look akin to natural window light.

boudoir photography


What you will need

– Elinchrom 400Rx on 2.0 flash output with no light modifier. ( Any flash will work if you do not own same )

– Canon 5d Mark iii with 40 mm f2.8 STM lens.

– 6′ Silver reflection panel for full body coverage.


Setting up your subject

There are two very important aspects to consider when putting this set-up together:

  1. Set the main light behind the subject in such way, that it is completely hidden behind her and should not be visible in any shots. This will cause the light to produce the extra punch of light to add up to the available natural lighting.

boudoir lighting setup


2. Set the silver reflective panel on the camera left around 45 degree position. This reflector will return the light from the Elinchrom flash back as the main light to model. This will also create those big Catch lights in your subject’s eyes.

boudoir lighting setup


The end result will be catch-lights high in your subject’s eyes, giving a sparkle and life to her eyes. There will be a soft shadow pattern falling down and across the opposite side of her face.


Your Background 

Your background can be anything. In this instance I wanted the door side of the room to act as the backdrop, rather than the main light for a nicer look. The door being behind the subject gave me an added bonus. Due to the non-removable steel frame in the door, i had to do some photoshop cloning to remove it completely from the image.


Looking for more setups and diagrams to guide your photography lighting? Our courses and workshops can help you achieve better lighting skills. From the basics right up to the most advanced techniques. With the personal guidance from Varun Patel

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Varun Patel is big name when it comes to Fashion Industry. His work has been published in magazines like FTL, Femina and many others. He also conducts Fashion Photography Workshops and shares his knowledge with other photographers. He mostly shoots Fashion and Commercial Portraits, during his free time he also likes to experiment with the conceptual editorials.

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