My painful first boudoir shoot

The lovely Eleanor R turning her hair aqua

French, from bouder to pout, literally, a sulking place
A woman’s bedroom or private sitting room.
-Random House Dictionary

Experienced nude model, nice hotel room, new photography equipment, rookie photog….

what could possibly go wrong?

Ten minutes into my 3-hour roadtrip, my vehicle died. Then it came back to life. I continued. Halfway to my destination, it died for good.

I missed pre-paid check-in for the first night, as I contemplated my options sleeping on a damp picnic table.

Luckily I carried a second motor vehicle with me. Always keep spares, right?

But since it was a motorbike, no way to carry all the studio gear. Had to settle for speedlights, no modifiers.

No budget to rent another car, no time to make repairs, gotta git er done to the deadline.

So I abandoned my dead vehicle and found local accomodation, to seek a repair shop at first light. Did I mention downtown was a corn field?

Next morning, I arranged an autopsy, then set out for my final destiantion. The blinding rain was short-lived, fortunately, since my bags were not waterproof. Didn’t even get lost.

Texted the model to delay our shoot time, who agreed she was running late also. Checked in just a couple of hours before the deadline. So much for a detailed prep. Just have to wing it.

Model arrived on time, and after the pleasantries, got to work.


Holy shite there’s a naked young lady in my room! Relax, it’s not like you haven’t seen that before.


Focus on the camera sttings, laptop image previews, anything. At least my laptop wasn’t doing the fuzzy screen of death, as was typical in recent days.


Without my umbrellas and softboxes, I had to bounce my speedlites off the white walls and ceiling. No flash meter, so just guestimating based on lack of blinkies.


The model does her thing and I try to keep up. I find out I’m too old for a 3 hour shoot, apparently, at least when holding a speedlite. But I get a lot of practice in expedient/emergency lighting.


It doesn’t help that none of my photo classes included speedlites, other than a few books which were excellent but almost never used them without umbrellas.


The 3 hours goes fast with about 1,000 images. I thank her for her professionalism, putting up with my rookie mistakes and low budget production.

Now the real work begins trying new techniques with photoshop and portrait professional.

On the ride back to basecamp I take a wrong turn and end up in the wrong state. Apparently it’s impossible to read a roadmap on a speeding motorcycle.


Then I spend the next week trapped out of state getting my vehicle fixed. Except the mechanic was drafted into the military by Obama, right in the middle of fixing my vehicle. Not even his family was allowed to know what state he was in. When he tried to stay and work his real job, he was threatened with courts martial. Without their main worker, the shop was unable to fix the vehicle, so they attempted a partial fix to get me home. It ran great, but once home died again. All part of the logistics of boudoir.

Actually it was a great vacation, while I was making other plans.

Then my left arm went numb from using a laptop on a coffee table in a cheap motel to edit photos, email, surf, a result of waiting for vehicle repairs “on vacation”. Carpel tunnel? Maybe a chiro can fix it? (Update: Chiro could not fix a neurological disease but daily Omega 3/6/9 Essential Oils did.)

I’m already looking forward to my next nude shoot. The model, not me. But much closer to home this time. Driving another vehicle. But I think I’m comfortable with speedlites, using modifers this time. (Update: Not even a dealer could fix the truck, sold ASAP.)


All images copyright Visifoto


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