Christa Meola's Boudoir Photography Two Light Setup: NSFW

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Christa Meola's Boudoir Photography Two Light Setup: NSFW

I have been following the amazing work of boudoir photographer Christa Meola for a couple of years now. Just a quick look at her portfolio and you will agree that her boudoir work is some of the best out there. Recently she posted a lighting diagram for a two light setup she has been using. Christa happens to use a nude model for the lighting setup so heads up.

Christa's setup is a two strobe setup, one light will be the key(53" octabank) and the back-light a nice gridded rim. Christa has this setup on a 9ft seamless backdrop colored Dove Grey. She personally uses two Elinchrome BX-RI 500. Check out her diagram below:

The key light was set to the lowest power and the back rim light was set around a 1/4th power. This simple light setup gets some stunning results.

If you want to turn down the rock star feel for a couple of photos simply turn off the rim light in back.

If you want to know more about how Christa Meola shoots boudoir I highly recommend her book, The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women. All images and content used with permission by Christa Meola.

 
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13 Comments

That's not Boudoir, that's Nudeoir.

Nice lighting setup though.

Ok, it's cross-lighting. This is new?

Tim Henrion's picture

Isn't it important anymore to avoid lens flare when using cross lighting? Maybe I'm just an old fart...

Tim, The only relevant rule in art, imo, is that the final piece, photography, etc. works, which is apparent in Christa's images.

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Great post. Sometimes I have to remember that simple lighting setups are often the best!

Alex's picture

I admire Christa Meola's works because of her abilities to direct her subjects well and make them feel comfortable in front of her camera.  Her pictures are absolutely amazing, no doubt about that.  But lighting is kinda basic.  I'm not saying they're bad . . . just probably not the right photographer to learn from as far as lighting is concerned.

 I think the most important lesson about lighting (or anything else in photography) is that it doesn't need to be elaborate or complicated. It needs to be only elaborate enough to produce great results. These are quite obviously great results. As someone above pointed out, the only rule that is relevant is that it works.

Alex's picture

Yes, I know it works and it's not bad.  All I'm saying is it's kinda basic.  Give me 2 lights and this would be the first idea of a setup that comes to mind.  It works, it's great, but not new.  Basic.

Nic Cage's Hair's picture

What are the camera settings for these shots? Is the key gridded too? How far away is the model from said backdrop? I see the color change on some of the shots. Thanks for the article.

This is NOT boudior photography.  It is figure study (traditional portrait term) or nude photography.
...nicely done by the way!

True...

Step one - Get a Stunning model ;)

Love your'e work and the simple way in which you achieved it.