Getting Creative Results With Harsh Lighting [NSFW]

Getting Creative Results With Harsh Lighting [NSFW]

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Boudoir photographers shoot in all types of lighting. Some prefer bright and airy while others tend to be more moved by the moody and darker looks. There is a creative style just in-between with harsh lighting that can be interesting to shoot and to edit.

Jessica Elizabeth Dervin of Kansas City, Missouri found her niche with the use of harsh lighting. The blend of the soft genre that is boudoir, mixed with more creative lighting gave her a place she felt at home. She explained that she has always been drawn to the female form and its beauty, so when boudoir came into her life she felt it just clicked. She said that she was inspired to do the sessions with nude models in harsh lighting to show how vulnerable it can be. Most all of the lighting is from window light, using curtains to direct where she sees it fit. During her faux shower scenes she will incorporate a ring light.

Dervin is inspired by other portraiture photographers and learning different methods that are in photography but not necessarily boudoir. Using the harsh light and the angle of her own shooting gives her the creative advantage in the studio. Focusing on using the lighting to tell the story as well. 

She describes her style as very polished and print focused. She uses Portraiture, Photoshop, and Lightroom. "I am also a fan of using techniques or actions to add sharpening to them as well," Dervin said. "Social media can compress photos terribly sometimes and needs extra sharpness to fix that. Printing also requires some extra sharpening." This style of hers is a look that she prefers over the softer side of boudoir. She explained that her editing can take up to few hours at a time but this is something she thoroughly enjoys so she feels it is not work at all.

 

it is important to stay patient with frequency separation she said in order to get the results. Using this technique for skin retouching in harsh lighting can be a bit more time consuming due to the direct lines. Staying focused can be the difference between a good image and a great one. 

All of her techniques are self-taught. "I really want anyone who is reading this to know that. You should invest in getting mentors and going to workshops, but not to forget that you should be doing your own homework in between. If there is something that you may not know how to do, you should always strive to learn how to do that if it is something you are interested in," she said.

You can follow Jessica Elizabeth Dervin on Instagram and Facebook.

All images are with permission and courtesy of Jessica Elizabeth Dervin.

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12 Comments

Leigh Smith's picture

Oof, that retouching tho

Laszlo Kalman's picture

Yep, it is terrible...

Ray Hardy's picture

just bad all around.

Ariel C's picture

that skin.....

Petr Svitil's picture

Not sure what the trolls are about. All seems to be in order to me

Alex Lanberg's picture

I agree. Horrible retouching skin is very badly retouched

David T's picture

The skin retouching looks extreme to us photographers, but my experience is that "real" girls don't mind that at all.

You probably won't make it into a magazine with that look, but hey... customer is king ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jessica Elizabeth Dervin's picture

Everyone has their own opinion, however that photo itself and every photo shown on here has been published in many magazines, so to each their own.

David T's picture

Congrats! Which ones? Seems weird to me personally, virtually all magazines that I know of require exclusivity and non flattening skin retouch. Maybe we just move in very different spheres.

Jim Bolen's picture

Why complain about the retouching? Boudoir is about fantasy. I guarantee her clients probably love that they look more glamorous. That's what they are paying for.

Leigh Smith's picture

If you're fantasy is blurry, smudgy, plastic dolls then go for it....

Todor Kolev's picture

Love the light, it is really interesting, but the plastic skin is killing me.