Three Options for Natural Light Boudoir Setups

Michael Sasser has shared what he calls his most valuable video on his channel to date. Working with 100 percent natural light, he decided to make this video to help other boudoir photographers understand the importance of lighting. 

In most cases Sasser explained that photographers look to learn posing as the primary focus. He suggest that it is more important to first focus on learning your lighting, then transitioning into the posing aspects. He walks through the three basic natural light set ups without any extra gear such as modifiers or reflectors. The three set ups include front light, backlight, and silhouette.

The second lighting set up is great for focusing on the shape of your clients body such as collar bones, legs, or even the back. The main objective with how he shoots back lighting is to form a triangle between the light, the photographer and the client. He goes onto explaining how to edit according to the specific type of lighting set up he used. A great tip about back lighting when editing is to use the shadows rather than moving the blacks for a bit of contrast. This will aid in not adding more color to the skin tone. 

Be sure to watch the whole video to get other tips to not only shooting natural light but also the post production process as well. 

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4 Comments

Blake Sauner's picture

I haven't watched the video, but I've been watching more of Sasser's stuff, there's a handful of photographers with youtube channels, and there's thousands of youtuber's who own a DSLR/Mirrorless and hock you their presets. (I know sasser has presets but you don't hear about them every freaking video. [looking at you, Jared Polin])

I feel like you get real "this is how it is, this is how the industry works" sort of content from him, and I appreciate that. Also the reason I like watching Sean Tucker, you really feel the photography passion -first-

David Love's picture

Unless you break it down to, take pics using a window and then slap your skin preset on them all and dodge to fix that missing light or reflector you could've used. And a cute girl makes any pic better. Do that low light stuff with someone with bad skin and not retouch and they will disown you.

Ted Merklin's picture

I'll be pedantic and argue that his point about not using any light modifiers is immediately contradicted when his first recommendation is to put sheers over your windows (diffusing your light source). That said, I tend to like his work, and enjoyed this video as well.

Sasser is great when he's talking about the business side of being a photographer, but when he actually talks about photography he's not very knowledgeable nor helpful.

No photographer uses the term "frontlight" because it's a gross oversimplification that doesn't correspond to a specific setup.
The most common are broad lighting (3:42), short lighting (3:09) and butterfly lighting (3:08).
Also, broad and short lighting can be split further into loop, Rembrandt and split lighting.
So, he condensed at least 7 different lighting setups into 1 word.
Not very informative.
Also also, most of his "backlit" examples are not even backlit. 4:12-5:06 are all short split lit and 5:08 is short loop lit.

He's clearly self-taught and anytime he tries to teach, he just shares hacks, tips and buzzwords. He doesn't teach concepts and principles that would allow his viewers to build a fundamental understanding and grow from that.