Behind the Photo - Portrait Masters 2018


Last week at the Portrait Masters conference and competition, one of our photos not only brought home a silver award but we won 1st place in the boudoir category.

Below is the image that won, and today we are going to talk about how this photo came to life, how I shot it, and how you can create this photo just like I did in my living room all with inexpensive equipment.

First Place Boudoir Catgory Winner at    The Portrait Master 2018

First Place Boudoir Catgory Winner at The Portrait Master 2018

So I just want to start off by saying how much of an honor it was to win this portrait masters award for boudoir. And for those of you are are not familiar with The Portrait Masters, it is an award and accreditation program put together by Sue Bryce and other top-tier photographers. This was an international competition with over 7,000 entries, and I still can't believe that I won my category.

Now the main reason why I can't believe that I won is that, I do about 90% of my photos right here in my living room. And this winning photo is no exception. And the reason why I do most of my shooting in my living room is simply because it's all I have to work with. And I really want to show everyone how you don't need an expensive location or even expensive gear to create a stunning and award-winning image like I have here.

Before we jump into how to set up for this shot and what gear you need, I want to talk about perhaps one of the most overlooked topics in photography and that's creativity. I feel like other photographers don't talk about it because they feel like it's not something that can be taught. I feel like creativity can be taught since it's just a different way of thinking and piecing things together. So let me show you how I came up with the idea for this photo.

First things first, I wanted to know what the judges would be looking for from this contest. And thankfully Sue Byrce had a video explaining the things they look for when judging the images. And one of the main things she mentioned is that the photo needs to be in focus and immediately I knew I wanted to win with an image that was out of focus or blurry in some way because rules are meant to be broken sometimes and at the end of the day photography is an art form. So I went out to find some interesting blurry photos.

I was just checking out some photos under the #boudoir on Instagram and I came across a photo that I thought was just so cool and fit that blurry aesthetic I was looking for.

Now I could have just copied that concept and that would have been the end of it, but as much as I liked the photo I knew that I wanted something more from it. I never want to flat out copy another persons work so I had to ask myself what can I bring to the photo to make it mine? And the answer for me was color.

The next step for me was to deconstruct the image and then add color to it. I knew how to get that look from the inspiration image and that was simply to put someone behind a big diffuser and then backlight them.

All I needed for this image was a big diffuser and two lights with colored gels on them. You can watch the video below to see exactly how it was done and right underneath the video you will find links to all the equipment used.