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Looking for inspiration

Inspiration is what enhances and evolves your style. It helps you to be unique and leave boundaries behind. Inspiration is everywhere, and if you stay open to find it even in the most unlikely places it will help you stay creative when a location is difficult and the odds seem against you.

When it comes to looking for inspiration to identify and broaden your voice as a boudoir photographer, don’t just look for inspiration in other photographers’ work, most namely boudoir photographers. This will rather bring you closer to what others do and limit you.  We are exposed to a plethora of imagery each and every day, and much of it can be inspiring: magazines, advertisement, movies, art, literature, and even the everyday life around us. There is so much I pick up from sources that do not seem to have much to do with boudoir photography.


Find inspiration anywhere and everywhere

Light, color and motion are everywhere. Take pieces of it in and use it for your own inspiration. The pose in a magazine ad, the lighting in a movie scene, a piece of furniture or even things you might see every day but did not notice before—you just have to look for them. Anything can inspire you to try something new, something unexpected at your next shoot. Try seeing instead of just looking. Analyze and ask yourself how it’s been done. Soon you will find that this becomes second nature to you and constantly happens even when you don’t think about it.

If anything you see pushes your buttons and triggers emotions in you or others, think of how and why this happens. Often you will find those triggers are elements that you can easily incorporate in your work. Colors, relations, contrast, play between foreground and background, arrays of elements. Don’t just take in the details. Look at the whole scene, the mood the feel, as this is something that can vastly enhance your outlook for your next shoot.

A long time ago before Pinterest I assembled a tear sheet portfolio of magazine editorials and ads to take with me to photo shoots. I used this portfolio as inspiration for creating poses and new ideas. Now with Pinterest it is easier then ever to create a inspiration board you can easily take with you. Just remember the inspiration does not need to be boudoir-related to inspire you in some way for your shoot.

If you watch a movie where anything inspires you, try to get hold of it, rent or buy it, watch again and think of how it can influence your work.

Take, for example, the posing in fashion and advertising: It doesn’t matter that the models are fully dressed. Fashion and advertising photography can give you new ideas.

Visiting art galleries is another way of getting new impulses and widening the horizon. Paintings can give you a whole new perspective on how things can be seen.

I love going window shopping for inspiration and often find great inspiration at my favorite stores. If I see something that inspires me I take a snapshot with my phone and save it for my next shoot.

When you find inspiration, don’t stow it away and forget it. Go through your resources frequently and try to incorporate just a little in every shoot you do.

Critsey Rowe

International boudoir photographer Critsey Rowe of Couture Boudoir® is the best selling the author of "Boudoir Photography- The Complete Guide To Shooting Intimate Portraits". Critsey has been a guest speaker on The Wedding Planning Audiocast, Convention speaker DWF at Imaging USA, Convention speaker WPPI's Road Trip, speaker Pictage Users Group and featured on Mimika TV and many other online resources.

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