Did you know a plain white shirt is the ultimate prop?

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There's something always sexy about a girl in a man's shirt. Even more so if it is the partners shirt.

I use the shirt often in boudoir shoots as a "warm-up". As an item of clothing it's quite covering, so the sitter can start off feeling quite dressed, rather than having to walk out into a big studio in her undies all of a sudden.

I have a pretty standard sequence that I use on most shoots for this warm-up session. It's all about starting off supporting the client and making them feel comfortable and moving them through stages where they become more adventurous.

The starting piece starts with them sitting on a stool, literally and metaphorically supported. I do a few headshots, get them warmed up, get the smile going and the start of our rapport building in the studio.

You can see an example here in the first photo.

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Next I will move them over to a side wall. Again they have something to lean on that supports them. It also lets me do a little bit of posing guidance. The sitter can now be a bit more revealing if they want to be.

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After that I will move them into the centre of my white cove - but sitting on the floor. All the way through I've been giving them positions which are basically comfortable, supportive and doesn't let them stand there like a lemon wondering what to do with themselves.

Only after this last sitting part will I actually stand them in the middle of the cove and only when I feel they are ready. Usually this little sequence takes about 10 or 15 minutes. There's a lot of chat - a lot of me paying attention to the sitter. I also don't give them much chance to sit and think about what they are doing - instead I want them giggling, laughing, looking saucy, generally already "in the experience".


key points

Sitters often require some kind of "warm-up" to get them feeling comfortable in the studio.

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