January 2021 // The Beauty Edition

Boudoir Photography and the Art of Storytelling | Shannon K Dougherty


In storytelling there will be a beginning, middle and end. This is nothing new and is used in books, movies and photography. When I’m storytelling with my photos, I like to think of it as if I’m taking stills of a movie. There is going to be our first or opening shot. This will make your viewer stop. Next will be an establishing shot that gives context to your subject. This is typically when I start to shoot in my location with a wider lens to show where my story is. Afterwards, I like to shoot as much variety as I can and really move around. I will shoot wide and tell the audience where I am. For medium shots, I will be photographing my model closer but still at a distance to establish them in my scene. Finally, I will shoot detailed or tight shots to establish a mood whether it’s with an important expression the model is making, wardrobe, or even details of the location I’m photographing in.

It is important to me to have direction and clear communication between myself and my model when photographing them. I will go over what the intention of the shoot will be. For example, I photographed a friend and model who I chose to do an old Hollywood style shoot with. When we talked, I let her know where the story and the intention of the shoot would be. This shoot would be posed and directed but I also wanted her to have a natural feel. I wanted there to be a feeling that I was someone in the space who happened to be photographing a celebrity (a big inspiration for this photoshoot was Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga). This is also a time where the model was the perfect fit and all the planning worked out perfectly!

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