January 2021 // The Beauty Edition

Boudoir Photography and the Art of Storytelling | Shannon K Dougherty


Ah, emotions. This can be one of the hardest parts of telling a story with photography. Everything could be right with your planning, location and all the details, but then the mood and emotions are completely wrong. I would even say talking about emotions could go into planning. Before I start photographing the model, I talk about the overall feel and emotion we are trying to capture. I will go over it as much as needed to make sure we are all on the same page. This goes beyond just taking a beautiful photograph. This is where we can be artists and add in emotions. Of course, emotions aren’t just for a model. Emotions can be portrayed in location and lighting. Some images you take might not have a person in them, so this is where all the elements mentioned before are important.

The emotions are also something I am thinking about as I start post-production of the photoshoot. Color has an impact on what moods we can feel. Often warmer colors are joy or passionate feelings, where cooler colors are calm or moody. I personally even add those elements when I am shooting black and white images. Shadows and highlights will play a huge part in my post-production for black and white editing since I’m not portraying a mood in color.

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