How to choose your boudoir photos... part of the FAQ's

1.29.2014

So! I don't know why I didn't write a blog post before about this, since I practically have written novels on how to choose your images on clients' emails.

I usually have 3 types of clients:

A - the one who loves photos of herself  - knows angles and how to pose - I hardly have to direct her.
B - the one who loves only 10% of the photos of herself - kinda stiff at the beginning but gets the hang of it.
C - the one that just wants pics and is not picky - mostly relaxed, but still have to work to bring the sexy out
D - hates the camera

I think most of us are a under the B category.  Some days even D. Sure we have our non- awkward moments and those you pray that no one uploads and tags you in. Like the image bellow. Totally me.



Here is the thing, you are trusting me to narrow down the pictures I take and not show you the not- so flattering ones. And it helps that you have your hair did, your make up is expertly applied (ahem) and you are working those peepers with those fake eyelashes that are awesome. See example bellow: From smokey eye, to cat eye to a "natural" look.




AND THE STUFF THAT NO OTHER BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL TELL YOU:

You get the unedited 50ish to choose from. You are going to LOVE about 3 - where I caught you just right. You will like and see the potential of another 5 or 10 (depending on the package). Then! here is the tricky part you have to choose some with a guys perspective in mind. Yes that one with the butt- or the boob- or your finger in the mouth.  Those ones.

So no matter how picky or how much you do not like your picture taken- someone is waiting to see those pictures and you have to choose those too.

AND THEN THERE IS THE PHOTOSHOP CONTROVERSY:

Extreme photoshop :(
For me, is a case of "hell, remove that cellulite and those stray hairs and that extra roll on top of the underwear". I know about all that self respect, that airbrushing just perpetuates an impossible standard of beauty and all that jazz. Which I agree with 100%. The airbrushing goes sometimes too far. Like this sample of Jennifer it's just ridiculous. The angle of this pose would make a twig look chunky. I worry more about how flattering the pose is than trying to edit it later.

I have a light hand. It will still look like you but no extra stuff. The lighting helps, the pose and the lens, I am just going over little things. My philosophy is that guys don't really pay that much attention to all the bumps, lumps and marks we care about. They are just happy to see you naked. I don't think they even know what thigh gap is. So this "enhanced" version of you is just how they see you and how you should feel about your self.
We women are often too hard on ourselves, dissecting every little flaw, but I say we should not aim for the photoshop skinny, we should just aim to be healthy.

So there! Let's celebrate nakedness and bodies of all shapes, and the clone tool that deletes stress pimples. Because nobody wants to see those immortalized.









Studio set up for portraits and family shoots

11.11.2013

With my latest set up I am able to welcome families and folks who do not need boudoir pictures and still take advantage of a natural light space with several options.

It's great for small family shoots or for people that don't have a space to do a session at home, plus if you are getting your make up done as well, I have everything I need.


For boudoir it looks like this: http://marlenjames.com/tips.html

And here is a sample of a maternity shoot I had the pleasure to shoot for a returning client with her husband and her furry baby.
:)
MJ

Make up tips for family pictures

10.25.2013

Hi! I am on a roll, I made this as a quick reference guide for your next family pictures. We are going for natural day time make up with emphasis on eyes and a bit of colour on cheeks :)
And brave person that I am posting my mug everywhere, I took the pics and didn't retouch them.  But wanted to show you what a little make up does, even if you have a bit of age spots freckles.

The main trick here is to use a little bit and blend! Even when you feel you are a bit too rosy, the photos tend to wash you out. You want to look like you just ran a block to get the bus (the only running I ever do)

And here it is so it can go viral on pinterest. wink wink.
yeah that is a wonder woman mirror :)



My boudoir updated

10.24.2013

So hi! I am so bad at posting lately but I have good excuse really. Little Lily still doesn't help much with the editing.

I made some changes around here, I moved everything to the living room area, who needs one anyway? And the bonus is that the natural light has been great. Still saving up to have another location but for now it works. 

I also change the website a bit. I have been shooting families and weddings as well so now is not so Boudoir centric. The information is still there, it's just separated better.
And here are some samples of some of the results in the new set up. I need to update my gallery, but in the meantime here they are.



and this one that is on my main page :)




Wedding season

7.22.2013

I am not sure how this happened - since I really don't advertise for weddings. There are waaaaaay too many wedding photographers out there, just google Wedding photographer Toronto and you get close to 2,400,000 results. HA!  I tried finding my site through that and after page 30 I gave up. who has the time to compete with that. I ain't paying those bleep SEO people a penny, ever, I refuse- stop calling me. I focus on boudoir really so a lot of my non-boudoir clients stumble upon my other work, weddings and family by pure luck. Which I don't mind.

Thanks for the couples that trusted me to be part of their day!
I have to update my wedding gallery that is for sure.
In the meantime here is one and a reason why I haven't posted in a while, besides the boudoir and baby Lily that is keeping me busy.

Karina and David







To view more highlight samples click here
Group portraits: Queen St. and Augusta Ave. (graffiti alley)
Couple portraits: Lakeshore and Kipling area park
Reception: Mississauga Grand Banquet Hall 



Tips for your family pictures at the beaches or park

5.29.2013



With Lily and Ander around, and almost being nice outside, it comes naturally to go back to do a lot more family pictures. For the beaches area or Woodbine park ( in Toronto ) there is no travel fee! so have a nice day at the beach and book your session.
Do not worry though, I still do sexy shots, but when you hire me you have the advantage that I am looking out for you and making you look good. It's not just about the kids. All though they are cute.


My bat babies - indoor shoot since it was crappy out

STYLE: We are going for casual dressy - or depending on the season to match.

1- Just bring your individual taste to the picture. A good rule is parents neutral and kids can go crazy. Avoid the typical jeans and the exact same white t-shirt. A nice one is for boys to wear jeans and girls dresses. 
2- DO NOT WEAR BUSY PATTERNS. I can date a picture from a pattern. Keep it simple. Also avoid big trendy logos on boys shirts. Except batman. ( I love batman- or any super hero motif for that matter ). Boys look with with a shirt with a collar, even if its a golf shirt.
3- Wear something that you've tried and tested. I has to be comfortable, it has to fit, it has to boost your confidence. It shows in the picture.
4- Makeup. For this one put on some mascara, blush and lip tint as a minimum. Foundation and eyeliner are a bonus. Lips stains are the way to go to have a natural reddish pout that lasts through the shoot. 
For guys: brush your eyebrows, if you have dark eyes circles you can even wear a dab on concealer. Be careful when you shave to avoid nicks and do wear lip balm for a smooth pout. 
5- Hair. Natural is best, hats... only if you really want to and you wear it every day. Style your hair the day before, it looks more natural and less done. Spray fly aways.
6- Shoes- slip on shoes so we can go in the sand. Heels for mom look great but have a extra pair of flats so we can walk around grassy areas without sinking

EXTRAS
- A baby or picnic blanket to avoid grass stains and sand travelling other places.
- A favourite toy for me to hold to keep baby/kids attention.


LOCATION

- Your home is easier for the smaller members of your family. Clear a room of toys and  that is it! We will venture outside if weather permitting.
- The beaches! Where I mostly shoot. it has everything, a park area, a dock area with water and the sandy beach.

TIME


Best time to shoot outside is before 10 am or before sunset ( spring and summer around 6:30 - 7 pm )
Indoor shoots - around your babies nap time - babies have a good mood window - usually mornings.

POSING


We are aiming for natural and casual but have some things in consideration.
Keep it touchy-feely, look into each other, tickle - play and interact. 
For group shots inspiration: http://pinterest.com/marlenjames/group-family-poses/ will keep posting!
Toddlers are specially tricky and buzzfeed agrees: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/reasons-kids-are-pretty-much-just-tiny-drunk-adults. It makes me giggle. The thing is to keep them occupied, that's where the park comes in handy. And the action shots are sometimes my favourites.

FACE
Keep your face expressions happy but not too exaggerated. Watch out for the double chin ( I do that a lot) and the wrinkly forehead - don't worry I will remind you with a: neck up or smooth the forehead.

PINTEREST!
feel free to share with me your inspiration boards! 

And the most important one smile! smile tons! 







MJ
Update: I created this infographic with this information for easy reference. And it looks cool :P


Back to Boudoir

4.04.2013

Hi web world, I am back in business. Thanks everybody for your patience while I gave birth and recuparated from my vagina trauma, I am back!

Lily Marlen was born January 30th at 9:29pm. After the water broke around 6 pm. Not bad. And to continue with the bragging she is the dream baby, sleeps a lot, and no colic at all, not like her brother that cried all day when he was a newborn. She still parties from 2 to 4 am - the same time she used to kick me awake, now she wakes and stretches and won't go back to sleep till she is done.


Anyway now I am back full time, still shooting mostly weekends but now available for those who have different schedules or want to play hookie from a day at work during the week.

I started off my end of maternity leave with a wide range  a sexy couples shoot, a maternity session and a boudoir one of course. I really appreciate the clients that booked a while ago and where waiting for me to feel "normal" - as normal as I get anyway.

In my delusion that I was going to have all this free time to edit and write awesome blog posts and a book with a baby, I appreciate the patience on waiting on me to edit, and I think we have a better deal now, and I am learning to edit with one hand. ha

I will have time eventually to update my gallery and write a whole bunch of posts I am cooking, but in the meantime here is the boudoir gallery screen shot of the women (and couple) that I had the pleasure meeting when I was about to burst and while I get the hang of stuff again.
xxoo




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