Boudoir image of a woman and a Harley Davidson motorcycle photographed by Inner Spirit Photography Studio Calgary's Mark Laurie.

While the finished image – be it nude, glamour, boudoir or fine art – is what photographers like to show, seeing the starting point or the behind the scenes secrets of the image can also be very cool.

I know that I enjoy a visit into a photographer’s head, if nothing else to see the transition magic.  At the end, it’s where the photographer picks the lenses viewpoint that eliminates all the mess of lights and props not in the image.

So you might like this pulling back of the curtain to one of our glamour shots with a Harley Davidson bike.

Behind the scenes look of a boudoir session with a woman on a Harley Davidson motorcycle photographed by Inner Spirit Photography Studio Calgary's Mark Laurie.First we create a scene. The backdrop is a rubber wall set that looks pretty real in the final image.  As you can see, we are looking for a very moody, stylized shot.

The huge white screens are call scrims; they diffuse the light to give a soft, even wrap around.  They also block the bike’s chrome from “seeing” the rest of my studio and reflecting it in the shot. The chrome is essentially a huge curved mirror.

The above light is a small source that will be what we call our main light; it will be the brightest light source.

To create the mood, we turn down the lights behind the scrims so they are very weak, putting in just a small amount of light to open up the shadows and light up the chrome.

The main light source has its power increased. The light and client are positioned so the light splashes on her face, which is why she has to turn up to it, in a classic glamour light pattern.

After that it’s just coaxing out an expression and tweaking her body position.

Oh yes, we have to crop in so you cannot see the lighting elements.  The real trick is to arrive at this so effortlessly that it does not get in the way of the subject enjoying the creation of the magic.

That is how we create the dramatic lighting. Which approach do you like in your images: dramatic lighting like this, or the softer wrap-around lighting?

Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.