Quick Q&A with Mardee Maree

We stumbled upon some of Mardee’s beautiful Boudoir Photography and decided we would create an opportunity to pick his brain.

Boudoir model laying on the bed with a smile

How did you get into Photography as a career?

Well, I was originally in the field of IT when one of the companies I worked for needed photographs which they wanted to be done “in-house” so I jumped at the opportunity of training abroad.

How do make your clients and models feel comfortable when shooting Boudoir?

While shooting it is imperative that the photographer give their client, whether they’re a model or not, their privacy.  Allow them to come out of their shell in their own time.

I usually start the session off with a few portrait images.  As Make-up and Hair (MUA) is generally not in their everyday routine, they’ll be amazed when I show them on camera how amazing they look.  You have to make them feel like a Super Model on the day!

Also, never push their limits when it comes to nudity as it will make them uneasy and will ultimately show in the photos.  You are there to capture their beauty, not make them feel self-concious and shy.

Model laying on the bed
Boudoir Model posing on the bed

What would you say is your essential gear?

The Fujifilm X-T1 Mirrorless Camera.  It allows me to see the exposure and toning before I even release the shutter and with a shutter speed of up to 1/32000th I can make full use of the f1.2 even in direct sunlight.

The Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 Lens allows me to get amazing depth of field and crisp contrasty images.

For the wider angle I opt for the Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 Lens which offers macro ability and the large aperture allows in an amazing amount of light when needed.

Boudoir model in 3 different poses

Do you have preferred or ‘Go-to’ lighting setups for Boudoir Photography and why?

Because this genre of photography is so intimate and generally indoors within a boudoir (bedroom) area, I trust the Lume Cubes.
They are far easier to carry around and can be controlled from a smartphone.  The fact that its constant light allows me to see the result before lifting my camera.  I generally enjoy paramount lighting and allow a hair light for separation.

Whenever I use natural light, doorways and windows are amazing for wrap-around lighting and clean soft light with minimal shadows.

Boudoir model sitting in a pose

How do you feel about the amount of Post-Production that needs to be done on a photo?

I do minimal “post” work, unless certain curves, scars or uneven skintone needs retouching.  I am a firm believer in getting the shot right in-camera.

What Post-Processing programs do you prefer to use?

I use Photoshop and then Bridge to ease my workflow.

What does your Post-Processing regime entail?

I open the image in Photoshops Camera RAW and work through a few of the presets I’ve created over the years.  Then I save it directly to a disc.

My skin softening techniques are based on a high-pass filter method for full lengths and frequency separation for close-ups and portraits.

Boudoir model sitting with a blanket around her shoulders

A few Do’s and Dont’s?

  1. A paying customer is NOT a testing ground for new techniques and/or gadgets.  If they see you struggling with equipment they will easily lose faith in your ability.
  2. Organise a pre-shoot.  There you can figure out how they feel about their bodies as well as what they are comfortable with.
  3. Don’t make them uncomfortable by asking them to do things they didn’t agree with on the pre-shoot.
  4. Make a conscious effort to help with wardrobe if you don’t have a stylist at the shoot.  Some lingerie looks good on camera and others only look good in person.  If all else fails, lace and warm light!
  5. Ask them to bring along a friend or partner as it will most likely set them at ease.

Any other tips for someone looking into Boudoir Photography?

  • I would recommend following a few photographers on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or even 500PX.
  • Learn how to work in low light conditions.
  • Step away from constantly using flash.  Last year I went the entire year without using flash and had a few adventures shooting in ambient light.  This year I’ve been using the one and only waterproof, Lume Cube.
Boudoir model posing with her hands in her hair
Boudoir model holding sheets in front of her

If you could choose any model, local or international, to work with, who would it be and why?

That’s easy, it would have to be Cara Delevinge – she’s quite the chameleon.  She’s able to adapt and rock every genre.

To me, working with a great model means that she understands what the client wants and has the ability to move with each release of the shutter.  Knowing where the key-light is and knowing what her body looks like.