Persimmon Images Seattle Wedding & Engagement Photographers »

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  • The Persimmon Images studio is closed.

    As of December, 2015, we are no longer accepting new clients for weddings or portraits except on a limited by-referral basis or for repeat clients. If you are a current client and have any questions or requests for us, please email us at love [at] persimmonimages [dot] com or call/text Kat at 206.354.2212.

    Thank you for your years of business, support, laughter, and love!

    - Kat & Justin

Boudoir Photography | Before and After

I’m in the middle of editing a recent boudoir session and I’ve got boudoir on the brain. So it’s time for another b-pic post!

I’m still waiting on the go-ahead to publish images from the awesome shoot with Miss S (I never use boudoir photos without permission) so I’m going to use a photo from Miss O’s boudoir session for this post. The topic: retouching!

Boudoir sessions are the same length as my typical portrait sessions but involve a whole bunch of unique elements. For the ladies, a boudoir session means getting used to posing in front of the camera in their skivvies… a new, different, and FUN experience. For me, a boudoir session means setting up my studio and lights, coordinating with hair and makeup artists, laying out the cool props and lingerie, making my guest(s) comfortable, and figuring out the best poses for each lady to express her hawtness. Then, after each session, I retouch each image to look just right.

For portraits shoots and weddings photography, I edit all images (for color, exposure, and ambiance) but I only retouch my favorites and any that are ordered for albums, canvasses, or enlarged prints. Complete session retouching is exclusive to my boudoir sessions. It gives those intimate images an extra-glamorous kick!

When I retouch an image, I remove blemishes, hide dark circles, smooth wrinkles, highlight eyes, and give skin tone a gorgeous luminance. I also rework the photo to bring out the best details and hide any distracting elements. It’s a really fun process, even though it takes a lot of time!

Here’s an example from the smoldering Miss O’s session:

Boudoir photograph taken in the Seattle studio showing before retouching and after retouching

The “before” photo is what the image looked like after minor adjustments for exposure, contrast, and color. The “after” photo has had filter effects (“actions”) applied in Photoshop and digital retouching.

I love doing retouching that’s subtle and natural (an extra challenge!). My goal is to give you retouching that you’ll only notice it if you look at the two images side-by-side: Retouching that makes you look like you, in your best light. Everyone gets a blemish now and then, or a poor night’s sleep, and I think everyone deserves not to be reminded of that fact when they look at their sexy boudoir photos.

So… yeah! That’s about it for the “retouching” FAQ. I’ll share other before & after images if you’re curious to see more.

And, in case you’re curious, every boudoir session results in between 40 and 60 retouched images, with a copy of each in black and white in color. (Getting two copies of each image is another special bonus for boudoir… other sessions result in a mix of both.) I upload all images to a private online gallery, where you can decide which you’d like to purchase as prints, in an album, or on a disc.

I’m hoping to complete a boudoir FAQ soon. What questions do you have that you’d like to see included?

Ladies! If you’d like to give your man the gift of boudoir for Valentines Day, be sure to book before January 20th.
All V-Day sessions include a free 5×5 framed photograph, perfect for his desk (if discreet!) or dresser drawer.

Jenna Cole - I love seeing before and after images. I don’t post any because I worry I’ll make clients sad if people are shown the before&after side by side. Miss O is gorgeous though and she definitely has nothing to worry about! She looks stunning in both!

Kathryn Speyer - Jenna- I know what you mean! I always enjoy looking at the before and after, but most people don’t want their under-eye circles or crow’s feet called out. Miss O is my sister, so she can take one for the team. 😉

I intentionally picked a photo with some very subtle differences. It’s like a “find 10 things between these two panels” puzzle!

kristen - Pretty amazing what photoshop can do! Love your work!

Lisa - Great before and after! What types of actions do you use? I’m a big fan of Craig’s porcelain skin.

Kathryn Speyer - When I did this photo, I was only using sample Totally Rad Actions and some of the Pioneer Woman’s actions. I do a lot manually too, with levels, brushes, etc. Now I’ve got the whole TRA set. I didn’t use the “Pro Retouch” action on this photo because I didn’t own it at the time… but now that I’ve used it, I think it’s great in moderation. 🙂

Alison - Lovely image with a great retouch and nice DOF. Just a quick question. What is in her right hand? I can’t make it out and it’s driving me nuts.

Kathryn Speyer - Alison, thanks! You mean her bra strap? Or her “other” right? (There’s nothing in the opposite hand, but her bellybutton is right near her index finger.

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