When they said "SLINKY" I thought of a springed dog! / by Dawn Webb

I was approached by an owner of a wedding shop to get some images of a range of underwear from Ann Summers for an upcoming "Hen Party".
The images were to be printed poster size inside the hall advertising lingerie and fancy dress up outfits.

Lingerie/Boudoir isn't my normal style - if anything it makes more sense for a female photographer to shoot this stuff.

The area I was designated for the afternoon was inside a small wedding boutique in Rye, the shop was barely 10ft x 15ft with only one window.  Clothing rails, mirrors and ugly downwards lighting everywhere.  So what am I to do???? Think Steve think……..

OK outcomes the trust Quadras once again, this time I opted for a 70cm beauty dish with grid fixed.  I wanted to use the silver insert on white surface to give me some form and texture on the models bare skin.  I hate soft lighting, I like my light to have an edge.
Working with the beauty dish close gives me this.  Turning off all of the shop lights was imperitive.

The pleasure with working with beauty dishes and grids is you get fantastic directional light, fall off is very minimal and you can aim your light spread where you want it.

When you get into advanced lighting your shadow is equally as important as the area you light - there are two forms to your shadow and these are the 'Umbra and the Penumbra"

With a beauty dish I get total control of the Umbra and need to worry less about the Penumbra.  Soft boxes are harder to control, for these I wanted a sharper Umbra.

watch this short video for an excellent demonstration.


A lot of photographers like to use light to flatter - but it's so 'samey' - and I don't like to follow the crowd.

So with two models and several outfits I had to make sure to work fast, as one changed the other was in front of the camera…switch….switch….switch. My other problem was these girls had never really modelled and my direction was key yet I had to make them feel at ease in front of the camera - not easy when everything else is going against you.

Here are some shots that were used.  See if you can spot the Umbra and Penumbra in each image.

Here you can see a sharp Umbra with a good amount of form to the models body.

A more direct light than what I normally like to use - this shot also had the gold insert inside the dish giving off a warmer glow.

I opted for two lights here - one for the model and the second snooted to throw light through the slats in the door.

A single gridded 70cm dish directed to the top two thirds of the model allowing a gradual fade towards her feet.

This was my favourite image from the day - good form and texture and a lovely Penumbra from the gridded dish.

I don't like this shot one bit, but have posted to show you how important feet positioning are - in this shot they are completely wrong - more of a revision note.

A slight twist on my favourite shot, this time processed through Nik Softwares Silver Efex Pro.