How to Shoot Swimwear & Boudoir Portraits in Natural Light (VIDEO)

Shooting portraits in natural light is a lot harder than it looks. It can be even more of a challenge if you’re capturing swimwear or boudoir portraits outdoors using only sunlight.

This might seem counterintuitive. What’s so hard about photographing gorgeous models on the beach wearing practically nothing? Professional boudoir photographer Michael Sasser explains in the below behind-the-scenes video titled: “Does Your Natural Light Suck? Try This!”

“It can be hard to control the natural light outside when you're shooting boudoir portraits, but I have some tips and tricks for how to use composition in order to accomplish this idea,” Sasser says. “We are doing it in Oahu, Hawaii at one of their beautiful beaches that are perfect for photoshoots. I'm loving the Canon R5 in this photoshoot, since I typically use a Sony A9 it was a nice change.”

In his natural light shoot, Sasser photographs Hawaii-based model Alexandra Palant in a variety of settings and lighting conditions at the shore.

“In this video I’m going to show you how I use the natural elements around me to improve my compositions,” Sasser says. “If you like that natural window light look that you might get inside somewhere, I’m going to show you how you can find that outside.”

Along with natural light photography tips, the video is peppered with other boudoir photography tips on how to make subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera. Here are two that Sasser shares in the below tutorial.

Tip #1: Compliment your model on things not related to her body to boost her confidence while remaining professional

Tip #2: To make it feel like no pressure, I always say I’m just taking some test shots to start. They won’t feel like they have to be perfect.

If you want more help with photographing boudoir, check out our story from earlier this week with “the secret to making people comfortable in a boudoir shoot.”