Selective Focus: Less Is Often More In Lindsey Thorne’s Evocative Boudoir Images


Tech Talk: Lindsey Thorne made this photo with a Canon EOS 6D and an EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens. The settings were 1/800 second, f/2.5, ISO 640, manual exposure, and Evaluative metering.
© Lindsey Thorne

Because her intent is to get the absolute best image in-camera, Lindsey Thorne is “pretty exact when it comes to lighting and posing.” When she describes her studio, the scene of almost all her boudoir sessions, as “modest and simple,” she’s citing an advantage. “I love shooting in a smaller room because I have so much control over the light.”

This image—a photo that’s primarily about light, shadow, shape, subtle color, and the unseen—was made by the natural light coming in through the strip window at the top of one of the room’s walls. “It was probably 11 a.m. or noon, so the sun was pretty high and coming in strong.”

Her posing and framing choices are also quite deliberate. “I give my clients a lot of images that don’t show their faces,” Thorne says. “This client sought me out because she loved the artistic, close-up details I took of women and how I made some a little more abstract.”

Another element under control is source material. “Some clients will ask if they can show me photos someone else has taken that they like. I tell them to show me examples from my work so I can stick with what I’m good at and not feel I’m trying to copy somebody else.”

The final ingredient in the image is a phrase Thorne’s adopted for all her photography. “In my wedding work and from photographers at conferences I kept hearing ‘Expose for the highlights.’ I started doing that, and it opened a whole new world of imagery to me and completely transformed my work.”

Lindsey Thorne’s boudoir, wedding, and portrait photography can be viewed at