Featured Photographer | Critsey Rowe

Critsey Rowe of Couture Boudoir® and  best selling author of “Boudoir Photography- The Complete Guide To Shooting Intimate Portraits”, has been at the forefront of the growing Boudoir Photography genre for many years.

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Critsey is usually traveling around the world shooting clients, but we were lucky enough to catch up with Critsey and ask her to share her best boudoir tips with our CMD audience!

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We are so thrilled to have Critsey as our featured photographer and as our guest judge for this months Boudoir Photo Contest. Let’s spend a few moments with Critsey….
{Why and when did you become a photographer?}
I know it sounds so cliché but I have been a photographer for as long as I can remember. I am very passionate about it and love every single minute I have a camera in my hands. I have been a professional photographer for twelve years shooting weddings, portraits, boudoir and just people in general.





{What made you choose Boudoir as a niche?} 

I did not choose boudoir it chose me! Seriously I just sort of fell into it before it was really known or popular. I remember constantly trying to explain to people what boudoir even meant. I am so happy that over the years it became a popular genre of photography.

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{What is the most difficult challenge with shooting Boudoir?} 
The biggest challenge for boudoir shooters is that we are photographing regular every day women not models. So you really have to make them feel comfortable and sexy at the same time. Real girls are not usually natural posers so you have to teach them to relax and pose like a sultry vixen. It can be really challenging when you have women that are shy and or have never posed in front of a camera before. Some women are doing the session for their husband to be so they have not even had professional wedding portraits done yet. Sometimes it is their first time being professionally photographed besides maybe school photos.

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{What is your most difficult challenge in the photography business in general?}
I think this is probably the same for most boudoir photographers, we are always trying to reach new clients. This is not a repeat business for the most part so you are always trying to reach your target market. I have had a few repeat clients that became addicted to the feeling of looking like a rockstar but 90% of my clientele are one time bookings so you have to use that booking to build referrals and find other creative ways to target your market.

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{Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?}
Fashion and women’s magazines! So many boudoir photographers use other boudoir photographers as inspiration but I love getting inspiration from fashion shooters and looking at all the great poses and ideas in magazines like ELLE, Lucky, W Magazine, Vanity Fair and so on. Models are great posers so looking at editorial spreads can give you great ideas not just for a style of shoot but for the posing as well. 

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{Tell us little about your studio.}
I shoot all on location and I use boutique hotels or unique locations to fit the style of shoot I want to portray. I travel for most of my sessions so I do not need a studio.  

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{What are your top 5 tips for portraiture photographers wanting to try a boudoir shoot?}
1. select a playlist to get your client in the mood for the shoot.
2. talk to the client in advance to find out their expectations.
3. pick five poses to try and once the client is in the pose, shoot from every different angle for a variety of shots.
4. try different types of lighting. If you shoot natural light close the curtains and use minimal lighting for a sultry mood or add some video light for more drama.
5. don’t rush, take your time and try different poses. If something looks awkward then don’t shoot it. Just modify until the pose looks good.
6. okay, just one more tip. Step back and shoot wider shots. Not every shot needs to be so close. This is the number one mistake I see new boudies make.

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{What is the most outrageous or challenging shoot you’ve ever done?}
I did a sunrise session at the Eiffel Tower where everything that could go wrong did. Our sunrise session turned to a morning session so we had quite some on-lookers watching our photo shoot. Thankfully our client was totally at ease and did not mind that more then a few people stood by while she was in her skivvies in front of the Eiffel Tower. I learned a lot about being prepared when shooting in another country. Also, not picking the day after that country’s biggest holiday is a lesson learned. ; )

Eifell tower boudoir

{Name three favorite things in your camera bag.}
My Canon 5D Mark III, my 70-200 L Series Lens and my 50mm 1.2 lens. Okay those are obvious choices but one thing that is always in my bag are scissors. To cut off labels out of lace lingerie – they are the hardest to photoshop so it is best to trim them before you shoot.


{How does it feel to be a published author?}
So surreal. I never thought I would be able to say I am an international author. It is still so weird but exciting at the same time. (Please view book Here)


{Do you have any plans to write more books on this or any other photography topic?}
I am working on a second boudoir book. It should be out by Fall of 2013.


{What advice can you give an aspiring photographer today?}
My best advice would be to learn as much as possible about business. Being a great photographer will not make you successful but knowing about business and being a great photographer will!
Please visit the links below to see more of Critsey’s work 
Critsey RoweCritsey Rowe teaches boudoir workshops and seminars across the nation and abroad. She has been a guest speaker about her Couture Boudoir® brand on The Wedding Planning Audiocast on iTunes, Convention speaker for DWF at Imaging USA, Convention speaker for WPPI’s Road Trip, speaker for Pictage Users Group and has been featured on The Perfect Pose and many other online resources. Critsey’s Boudoir Book is available on Amazon in print or eBook.
Critsey’s work has also been published in many popular magazines, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Today’s Bride, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, You and Your Wedding London, The Bride’s Book, Weddings Unveiled, The Knot, Carolina Bride and Queen City Weddings.
She has been a featured photographer on Platinum Weddings and several times on My Fair Wedding with David Tutera on the WE Channel.
Critsey was recently featured in Popular Photography Magazine about her Couture Boudoir brand.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win Critsey’s book! Winner will be chosen 3/31/13.