When I am not writing for SLR Lounge, I am an aspiring boudoir photographer. So, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to take a look at Jen Rozenbaum‘s new ‘Boudoir Cookbook’. Jen is one of the biggest names out there right now in the Boudoir photography world and having the opportunity to learn how she does what she does is something that I was very excited about.
The premise of the new book is that it is laid out like a photographer’s version of a cookbook. Jen shares 60 different looks, or ‘recipes’, and tells you how she went about shooting that image – complete with lighting diagrams and other relevant information. Think of it sort of like one of our ‘How We Shot It’ posts, except in a physical book.
Now, if I am honest, I have never been one to read a lot of physical books. I like to watch tutorials and visually see another photographer’s work, so I was not sure how I would like learning from a physical book. But I was really happy to see that I took to the format of the book rather quickly.
That said, this book is not all ‘How Jen Shot It’, there is also a ton of great information on shooting Boudoir in general; things like getting your subject into the right frame of mind, an intimate vs. a sexy imagery, accessories, and more. I came for the photo recipes, but I got a lot more great information than that.
One of the things that helped me the most in the book itself was the actual lighting diagrams. I have followed Jen a lot in my journey to becoming a better boudoir photographer and I had already seen a lot of the images in this book in her other workshops and educational products, but the lighting diagrams were new (to me, at least).
I was now able to see how her subject was placed in relation to her light source and then how she was positioned for the shot. These are things that one could deduce, partially, by breaking down an image on its own, as I had done in the past with some of these images, but it was nice to see actual diagrams to confirm or fix my initial thoughts.
Recently, in several shoots, I was able to take advantage of some of the things that I picked up from this book and I think it was a huge help in improving the overall look and feel of the images that I shot.
Things I Liked
- Not just a ‘Look At My Pretty Pictures’ book
- Lighting diagrams
- ‘Ingredients’ for each image to help you see what went into the shot
- Thoughts on posing and working with your subjects
Things I Disliked
- Only 124 pages – I could have easily consumed twice that.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book itself – as in the paper and such. I have never been fond of paperback books; I have two kids and paperback books don’t tend to last very long in my home. That said, this book feels much nicer than your average paperback and has held up for quite a while in my home without deteriorating.
Overall, this book is a great resource for established and upcoming boudoir photographers as it gives you the tools to not only recreate similar looks to what you see in the book, but also take that knowledge and apply it to creating your own looks in your style.
Not only that, but the book is a bargain too; you get 124 pages of solid learning material for just $34.00 (actually it’s only $24 on Amazon right now, or just $11 for the Kindle version). It’s a great deal, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to improve their boudoir photography.
If you are interested in Boudoir Photography, you should also check out our premium ‘Fine Art Boudoir’ tutorial/mini-workshop. Learn more about that here.