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Gear & Apps

The Phelan’s ‘Intro To Boudoir’ Guide | Review

By Anthony Thurston on March 7th 2015

I am a gear head, so for me, conferences like WPPI, PPE, etc. are all about the Expo and getting a chance to check out the latest gear everyone has announced (check out B&H for their WPPI deals) since the last expo. This year was different for me; I arrived at WPPI with plans to actually attend a class, and not only that, but I was incredibly excited about it.

I had the chance to see both Brianna and Ewan Phelan, of LastFortyPercent,  talk at Mystic 2015 in Portland a few months back, and I was excited to see them speak again in Vegas. I am in the middle of trying to grow my boudoir business, and I just love what the Phelan’s are doing, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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During their class, they announced their new teaching website, Do More. Wear Less and to go along with it, their first guide: Intro to Boudoir. I was very excited to purchase a copy for myself to see what I could learn. Now a few days removed, and several hours in an airport reading, I wanted to share my thoughts on this incredible guide for those interested in getting into Boudoir.

The Phelan’s ‘Intro To Boudoir Guide’ Reviewed

Let me start out by saying that this has got to be one of the best guides that I have ever purchased from the standpoint of being accessible anywhere. Rather than just releasing your standard PDF that is only readable on a desktop or printed out, they brought their guide into the modern age, and gave us a responsive app.

Phelan Boudoir Guide Review

You can read the guide on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop and it looks great no matter what you’re reading it on. In their own words, the Phelan’s have called this guide “Inspiration in your Pocket” because you can have this guide with you anywhere.

When you open it you will see that it is split into 7 sections based on the 7 aspects of your subject that you should be paying close attention to during your shoots. Those are: Hair, Mouth, Upper Body, Hips/Butt/Stomach, Legs/Feet, Eyes, and Hands.

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Part of what I love about the guide is just how easy it is to digest. When I first read it through (I have now read it fully 3 or 4 times) the first time, it only took me about an hour. I was sitting in the airport, bored out of my mind, and I usually hate reading guides. So many of them drone on about pointless facts, but not this one. It’s to the point, and very easy to understand, which is key for an “intro to” guide.

Each main section is broken up into 5 sub-sections. A main paragraph discussing what to look at, overall, from that aspect of your subject. Then you get three smaller paragraph/sections, each drilling deeper into a specific point about that main section (Hair, Mouth, etc). Finally, after you are done reading, they give you some inspiration and examples. Each main section comes with a fully stocked inspiration gallery, with many examples which you can click on to view larger.

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I will say this, if you’re looking for a step-by-step sort of guide, this is not one for you. This is an intro guide, with overall broad strokes on the concepts that the Phelans believe you should have an understanding of when you shoot boudoir.

Even a novice to boudoir will come out of this guide with clear concepts to practice, and things to think about when shooting their clients. I am excited to put some of what I learned into practice; so much so that I am in the middle of setting up several model shoots to get some practice in.

[REWIND: Boudoir Photographer’s Guide to Lingerie – Review]

So now about the value. At $59 this guide is a steal. Honestly, there are similar guides for other genres of photography that I have seen sell for well over $100. But if you think $59 is a great deal too, from now until Friday, March 13th, they are running the WPPI show special, which gets you the guide for only $39! For me, at this point, it is virtually a no brainer for anyone interested in boudoir.

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I highly recommend it, and am happy to give this guide a full 5 out of 5 on the SLR Lounge rating scale.  If you are interested in getting a sneak preview of the app/guide, or purchasing a copy, you can head on over to the website here.

Remember, it’s only $39 until Friday. After that, your cost will go back up to $59 (which is honestly still a great deal, but why not save $20 and get it now?).

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aku Pöllänen

    Sounds cool! Have to definitely check it out!! Thanks for the tip and review

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  2. Stan Rogers

    Sounds good; must check it out. And FWIW, the “broad strokes” are usually a whole lot more useful and informative over the long haul than recipes that just tell you how to get a specific shot. “What were you thinking here” or “what problem were you trying to solve” is almost always a better question than “what aperture did you use”, and the answer will help a lot more when the picture changes.

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