Nessa & Kendra // Moody Boudoir Edits #2

How about another Moody Boudoir Edit? Last time we did a moody color edit on one of my favorite shots of Caity from Atlanta. This time I figured I would do one of my classic moody black and white edits, a look that many of you likely know me for.

This shot is from a ‘friends’ shoot that I did recently with Nessa and Kendra, two women who I have had the pleasure of shooting individually multiple times over the last year. They also happen to be friends and for this shoot they wanted to try a shoot together. Friend shoots are always walking a tight rope between being to fun/cutesy and too hot/sexy, finding that right balance can sometimes be a challenge. That said, this image in particular has to be one of my favorites from the shoot.

Boudoir Image Info

How I Processed It

The Before, This is the Raw file straight out of camera (converted to jpg in LR)

Ok, so as you can see in this SOOC look, the shot is pretty bland, as you would expect from a basic RAW file. But we need to take this into ‘Anthony’ territory, and for that we are going to make it black and white. Normally, if I was not explaining this to anyone I would whip out my current go to black and white preset, THURSTY 06 (Currently Unreleased) and apply that. But if I just applied a preset and called it good for this post I think you all would (rightly) call me out on that. So let’s take it step by step.

First thing is first, we need to get this color RAW file black and white. Since I shoot Fujifilm and am OBSESSED with the Acros simulation, I will be setting my camera profile to that.

Acros+G Filter Applied

Alright, honestly this doesn’t look half bad as is, but we aren’t done yet. So let’s take this from half-bad to damn good. I want to adjust this crop just slightly. I don’t like her nostrils showing in the original, so I am going to crop them out. Next, Lets get our tonal sliders in order. I want the image to have a deep contrast, but still have information in the shadows, with highlights that still pop – specifically on the neck.

So for this here are the settings that I chose (again, based on my preset, but modified to this image):

  • Exposure: +.81
  • Contrast: +78
  • Highlights: -52
  • Shadows: +76
  • Whites: +28
  • Blacks: +75
Tonal Adjustments

Now I need to bump up my clarity, something I almost always have around +10. In addition to the clarity, I will also be doing some tone curve adjustments, which will basically just be adding some more contrast back into the shot and giving it much of its final look.

Clarity and Tone Curve Adjustments

Now is time for some finishing touches, I will add some sharpening ( amount 64, Masking 37) and Noise Reduction (Luminance +10) as well as a lens correction profile for the lens used in this shot.

Following the Sharpening, Noise Reduction and Lens Profile Corrections

We are almost done with this one. It is now that I usually like to add my Grain and a little but of the dehaze filter to bump that contrast just a slight bit more. My grain settings in this case are 35/20/40 and I have the dehaze slider at +10.

Grain and Dehaze

For the final bit of cleanup I am just doing to do some skin work to clean up the skin, remove distracting shadows and bumps. This can be done at any point in the process, I just do it at the end because it allows me to skip editing out things that aren’t apparent in the final edit after grain and the other adjustments. Saves me time in the end, in my opinion at least. But lets be real, these two ladies have pretty great skin so not much is really needed here anyways.

Final Edit After Skin Cleanup

So there you go. Another Moody Boudoir Edit walk through, and this time using my classic black and white look. Just for kicks, here is the before/after slide again…

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to drop a note below and I will do my best to help you out!