Sexy, bold, unapproachable, fragile, seductive and sometimes fatal for the heart… – for the most part sensual but never easy to get: Women.

Scenario “Femme Fatale”

I wanted to create a bold duality in this set of images: dominance and intimacy.

By having the model appear superhuman in form by shooting her from below, I attempted to have her portrayed as a figure of wonder or awe.

From this (wide-)angle the model appears extraordinary and statuesque but at the same time she appears casual because of her expression, closeness to the camera and posing.

My use of the cigarette in this set is symbolic as I tried to suggest that an act of love has just finished. The story is furthered by her postures and the angle of the camera, allowing the viewer to image they are reclining in a chair or lying on the floor, admiring her stunning beauty.

Her form is highlighted dramatically, focusing on the upper portion of her body so the viewer’s eye is drawn upwards from the floor to her meet her penetrating gaze.

Dramatic Lighting in Nude Photography with Czech Playmate Victoria Sayen - by Dan Hostettler - 1

Deconstructing My Light Setup

Important was the visual emphasis of the area from head to hips.

  • The light falloff on the legs, increasing towards the shoes, intensifies the height and length of the figure.
  • The window front – left extra cool and darkened – provides the necessary depth and indirectly emphasizes the model’s optical statuesque overlength.
  • A hair light positioned at the back left separates the blonde hair from the black ceiling background.

Tech-Sheet: Lighting & Settings

  • 2x 300 Ws Monoblocs
  • Key light: as a key, I used a gridded beauty-dish
  • Kicker/Hair light points directly to the model back head, producing a certain rim on the hair. Modifier: snoot
  • Camera: Nikon 700
  • Lens: 18mm
  • White Balance: 5000K
  • F-stop: 8
  • Shutter: 1/60
  • ISO: 200

Set-Analyses 3D (+BTS and Set-Plan)

Femme Fatale - Drama Lighting - 3D Lighting Settings - Set Plan
Dramatic Lighting Made Simple - Lighting Guide with Playmate Coxy Dominika by Dan Hostettler

Dramatic Lighting with Playboy Centerfold Coxy Dominika

Lighting Blueprint. Composing drama light does not mean to create dusky sceneries but rather working with well-chosen light areas and corresponding accents. Expect sexy lascivious, dark shadows, round forms, red lips, and 5 sets of sensual, seducing emotions!

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