I recently completed a cosplay x boudoir project with Lady Aurora. Months of planning and research finally culminated into 6 hours of shooting and nine rolls of film with the Fuji GX680IIIS and 200 plus photos with my Leica M.

This is my first foray into boudoir photography, so I felt a bit overwhelmed.

One of the concepts I wanted to try was to mix boudoir photography with cosplay. I felt that if done right, I could combine the sexuality of boudoir with the character love that comes from cosplay.

Not just any character could pull this concept off though. I needed a sultry character that’d fit the boudoir style. Luckily, I had run into a bit of inspiration while researching reference poses for Lady Aurora‘s Mitsuru Kirijo cosplay earlier in the year.

Fan art wallpaper by ArtmaceR that inspired the project

Fan art wallpaper by ArtmaceR that inspired the project

This wallpaper by ArtmaceR was a perfect fit for my vision!

While collaborating with Lady Aurora about the concept and location, I originally wanted to have a 1940’s Hollywood glamour kind of look. Fur coat and huge fireplace and all! It was surprisingly hard to find a private location with a nice fireplace.

While the struggling to find a suitable location, we eventually settled on a Japanese -themed Kyoto room at Inn at Depot Hill, a quaint little bed and breakfast in Capitola, CA. It had a nice enough fireplace, so I thought that I could make it work. With reservation in hand, we took a break.

Coming back from the break, I looked at the room again and was really impressed with the quality of the location. Also after having shot Lady Aurora in her yukata version of Mitsuru Kirijo, I decided to change the look of the shoot to better suit the Japanese-themed location.

Gone were the ideas for fur and fur rugs by the fireplace. They were replaced with the sensuality inspired by Japanese geishas with loose hanging kimonos.

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 115mm f/3.2, Kodak Portra 400 @ ISO 400

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 115mm f/3.2, Kodak Portra 400 @ ISO 400

A sensual Mitsuru inviting you into her inner room…

Leica M typ 240, Leica Summilux 50mm ASPH

An invitation – Leica M typ 240, Leica Summilux 50mm ASPH

I must admit that my ambition for this project was a bit too much. I wanted to shoot both digital and medium format film for all the shots, but when arriving at the location, I came to the realization that there just wasn’t enough time to do both well.

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 115mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 115mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

So I made the call to have film take the front seat and only use digital to achieve framing that I couldn’t get with the rather large and unwieldy Fuji GX680IIIS. I also decided to shoot with color for the yukata shots since I wanted to retain the details and colors of the yukata. For the interior boudoir shots, I opted for black and white since I wanted to de-emphasize the color and emphasize the character and lingerie.

Leica M typ 240, Leica Summilux 35mm ASPH

Leica M typ 240, Leica Summilux 35mm ASPH

Although the room itself was rather large, it seemed very small after setting up both Einstein E640 flashes with parabolic umbrellas, a 1′ x 1′ LED panel as an assist light and the GX680IIIS on a tripod.

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 180mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 180mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

Ultimately as all boudoir shoots do, we ended up shooting on the bed. I really wanted to emphasize Lady Aurora’s curves and capture the naughty side of Mitsuru.

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 180mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

Fuji GX680IIIS, Fuji GXD 180mm f/3.2, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros @ ISO 100

Overall I think the project went well. My only complaint is that I wish I had more time! I’d like to thank Lady Aurora for making another one of my projects a success!