Portfolio Studio Setup: Golden

beauty, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

Another week, another studio setup.
(I skipped one last week, school holidays 😉 )

Second shoot with the same person, a lot opener and easier than the first one. Rightfully people are a little uneasy when posing nude for the first time, but after a while, they get used to the idea, things go smooth and easy and I manage to make them feel comfortable during the shoot. So this model decided to come a second time, asking specifically for more open poses. We made some nice images, she was stunned about how her body looks on the pictures.

This is one of the more ‘incognito’ ones.

Ludwig Desmet -Studio-6365

About the setup,
As I don’t have really large softboxes, I often use my styrofoam boards as a reflection panel to create a larger light source than my softboxes. (60x60cm square or 100 cm round) With the styrofoam you get a surface of about 1×2 meter, but not as even as a softbox, so there still is some glowing point on the styrofoam, softly spreading out. So at the left of my model, I have a studioflash with reflector, pointing backwards in the infinite emptyness of the studio, but bounced back on a large styrofoam board. (about 1.50 meters from the model) At the right side, I have a softbox 60×60 cm square (2x2ft) but aimed away from the model, towards another styrofoam panel. It gives a little bit of direct light (highlights on the skin of the bum and lower legs), but mainly indirect soft bounced light. I’m not really sure anymore but I think this one is at 1/3 of the power of the main light.

Portfolio studio setup6

the gold color cast on the models skin has been added in post processing, by shifting the white balance.

See you soon,


Portfolio Studio Setup – Tattoo Girl

beauty, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, projects

One of the biggest surprises in my portfolio shoots was this woman who I didn’t know. One of my fellow students pointed her out as being a possible candidate for a nude studio session and we made contact. I had not seen her before but we had several contacts trough facebook. When she showed up and undressed for the studio session, I first saw her huge tattoo, from up on the left shoulder, reaching down to the right side of the bum. Impressive, so no doubt we had to do something with it. We tried several poses, I liked this one the best. The model is kneeling down on a small bench, square to the camera and half stretched up body, supported by the hands on the same bench. This gave a really nice opening between the body and the arms, and a triangular body shape.
Taken with Canon EF85 mm f1.8 at f13, 1/125th of a second.

Ludwig Desmet - studio5-5825

About the setup.
On the left, as far as possible behind the model, a studio flash with gridded reflector. Just next to the model, a softbox 1×1 meter (3×3 feet) just right and above the model’s back. I did this shoot in a somewhat larger studio space than mine. The advantage of having a larger studio is that there’s no problem in keeping the background really black.

Portfolio studio setup5

I hope you’ve learnt something,

see you soon,


Nude Studio Setup – the curtain

people, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

Hi there,
another week, and another studio setup to share.
This image was a lot different from all the other images in my portfolio project. I have used it as the center image in my presentation, since it was mainly white, while all other images had a black background base. It also expressed very well the doubts and hesitations of my model about presenting herself nude to the outside world.


I had a white cotton cloth with a fine woven structure fixed to the ceiling for this image.
My model positioned behind the cloth, just barely touching it, but really close to the cloth so the combined shadow areas from two soft boxes overlapped and created some small area’s were no backlight could reach. These non lit areas allowed some facial features to become visible. It required some work on the position of the body and the pose to get things right, but I think this image well shows the potential of this setup.
Two soft boxes at equal power output, aimed straight at the model (no crosslight like you would use to lit a background). The light bounced back from the cloth is just strong enough to reveal the facial features in the shaded areas. Really simple.

Portfolio studio setup3

the image was taken with a Canon 5D II and a Canon 50 mm f1.4.
Hope You’ve learnt something, I’ve got some more setups to go.

see you soon,


Nude Studio Setup – 1 light

Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

Continuation of my series of ‘portfolio shoot images’ Behind the scene’s.

For this setup I used only one studio flash, with reflector.
In order to create a really small light bundle, you need to work with solid elements blocking the light.
For this I use some of those huge styrofoam boards (they can be bought in the build supply shops, they are used for insulation, crappy for this purpose, but very handy in studio) of 120x220x6 cm. I paint them black on one side, and around the edges. I made some simple stands from fibre wood panels to hold them upright.
They weigh virtually nothing and are easily stowed away.

here you can see one white side front, one back side front (I pushed exposure a bit here, because they are really nicely black):


So a very simple setup here:
one flashlight on the left, with standard reflector, two styrofoam panels, black side towards the flash (you don’t want light bouncing of the white side, don’t you?)
model standing right in the middle, a little further back. Because the reflector is a quite big light source, you’ll need to put your panels really close to eachother (2 cm apart for instance) and you’ll still have the light spreading out further away from the panels.

Portfolio studio setup2

two images with this setup:



thank you for reading, see you soon for a new post.


Nude Studio Setup – 3 lights

beauty, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

Hi there,

I’m planning on a series of posts with some explanation of the studio setups I’ve used for my portfolio shoots.
Here’s te first one. The model has some massage oil on her body, just very slightly. A slightly colored setup.

Portfolio studio setup

A triple light setup for a body shape portrait.
Model is laying down on a black velvet cloth, which literally absorbs all light. It is positioned in a infinite floor to wall shape.
1. On the left, studio flash with reflector, gridded. Gridded to keep the light from spilling all over in the studio. Reflector for those nice highlights on the body.
2. On the right, studio flash with small softbox (60x60cm) partially covered with a red cloth, for a slight color shift. I discovered that the use thin colored cloth works in a similar way as gels, and it is easy to just move the cloth a little bit (a wooden clothespin works just fine) to have a stronger or weaker effect. I currently work with some kind of very thin colored cloth pieces, like a magician would use. This second flash not as strong as the first one and aimed a little more off the model
3. just next to the camera, I’ve put an additional flash (Speedlite 580), again with a colored cloth in front (blue-ish) to slightly fill in the shaded areas.

Camera is just above the floor (me lying down).

Studio setup 1 - Ludwig Desmet

85mm – 1/125th – f3.2

I probably would have been better of aiming for a smaller aperture for larger depth of field, but this is the way it is 😉

hope you’ve found some inspiration here.

see you soon,

Nude (In)cognito – the exhibit

beauty, exhibition, Personal Pictures, projects

hi folks,
last weekend seemed like a roller coaster of happenings and emotions.
last friday evening, I’ve built up the exhibit for my ‘end of studies’ project Nude (In)cognito.
Saturday morning I had my Jury presentation at 9:30. The jury was rather severe, and focused mainly at the weaknesses of the project/the selection/the presentation.
That’s the best thing they can do, show you the possible points of attention, but it left me full of doubts and questions. Had I not worked 5 months within the idea of presenting a very good body of work?
After that we had a funeral to attend to, unfortunately. Very strong emotions of sadness and helplessness. A very good friends grandchild died after being born prematurely, and a short life of only 8 weeks. Tears and deep deep sorrow.
Saturday evening came the reception, where I had the opportunity to speak to some of the jurors, and already better rumors came my way. (about my work presented) This helped me understand the questioning I had had early that morning. A glass of sparkling bubbles and a fine meal afterwards, and then off to bed.
Sunday, at about 10 am the exhibit opened, and we literally had to search for an escape route at midday, to get some food in between. An overwhelming amount of people have come to visit the exhibition. Rightfully, absolutely. I think there were about 23 students who presented their work. I have seen a lot of beautiful work, and I’ve met a lot of enthusiastic people, both photographers and visitors.
I would like to thank all the people who have attended the exhibit, thank you for your warm reactions, your attentions and the good talks.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed the exhibit. I enjoyed it for sure. Literally broken yesterday evening, but happy after all.

I’ll include a picture of my part of the exhibit, and I will probably post some more detailed ‘making of’ articles on the different shoots I did for this project.
For all those interested in posing nude, I’m rather sure that I will continue this project, so please do contact me if you feel like taking part in this.

thank you,


Nude (In)cognito – portfolio exhibit day

Personal Pictures, projects

Hi there,
today was an important day for my photography career.
I had to present my work Nude (In)cognito to the jury for final evaluation.
I’m still impressed with the arguments they brought, severe, focusing on details, questioning the approach, etc. …
I hope I will finally get the official degree of photographer next thursday – proclamation day.

Tomorrow the exhibit is open for everyone, I would be happy to welcome you all to see my work, and that of my fellow students. There’s really good work to be seen.

Adress: CC Meulestede, Meulesteedsesteenweg 515, Gent.

as an appetizer, one of the images I selected for the book. (not for the exhibit, those images remain secret till after the exhibit)

Ludwig Desmet portfolio-5822

see you soon,


My Nude (In)cognito project – NSFW

exhibition, Personal Pictures, projects, Uncategorized

My project nude (In)cognito is running to an end now. In about a month we will have a group exhibition with all portfolio projects from end module students in the photography classes at KISP.
I have photographed 11 women in a studio session, and there’s one to come. Overall I’m really happy with the outcome. I have had women from the age of 22 and women aged +50.
I have been charmed with their motivations and their fears, I have listened carefully to what they thought about posing nude, how they feel about showing their body to the outside world, and how the personal situation is playing a big role in their decision to take part in the project or not to do it. And I am even more convinced than before that we do not live in a free society. I would like to thank all the persons that have responded to my request. It has been quite a gift to receive so many reactions, I’m sure this project will not see its immediate end after the exhibit. There’s so many people out there to be photographed.


The date for the exhibit is set at sunday Jan 19th, and the exhibit will take part at CC Meulestede in Ghent.
I yet have to decide on the presentation of the images, the video and the book. I will certainly make a book for the exhibit to be able to show some more work. I will most certainly not be able to show enough pictures to have every model represented, so a book will give me the opportunity to have all ‘models’ presented at the exhibit.

My Nude (In)cognito project

Personal Pictures, projects, Uncategorized

Portfolioproject end module photography
The last part of the degree in photography at KISP exists in a portfolio project from each of the students. He/She needs to develop his/her own project, during the last 5 months of the training. This happens under supervision of an internal mentor (KISP-teacher) and an external mentor, free of choice. The final works will be presented in an exhibit open to the public, and judged by a panel of professionals in the field.

The sixties from the last century, and in particular the late sixties, are book-marked as the era of ‘sexual revolution’. Contraceptive medicine had led to a great self decisive power within the feminine part of the population, in the possibility to prevent pregnancy, and sexuality could be experienced a lot less restricted.
About 40 years from that date, we see a huge amount of pornographic material, freely available on the internet, a quantity still growing at an amazing speed, with new adult sites emerging every day.
At the same time we can experience a sexualisation of general media, and in particular in TV advertising, entering our homes every day. A woman looks slim and her body shows no signs of ageing, she is always available, expresses sexual lust, and is being exploited in this manner.
This message has gained a very high level of tolerance, and is rarely critiqued.
In very high contrast to this stands the reality of an everyday individual. When I, as a photographer, contact people for modelling in an artistic nude photo session, then their first concern is the possible reaction they will get from relatives, partners, employers or colleagues.
The individual freedom of being naked, and being able to express yourself in nude art, in a feeling of confidence is clearly not a general state of mind. The taboo about the personal body of each individual has clearly not disappeared, maybe even become stronger than in the late sixties.

Provide an answer to the still existing taboo about personal nudity, and carefully try to respond to the will of individuals to express nakedness, by photographing them in an artistic way, be it anonymous or recognisable, AND to give a place to their doubts, their feelings about nudity and their fears for the reactions from other people.

Photograph at least 10 individuals in an artistic nude photo session. The images can be anonymous or clearly identifiable, to the choice of the individual. From each session a selection will be withheld for possible publication/exhibit in the portfolio project. When I have enough candidates, each person will only have one image presented. When I have more than 10 candidates, it is possible that no image of a particular session will be used, the judgement for the final exhibit lies with the photographer.
Next to the exposed pictures, a separate panel will be composed, with a testimonial from each photographed individual, as well as from some people that have given testimony of their inability to pose nude. They will be joined with a portrait of the individual. The name used in conjunction with the images can be changed by each individual.

Practical matters
The shoots will take place in the studio of the photographer, and will take a minimum of two hours, preferably longer because it takes some time to familiarise, discuss eventual questions etcetera. Models can bring an accompanying person, or someone to do make-up or hair.
Sessions can be booked on wednesday afternoons, fridays or in the weekend. Dates to be discussed.

A contract will be presented, in which the individual passes the rights for publication to the photographer. The choices below are to be made by each individual.

… gives the right for publication for image numbers:
…………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. /
…………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. / …………. /

O for exhibitions -> this option must be ticked.
O for printed books/reproductions
O on website O blog O facebook-page* of the photographer (*if not against facebook rules)
O on websites/printed matters for promoting an exhibit or a book
O in specialized photo magazines

O with proper name (first name)
O under nickname: ……………………………………

What should a model have/respond to:
A model must be at least 18 years old, and be able to prove this with a identity piece.
A model should be self confident and be fine with posing nude.
A model should be able to come to the studio at the agreed date.
A model will have to sign for abduction of image rights.

Endless gratitude, and unimaginable amount of fame.
Self realisation and being part of the real sexual revolution.
In exchange for posing, the model will receive the selected images in low resolution digital format.
Prints and (mounted) enlargements can be ordered at fair prices.

thank you so much for reading this presentation/call for models
any inquiries should be made at : ludwig -at- charlemagne-art.be

Ludwig Desmet – Charlemagne

U can find my work at:


I will soon post some images from the first sessions, so make sure to come again soon.

Sharon low key studio test shoot

beauty, Personal Pictures

I launched a call for models on my Facebook page last week, for some test shoots in my studio.
I’m not really fond of studio work, but that might probably be because I’m not familiar enough with it, so time to work on my skills.
I’m not really into white studio backgrounds, and brightly lit models, so I went for some kind of low key approach. I feel more like keeping some mystery in my images
Sharon was one of the models that volunteered, she’s from the same town I live in, so we can easily fix a render-vous (a get-together) whenever time allows.
I had worked with her in these shoots: Model Sharon – fall and model Sharon I think we both learned a lot since. I’ll leave that for you to judge.
So Sharon was here last thursday afternoon. We worked some different settings, for about 2 and a half hours. I worked a lot with indirect light on the side facing the camera, and just some backlight directly on my model.

The light setup for the first 2 images looks as follows:
One softbox light left of my subject, as high as my light tripod goes, aimed towards the model and covered all around by a black cloth to prevent light spill on the background. The background is a black roll of paper, not white as indicated in the diagram
One big reflector panel at the right side of my model, simple styrofoam, aimed towards the model thus bouncing back light of the softbox.
Gridded and partially covered (with a cloth) torch to the right, aimed at the background, for the soft spot of light on the background.
Model is sitting on a wooden plank, suspended by two shelve racks I normally use to pile up my studio gear.
I used some additional black panels and black cloth to prevent too much light to bounce around in my small studio.


The images were all taken with Canon EOS 5D II and 85mm, 135mm and 50mm Canon lenses. Settings vary.
Don’t forget, all images are clickable for a bigger version.



the other images are with different setups, all based on the same theme.








I will probably study this subject further, so models can always sign up for a studio session.
Take care, and come again soon,