Keep it Simple.

MRSA (1 of 1)With no studio, studio gear and just the basic camera body, flash and a couple of lenses available. I’ve had to get a bit more creative with my lighting and backdrops. And just as doing with less has created more opportunities than problems. Finding and booking test shots seems just as difficult in the Northwest as it was in New Jersey and New York. On my first shoot, I took photos in and around the corporate apartment I was temporarily staying in. Being that it was a sun soaked day. We retreated indoors, taking full advantage of the more subtle lighting its interiors offered. As we moved from point A to point B. I couldn’t help but feel relaxed and confident. Recalling the nervous knots I often get while working in the studio. And while I can’t wait to start booking more sessions with aspiring models, such as the one seen here. I’m not quite as eager to get back to studio work.

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Second Time Around

Angel (1 of 1).jpgLess than midway through our first session. Angel leaned in and asked “Do you like working with me?” “Of course I do” I quickly replied. Truth be told. Working with her had been the most stress free session I had worked on in recent memory. Secretly, I was glowing inside. Knowing we had laid the foundation for future collaborations. So when the need to work on something new presented itself just months later. I knew I had an ace in my deck with Angel.  It’s quite rare when I am so eager to work with someone again so quickly. However, the chemistry and the results of our first session created the desire to work on new ideas and themes together. We’ve already set up a third and final shoot that I’m hoping will give us something useful for both of our portfolios.

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Getting There

Last night I sat down with a friend and fellow photographer to navigate last week’s sessions and decide on which ones were best suited for social media. The two pictured below really put the hook in me. Not that they were the best or they fit a specific project or portfolio piece. What really caught my eye was that their close resemblance to the photographs and artists who first inspired my love and appreciation for art and photography. The basic lighting and concepts that seemed so out of reach back then.

In my recent months of shooting I’ve been urged to google images and visit sites such as Pinterest and Instagram to create look books.Forming ideas and creating templates for photo sessions have become blueprints for getting exactly what I need from each session, model and shoot. Telling a model in advance, “This is what I want to shoot.” or “Can we do this?” has been a great way to inspire both myself and the person I’m working with. In the end, it allcomes down to good communicstion, preparation and proper execution.

A Playful Moment.

I had so much fun shooting with Gia yesterday. Her laughter, smile and those incredibly expressive eyes. In the days leading up to our session. She sent me a couple of pictures of models dressed in flowing raps. (Imagine saffron robes blowing in the sahara winds.) While she never managed to track down the material. The idea stayed fresh even as we had begun our shoot. When it came time to change into the next outfit. She asked if I had any sheets we could use as a substitute. Thinking on my feet. I decided to use on of my photo backgrounds instead. Wrapping it around her upper . I had her friend hold the the ends. Creating somewhat of a loving tug of war. Notice the smile and the playful exchange she’s having.

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Bring Your Friend Along

Every now and then I work with someone who wants to bring along a friend or chaperone to make them feel safer and give them more of sense of security. I honestly don’t prefer it, you know what they say,”Three’s a crowd”.  Third parties can get in the way and become a distraction at times but for the most part, my experience has been pretty damn good. I’ve had friends and even boyfriends that helped the model to let down her hair a bit or just lighten up the mood by making her laugh and feel less conscious. While at other times, just plain joined in the fun.

On this particular occasion my communication with the model I had wasn’t very good. I don’t recall what it was in particular but things just weren’t clicking as I had planned. At one time I photographed them together perhaps put the model at ease. The addition helped a lot as the strong friendship provided the chemistry  I was unable to. As the shoot came to a close I pulled aside the second girl and managed to take a few solo shots. Her eyes, lips and attentive look were incredibly sexy.

Weeks later we talked about working with one another but before we were able to schedule anything concrete she had moved to South America. Though disappointed I feel rewarded that I was able to get handful of shots.

Steph and Jennifer Extras.

As I started to set up the lighting for this part of the session I had a specific idea in mind. I was inspired by some of the older Black & White film photographers from the 50’s and 60’s. As a kid, long before I even picked up a camera my Mom always had old photography books around the apartment. I would gaze at those books for hours on end. It was storytelling at it’s best.I always wanted to capture that look and feel.  Though I’ve been exclusively shooting in digital over the past couple of years I have been told that a lot of my digital monochrome images look and feel like old Black & White print film. Which, to me is one hell of a compliment. By setting the lights and messing with the cameras settings I came pretty damn close to achieving my goal. As for boudoir photography…. It’s something I’ve become very comfortable with. It beats the hell out of awkwardly positioning the model on a cold. hard floor. I can also get amazing angles and and position myself in a way that does not kill my knees or give me back aches. (Yeah, I’m getting old.) Another thing I really look out for is keeping it loving and attentive as opposed to dirty or sleazy. My Mom reads this blog and I don’t want her to think she raised me to be a smut peddler. I’m posting more pictures than usual here but if you only knew what it was like narrowing it down to this amount.