Photo Shoot with Sasha
So, I wanted to shoot something sexy. What? Sexy? An odd want. If you take a look at my portfolio, you'll notice that I don't tend to shoot women with little clothes on, let alone to pose in a sexual nature. My style of shooting is more about expression and emotion of sorts. If emotion is not involved, it's not art now, is it?
The truth is, I did shoot lingerie and "sexy" concepts many many years ago and determined that I was not skilled enough to take photographs of a beautiful woman in that way. I would not do the model justice with how I see her.
While many colleagues and friends and even the models themselves said they LOVED the photos and I made them feel beautiful, I still saw the results as over-sexualized, and I failed to see "art" in work.
I stopped shooting "sexy" shots.
This past week, however, I wanted to shoot something sexy. Sexy, but tasteful, yet simple.
I closed my eyes as I pressed the "Enter" key on my keyboard. I placed a casting call on Facebook. I made it clear what I wanted. What would people think? Would they think I am a pervert? Would they think I just want to see a girl in skimpy clothing? Would they think less of me for taking a sexualized photo of a woman?
"Screw it," I said to myself. "Let them take notes," as I chuckled at the idea. I'm doing a f*****g lingerie/sexy shoot and posting it on Facebook. Simply because I can.
Sasha messaged me and told me she was interested in working with me. Let's do this!
Poor thing drove about an hour to my place to shoot! If I would have known that, I would have done it another day and not during the week!
So Sasha arrives, and I explain to her that I don't have much experience shooting in lingerie or underwear, but that I want it to be tasteful. She tells me that she too is inexperienced in that style of shooting but was interested in trying it, because why not?
We go for the Calvin Klein concept that has been stuck in my head for a few days.
And she nails it :). I don't have a studio at home, so I simply used my living room wall as a backdrop. The gaze Sasha gives here to the camera is just outstanding, and is exactly what I was looking for! I used a simple Beauty Dish with an Alien Bee 800 strobe. 100 ISO, F14, 200 shutter speed. I liked how the background fades into a smooth grey gradient, matching her underwear.
That's it. I was done. I got the shot that I wanted but... we kept shooting more anyways.
So I was liking how the shots were coming out but during the editing process... I felt that something was missing. Something was lacking. Yes, it's sexy, the model is beautiful, but, I wanted more.
What to do what to do... SKIN TEXTURE
I normally don't do heavy editing in PhotoShop but on this day, I experimented with various skin textures and techniques. I remembered many years ago I took photos of a model, Katie Eastman in a similar style. I used the paint in the background to bring contrast to the pictures. This time around, I decided to bring the paint to the model's skin.
Suddenly, I started LOVING the photos even more! I achieved the sexy look I wanted, but I also added a nice artistic twist. The paint on the models forces the viewer to observe the model more, in greater detail, than one would normally do. I loved the concept and was excited to see the possibilities!
"Ricardo! You are so FREAKING AWESOME!" I say to myself! haha
Something about this shot that I love so much. Remove the silver paint, and you have a beauty with sexy lingerie. However, when you add the paint, it changes somehow.
Again, a beautifully lit, great composition, beautiful model, and an artistic twist that keeps the shot refreshing, engaging, and in a way... just... interesting.
Click for High Res Versions
Those who surround themselves with photographers tend to be in the unique position of always being subject to a possible candid portrait of sorts. Why? Because photographers, who are passionate about the craft, tend to always want to photography anything worth remembering.
And some of these individuals also tend to be the ones who inspire such photographers to play with their imagination.
Thank you, Valerie :). Your sense of curiosity and creativity comes to me as a refreshing glass of water.
Photo Shoot with Sara
So I walk down the stairs, trash bag in hand, to place into the dumpster. I noticed a red pick up truck parked in from of my neighbor's home. It was parked at a peculiar angle, engine running, with a faint image of a person behind the wheel. It was a bright day, and the reflection of the windshield prevented me from seeing who was behind the wheel. A woman, attractive, comes out of the car and gets something from the back seat. Walking back towards the main door, she looks at me and waves. I wave back.
"Your daughter goes to the ballet school across the street right?"
Hmm, how does she know? She does look a bit familiar.
"Yes, she does."
"I've seen you there, my daughter also attends."
"AHH! Yes, I remember you now haha! So what are you doing around here?
"I teach Yoga right next to you."
"What? There's a yoga studio next to my place? How cool!"
After talking for a bit, I take her info, and I attend one of her yoga classes. An excellent teacher, she had me bruised for days haha. That was incredible. She was also pretty damn impressive. Most yoga practitioners I know do very simple relaxed poses. She made my muscles question sanity during one of her classes. It was incredible.
I begin following her Instagram and notice her posts. Truly an inspirational person.
Weeks go by, and I begin experimenting with a new lighting technique; low key lighting. One day I say to myself, "I would like to photograph an athlete, to make muscles more pronounced with this style. That same day she posts on Instagram, and I quickly send her a message to see if she would be interested in a photo shoot. I explain the concept, and she was totally in!
Granted, it doesn't look like much, but I was pleasantly surprised with the final shot.
Sara made the entire photo shoot seem pleasant, and above all, very easy for me. In fact, she made me feel like a professional photographer haha. She helped me learned much from this technique, and I look forward to building upon what I learned. Now, low key wasn't the only technique we played with.
The antics of a photographer haha. Sara was such a pleasure to shoot with, and I look forward to more collaborative projects with her.