I recently had the opportunity to take a swing at a genre I had always admired and been curious about, but had never ventured into - only reason being(I realize that now) that I was freakishly too scared to take a shot at it - pardon the horrible pun.
I had always decreed that 2012 would be my "year of learning" where I would allow myself to take a step back from all the 'noise' and dedicate my time and efforts to improving my work, both personally and professionally.
So when I got the invitation from photographer Michel Feugeas
to join him and a small group of local and talented photographers on one of his Nude/Boudoir photography workshops, no way was I going to pass this up.
As it turns out, it was one the most thrilling and engaging experiences ever. I learned so many things in so many ways that have allowed to push the envelope of both my creativity and curiosity - so I wanted to share on a few short and simple tips, with hopes they may guide and assist you on your own path towards living the photographic life.
The gallery of my selected images from the shoot is available via the website
[nb: I'm only sharing on my personal experience, and will not extend on the legalities and other issues which, if you're of sound mind, body and ethical conscience, you should know already]
Know what you want out of your model
"Say Cheese" will not do. You are the one with the vision. The model is not in your head. It's your job, as a photographer, to communicate that vision clearly and effectively.
Know what your model doesn't want
This is something you must discuss pre-shoot or before the assignment. Knowing what your model's discomforts, limitations and standards are make for a transparent, objective and fair collaboration. You both know what to expect from each other - no surprises or conflicts.
Don't just fire off and shoot - TALK to your model
It might sound cliché to say this but I believe you should match your honesty with your model's 'transparency'. It's a matter of trust. Constantly maintain a polite and courteous dialogue at all times - it tones down the awkwardness.
It's work. Allowing for rest periods makes sense for your model as well as yourself. If you're both relaxed and having fun, it'll show in your images.
* * * * * *
Depending on who you ask, your model is the object that allows you to complete your vision and final image - an accessory, along the lines of your backdrops, props, and chosen accents.
I chose to go the route of not discarding the human being that, with a sense of warmth, kindness and professionalism, would contribute to this very engaging, yet delicate, learning experience.
Let's face it - you'd much rather be the one shooting than the one taking your clothes off.
On that front, models deserve both our respect and consideration.
Warm and sincere thanks to the wonderful [name withheld] for her truly stellar collaboration. [Booking & Contact Info via ModelMayhem can be found here]
Thanks again to Michel Feugeas
for the opportunity and memorable experience. A true Master.
Have an image-worthy day.