Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Busy Week

I backloaded my shoots this month to coincide with Wanda's annual Spring Break trip. I got to shoot with several new models as well as do a photo expedition (though I most just drove around scouting for future locations) and I'm getting to meet up with a bunch of photographers from Photography-on-the-Net tomorrow for a shoot at the Portland Saturday Market.  I generally schedule my Spring shoots during this time because it allows me to get quite a lot done without neglecting any time with my lovely wife. So while she is enjoying time with our youngest granddaughter, I'm enjoying my creative outlet and working on expanding my portfolio, making new images and working with new models. It's a win-win all the way around from my perspective.

Mostly I've been working on my Women in Chains and Sword & Sorcery projects, though I did shoot a bit of Barefoot Glamour as well. Ashley, seen above, is a younger model who saw my images and wanted to shoot with me for my Sword & Sorcery series. We had quite a fun shoot. She brought a friend to the shoot who happened to be reading the same series of books that I'm currently reading, so I got to tease her friend about what was coming up in the series. We had a good time with the shoot, and Ashley was quite happy to work with me.

I also got to work with Heather again. Heather was my Spirit Fairy as well as my first Bubble Fairy. She was 17 when we first shot together, but that was a couple of years ago. At 19, she's expanded her modeling, though she still uses her mom as an escort - which was quite fine with me. We did a series of concepts which included the image you see to the right. Heather drove up to Portland from a small town south of here in order to participate in this series of shoots, and I'm glad she did, as she is becoming quite an exceptional model.

I also got to work with Kira, a lovely young model located here in Portland, but who travels extensively up and down the West Coast to support her modeling "habit." She was probably the most experienced of the models I worked with this week, and I was lucky that she wanted to work with me as well. It seems that my concepts have garnered a lot of interest of late, so it's been much easier to find willing models for my shoots. It seems my niche is the fantastical and the mystical, and that's quite alright with me, as I enjoy planning and staging the components necessary to execute the concepts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Muscles and Shadows

Audi came back to town last week and gave me a call to see if she could take a look at some of the photos we shot in the studio in February. Of course, I was delighted to show them to her and to get her feedback as the model during the shoot. Since I was headed out for lunch that day anyway, we just met at a local coffee shop and we went through the images on my laptop.

In general, Audi liked all of the images and the theme. Of course, she had the occasional comments such as "I don't like my expression in that one," or "that pose makes my legs look too short." She was critiquing her own posing abilities and trying to learn more about herself from the shoot.

During the shoot, I was having trouble with the wireless synch trigger on my key light. For a while it was firing about only every other shot. I eventually fixed it by moving the trigger to the fill light and letting the key synch off the optical slave, but before I did that, there were a number of shots where the background and fill lights didn't fire and the image was exposed using only the key light (which was a large softbox). I kept them because I felt the looked very good and set a different tone and mood for the images. Audi felt the same way, because she picked several of these shots as her keepers.

As you can see from the posted images, the large key light kept the illumination soft, but also gave us some deep shadows while the angle of the light help to emphasize the muscles tone of the model's body. That's what Audi liked about the photos, and I have to agree that the lighting here adds more dimension to the model's body, if not to the entire image.

So, during my next shoot, I'm going to experiment more with the lights and go for a more moody look in some of the images as a deliberate action rather than as a serendipitous result of a lighting misfire.

I'll be shooting at least one session next week, so I'll have an upcoming opportunity to try this with a new model, Sivonna. She's a painter and art student so I'm sure she'll have some ideas on how to set the lighting and I'm looking forward to that collaborative photo session.