Lets face it. We all struggling inside critiquing ourselves for the littlest things. Weight, hair, skin, teeth, ....
They left glowing, head held higher and a sense of confidence they said they forgot they OWNED.
All artists know the term "creative rut" It is like a dagger into our hands when we think of how close it can come to either pushing us off the edge to fall, or in turn allowing us to fly once we reach that point. It is all in how you play the game.
I, as many artists, get into a creative rut every so often simply because I need a change here and there. Shooting boudoir and underwater is beyond satisfying, however, it also needs to be kicked up a notch to get the voices in my head to relax.
- Should I go darker in style
- Should I add more props underwater
- Should I change genres completely
Instead of trying to change how I am shooting, I simply change who I am shooting in order to see a different perspective in posing. It helps feed the creative soul in how we see the movements of the human body, how we interact with the client, and how the lighting can be changed when the subject is more suited for a different look.
I contacted a photographer friend Andres to come help me out and shoot a little male boudoir in order to "see the light" in a new way. I wanted to free myself from being bound to the same posing I have come accustom to in the studio and play with the light in a brand new way for myself.
Sure I could have shot a female model, but that would not have pushed me to change how I posed. I needed to change up the current playlist of looks and break into a more powerful way of movements.
Andres was exactly what I needed. He was filled with energy and movement that brought something new to the studio. Along the way of trying to creatively reinvent how I shoot, I realized I also am completely in love with shooting men. I have shot men and couples in the past but forgot how different and fun it can be. I am fascinated with story telling and progression in posing so this session did it all.
Yes, this will be happening more! So come down to the studio guys, boudoir is not just for women.
A few months ago I saw a post from a woman who said she wished she would see more curvy women in boudoir photography. I was taken back a bit knowing many, if not all the boudoir photographers I know, shoot all shapes and sizes.
However this did make me realize that there are not as many model releases for these images. In my industry, many (again if not all) will not post any of your images without a signed model release. This assures you as the client that your images are not fair game in our portfolios. The level of respect for your images is at my top priority.
With that said I LOVE getting model releases simply so we both can show off to the world how amazing you look! So I invited Ms J to my studio and she was excited to sign a model release in order to show others the empowering feeling for a curvy woman to have shot a boudoir session.
Every woman (and man for that matter) should feel confident in their own skin. I was not only excited to shoot with her, but also to shoot on the new brick wall of the Palatka studio. She brought her A game to the shoot and had this vixen stare into the camera that could make anyone blush!
Married to a creative? Is this your first holiday together with a photographer? Perhaps your son or daughter is an enthusiast but you have no idea what gear they need? Well here are a few of my favorite things from this past year (I either have or will be getting) that I believe will help your holiday shopping for your special someone.
Lume Cube - Lighting
First up the Lume Cube ! They are the smallest, most versatile lights I have come across. Not only do they work on land but for your underwater photographers and videographers these nifty little lights will be the gleam in their eyes when they open that box.
ONE 1.5" CUBE
150 LUX @ 9FT. (3M)
FULLY WATERPROOF UP TO 100 FEET
1/4 20 MOUNT ON BOTTOM
RECHARGEABLE VIA USB CABLE
2+ HOURS BATTERY LIFE AT 50%
EASILY MOUNTABLE WITH ALL GOPRO AND ACTION CAMERAS
CONSTANT LIGHT AND FLASH MODES
OPTICAL SLAVE CAPABILITY
SMARTPHONE APP TO CONTROL REMOTELY VIA BLUETOOTH
FIRST EVER OFF-CAMERA FLASH FOR MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
SYNC AND CONTROL MULTIPLE LIGHTS SIMULTANEOUSLY
COLOR TEMPERATURE 6000K
COMPATIBLE WITH IPHONE & ANDROID PHONES
BUTTONS TO CONTROL LIGHT OUTPUT MANUALLY
For you underwater shooters these are so small and compact they can be used on a PVC rig at various angles. The best part is the price so affordable that will not make you have to take out a loan!
They are currently having a Kickstarter page for some amazing deals on the Life Lite.
Gear Eye - Gear Reminder
Ok so this is one in the works for 2017. I came across this gadget a few weeks ago and thought it would be right up my alley. When you are working in varoius studio locations (for me the downtown studio, on location for clients as well as the underwater studio) Gear Eye will help take the stress of worrying if you may forget something for that time sensitive shoot. "It enables you to organize your most important equipment into gig specific groups - so that you always have exactly what you need when you need it. This way, you can quickly and easily make sure you have what you need for today’s studio session (not last week’s beach shoot)." states the site. They have a kick starter page that will help you save for the holidays. Gear Eye
Business - Books
One of the essentials if you are a boudoir shooter is understanding the mindset of your clientele. "Body and Soul" by Susan Eckert is "unique and emotionally intelligent approach to building a sustainable boudoir photography business. The higher-level strategies within these pages will enable photographers to move beyond the task of simply making pretty pictures to greater goals, such as understanding the emotional journey of the boudoir process, building meaningful, long-term relationships with clients, and creating a referral engine to sustain your business." You can find the book here.
Marketing - Templates
While I strive to be known as unique for my photography and editing, there are just some things I have to outsource in order to keep up with the heavy demands of owning a business. Design Aglow is a fantastic site to help ease the marketing weight off your shoulders. The user friendly custom templates have saved me hours of designing from scratch. Everything from forms, marketing templates, education to workflow can be found in the one stop shop.
These are just a few of my favorite things from this year I have come across. If you have something amazing you think others will want to know about list them in the comments! You never know what other photographers are dying to see!
I was not born into the selfie nation where we had cell phones at our fingertips to document our days. If I wanted a picture I had to wait a few days to a week to get it back from the lab. Now, if you do not like an image, there is a simple delete button.
So when I chose clients' images, I have the ability to quickly go through, delete the half blinking eyes or shift in lighting that created an unflattering look. I never gave it a second thought until I decided it was time for me to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.
Back in winter of this year, I decided it was time to see exactly what it meant to be in front of the camera in a boudoir setting. Let me tell you, I have a whole new respect for my clients. It is one thing to tell someone how to pose, where you can adjust. However when you are alone and have to run back and forth to the camera (when you forget your trigger) the level of understanding posing and facial expressions becomes so much clearer. I attempted the traditional "sexy" poses. Which no matter how much I tried, I just could not stop laughing at myself. Why? Because that is SO not me. I am a geek at heart, and being seductive such as this image I could just not see "me".
So instead, I decided to let go of what I saw other boudoir selfie photographers doing and decided to pose myself as I felt more natural.
It proved to be a true experience within my own studio. I know this place better than my home at times. Where the light hits, where the best angles are and most certainly that no one can see in. Until I was walking around, nude under a sheer dress. Than the panic settled in for a moment to think "Can anyone see in!".
Then I calmed quickly. As I realized this is what I do. For all my clients, everyday. I assure them that I have checked that no one can see through the curtains. That they look fantastic and that this session is all about empowering their courage. So why was I not taking my own advice? Well simply put, I was not in my comfortable element being behind the camera. I shook off everything in my head from society in my head making me feel this was vanity, this was attention seeking. I thought about my clients. Everyone of them and how THEY would walk out of my studio with a brighter confidence. I wanted to feel that glow again.
I proved myself right. After looking through (and yes shooting yourself is so difficult- out of 30 shots I got maybe 5 usable images - but by this point of running back and forth-I was exhausted)
So I kept my little images to myself, thinking no one but me would even care to see. Until that is, the day Cate Scaglione (my dearest photog buddy) came to my home town in Staten Island where we were leaving for Maryland to teach and underwater photography workshop.
We went down to the beach for a quick head-shot of myself for future work. As boudoir photographers tend to not just shoot what the initial plan was, we shot a few more intimate looks. After seeing the work Cate captured, I realized why am I NOT sharing my experience with my clients.
I now know fully how you feel. Up until now I was doing a disservice to you and to myself. I walked the walk and I could not be happier that I did it (finally:)
Be sure to check out this weeks coming upFSTOPPERS article to subscribe and read where I will explore the experiences of other boudoir photographer!
(All Images below are Courtesy of Cate Scaglione of LifeAsFineArt.com in Redbank NJ)