Sass Kia

Sass Kia and I hooked up via Facebook some time ago. The world of freelance photographers and models is a small one and in the art-nude area, everyone knows everyone. This is good, it means, to a certain extent, there's an inbuilt trust mechanism, important where nude models are concerned and it makes it easier for them to make connections that are trusted and also hopefully skilled. The networking also works from the photographer's point of view too.

We'd decided to do a set for her patreon which would essentially be a boudoir/strip set, and then some portrait stuff. Sass had some nice lingerie which always looks great in these old rooms. We worked various locations in the room, making the best of the ambient light. The mirrors in these rooms are always great to use too and this room has three of them. From certain angles when you look into one mirror you can see the reflection of other mirrors so with some careful positioning we got some interesting effects.

This set will be available on Sass's Patreon so why not support a hard working and dedicated Australian artist and check it out! For that reason I won't be posting any images from that particular set here.

The first set was shot entirely on digital so the metal brick with the timber handle came out next loaded with some fresh XP2. Sass is mainly an art-nude model so shooting portraits was a little different for her but she (we) got into the swing of things pretty quickly.

I'd brought a few wardrobe items with me and layed them out for Sass to choose from. She picked a sheer black top, which always works so well - sheer black things are my absolute favourite item. They can look elegant and they can look real edgy and sexy, depending on how they're worn and photographed - but they always work! The kind of light you choose should effect wardrobe choice too, and I know that sheer black looks great in my favourite lighting.

I picked a spot in the room that had great light and made sure Sass was facing directly into it (butterfly lighting style). Then she just sat and leant in various positions on and against a lovely little seat that I'd pinched from the hallway.

Mark Rhodes had kindly sent me a roll of Cine Still 800 to try and I really like the cooler colour palette - although I tend to like a bit more grit and grain.

The old staple, Portra 400 always gives such nice grain and vibe - the colour in some of these shots was a bit wild straight off the scanner but I decided to leave it like that - looks like some sleazy 90s movie scene. Keep thinking of the film Blue Velvet for some reason.

It was great shooting with Sass Kia - she's absolutely cool and easy to collaborate with and adapts herself amazingly quickly to a number of different looks and scenarios. She managed boudoir, portraits, and an edgy variety of portrait that doesn't adhere to any preset posing routine. This was great, as it's my preferred way to work, it's more challenging for me and more challenging for the model - resulting in more interesting pictures, in my opinion.

I used to do a lot of art nude photography but as a photographer found it very unchallenging. When I looked at my pictures, they were almost entirely a result of the skill of the model, not me. Coming from a landscape and architectural background, it was so easy; find some good light, find a good landscape composition (easy) then just plonk your model in the right spot and let her do her routine; snap, snap, snap voilà.

Since the shoot I've been talking to Sass about another project which involves some video and another major passion of hers - dance. I'm looking forward to collaborating with her on this to create something meaningful and human.

Her Place

This collaboration was a real last minute thing, Mark Rhodes had connected me with Indie (Emma) as I'd posted to Facebook looking for a model due to the arrangement I had in place falling through at the last minute. Mark and Emma had worked together several times before dong mainly artistic nude type work.

Indie is a burlesque showgirl, circus performer and life drawing model. So as usual, what I wanted to do was totally different to all of that! 

We arranged to just shoot at her place. I bothered Emma with endless questions about the light in the house, which directions certain windows faced etc, she even went to the bother of looking up her place on google maps so she could give me the exact orientation of the rooms! She also sent me some pictures of the inside of the house and through all of this I was able to gather together some ideas before heading over there. I'm so grateful for all of that.

We shot in four different areas of the house where the light and compositions were best, starting in the living room where there were some lovely windows with large sills for Emma to sit on. Her cat Russell was around for most of the shoot too but it was real hard to get a good shot of both he and Emma together.

Russell and Emma

The hallway had a great patch of fleeting and reflected light coming in from the front door, so we quickly grabbed a few shots there.

I'd noticed a striking painting in one of the rooms - a portrait looking sideways, and decided to use it somehow. I'm really happy with these experimental shots and Emma's input into these was great.

I also noticed a nicely curved vase, whose outline seemed to mimick that of a woman's hips. So we used that too!

We finished off in the dining room where was a nice patch of light in the corner. After shuffling some bikes out of the way we shot the final roll using some neat shadow effects across Emma's face and body.

All these images were shot on film. There's plenty more yet to be edited, as always!

My fave image? I really like the last one and the first one. Thanks Emma for the shoot!

 

 

Laneikka

Laneikka runs a fashion blog called Grunge Children and she had contacted me through my website expressing an interest in a collaboration. From her comments I could tell she'd connected with aspects of what I do and could 'feel' the images at a level beyond the surface. This was great.  We worked out some ideas which suited both of us and the best part is she has access to a whole range of wardrobe, which we also agreed on before the shoot. 

I decided to shoot this at my fave location out near Cape Banks so I met Laneikka in the car park out at the helicopter base. She arrived with a car full of wardrobe! Hahaha perfect. 

Portraits

The first few shots were fantastic and I knew this was a good idea. Laneikka's background is in acting so her expression and presence in front of the camera is really superb. We quickly got into that creative bubble I like to get into, which I am currently basing my workshops around. Laneikka's wardrobe worked perfectly in this first location, I reckon we chose it perfectly.

After the initial portraits we moved through some varying lighting conditions and also changed the outfit a couple of times to keep things fresh and in-tune with the light we were using. Natural light that is. We ended up doing a fairly cohesive set featuring a beautiful fur Laneikka had with her, I love furs and I love shooting them! 

The Video

The last thing we did was a video. Prior to the shoot I'd checked out Laneikka's profile on Star Now and seen some acting videos she'd done so of course my mind fast tracked to a project I've been thinking about for a while. It really required someone with acting experience and someone who could go a bit beyond the norm, emotionally. She said she'd be happy to do it.

Having never done anything like this before I let Laneikka lead the way. I set up the tripod and camera in a selected spot for the light and she spent about 10 minutes alone preparing herself. I haven't completed editing the video so I'm not going to say too much more about it now, just that I found it absolutely beautiful and emotionally challenging (not to mention how she felt)  and have the greatest respect for her for doing this for me.

Elegant Magazine, May 2017 Issue

The other great thing about this shoot... I spent a few hours that Sunday night editing a bunch of shots from the day and a cohesive theme started to appear - helped along by some red wine and good vibes. I thought why not submit this somewhere - checked Elegant Magazine and their deadline for submissions for the May issue of the mag was in 12 hours time so I messaged Laneikka and checked she was cool with the idea and with the images I'd picked. A few hours editing gave us a 9 image set, chosen carefully for their flow and also their variety. I've published through Elegant Mag before and have found them professional and good with communications, which is not the case with many mags. They're also well respected in the online fashion world - although they also do a print version of the mag which is nice.

So within a few more hours I had an email from them saying "Submission Accepted"! Too easy with Laneikka, but I had faith in her before we even started the shoot.

I can't publish many images that will be published in the mag for a while yet, that's standard magazine policy.

Stay tuned for more images and of course, the video.

Darby

Darby's one of the best life/art nude models around the place. She doesn't do many portraits so this was very different and somewhat challenging for her, and challenging for me to shoot it right. I love that. I want to see the human, the person, beyond the physicality of art nude or life model posing. But that's just my thing, I totally respect others point of view and reference - this is mine.

Recent conversations with another life model said she found this very confronting, working with me in this way. The fact that I was looking beyond her physicality - that can be scary. People aren't really truly nude just because they have no clothes on - there's another dimension to nudity and nakedness - and that's where I want to go, sometimes. Thank you Darby, for goingthe extra mile.

All of these shot on film.

Wanna book this space to shoot in? Email Flavia:  flafonta91@gmail.com

Darby: http://instagram.com/darby_breckderry

An Eye Opener

I was lucky enough to be able to assist Damo Chamberlain on a shoot he wanted to do. This really only involved driving he and model Anne Duffy to the location I'd selected for him. Damo is legally blind but needed no help with the shoot itself. He shoots by looking at a very abstract image in his LCD screen. Just walking to this location with him, where he could only barely see my feet in front of him to navigate by, was humbling. Damo's not one to sit around though, and is so motivated and full of life.

Thanks Damo, and Anne, for such a rewarding and inspiring day out.

Video - 'Wind Song'

BTS

Between Easter eggs. Hope Anne doesn't kill me :)