Sass Kia / by Mike Stacey

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.