I was told that I when I do a blog, I should come from a place of honesty. So here goes...
Ok I'll be the first to admit that this was a little difficult for me. It's has been a while since I've had a chance to do some real studio shooting. I think the last time was when I was still at school, about 2 years ago. Sure, I've done a couple of boudoirs in the same location a few months ago, but this was different. For this I had to go back to a few basic lighting techniques - I had to think about how light falls on a subject and how to manipulate that light to get the right effect. Thankfully, I had a good and patient model as well as lighting guru to help me out.
Although I've had the pleasure of shooting Peyton in the past - The Dirty Zoo and Rose Bowl Shoot - this was the first time I've had the pleasure of actually being able to focus my attention on her. Peyton is fairly new to modeling from my understanding - but she has everything that one needs to succeed in this industry. She has a tall and slender body, while still maintaining nice curves and shapes, long beautiful hair that reflects light nicely, vibrant colored eyes, and when she shows it - a beautiful smile. That last part was what I really wanted to capture in this shoot. Of course I also wanted to show case everything else - but I had a real goal of being able to capture her smiling as well as a variety of facial expressions. I've seen several shots of her with relatively the same facial expression - and it works. She has this beautiful but fierce look and with her body and the type of work they were for, it worked out perfectly. But I know there had to be more and I was eager about being able to bring all those out.
I don't know if I could really say that the mission was a complete success - sure, I got a few shots of her that was different and even got a smile or two but I fell short of my own expectations. There lies the fault. It wasn't Peyton's fault that I felt a little defeated - it was mine. If it wasn't for her patience, experience, and professionalism I don't think I would have walked out of there with as many great photos as I did. I put such a high expectation on myself with out really knowing how to do it. I believed that I could get a million different expressions out of her that day - but didn't really have a plan of how to do it. Up until that shoot, I believed that I could be charming enough to get models to bend to my will per say and that simply telling her to smile, smirk, or frown would be enough. But it's not. Many believe that it is the models job to already know how to do these things on cue, and it would be great if they did, but the reality of it all is that it is a partnership between the model and the photographer. It is the photographer's role to form that bond between the model - to make her feel secure, calm, and ready. We need to help guide them to get the right look or work around to make it work. I realize I can't just say - SMILE - and expect the perfect shot each and every time. I need to learn how to make that connection so that they can be comfortable with me to show those emotions.
The funny thing is, this is the same mentality I already use for my weddings. I always make it a point to form that relationship with both the bride and groom. To get them comfortable with me and release their emotions while I am around. For one reason or the other I didn't realize that the same conditions should apply for studio work with models as well. Yes, many photographers can get a model to do what is needed with out a connection or ties and still produce a great photo. And yes, many models can function beautifully with out that as well. But I don't know if I can be that type of photographer. I believe that having your photo taken is a very intimate act for both sides of the camera. As the photographer it is your art, your identity, and your passion being translated to pixels, light, and shadows. As a subject it is your image, your insecurities, your emotions, and your beauty.
I don't know, maybe it's just my ego (I've been told its HUGE) but I want people to like me and it is very important to me. I want to make everyone my friend. I want to please everyone and have them expect highly of me and I want to deliver. I guess I need to learn that if I really want that then I need to put more work and effort on my end and not just rely on the charms that I think I have.
To wrap up, I left the studio feeling a little defeated that I didn't meet my own expectations and scared that what I had inside as a photographer may not be enough. Thankfully my model was patient with me and was experienced enough to get through the shoot. I got lucky. I realized what my mistake was and have started to find ways to fix it. I know what I need to work on as a photographer and hope that next time around I will have more of a strategy to achieve my goals.
OK - enough of the mushy stuff.. Thanks for taking the time to read all of that. Now time for the real reason you clicked that link - Hot model with very little clothing. hahaha. Here are the photos from that shoot.
Mary Kate (Canon 5D MKiii) | 70-200 F2.8 | Studio Lighting | Creations Image Studio, California | Model: Peyton P.