Friday, January 23, 2015

Shooting Outside Your Other Box

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The phrase, "shooting outside the box," has become so common and often seen/heard it borders on cliche, along with phrases like "taking your photography to the next level."

Course, that doesn't stop me (and many others) from sometimes using those phrases because, well, because they say what we want them to say when that's what we want to say.

Things that are common and often-seen aren't necessarily bad just because they border on the cliche. There are some very good reasons they're commonly and often used, not the least of which being they are so readily understood by many people without the speaker/writer having to explain too much more in further detail.

When it comes to "shooting outside the box," the box people are referring to most commonly alludes to a photographer's style or the way he/she approaches their photography, i.e., with their gear and/or how it's used, composition and lighting employed, and that kind of stuff.  What I'm writing about today is a different sort of box and this box is the box that represents what you normally or mostly shoot.

I mostly shoot glamour, nudes, and tease.  I mostly shoot them in commonly-seen ways that border on cliche. Do I shoot that way because I'm incapable of shooting outside the box? My box? Nope. I do so because that's how the people who pay me want me to shoot. They rarely want me going outside the box in terms of style, lighting, composition and more. About as close as they come to telling me to shoot outside the box is when they sometimes tell me to shoot pics that are "edgy." (Whatever that means.)  What I've found it actually means is more of the same, but with a very slight twist. Not enough of a twist to make the photos seem too obviously different or commonly seen, but with just enough of a twist to make them just a little bit different. (i.e., edgy.)  Again, whatever "edgy" means.

You see, for the most part they want me to stay within the accepted box of commercial glamour, nudes, and tease because those sorts of bordering-on-the-cliche images sell things and their cliche-ness has proven itself to sell things well. The photos I shoot for them, the people who pay me, are going to be used for things like publicity, advertising, marketing, and product packaging, all of which is designed to sell, sell, sell.  I'm a photographer, not a publicist, ad man, marketer, or product packaging designer. I don't pretend to know more about those things than the people who are doing them, often times doing them to great success. Instead, I shoot the way they want me to shoot, leastwise when I'm being paid to shoot, which represents the vast majority of everything I shoot.

Sorry. I guess I've gone off-track in terms of what I want to write about today. That's also something I commonly do to the point of it being cliche for me to do so... but that's another story.

Okay. Getting back on track...

I think it's important for photographers to sometimes try their hands at other boxes, that is, other genres they have little to no experience shooting even if they might not be so interested in shooting those other genres regularly. In other words, shooting outside one's other box so as to become something of a beginner again.

You know how a histogram represents the frequency of light, from black to white, distributed in a photo? (i.e., as opposed to showing some sort of mirror-like graphical representation of the photo in terms of exposure?)  Histograms, as I'm sure you're aware, reveal how much of the light recorded (not where the light recorded) is either more towards black, more towards white, or in the middle. Well, imagine a learning histogram that looks at your skills and knowledge shooting a given thing or genre. My learning histogram would be wildly different when I'm shooting glam/nude/tease from when I might be shooting things that, for the most part, I barely have a clue how to shoot. Significantly different! Possibly, embarrassingly different. (Me being a "pro shooter" and all.)

You see, the cool thing about shooting what you don't really know how to shoot is that your photography, overall and in general, will benefit immensely from shooting outside your usual and customary genre box(es).

Knowledge is power! (To use another possibly over-used and commonly-seen phrase.) The knowledge you gain from shooting what you're not-too-knowledgeable shooting adds greatly to your overall photographic knowledge thus making you -- at least, helping you to become -- a more powerful photographer!  (If that makes sense.) And we all want to become more powerful photographers, don't we?

So, here's my advice for today: When you're thinking about shooting outside the box, don't simply think about shooting outside your box in terms of your approaches to what you ordinarily shoot. Try going outside your box by climbing into a very different box, a very different genre box.

I'm a long-time, very experienced, glamour/nude/tease shooter. (Hence, this 8+ year old glamour photography blog with over one-thousand updates.)  I can also hold my own shooting a variety of other kinds of portraits because so much of portrait photography is the same or similar, regardless of whether I'm shooting a naked model versus an actor's head shot versus a business or family portrait.  Suddenly shooting outside my normal portrait-shooting box, for example from hot chicks to something else, doesn't make me a more powerful photographer. It also isn't reflected in my learning histogram in too many, if any, ways.  But shooting things like long exposure landscapes/seascapes or night-time long exposure photography, which are way outside my portrait-shooting box --two genres I've never shot but plan to begin shooting shortly as a near-total beginner shooting them -- will make me a more powerful (and versatile) photographer and, certainly at first, will make my learning histogram, when shooting them, look very different.

As a photographer, becoming a more powerful photographer is accomplished by shooting outside the box, thus taking their photography to the next level. And I'm not simply writing about the sorts of boxes and levels that are most often referred to when someone speaks or writes about such things.

The pretty girl at the top, dressed as a jail-house guard and posing like a flasher, is Maya. If I were in jail, it would probably be easier to handle if my guard was Maya. I snapped it with my Canon 5D and a Tamron 24-70. ISO 100, f/5.6, at 125th with my color temp manually set to 5500 Kelvin. I used four light sources: A 500ws monobloc modified with a Photoflex 5' Octodome for my main, a couple of 300ws strobes modified with Chimera strip boxes, either side, for separation and edge-lighting on the model, plus another strobe, boomed overhead with a small, rectangular, soft box for a hard hair light.  I guess I was feeling fairly motivated that day, using four lights and all. Either that or I had to wait too long for the model to get out of makeup and show up in front of my camera so, to kill time or combat boredom, I set up one more light than I usually set.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I've Got Your Award-Winning Photographer Right Here

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I guess I'm about to go off on something of a rant... again.  This time, the focus of my curmudgeonly words are directed at award-winning photographers. (Apparently, the older I become the more curmudgeonly I become-- like that's unusual for humans, camera-shooting humans or otherwise.)

It seems as if every time I see an advert for a workshop, seminar, or just about any sort of photography training and education program, it's being led by an award-winning photographer I've never heard of.  (Okay. That's not entirely true but it's true for probably 90% or so of the award-winning photographers I see being touted-- most of them being young or young-ish photographers of, more often than not, the wunderkind kind... or so the adverts would have me, and you, believe.)

That got me to thinking about award-winning photographers in general, i.e., how many of them must be out there shooting their wunderkind, award-winning, photographs and teaching others to shoot photos as good as their photos. My conclusion?  There's a shit-load many, many of them. Too many to count. So many that it almost seems like any photographer of almost any level of skill who isn't an award-winning photographer must be a truly a pathetic loser amongst camera-shooting human beings.

Now don't get me wrong, there are awards and there are awards. Some awards are quite prestigious. The winners certainly deserve recognition for their work which is likely to be outstanding. But here's the deal: If you are, say, a filmmaker winning an Academy Award, it isn't the same as winning
at the Podunk Film Fest or receiving the dubious honor Best Porno at the Porno Awards Show.

You see, one thing I've noticed that seems to be missing from many of those lauded, award-winning, photographers in the adverts for learning programs are specifics regarding what awards they've won and/or who bestowed those awards. None of that is to say those program leaders advertised aren't qualified to lead a training program. What do I know? I've usually never heard of them so I can't say with any degree of knowledge whether they're qualified or not. But here's what I do know: Simply labeling someone as an  "award-winning photographer," leastwise these days with more contests and awards handed-out than probably any time in photography's history, isn't too meaningful. In other words, saying someone is an award-winning photographer doesn't, for the most part, mean jack shit to me in terms of their qualifications as a teacher or training program leader or simply a photographer for that matter.

I was born and raised in New Jersey. North Jersey to be more specific. My Jersey Boy buddies and I, in a variety of situations or in response to many things, would often grab our crotches with one hand and proclaim, "I've got your (whatever) right here."  That's how I feel about the importance of many of these award-winning photographers, leastwise in terms of their worth as a photography training leader. In my mind, it means zilch. (Or something approaching zilch.) Certainly, when there's not much more, if any, validation given than simply saying someone is award-winning. Yep. Whenever I see or hear those words, my knee-jerk response is to grab my crotch and say, "I've got your award-winning photographer right here!"

The pretty girl pic at the top is a Brazilian model whose name I've forgotten. Just like becoming more and more curmudgeonly as one gets older, forgetfulness is another symptom of it and I've got both those symptoms in spades. Getting. Old. Sucks! (Like that's the first time you've heard that.)   

Friday, January 16, 2015

All Light Is Not Good or Useable Light

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I keep hearing the phrase, "light is light," more and more lately. While it's true that light is light in many ways. And it's also true that all light, certainly visible light, can be utilized for your photography with varying success, it's not always true that light is light from the perspective of artificial lighting sources. In other words, all lighting devices don't produce quality light of a "light is light" manner in ways that will make your work or your hobby as a photographer simpler (KISS) and less complicated (Ockham's Razor.)

There are reasons, some very good reasons, why some lighting devices cost more than others and those reasons aren't of a "light is light" nature.  When it comes to lighting gear, all light is not light in spite or your ability -- better ability than ever --  to correct color temperatures, shoot at high ISOs with minimal noise, and all that sort of stuff with today's digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Saying, "light is light," is like saying "air is air," and "water is water." While there's more than a modicum of truth to those words regarding air and water, there's air I wouldn't want to breathe and there's water I wouldn't want to drink. In that same vein, there's lighting gear I wouldn't want to be stuck using; leastwise, using regularly or consistently.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that every serious photographer needs to purchase the most expensive, brand-name, lighting devices on the market. But there's a lot of crap lighting devices out there... granted, at attractive prices. Here's some 411: There are some obvious reasons why some of that nicely-priced gear is priced so inexpensively and a lot of those reasons aren't good reasons from the point-of-view of the gear being "good" gear  that will meet most photographers' expectations.

I should also mention that there's some very good lighting gear available at very affordable prices, nearly unbelievable prices when compared to equipment that has all or nearly all the same features and capabilities but is expensive brand-name gear.  How do you separate the good from the bad?  By doing some research. Research that extends beyond the going-price for such gear.

If, like me, you use your lighting gear mostly to shoot people, whether it's glam, fashion, other sorts of portraiture, or for things like weddings and events, there are some requirements, make that you should be considering some requirements for the gear you spend your hard-earned money on, i.e., beyond simply saving a few bucks when making those purchases. Why? Because light is not light when you consider those requirements.

Perhaps some of you question my use of the word "requirements" when talking about those, uhm... requirements. I suppose many of those "requirements" aren't absolute "requirements." Okay. I'll agree. They're not absolute requirements. But for the lion's share of my work they are.

What are some of the "requirements" I'm talking about? For me, I don't care how little a piece of lighting gear costs, if it can't do things like recycle quickly, maintain consistent color temperature each time it fires, isn't built in a quality manner, and doesn't provide enough power to do what I routinely need it to do, I'm not interested.

Some of you might have other requirements for your photography. Perhaps things like the ability of your lighting devices to communicate with your camera in ways that permit (E)TTL auto functions? Perhaps size or transportability are requirements?  There are all sorts of requirements different photographers might have for their lighting gear. Everyone is interested in getting a good deal and more bang for your bucks. I'm no exception. But that doesn't mean I'll sacrifice or compromise in terms of what I need a lighting device to do and how well, efficiently, simply, and consistently it does it.

It's true that most all of the higher-priced, name-brand gear on the market fulfills my requirements. It's also true that there are plenty of manufacturers producing lighting products that fulfill my requirements equally well. From that perspective, the phrase "light is light" is meaningful to me. But all light and lighting devices having that "light is light" thing going for it in all the ways I need light to be the sort of light I require for my work? It doesn't work out that way.

Is a Rolex or a Tag Heuer a quality-made watch that keeps good time? Yep. Is my Seiko Automatic a quality-made watch that keeps good time. Yes it is. Would I like to sport an expensive Rolex or Tag on my wrist? Sure. Why not? That would be cool... and fashionable. Does that mean I'm going to run out and spend my hard-earned money on a Rolex or a Tag simply because it might be cool and fashionable? Probably not unless I suddenly have more than a little "F-U" money, which I don't.

The pretty girl at the top is Melanie. I lit Melanie using three of my Novatron monolights: A 500ws unit for my main, modified with a 5' Photoflex Octo, and two 300ws Novatron strobes, either side, modified with small-ish shoot-through umbrellas. They were all triggered with PocketWizard transceivers. Novatron makes quality monoblocs and are mid-priced. I've been using them for years. To use the Timex watch company's motto, Timex being watch company more like Seiko than Rolex or Tag Heuer: "They take a licking and keep on ticking."  Course, my Novatrons don't actually "tick" but you know what I mean. But they do "beep" when they've recycled and they always beep quickly enough for my work.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Visual Pathways to Better Photos

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I was recently hired for a writing gig that had me wordsmithing almost daily throughout the month of December; writing about photography, that is. More specifically, glamour photography. Once I completed the work, I thought, "Why stop now?"  My next ebook, Guerrilla Glamour 2, has been sitting half-baked half-finished on my computer for about six months and, as long as I'm on something of a writing-roll, I might as well keep rolling. So, so far, that's what I've been doing in this new year: Working on my next ebook.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take to finish it and I'm not going to make any predictions -- cuz I've made that mistake too often, i.e., forecasting a completion date I didn't meet -- but, hopefully, I'll get it done within a month or so. Perhaps a bit longer. It all depends on whether or not WADD kicks in or how badly it hits me. (Writer's Attention Deficit Disorder, that is.) Hey! Seriously! It's a real mental disease or something, WADD is. I know this for a fact. It flares up often enough in me. Too often!

So, anyway, I'm currently working on a chapter dealing with "visual pathways" and other elements of composition. It's a subject also covered in one of the articles I wrote as part of my recent writing gig.  I'm trying my best not to plagiarize myself using what I recently wrote for someone else, for my ebook, that is.  Is it even possible to plagiarize one's own words? Regardless, I don't want my recent writing client to think I was paid by them to write something fresh for their use, only to re-use it, or something a bit too close it, for my own nefarious purposes. I think that's called having integrity... or something. More people should try it these days, having work-related integrity I mean, because I seem to see less of it than I once did. But that's another  subject, one that goes way beyond photography and not one I'm blogging about today. So, forget I even mentioned it.

Visual pathways, if you're not familiar with the term, are elements of composition which serve one or both of a couple of purposes in a photo's composition: 1) as a tour guide for viewers' eyes, guiding them through an image or leading their eyes to the main subject of an image and/or 2) as a way of enhancing the allure of a picture's main subject. In both cases, the writing gig and my ebook, the main subject is a glamour, nude, or tease model but the same techniques can be used for most any portrait and beyond. Photographically beyond, that is.  You know like... I don't know... landscape photography.

Beyond being a tour guide leading viewers' eyes around a photo in ways a photographer wants to lead them, or somehow enhancing a photo, what exactly are these visual pathways you speak of, Jimmy?

Glad you asked. I'll give you one such element of many photos that are often used as tour guides or visual pathways: Lines.

Yep. Simple lines. Sometimes, actual lines. Other times, imaginary lines. Often enough, both real and imaginary lines working in harmony to produce visual pathways and, as a result, more effective images.  What specific kinds of actual and/or imaginary lines are you talking about, Jimmy?

Again, glad you asked.  I'm talking about all kinds of lines: Level lines, vertical lines, diagonal lines, and curvy lines. Curvy lines, as you know, are often present in glamour and tease images because, of course, curves are a big part of many models' allure; especially beautiful, sexy, seductive models.  But glam pics aren't simply about curvy-ness, line-wise or otherwise, because other sorts of lines. lines of a non-curvy nature, can also add much to your glamour photos.

Straight lines of the horizontal, vertical, and, especially, a diagonal type can be powerful lines in your compositional approaches. In my glamour photography, I never met a line I didn't like. And when lines are present (beyond the naturally curvy lines of a model, that is) I'm gonna try to use lines to enhance, visually enhance, my photos as well as leading my viewers' eyes around my images in ways I choose and hope to lead them. Otherwise, the way the human brain works, viewers' eyes will just wander rather aimlessly around a photo and who wants aimless viewers? Not me.

While you may be thinking that particularly alluring models don't need any special help to call further attention to themselves in photos, I say, "Au contraire!"

I don't often say things in French but, when I do, I'm doing so for added emphasis so, in this case, you know I'm totally disagreeing with the notion that no further attention-gathering techniques are ever needed when shooting beautiful, sexy, seductive models. It's true they might not be absolutely needed in some ways but, even when they're not-so-needed,  they still add value and I'm all about adding value to my  images whenever I can and however I can. You should be that way too!

My suggestion is this: Whenever you can utilize real lines in a shooting environment to point the way to your glam model or lead your viewers' eyes -- this is a glamour photography blog, after all, so I'm specifically talking about glam models right now -- most any kind of line, straight or curved, can be effectively used for that purpose. Also, whenever you direct your model to create lines, especially curvy lines and/or diagonal lines, with her body-pose and more (More? Yeah, like with wardrobe and that stuff) it's probably and generally a good idea to do so depending, of course, on your specific creative goals for the photos.

The model at the top is Dahlia. There's a lot of lines used as visual pathways in that image.  Some of them are naturally occurring in the shooting environment and some of them are being created by the model but, either way, they're all helping to "tour guide" your eyes, your viewing eyes, throughout that image.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Art Versus Commercial Artwork in Model Photography

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I regularly view a fair amount of model photography on social media sites, photography web sites, as well as the work of many pretty girl shooters via their portfolios. In my mind, the work falls into two, major, classifications: Work produced by and for the photographer's (or the model's) personal uses and work produced for commercial clients, i.e., clients other than the models themselves.

I'm often blown-away by the work of hobbyists and semi-pros. I. Mean. Blown. Away. BTW, what's a semi-pro pretty girl shooter? Well, in my mind, it's a photographer who earns some money shooting models, but not regularly. In other words, it's not their full-time careers or represents the lion's share of their income.The exception to that are photographers who earn full-time career money shooting models, but they're doing it for their own, owned-and-operated, educational businesses: workshops, seminars, private mentoring, etc. Those people aren't working much for commercial clients, they're working for themselves.

When you're working for yourself in that sort of way,  a training and education way, you're not only the boss, but you get to choose how you will shoot the pictures you've engaged yourself to shoot. You know, much like a hobbyist does. That doesn't mean you're not good at what you do. You might be blow-Jimmy-away good. But part of that is because you don't have to suffer work within the artistic confines or inhibitions put upon you by commercial clients.

The differences between hobbyists, semi-pros, and pretty-girl-shooting educators, trainers, workshop promoters and the like,  and those who shoot models for commercial clients for a living, can often be seen in the approaches to the work itself.

Hobbyists, SPs (semi-pros), and those other guys, the teaching guys, aren't (for the most part) inhibited by the requirements and expectations put on them by commercial clients. If you think being a commercial photographer means shooting whatever you're hired to shoot in whatever ways you want to shoot it is how things work, you're sadly mistaken. Sure, as the photographer you have a certain level of creative leeway when shooting but that "certain level' of artistic freedom generally isn't too high or wide or representing much leeway in terms of artistic freedom.  Commercial clients have expectations that go beyond their obvious expectations regarding producing good and useable photos which meet certain technical, quality, and other expectations. Their expectations also include levels of artistry in the photos. And those artistry expectations, frankly, don't encourage a whole lot of artistic freedom or levels of unrestrained artistry.

I've said it before: Commercial photography clients aren't art patrons.  Art patrons are people who buy your art for the sake of it being art or who fund your artistic pursuits for mostly altruistic reasons. (I'd love to find me one of those art patron peeps!)

What is commercial photography? To me, commercial photography is any photography that is specifically intended for commercial purposes, e.g., product packaging, advertising and advertisements, marketing media, that kind of stuff.

The artwork commercial clients hire photographers to shoot -- please note that artwork and "art" aren't necessarily one and the same things -- most always have specific purposes for the artwork and, as such, commercial clients specifically expect the artwork to conform to specific standards and to specific levels or degrees -- not particularly high levels or degrees -- of what is often considered "art" by many photographers who don't do this thing, this commercial pretty girl shooting thing, for a living. You know, a living funded mostly by commercial clients.

When I'm shooting for myself, or even when I'm shooting for a model's portfolio or an actor's (or other performer's) personal branding and marketing uses, I have way more leeway in terms of my approaches, artistic approaches, to the work. Sure, there are still certain and specific levels of quality and more those people expect, but it's usually less-defined and less-specific than when shooting for commercial clients.  If and when I begin hosting workshops or other sorts of training (like I keep saying I'm eventually going to do) I will have way more leeway in my artistic approaches -- think lighting, composition, shooting environments, styling and more -- than I ordinarily have, make that ever have when shooting for commercial clients.

If you're a model photographer who wants to go pro, just remember that the job/career you're hoping to achieve isn't one that's going to permit you to flex your artistic and creative muscles in overly big ways. Yeah, you'll be able to do some artistic/creative muscle flexing. But just some. And some isn't usually a whole lot.

Your photographic art, produced as a hobbyist or SP pretty girl shooter, even that produced in conjunction with educational and training-related efforts, might go a long way towards getting you the jobs you want or entry into a commercial photography career, but once you're in, it's not going to be a job or career where you get to be the unrestrained visual artist that may have gotten you there in the first place. Just saying. 

The pretty girl at the top is Lupe Fuentes, a former porn star who has gone on to a career in music (as the lead singer in an all-girl group) and being a club DJ. I understand she's doing quite well with her music and, especially, her DJing. Good for you, Lupe! The image was snapped, along with a bunch of others, for her personal branding and marketing uses. That's why it's not so much of a commercial pretty girl pic and leans a bit more towards pretty girl art. Was I permitted to shoot Lupe in any way I wanted to shoot her? You know, with all the creative forces I could muster? Nope. Not even close. Why? Because she had a manager and her manager was not only present during the shoot, but had specific expectations and directions for the photos and the types of photos expected. "Art," per se, wasn't at the top of the list of those specific expectations and directions.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Play-by-Play of a Commercial Nude/Glam Shoot

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Got myself booked for a shooting gig this past Saturday.  A little extra cash for the holidays is always a nice thing. I went with one light, a single main light, which is fairly uncharacteristic for me. Normally, when shooting glam/tease, I'm a three-light kinda guy. Sometimes four lights or three with a reflector. Apparently, I can be flexible, lighting wise. Who knew?

My model for the day, seen in the photo on the left, was certainly easy on the eyes. Plus, my client had a terrific MUA working her magic on my soon-to-be victim. I was going to be shooting on a white seamless in a small-ish studio. The shoot was a product-related affair. The images will be used for web and print ads. The product is a new and rather unique adult product for men. Beautiful, sexy, models sell everything from automobiles to adult products to men... to women as well. Duh, right?

I schlepped my gear into the studio and found that the seamless was already lit with Kino-Flos. (Daylight balanced florescent lighting fixtures.)  I asked my client if the seamless would be used in the ads or if the model would be cut out from the background. "Cut out," is what he told me. Cool! Thanks for enabling my proclivity for being lazy, dude.  I love when that happens!

Being a KISS shooter, you know, a Keep It Simple Stupid, I mean Keep It Simple Shooter kind of photographer, I immediately realized I wasn't going to need to light the seamless any more than it was already lit. Okay. So technically it wasn't a one-light shoot because there were three, pre-set, Kino-Flos lighting the BG and I was going to take advantage of that. But they weren't lighting the model so I'll still call it a one-light shoot.

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Regarding those Kinos, I'm happy to say I didn't need to be concerned about balancing the color temperature of the Kinos to my strobe. You can readily see the difference in color temps produced by my strobe versus what was produced by the Kinos on the BG.  So, my only consideration, florescent versus flash wise, would be insuring there was good separation between the model and the background (to aid the graphic artist in cutting her out when putting together the ads) and providing good color tone for the model's skin. Actually, vice versa in order of importance. But hey! No problemo! I can do that!

Once I decided to go with one light instead of multiple lights, I whipped out a Photogenic monolight I brought with me, plus my 5' Photek Softlighter to modify it. I decided on going with a slightly harder light than usual so I removed the front baffle from the Softlighter turning it into something akin to a Hardlighter. Plus, this particular model didn't need any skin-softening lighting. For all intents and purposes, my Softlighter was now a 5' umbrella. (I love gear that you can adapt and convert!) I didn't care about controlling the spread of the light because, well, because the BG was simply white. (Actually, a bluish/magenta-ish white courtesy of the Kinos, but that wasn't going to matter.)

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I set my light and mod on a stand, a "baby" stand I have with wheels which makes it easier to move around a bit if need be. I shot everything either with the light immediately to my left or right, nearly on-axis with the model, and raised up a bit and angled down. I was now ready for my model as soon as she was out of the chair. The makeup chair, that is.

My model for the day wasn't overly experienced and that, my client told me, was one of the factors for hiring me. He allowed to me, after the shoot, that he considered shooting it himself -- he's a hobby photographer -- but because, he told me, I'm so good with the models, especially newer models, he thought it better to have me shoot it so he would be sure to get the pics he needs.  (I love ego strokes! Especially, when they also come with a check!)

The image just above on the left is one I snapped with the model posing with the product. I don't think you need to call on your imagination much to figure the purpose of the product and its design. It's battery operated by the way, so it's similar to many adult products for women from that perspective. (Nudge, nudge, hint, hint, know what I mean?) Now, you might laugh at that gadget and think it's silly or whatever, but if so, it's probably because you know little about the adult "toy" industry. There's a decent chance my client might put his kids through college off of what he makes selling that red hand.  Course, first he's gonna have to put the red hand down long enough to make some kids but that's another story.

Most of what I shot was either with the model in bra and panties or implied nudes. That's because a fair amount of the places my client will be advertising and marketing his product doesn't permit nudity. Implied nudes? They're okay, as is lingerie. Full nude? Nope.  And no, I didn't take the product out for a test drive. Just saying.

Except for some cropping, the pics above are all 98% SOOC. I did remove a few blemishes in case the model sees this and I get a pissed-off phone call saying, "You couldn't remove a zit or two? You had to post them completely natural that way???"  I also wanted to show them (basically) SOOC so you could readily see the difference in color temp between the Kinos illuminating the white seamless and my single strobe lighting the model.  I set my White Balance to Manual for the shoot, dialed in to 5500 Kelvin. That's a WB setting, 5500K that is, I often use whether I'm shooting with flash or not, indoors or out.  Everything for this shoot was snapped with my Canon 5D2 with a Canon 70-200 f/4 L for about 60% to 70% of the images, and either my Canon 50mm f/1.8 or my Canon 35mm f/2 primes for the rest of them.

Oh! One more thing: Before we wrapped, the guy who's studio it is -- not my client but the studio owner -- stepped in to demonstrate how this latex, red-hand product, "The Handie," might also come in handy for air guitarists.