Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm Back

I'm back from Vegas. Actually, I've been back for a few days. Upon my return, however, all kinds of stuff has been going on: Some of it not too pleasant.

An ex-business-partner of mine has been trying his best to make life miserable for me. In a nutshell, he's attempting extortion and blackmail. He's using threats that include some rather imaginative and patently false accusations. Of course, if I give in to his demands, all his made-up and untrue claims go away... until, I'm guessing, the next time he wants something from me. I'm contacting my long-time friend, who is an attorney, to help me deal with this.

The Vegas trip went really well and was a lot of fun. I shot a whole lot of images of Devin for her (soon to be open) website, DirtyDevin.com. Hopefully, my images aren't dirty, from a technically-photographic point-of-view, that is.

I haven't had much time, since returning, to go thru the few thousand images I captured. I'm sure there's some decent pics amongst them. In spite of the model's website's name, all of the images I shot were decidedly glamour (or glamour-like candids) and none of them were particularly "dirty."

I'll post more as I go thru them and share some of my experiences in Sin City last week.

The pretty girl at the top is Devin, captured with my Canon 5D w/ 28-135mm IS USM zoom. I used three lights to capture this: A 5' Photoflex Octodome for the main and two strip lights working behind her from either side. It was fairly tough getting this set of images because the mirrors behind her limited the placement of the lights as well as the placement of the shooter... me, that is. I certainly didn't want to capture the lights or myself in the shots.

Here's another -- a strictly eye-candy shot -- from a BJ series I shot... a bubble-gum blowing sequence, that is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Destination: Sin City

I'm off to Sin City, a.k.a., Las Vegas, for a few days of pretty girl shooting. I only mention this, before the fact, in hopes that readers don't assume I've become overly lazy about updating. It's true I haven't been updating as much as I had been updating. For the most part, the reason has been a busy schedule: Not so much because of work but more due to my personal life.

While in Vegas, I'll be staying in the same "Spanish Trails" home I shot in not too many months ago. If you missed that update, it's HERE.

I don't know if I'll have an opportunity to update while I'm in Sin City but, when I return, I'll try to get some pics and a few words up on the blog as quickly as I can.

The pretty girl at the top is Devin, Devin will be my primary victim while I'm in Vegas.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Young Teen Models

I was recently hired to photograph a post-adolescent girl who hopes to enter the world of commercial modeling. Her parents were willing to spend a few bucks and, as a result, this young girl's first experience in front of the camera included a rented studio, an MUA/hair stylist, an assistant, and your's truly. She (and her parents) wanted 4 or 5 "looks" in order to put together a beginning portfolio and a comp card.

The young lady was very pretty and the camera liked her quite a bit. Although it was her first time, she took to being in front of the camera and lights like she'd been there a few times before. I think it was a great experience for her and the resulting images came out very good.

The toughest thing for me, however, was resisting shooting her in ways that evoked a bit too much sex appeal. It wasn't that, secretly, I wanted to shoot her in subtlely sensuous ways. (Requiring me to keep those inclinations in check.) It was that almost everyone else on the set seemed to be nudging me in that direction... the Mom included! My attitude was this: She's still a kid (at 13 years) and that's how she should be captured. Please don't take it wrong about the Mom. The model's mother wasn't looking to create a less-than-subtle "Lolita" look for her daughter. I think she was simply guided (misguided?) by what she often sees in fashion magazines (who feature post-adolescent models) or in child model pageants and, therefore, she wanted to re-create some of those looks, figuring that would make her daughter more marketable.

The MUA had applied the make-up in a somewhat glamourized way with hair to match. The young model brought along quite a bit of wardrobe and I asserted myself into the wardrobe selection (to keep it wholesome) even though, as I've mentioned, others seemed to want to give the images a decidedly "Lolita" appeal. I didn't want to go that way and it wasn't completely about morality: It also had to do with, what I thought, would be best in terms of capturing the model in marketable ways. Personally, I felt this model, although she was 13 years old, could easily "play" an age-range from ten to fourteen or so and I thought that was the way she should be photographed, i.e., with some of the images going after the "child" look and some a bit more mature without going for obvious sex appeal. For instance, we shot a two-piece bathing suit series and I went out of my way to keep those shots on the "kid" side of things. Overall, I wanted to keep in mind her age, while also depicting her having "range."

Although I lit the model in a glamour-like style, I didn't permit her to pose or exhibit expressions that had that "come hither" thing going on. It required a conscious effort on my part to keep the images in that direction: I sometimes go on autopilot when shooting and my autopilot is generally pre-set to "sexy" since that's what I most often shoot. Because of this, I found the experience very positive in terms of my growth as a photographer: It's easier to make an image stand-out when you have a beautiful, sexy model posed in provocative ways. But it's not so easy when the model, although beautiful (in that blossoming into a woman kind of way) and could be shot sexy, is still too young and shouldn't, in my opinion, be captured that way.

In the end, everyone was more than happy with the images, myself included. I'm not posting any of these pics because I've made it a rule on this blog not to put up images of models under eighteen years of age.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Pretty Girl Shooter's Ego

There's a quite interesting post over on the Fluffytek Photography blog. In it, Lin, one of the blog's two authors, examines the photographer's ego and how it defines their resulting work.

I'm not sure I agree with all of Lin's observations but I'll admit I found them all noteworthy.

In a nutshell, Lin contends a photographer's ego and psychological make-up (make that, psychological and emotional flaws and dysfunctions) heavily influences his or her work. Of that, I'm in agreement. Moreso, I suppose, when shooters are free to pursue their visions without the influences of third parties like clients and others.

Click HERE and take a look at what Lin has to say about the nude photogapher's ego.

The pretty girl with the vaguely Paris Hilton-like face is Candy. I shot Candy the other night for some DVD artwork. Whatever style might be evident in the images was heavily influenced by the requirements of my client. I doubt, however, the client will be converting any of the images to B&W for their uses.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Been a Hectic Week

I haven't had much time to blog this past week. Been busy! I guess that's a good thing. It means my wallet is a bit fatter.

Wednesday, I was on the set of an adult, cinematic, masterpiece: "American MILF: The Movie."

AM:TM, which will be distributed by Vivid Pictures, is a humorous and comic look at the MILF phenomenon. (Yes, it actually had a script and a story-- something viewers will, most likely, fast-foward through.) Rest assured, no MILFs were injured in the making of this flick. And please, don't anyone write me to ask, "What's a MILF?" If you live in the U. S. of A., and don't know what a MILF is, I suggest crawling out from under that rock (or from that cave you've been dwelling in) and getting out and about once in a while.

There's nothing really new about this whole MILF thing. I recall, way back in the day and when I was a young dude about town, I was, like many of my pals, enamored with older(ish) women. Back then, we simply called them "older women" or "older chicks," instead of MILFs. But whether you call them "MILFs," or "cougars," or just plain "older women," the allure of "experienced" women has always and often been of particular interest (a nice way to say it) to inexperienced young men. (And, I suppose, to experienced guys as well.)

It was a long day: 17 hours shooting! It took me all of yesterday to recuperate. (I ain't as young as I once was.) In the end, though, I think a fairly funny fuck flick was captured. (Assuming anyone's interested in fairly funny fuck flicks.)

There was nowhere, at the Married with Children-ish location house, that was especially photo-friendly for me to shoot stills. I just grabbed them wherever and as best I could. I was quite busy, throughout the day, as I was also directing and shooting one of the Hi-Def video cameras -- yeah, I can chew gum and walk at the same time -- so I had a bit less stills-shooting time with each performer/model than is usually the case.

I was grateful the production company hired an additional P.A. (Production Assistant) who was at my constant disposal. That meant I didn't have to schlep any of my gear around or do much in the way of physical exertion to get the images. This particular P.A. works regularly as a photographer's assistant at one of L.A.'s top, "mainstream," photo studios: That was a big help getting the still images shot in less time and with less effort. He could even read a meter! (In L.A., there's quite a few crew people who regularly cross back and forth between mainstream and adult.)

The Sophia Loren-ish model in the pic (above) is Ava. Ava performed in the supporting role of "Mrs. Robinson." Her character's name shouldn't require much explanation. Image captured with a Canon 5d w/28-135mm IS USM glass, ISO 100, f/5.6 @ 100th. Two light sources were employed: Mola beauty dish for the main, and a strobe with a small, silver umbrella, behind her.

Monday, April 02, 2007

What's This? A JimmyD Interview!

Apparently, the grand, high, exalted, mucky-mucks at PhotoCamel.com had some sort of momentary lapse in reason: Someone over there came up with the idea of interviewing your's truly. I probably should be inserting a "What are those camel guys smoking?" line right about now but... Ooops! I guess I just did.

I'll admit I find it difficult to resist appeals to my considerable ego... my ego being considerable and all. So, I oh-so-graciously agreed to answer their questions. So, if you're at all interested in reading some photo-babble provided by a self-proclaimed pretty girl shooter, or if you simply have way too much time on your hands, you can click HERE and then click on the interview.

You also might want to take a few minutes have a look around this most-excellent photography forum. There's something there for just about everyone. Photo Camel's forums cover a wide range of photography and offer great information for shooters of all levels of experience. You'll also see some terrific images provided by Photo Camel's members. And guess what else? If you're so inclined to register and become a member of this great forum, you'll find that it's free to do so! What's better than that?

The pretty girl featured at the top of the post is Monica. I think I shot this about a year or so ago. Monica is from down-under but now calls L.A. her home! Lucky for us L.A. guys!