I thought I'd reprint his email, as well as my response, here, on the PGS blog. Why take the time to write an email that parallels the subject of this blog and not publish it on the blog? After all, I haven't updated in more than a couple of days. This makes updating easy, i.e., as it's almost already written. I'm real
Here's what the aspiring, Jedi, pretty girl shooter wrote:
"I'm a young guy looking to get into erotic photography. I've seen you've got some real nice material both on your blog and on Photo Camel, and was just wondering what type of advice you've got as far as finding the right models, getting the right pictures, and finding one's self in overall success in the realm of erotic photography.
My new camera arrives tomorrow. I'll obviously be looking to learn the camera first, but it would be so much funner with some beautiful models on the other end of the camera.
Help would be appreciated.
Thank you kindly, sir"
Well, that was a lot to ask, especially that part about "...getting the right pictures, and finding one's self in overall success in the realm of erotic photography." There's no pat answer, no right or wrong way, when it comes to that stuff.
Still, I took a stab at answering his questions. Here's my response:
"Obviously, beyond learning your camera and lighting and posing and all that stuff, finding models will be a big priority... unless you already have a suitable one in the form of a significant other, a friend, whatever. Remember, as you're learning, you don't need a "Perfect 10" girl to learn with. In fact, you might want to start out practicing and experimenting with a subject who isn't a dedicated model as those girls will be expecting more than you know how to deliver, leastwise, at this point in time. When you're first learning to drive, you probably don't want to do so behind the wheel of a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. A compact, well-running, easy-to-handle sedan is probably the best car for learning how to drive.
Model Mayhem is one place to look for models in your area who will trade their time for yours. One Model Place is another such website. I would try to find a "starting out" model who is looking to learn while you're also learning. Basically, a "muse" relationship.
Once you have some pics you're relatively happy with, post them on some forums (like Photo Camel or Garage Glamour or Supershoots.net) and ask for critiques. Don't be thin-skinned about the criticisms. Learn from them. Keep an open mind. There's more to this than meets the eye. (Pun intended)
Good luck! Have fun! Stay focused! Make great pictures!"
Obviously, no Secrets of the Pros revealed in my response. Mostly, because there are no secrets. It's all out there: All the techniques and tricks and how-to stuff. All you have to do is search and find and learn.
"Getting the right pictures..." comes with time and skill and experience and talent.
"...finding one's self in overall success in the realm of erotic photography." Is a matter of determination, looking for opportunities and seizing them, and possibly a bit of luck.
The dude who wrote me is absolutely correct when he wrote, "...it would be so much funner with some beautiful models on the other end of the camera."
Yep. You're right, dude. It's always so much "funner" with hot chicks in your viewfinder. But it's also work and perseverance and making mistakes and learning from them. It's about learning and practicing and developing your "eye."
But again, he's right: Make it fun! Fun keeps you motivated and going for more!
The pretty girl at the top is Kimberly from earlier this year. I think the pic has a retro-bordello feel to it. The B&W conversion, of course, adds to that feeling, as does Kimberly's wardrobe as well as her sultry pose and expression.
Used three light sources: Main light modified with a 5' Photoflex Octo plus a couple of kickers, behind her on either side, modified with small, shoot-thru, umbrellas. I could have lit up the BG a bit but keeping it dark really pops Kimberly out and, IMO, adds more depth to the image.