Thursday, April 01, 2010

And Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

For readers under 30, perhaps even 40, who might not instantly recognize my subject title, it's the first line from the lyrics of an iconic song, Mrs. Robinson, by Simon & Garfunkle.

"Mrs. Robinson," you might or might not know, was the theme song for the 1967 film, The Graduate, starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. The song was a huge hit as was the movie!

Suddenly, thanks to the song, the movie, and Anne Bancroft, young men everywhere were in praise lust with older women. 1967 was also the year I graduated from high school. As a result of Ms. Bancroft's smoldering and seductive performance, many of my friends and I were, probably for the first time in our lives, sexually-smitten by more than a few "older women," many of whom were closer to our Moms' ages than our own. In fact, some of them were our friend's Moms.

Today, of course, the legacy of Mrs. Robinson has become embodied by the acronym, MILF. You probably know what the letters M-I-L-F stand for. But since this is a wholesome blog (well, sometimes it is) I'll refrain from spelling it out for you.

While the majority of pretty girls I shoot don't qualify as MILFs, whether they are mothers or not, I sometimes shoot women of the MILFish variety. I've been asked, on more than a few occasions, if I do anything differently when shooting older women. I'm not talking about Grandmas, BTW, although I've shot a few Grandmas who didn't look at all like Grandmas. (Just sayin.)

From a glamour lighting perspective, the answer is, for the most part, "No."

Since some "older woman" models might not still retain the same skin texture as their much younger counterparts, I might decide to over-expose a bit. Also, I often opt for the softest, most wrap-around, shadow-free, light I can make, e.g., by using my biggest modifier and placing it as close to the model as I can. I'm also probably more apt to add a "from under" reflector into the mix. But that's about it.

Obviously, we live in a youth-driven culture. Especially when it comes to stuff like music, movies, fashion and, consequently, models. But that doesn't weaken the allure of Mrs. Robinson MILFs when it comes to pretty girl shooting and the women of many ages we love having in front of our cameras.

The Mrs. Robinson-esque pretty girl at the top, whose name I don't recall and don't seem to have a record of--I shot her for a client who has those records--was photographed in the backyard of an upscale home in the North San Fernando Valley. The image combines ambient daylight with two strobes: A mainlight modified with a 5' umbrella, and a kicker, camera-right, behind the model, modified with a small umbrella. Very minimal Photoshop was applied-- Just the usual adjustments.


John said...

You refer to the woman at the top as "Mrs. Robinson-esque" -
while Ms. Bancroft was sexy, there's a great difference (IMO) in the quality of sexiness.
But you're right about the movie and it's impact on the libido of young males.
Nice piece. And thanks for the lighting advice.

jimmyd said...


Sorry. Didn't mean to imply the model in my article resembles Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson in most any way other than both of them coming off as cougars, albeit Mrs. Robinson was a cougar of a very different sort.

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