Zombie apocalypse in Kentucky

I got together with Sarah Jane, a muse and friend of mine, to do her senior portraits, and we decided to also do a styled, but dark artistic photoshoot. As we have before, and will do again, LOL. She is a talented theatrical and special effects makeup artist, so we combine that with my knowledge of long exposure photography to do a successful conceptual photoshoot. These were done at a cemetery in Bowling Green, just before sundown. We literally had maybe 30 minutes for her to throw makeup on, get her contacts in, tatter her dress, etc. and for me to get the tripod and camera ready, etc. Gates would be locked at sundown, but we made it 🙂

zombie

These were all captured with my Fuji XT-1 and zeiss 32 1.8 . This one was a 2 second shutter speed.

zombie

zombiezombie photo

I had her make a couple abrupt motions and stay still in each transition, 4 second shutter speed.

zombie

This may look like extensive post production, not really. My Photoshop skills are more skin and people repair and color / black and white work, far more so than background manipulation. I did no work to change the “ghosting of the subject” I simply played with highlights and shadows a little, played with colors, film grain in some, and used either or both a PSD texture background with scratches and another with a textured building with cracks in it. In which case, I add a layer and adjust opacity and add as a background layer. Just mainly to dirty it up and add a little background texture but not change the overall photo or subject matter. The Zombie apocalypse in Kentucky has come. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Travel expense for collaborations

I only offer a very limited amount TF, trade or collaborative photoshoots. When I do, I am careful to make sure that model has the right look for the project, our styles of work would benefit one another, and our terms match up. If we’re both investing our time and talents it may as well be worth our efforts, right? One topic I’ve seen come up multiple times in various online model and photographer community discussions, travel expense for collaborations. I saw one topic where the model asked if she could ask for gas money to travel to a photographer 50 miles away for a trade shoot. Of course she got a myriad of answers.

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Of course a lot of it depends on who approaches who about the shoot, etc. but if both parties don’t equally value the shoot, why do it? There have been times I’ve traveled to shoot with a specific model and I never asked them for gas money. If it were a true collaborative shoot. Other times they’ve traveled to me. If a private client, I add any applicable travel expense to the job. My answer to this model was, is it worth a 50 mile trip to have this photographer’s work in your portfolio or not? If not, why do the shoot?

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If it were me, I’d think it’s a bit petty. Even if I don’t vocalize this exactly as I’m writing it….My thought would be, I am collaborating with you when clients pay a minimum of $300.00 for me to shoot for them. And I’m not asking you to help me pay to heat and cool my studio, wear and tear on camera gear, time spent retouching photos after you’re long gone, etc. We all live in the same economy, but if you can’t suck it up and cover 15 or 20 dollars worth of fuel for our shoot, clearly you don’t value having my work in your portfolio. It keeps things on an even playing field if no money is exchanged, we all have our investments in our crafts. If one paid the other for travel, it’s not a true collaboration or TF shoot. If it’s a condition to do the shoot, it’s up to both parties to decide.

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Boudoir photoshoot at Hotel Preston

I met a new aspiring model recently who was in need of some portfolio development, and was interested in exploring boudoir and implied nude photography. But she has had a couple disappointing experiences and needed to discuss first, which was smart. I explained to her that as she finds herself as a model, she will be conscious of angles and know her own body better, and will know more about vetting photographers and freelance assignments. She knows that part of her search criteria for a photographer involved in intimate art and female form has to understand body angles as well as building trust with the subject. Especially before a subject or model has lots of experience being photographed in any stage of undress, they are vulnerable and it’s the photographer’s responsibility to provide a good experience. That doesn’t mean be a white knight, etc. But just to respect the fact that they are trusting us to be discreet, not cross lines, and to capture them in a flattering light.

We used the Hotel Preston near the Nashville International Airport. Hair and makeup artistry by Jordan Breetz Nashville.

boudoir photography Nashville

Boudoir nashville

Boudoir Nashville

Boudoir Nashville

The hotel offered a nice furnished boutique setting especially since it was a little chilly outside to use abandoned locations….and this particular setting fit her look better. I offer hair and makeup and option to use boutique hotel for my clients’ boudoir shoots. The goal was to capture mood, beauty, softness, and sensuality, yet retain elegance. Female form in it’s glory.

Boudoir Nashville

Boudoir Nashville

Boudoir nashville

Boudoir photography nashville

Boudoir Nashville

Boudoir nashville

Nashville boudoir

I hope you’ve enjoyed the boudoir and implied nude photos of Kaila, it was rewarding to me that she was pleased with the photos and experience she had, win 🙂

 

Location photoshoot safety

This is a different part of the safety discussion than the whole tired escort debate, bringing butthurt boyfriends and chatty friends to save models from the big ogre evil pants photographers, le sigh, LOL. But more rather physical safety for both the model and photographer at the location. Basic location photoshoot safety. My particular choice of locations makes this a pertinent discussion in that extreme I suppose. It’s my job as a project coordinator and photographer to prepare my subjects for potential hazards. That by the way a location like this isn’t my pick for every client or model, it doesn’t fit everyone’s look or the end result styling they’re going for.

edgy model

I’m no white knight who has to over protect the damsels in distress….they’re not children and I don’t treat them like it or mollycoddle them. But I’ve seen photographers ask models to get in cold or nasty water with no thought of them getting sick or hurt, etc. Total other extreme…That’s tool-ish. But some care should be given. When I use these abandoned and distressed locations, sure it’s fun and creates a dramatic mood to the photos, as well as a nice contrast with the beauty of the female form and subject matter. But there are dangers. Debris, broken glass, nails, needles, etc. strewn about the floor….nails sticking out of the walls, etc. exposed hazardous materials etc. Poking, cutting, or falling hazards exist. I always let them know that possibility and look over the shooting area we are using before bringing them in. But they know the risks. And we together determine they’re worth the reward. I encourage them to be very careful about where they go barefoot or not do it at all. Just a little chivalry and not to the point of knighthood. 😀

Farm house nude series finale

I’m sad to see this series end, but this was indeed a very special artistic nude photoshoot that will serve me well for a portfolio update. That just makes me work harder to bring the next shoot up to par, progression 🙂 I feel the timing of this article is just right, the day after Thanksgiving! I am not only thankful for family and friends that I get to spend time with whether it’s Thanksgiving or not, but also I am thankful for all the things that go into nude art. The brave and confident subjects, their trust in me to capture them in an elegant and flattering way, light, color, and texture. Most of all….the efforts of all involved to change public ignorance so that more would see nude and intimate photography as art and not something dirty. These are inside the workshop with lovely beadboard walls. The way the paths of light entered through the open doorway and the cracks in the corners of the building really gave me an ideal shadowed mood lighting.

Nude photography Nashville

Nashville intimate photography

nude art photography

Nude photography Nashville

I hope at least some of you spend what is known in the states as black Friday carrying on your thankfulness for the people in your lives and the art that inspires us. Or whatever else gets you through the day. Something other, I hope than feeding the greed of the corporate machine by participating in the savage black Friday shopping day. I am thankful for every day I can create and for the clients and models I am blessed to have 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

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intimate photos

 

Farm house nude series 3

Thank you for joining us for another exclusive Farrell Gallery Nashville edition of Farm House Nudes series 3. We move now to in front of the workshop and enjoy perspectives of the tall grass, distressed architecture and wood of the structure. Capturing the graceful motions of her body as she takes in the Kentucky countryside where a family once worked, rested, and made their life. We were going for organic, fly on the wall and intimate perspective. Not a garish contrived over glamour feel. Gentle and fluid it goes.

Nashville nude photography

Nude photography Nashville

Nude photography Nashville

Nude photography Nashville

The setting sun and the lens flare to help add some dreamy mood to the photo 🙂

boudoir photography Nashville

Only in the beginning and ending moments of the day can you get the low and soft sun with such warm tones. Shadows are soft, light is soft and warm and not hard and cold as it is hours before. Light and color, texture, as well as composition are very important elements in creating dynamic boudoir and nude photography. Every turn of the model’s neck, toes, fingers, head, etc and motion / expression captured has to work with the aesthetic values of the photograph. Plus the comfort and confidence level of the subject is told in the photograph. Intimate photoshoots of any kind require a balance of paying attention to the subject and instilling the mood you need and paying attention to body elements and angles, as well as technical and lighting aspects of the photography. This is what separates a craftsman or woman from a snapshot artist. 🙂 Now for some facing the corn field, and that defining moment as the sun said good night 🙂

Nude photography Nashville

Nude photography Nashville

nude photography Nashville

 

Farm house nude series 2

Welcome back for another episode of Farm house nude series 2! I really love this rich location, complete with a Victorian house, a storage shed, and a garage / workshop. All had been uninhabited for years…The corn field behind it had been mowed, the grass had been mower periodically. Seldom does a car pass by. There’s nothing to stop the wind. No sounds of the city that usually just become white noise in my ears. This 45 minute journey from my home in East Nashville reminds me Americana still exists, and it’s comforting. It’s healthy for us to explore worlds that are different or new to us. No matter how country this location is, the right mood and sensuality from the nude model’s face and body, combined with proper use and control of lighting can still bring a cosmopolitan feel to this Southern Kentucky farm house nude photoshoot.

nude photography Nashvile

artistic nude photography

boudoir photographer Nashville

I love the perspective of this boudoir photography in nature look. The blades of grass providing their foreground perspective. The windswept hair, alone with her spirit and nature. The background texture, the model displaying confidence and sexy but modesty at the same time is what I think makes the above image. More to come soon 🙂

 

Farm house nude series 1

Soon after discovering this brilliant abandoned farmhouse, I knew what I had to do. It’s not every time I photograph people at abandoned locations, that I know much or anything about it’s history going in. This house belongs to the family of a friend, and it was interesting hearing about who lived there and what people did, etc. Whether I am shooting at an abandoned house or business, I observe different things I see and try to learn more about it, and take in some of the story that these little clues are left to tell us. This beautiful Victorian farm house with acres of land and a fairly distressed barn / workshop cried out for some very elegant and artistic nude photography with a model. As I always say, I love the contrast and balance of beauty between the female body and the distressed location and architecture.  Welcome to farm house nude series 1.

Nude photography Nashville

Nude photography Nashville

artistic nude Nashville

nude photography Nashville

Boudoir photographer Nashville

I wanted to build an emotional connection between myself, the model, and the location to create an organic mood while doing this photoshoot. With nude photography, it’s about soul, energy, and connection. Capturing the female form is a special art and requires that level of trust, as well as creating a custom mood harmonizing the location, lighting, and every unique face and body. Each pose and movement was gentle and dynamic…ideal when it does not look like a pose. I chose to use fill light and a neutral density filter at an approximate 3 stop setting, to create that lighting and shadow contrast, and separation from background. As if to create a sentimental connection between the model and this once inhabited home…as if her own grandparents had once lived there and although the life that existed there may be gone, the memories are still alive. And embracing nature at this house was healing for her soul….and my presence wasn’t even seen. All you could hear was the wind and the occasional bird singing.

artistic nude photography Nashville

Boudoir sensual photography Nashville

Weapon of choice- Fujifilm XT-1 mirrorless, 32mm Zeiss Touit 1.8, Teffen variable neutral density filter, and Elinchrom Quadra s with Beauty dish and grid.

Casting calls for models

I managed to ruffle a few feathers with the last article about my recent experience with casting for a local model. But most appreciated the article…and in doing so, it brought some like minded models to me that all we needed to do was find each other. It gave me a chance to see what models had to say, about their experience with castings etc. and other issues. This is not designed to be model vs. photographer….we are supposed to see each other as valued members of the team in collaborating. Not resent each other. I feel lucky to have encountered many great models who I work well with and we respect each others’ time. How it should be.

artistic nude photography

Regarding castings….some models seemed disappointed that they answered a casting call online or through an agency and never heard back. It’s like applying for a job. You don’t hear back unless they are interested. I have cast for nude models to update my fine art nude or boudoir photography portfolio….and really can’t reply to all who answer it. If I have questions for who I feel could be the right model, I will contact them….many times they don’t read my casting clearly about the terms of the shoot or requirements. In which case, why would I waste more of my time responding? If I get a personal email or contact through my site, I do respond to all those. So no, it isn’t rude to not reply to models answering castings.

 

Hiring local models

I live in East Nashville, a very trendy and artistic, tightly knit community, that’s very sought after in recent years. What makes this area so great is the loyalty and enthusiasm for it’s small and local businesses, and it’s the least corporate / chain oriented part of Nashville. Very artist and diversity friendly. So, that said, it’s very important to me to support small local business. There’s a certain accountability that goes with it. You know I’m going somewhere with this.

A quick word about this sector of my photography business. I have a bit of a different style than local boudoir studios. Most of them don’t do nude photography, and their work has a softer feel to it. So, the clients I do get like the fact that I’m different. However, many are career women and do this for their spouses or significant others, whether overseas serving in the military, or working the grind locally. So much of what I shoot for clients I cannot use, some are ok with bodyscapes without their face showing….but there comes a time when I have to be able to use everything that completes and body and soul of a woman…..so a few times a year, I collaborate with nude / art models. Whether I trade shoot with them and provide them photos and we work on concepts together….or I hire one and that’s her compensation. For the right model with the right body of work, it pays to do that sometimes. And it helps them. If they give me a great shoot, I still may even provide some photos from the shoot on top of monetary compensation.

Boudoir photography Nashville

Usually not a problem. I don’t photograph models frequently especially during peak wedding season, which I am about to wrap up for the season….and I can take advantage of boudoir and artistic nude photoshoot bookings, as well as portfolio updating in that genre. I still do know my fair share of models, though not super active in local online communities dedicated to that. Sometimes I need a new face to shoot for versatility. So, I find a great abandoned house that could be razed soon. I contact several local models, both newer and experienced about hiring or trading for this shoot location. Which is 45 minutes away, but wah. If that’s what it takes to get the shot, I do it. I think I contacted 8….all of which were Model Mayhem or Facebook friends or knew me from being around, or in one of their communities even if I don’t post daily. No cold calls. Here’s where it gets interesting, or pathetic.

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3 or 4 of them read my message and didn’t even bother responding. Is my money not good? And can I not offer them something more than the newer shooters they frequent? This is not to sound egotistical or butthurt…I just fail to understand how so many don’t understand they must treat this like a business….you just don’t ignore customers, especially if that customer is well established. The other half was either wishy-washy and couldn’t follow up and commit to it….or got weird about the location, tried to sneak their boyfriend / escort into the mix, whatever else that resulted in a fail. If I didn’t need a new face for this project, it would have been easier…future projects I can use a model I have an established relationship with. I got tired of dealing with the bullshit, so I hired a traveling model from L.A. who would bring it and not flake out or be wishy-washy…..that’s what she’s paid for. I have had fantastic luck with most traveling models in the past. I like supporting locals, but why bother if it’s like this? Do this to people, they tell others in the circle they know. Not hard to figure out.

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I forgot about one who wanted to charge going nude rate for “implied nudes” with restrictions and me signing an agreement not to show photos that showed more….and bring her boyfriend escort. I laughed my ass off pretty hard. That was a resounding no. One thing about me, I will bring energy to a shoot and give it all I have….I have been in this long enough to know how I need to do things. I don’t mean to sound egotistical if I don’t want to budge on an escort condition or paying for what’s not usable. In the 11 years I have been photographing the nude woman, I’ve paid models tens of thousands of dollars….several years ago I did a lot of commissioned work and online usage licensing, so I worked with the same models frequently. These days I work with private clients and work with models periodically. If I have to use traveling models to avoid the air headed crap I have experienced lately, or complete disregard for me as a professional photographer, I will continue to hire them, seamless deal. I hope that changes at some point.

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Once I get blown off or deal with stupid shit from someone, I don’t approach them again….if they reach out to me in the future I am always open to considering them. It’s only fair. This isn’t a popularity contest for me. I’m happy if I love the photos and we both have a good fun experience. That is what it’s about isn’t it? No reason to complicate it.

Boudoir photography Nashville