First studio shoot with Fuji XT-1

It was my first studio shoot with Fuji XT-1…..Well, not exactly, but similar conditions, LOL. I was in Atlanta shooting with my long time muse and these were inside a small apartment. I simply used the walls as the backdrop and threw 2 color gels at it and placed them feathered against the walls….moved her a few feet closer to me, since there wasn’t much room. Then used a medium softbox feathered from the left, and this way there was some shadow and highlight contrast in the lighting. I used the Fuji XT-1 and the 56 1.2 and couldn’t be happier with the magnificent results!

Angela did the styling herself with baby oil and LOTS of gold glitter! It was everywhere, LOL! Good thing for plastic drop cloths! I love how creative and colorful our collaborative work together always is! The Fuji handled the job well, just had to disable auto exposure preview since there was studio lights in use. Focusing was no issue. It’s not like there was any shortage of contrast for the camera to hunt for in this case. It’s about using your knowledge of photography, creativity, having a great subject, and making any surroundings work as your studio or outdoor location.

fine art photography body paint

fine art photography fine art photography

body paint body paint

Public ignorance about nude photography

As some know, I have another website showcasing my wedding photography and headshots, Jay Farrell Photography. With that said, I attended a wedding networking event last week at a beautiful new venue. The group’s president saw a post on my personal Facebook page, where I announced I had a client coming from 700 miles away to do an artistic nude shoot with me. Of course leaving her location and identity anonymous, I was excited she found my work worth traveling for 🙂 When she was speaking at the event, she came up to me with the mic and announced I was a big time nude photographer. This is NOT something I am, or ever will be ashamed of. I was doing nude photography before weddings, I keep those bodies of work separated because of possible shock value for more conservative clients who want business headshots or weddings photographed. PLUS, one body of work doesn’t water down the other. Separation is good.

Her intentions were good, making that announcement….I looked around and could tell that it livened up the mood, and I saw some surprised looks. I could tell a couple were a little freaked out. Maybe that’s a good thing. Some in that group know I do this work as well. No problems there, I’m not ashamed. Some who did not know, I hope it sparks enough curiousity for them to check out this site. Some may label me as a pornographer without ever looking at my nude and boudoir photography. I know it’s not anything I can control and nothing to worry about….but I’ve seen first hand over the years, the overall public ignorance about nude photography, and even boudoir photography. I’ve lost girlfriends because they couldn’t deal with my involvement in any kind of intimate photography involving female subjects, no matter how well done. I’ve seen models’ families or significant others shame them for their work and even try to blackmail them into giving it up. Let’s not forget catty girlfriends of female boudoir or nude clients asking them why would you do those slutty photos, even if for your man? You’re getting naked or half naked in front of a random photographer who may sell those photos or use them as his personal collection. Usually they laugh at them for how ridiculous they sound. My first thought is, anyone who thinks that is fucking stupid and lives a sheltered life. LOL.

It takes courage and confidence to do any kind of intimate photoshoot. Others spewing their ignorance doesn’t help the grossly misjudged genre of photography and art as a whole. Nude art has been around for centuries. Sure, there is bad work out there that’s unflattering…that’s why doing a project like this should warrant an experienced and discreet photographer that will capture pleasing angles and lighting, as well as make it a good experience. Sure, in the wrong hands, this type of shoot could go wrong. Logic should prevail that choice in service providers should be a careful one.

artistic nude photography

Sexy elegant pool photoshoot

This is a continuation of my shoot with Eeva, my nude model doing a sexy elegant pool photoshoot 🙂 Because it’s not in a bedroom setting, they aren’t technically boudoir photos, but they have a similar feel to them. The ones with swimwear are sexy but definitely don’t have the same flashy-ness and posed glamour feel of Sports Illustrated. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but it’s more contrived and “trying too hard to be sexy” than my native style. I intend my nude and boudoir photos to have a subtle artistic flair to them and natural, as the lover sees, that fly on the wall observation of sex appeal and beauty. Sorry if I can’t explain it well, but some may understand what I’m trying to say, even if a little ambiguous, LOL. We started off with some sexy swimwear and captured the sensuality of night swimming. Innocence lost, but the night sees everything. With Fuji XT-1 and Zeiss Touit 32mm 1.8 . One off camera strobe with parabolic umbrella, and strip softbox rim light off to the side.

Nashville boudoir Nashville boudoir

Nashville boudoirNashville boudoir

Now for the nudes, both mysterious bodyscape style that create a sexy, elegant mystique that many clients love thrown into the mix. The slightest turn of the body or shoulder can make a huge difference in the connected factor of the photograph, and confidence. Which exemplifies sexy. The light, the water on her skin, a Summer night’s dream. The natural feel, the capture of timeless beauty. Forever.

artistic nude Nashville

artistic nude Nashville

artistic nude Nashville

Nothing like a little black and white for contrast and different mood, with the right exposure and tonal range, it is a great feature for most any photoshoot,especially nude photography IMHO. Hope you’ve enjoyed!

artistic nude Nashville

Abandoned metal shop

I recently noticed a West Nashville metal shop has closed and soon to follow, a wood mill in front of it, as they’re looking to develop that land for living and retail crap. Pretty buildings and new developments shouldn’t always win the race, I like buildings like this, lol. It may not be standing long, so I took advantage of the opportunity to do a shoot there with a freelance boudoir and nude model I have worked with before and needed portfolio development. I loved how the sun was going down and we caught the nice backlighting peaking from behind the building. For photo nerds, I used my Fujifilm XT-1 with a 56mm 1.2, and an off camera Elinchrom Quadra with 17″ beauty dish.

Nashville boudoir

Nashville boudoir

edgy model

This particular spot was not populated but was somewhat visible to nearby streets, so we couldn’t safely do full nude, but could push the envelope a little….we weren’t trying to get citations lol. I love distressed locations and seeing the contrast between it, and the lovely models and boudoir clients’ softness and beauty. Plus, it keeps each shoot different than the same old bedroom set some boudoir photographers use. But I have that available too 🙂 Part of the thrill is finding these great locations and using them before they get razed. We even found a bulldozer there, she made it look pretty 🙂

sexy photos

sexy photos

Less is more

I truly believe that less is more with many things in life. With photos, it’s better to have fewer images that are well lit, well composed, and have a flattering angle and mood. With boudoir and artistic nude photography, the subject is vulnerable. So why would she want the lot of images floating around that don’t measure up to the standards of the best ones? Less is more. You could compare this analogy to how one keeps friends. The natural order of life, when we are growing up and in early adulthood, we have a greater number of friends…..but learn along the way the traits that we need in a friend, and what is unacceptable. We learn how to love, give, and trust, and learn who not to trust.

Earlier today while going for a morning walk to the post office, I thought about a group of friends who I ran around with for a couple good years, this was years ago, and I have only some idea what became of any of them at this point. We did everything together….went river rafting, cooked out, went out to clubs, took trips, camped, had bottle rocket wars in a campground where fireworks were illegal, lol….we all were very different but came together with a common goal. We used our differences in background to help each other grow and overcome obstacles in all our lives and the transitions each of us experienced. There just came a time where we all were going in different directions, and perhaps we accomplished all we could, together. And some or all of us were ready to find out what was next. It’s sad how in life, sometimes people we care about can’t come along with us as life changes…perhaps their lives are moving in an opposite direction.

My point is, some friends in our lives stand by our side forever. Those are few and far between and should be cherished. Others fall by the wayside or fall on their faces. I’ve become ok with my closest friends being fewer in number than they used to, but each one counts to more than make up for it. I use this benchmark for all I do in life, I like it so far. 🙂


Atlanta boudoir photoshoot

I’ve worked with Angela for nearly a decade as a muse as well as photographed portfolio material for her modeling and music. She lives in Atlanta, I live in Nashville, so every so often we get together and make the photo magic happen. This time, we started off with a boudoir photoshoot including some implied nude. Later I will share the glitter paint she did on her face, those are spectacular! One great thing about our friendship and model / photographer relationship, we know boundaries, how to have fun and be creative, and never waste each others’ time. Oh, and for the photography nerds, this is the first model and boudoir photoshoot I’ve done with my Fuji XT-1 and Zeiss 32mm 1.8.

These boudoir photos have a simple philosophy, and can be done anywhere. She has a small screened in porch that woods back up to, so I relied on her natural beauty with subtle makeup and natural light peeking through the trees to provide the appeal to these simple, yet sexy and elegant photos. Just think of that moment where she wakes up and eagerly faces the day that awaits….she wants to enjoy a cup of coffee and get some fresh air, and cover up just enough 🙂 Unmistakable confidence, sex appeal, elegance, unabashed morning desire, and mystique.

Nashville boudoir photography Nashville boudoir photography

Nashville boudoir photography Boudoir photography Nashville

Boudoir photography Nashville

Long exposure cemetery shoot!

I took a fun field trip to Kentucky to see a friend and do a photoshoot with her that we had talked about for a while. This would be my first model photoshoot with my Fuji XT 1 mirrorless. She knew where there was a very old cemetery on a private drive, off a winding country road. Headstones dating back to the late 1700’s! I had mentioned doing some long exposure photography there with her, and make the concept to imply that she is a ghost that haunts the cemetery.

long exposure photography

I got there and saw some of the very old tombstones, and trees, and thought about what life was like when those people were around, and if anyone living today knows who each of them are, as well as any spirits floating around the cemetery. I used a 30 second exposure and had her do very abrupt and controlled motions, in certain areas of the frame for best composition. I used a flashlight I waved back and forth to light the area in spots. That’s called painting with light, while the shutter is open. This ghost could be saying, vandals will be dealt with, if you come here, leave it like you found it. Which is standard etiquette for me anytime I shoot on location or at abandoned buildings. I hope you enjoy this long exposure cemetery shoot.

long exposure photography

Natural light and mystique

One of the things going through my mind when doing boudoir photos or nude photography is to create a mood and an element of fantasy. Most of these intimate photo sessions are to be presented to a spouse or significant other in form of prints or a boudoir album….most people are busy, and even as married couples, they can get into a routine and miss certain beauty, during simple yet magical moments. The results from a artistic nude or boudoir photography session can be a reminder to recognize these moments when they happen, and make time to enjoy it 🙂

artistic nude Nashville

This last artistic nude photoshoot was done in the clients’ home, beautiful bedroom to help create that intimate, yet familiar mood. I used natural window lit to get a nice balance of highlights and shadows, and create that dramatic feel. The ones I can show on this site do not show her entire face, for professional reasons, but there was a nice balance of full body and face, as well as bodyscape. The bodyscapes and partial face create that mystique and interesting shapes that make great art. In pure and simple form. To remind the recipient of how their lover opens the blinds in the morning, and the sun hits her body and lights her hair….and how the light gently caresses her nude butt walking across the bedroom. Those special moments will be recognized more, after being presented with the gift of intimate boudoir photography.

art nude photography

Mens’ vs. womens’ nudes and boudoir

I received an inquiry about doing some artistic male nudes, wanting them for a present for his wife. I’m definitely not opposed to doing so. Contrary to popular belief of those not involved in an artistic field….doing nude photography isn’t about the artist’s sexuality, since it’s hands off and you gain a shady reputation if you cross the line or make a subject uncomfortable. I’m secure enough in my sexuality however to not be freaked out by a nude male. I had to think about my response however. I do plenty of male and female headshots, whether for modeling, business, or acting, etc. Male models and musicians too. Nudes are a different animal.

I had to be honest with him. My training and experience are with capturing the female form. Lighting and composition, etc. are different. With males, you can get away with harder lighting, which I am proficient in. But I don’t have much experience with the male form. The little male nude work I have done looks a little feminine, you accentuate different features and the angles, moods, etc. are different. Especially when posed by himself….with a couple I can rock that!! I had to tell him I’m willing to do it, but don’t feel like my skill set is up to par as it is with capturing the female form with nude or boudoir photography. And left it up to him. Honesty pays.

Intimate couples photography nashville

What to look for in boudoir photographer

With boudoir photographers, there are lots of choices….some have boutique studios and do great work….some, their studio is their saving grace, because they obviously don’t know a damn thing about capturing the female form, or photography itself, LOL. Also, there are those with no studio or basic studios, of different skill sets. I think either way, it’s important to hire a good boudoir or artistic nude photographer, for the most flattering angles and overall comfortable experience, as well as best self esteem preservation.

I think the most common mistakes made when hiring an intimate photographer are worrying too much about their gender, and their studio props. It’s funny how some get so inundated with that, they don’t even see if their work sucks ass. My particular style is simplistic but very detailed with my lighting and composition. If the client wants a certain setting, we use their home or a boutique hotel…problem solved.

Red flags in their work are :

-Unflattering angles. Whether a female shooter or not….what’s this going to do to your self esteem? Do it right if you’re going to do it.

– Overdoing the retouch process. Do you really want to look like a china doll? Gross.

-Dated hair and makeup transformations that don’t look like the real them, eww.

You get the idea. It’s best to keep an open mind and carefully view their work and have a conversation with your prospective artist. Then you can gauge comfort and vision for your personal photoshoot, and feel like a beauty queen when you see the results 🙂