A long time muse I have been good friends with and worked with for a decade, is recently engaged, and we met up to do an intimate personal shoot. Part of the inspiration would be bridal themed boudoir photos with her dress not being used, but the veil. We would start off with her in lace thongs by the window in her veil, it was amazing how the texture of the curtains behind it would match closely, but combination seemed to work well 🙂
Then we moved onto some bridal / implied nude headshots and half body photos in sitting position leaned up against a contrasting wall. I got one high key, and decided to go with low key contrasty lighting for the black and whites. We break for lunch and had some fine edibles at P.F. Chang’s and then stretched our legs a bit in the shopping centre, talked about life and what’s going on, where we are both at, etc. Soon after we were ready to get back to it, with some implied nude and a sexy elegant bedroom setting. Stay tuned, that’s coming next. Happy Thanksgiving to all the U.S. based readers 😀
The title got your attention I know it did, because I don’t have normal people frequenting this website. 🙂 After I was done with my photoshoot at the farmhouse, the model and I decided to make some grim disturbing art, just because. The sky was getting dark. I was drawn to this spot in the soy bean field after the harvest. The field went on for an eternity it seemed, everything is so open and vast, one reason I am always inspired by rural areas so different from what I see every day. In the far, I could see the backroad, remnants of a couple houses and trees and a barn. It was a setting of peace and quiet, so I thought we would add a dark side to it. A creepy mask, and a doll with no hands, and a vision.
Captured with my Fuji XT-1, 23mm 1.4 Elinchrom Quadra as main light with beauty dish, second Elinchrom Quadra as a brush light behind her right arm at about a 45 degree angle, about 8 feet back. This gave us nice lighting contrast. Because of the overcast conditions and darkening sky, using a neutral density filter wasn’t necessary to make the background and sky darker. Just narrrower fstop, F13 I think. Black and white conversion NIK Silver Efex Pro. Hope you enjoy, sleep well if you can 🙂
It was a fairly warm but overcast Fall morning at an abandoned Kentucky farmhouse, the wind was whistling with not much around to stop it’s path. As we pulled up, there was a cow in a neighboring field making a horrendous noise, as if she was in pain, but she eventually chilled out. That helped set the tone for a rather unusual mood, and working with almost a forlorn feel to the project. Sometimes it’s about using the conditions and surroundings for inspiration for each photoshoot. As photographers / artists, I think it’s important to pay attention to these details and not be in a rush. Feel what the surroundings are feeling….make the subject feel it, and in turn the viewers will feel it. I think farmhouse artistic nudes are special. This was a small shed that stored lawn and garden equipment it looks like.
The side entrance to the house had some clutter, so the gears in my mind were turning, perhaps with the old wrench she was holding.
One other feature that caught our eyes is the perspective of the driveway and the vanishing perspectives of the fence posts along side it. And a lone tree off to the side. The best thing was to take it in for a moment and compose it in my mind, and set up one of my Elinchrom Quadras as a side light to help provide some lighting contrast, and narrow the Fstop to darken / add drama to the background. I wanted the driveway, the tree, and the subject to all be incorporated, and compose the images so the plan would be effective. The subject being the focal point and the negative space bringing in the tree and curves / perspectives of the driveway and the fence posts would balance the photo nicely. Would love your thoughts on these high contrast black and whites. Hope you enjoy!
Because I use a different approach to boudoir photography, and style of figure work / nude photography as it’s more simplistic and classical, I don’t have huge studio overhead with the furnishings etc. I’m not super expensive, but because of my skill in capturing the female form, equipment, etc. I can’t price myself with the people on Thumbtack or Groupon. So, you see $100.00 or even $200.00 boudoir photography and wonder, why not try budget boudoir photography? I would have to assume those people at a low price point are new at it, and want to gain experience, and are starting off cheap. But I don’t think it’s a good idea, and you do get what you pay for.
The conversations I’ve had with newer photographers, you don’t learn at the customer’s expense with wedding photography, or boudoir / any intimate photography. The best way to learn the body and intimate photography is to assist experienced photographers and work with experienced models. They will pilot the photoshoot, and they can learn from that as far as flattering body angles. It also takes time and experience in order to learn how to relax subjects, bring out confidence in them, make them comfortable, etc.
In my opinion, it takes field experience and education before being a worthy candidate for being hired by private clients for any intimate work. The average female client coming to a boudoir photographer relies on the photographer for their creativity and knowledge of the body, most flattering angles for each unique body type. As well as the psychological aspect of the shoot, creating energy and emotion, and establishing a comfort level. Those are some reasons why it’s best to hire a skilled photographer. I’d be suspicious of those cheap deals.
Every photographer has a different style and inspiration that flavors their work, whether a wedding photographer, or boudoir / intimate photographer. I’m a fine art nude and more edgy style non traditional boudoir. So why not traditional boudoir? There are a bunch of boudoir studios in Nashville and most other major cities in a more traditional sense. They do what they do, and many clients love it. A good studio of that sort is very good at styling and set design. That’s not my bag at all. Because of that, it doesn’t make sense for me to work under the same design.
For me, it’s more about the light and curves of the subject, using textures, and mood to make a photograph. It still has that intimate private feel, but more mood and shadowing, where the location can still add to the photograph, but less emphasis is on the location, and more on the female form. In it’s somewhat vulnerable, sexy, and confident state. Set design doesn’t inspire me, so it’s best I do what I do well and offer something unique for customers who want something different with more edge. There’s enough to go around for everyone. In this life, we do best doing what inspires us.
What does this have to do with spirituality? Everything. Because when traveling, we should always think of our fellow man and woman, and the process goes smoother. The last airline travel I did a couple months ago, I flew from Nashville to Dallas, sat next to these 2 really friendly ladies, but I couldn’t help but notice the whole vicinity smelled like cat food. I said something about it and one of them said, oh we brought leftover BBQ from the airport, it’s in my bag. I remained civil of course. The look I gave them should have let them know I wasn’t overly impressed with their travel etiquette skills, even if that’s an unspoken rule. The guy I sat next to on the way to London was perfect. He didn’t say much but was accommodating both times I needed to use the toilets. And didn’t take forever to exit the plane.
The short leg to Dublin was uneventful thankfully. A day of walking in Dublin city centre felt good after a long overnight flight. The next day, my cousin’s husband and I (who lived in Dublin) took a tour bus to Northern Ireland and the guide was great. She gave us some Irish history and we made one stop each way. She reminded the passengers that they may bring a cold beverage on the bus but no hot food or beverage was allowed because it makes the bus smell. I instantly had a flashback to the leftover BBQ on the plane that smelled like cat food. I was so grateful and I may have told her I loved her for that. I’m thinking to myself, why would anyone even need to be told that?
I took a train from Dublin to Howth to walk the piers along the Irish Sea and check out the village, enjoy some fresh seafood. The train going that direction was relatively quiet, it was a weekday afternoon. I saw signs reminding people that if someone elderly or less physically able than you, or laden with groceries etc. to consider giving up your seat for them if the train is full. But they also had a sign made in a comical way, to remind people that “snoofing” wasn’t cool. The act of pretending to be in a book or sleeping to avoid eye contact with those said people. It’s good to bring those things to peoples’ minds although it’s sad that it has to be done.
On the way from Dublin to JFK, a Chinese man butted the line ahead of this single girl to get to the security gate faster. He acted like he didn’t know what people were saying when they were telling him what an asshole he was. I was just glad people called him on it. Though I doubt he learned from it. Human decency clearly wasn’t on his list of priorities. So, I get on the plane and it would be almost an 8 hour flight. I was in the window seat, I may change that strategy on International flights. I was next to these 2 girls, maybe 11 and 13, her parents and other sibling were in front of us. They were mild mannered and seemed pleasant. I had to get up and use the toilets, and they scooted their knees sideways instead of standing up. AND they had crap all over the floor. Oh no, that wasn’t going to fly. I said no, please move your stuff and stand up and let me out. I’m not climbing over you or your stuff which shouldn’t even be in the floor. Their parents must have overheard me and looked at me in disbelief. I thought, why would this basic teaching have to come from a complete stranger? But the stuff was moved, and they got up and let me in, I smiled and said thank you 🙂
I am lucky to have such an organic relationship with clients, and enjoy so much diversity. I get a lot of clients from out of town or out of state to work with me, which I find fascinating. Some prefer that discreet feeling of not knowing anyone here and that their experience feels more secure. Others looked for the specific style that I have when it comes to artistic nude photography or non traditional boudoir that they couldn’t find locally. Most of my clients are working professionals and well off. I think they enjoy dealing with me for the fun and non corporate experience. They’re busy and I value their time, they value mine, it’s a great pairing.
We often talk about life as we get started on the shoot and in between looks. I think they think it’s neat that I’m different from them and value my craft, living simply and my dogs over large homes with lots of things. So I feel like that diversity causes us to inspire one another. Intimate photoshoots are a personal service, and one where a feeling of discretion is needed. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the people I’m working with, for that I feel privileged. The day we stop thinking and questioning our thought processes we stop truly living. May that never happen in this life. 🙂
One of the most frequently asked questions I get when emailed or called by a prospective client are, How long are intimate photoshoots? My standard boudoir / nude photo session is about an hour and a half. It may not sound like a long time for a photoshoot, but it’s been the perfect formula for just the right amount of time. Whether in my studio, the client’s home, boutique hotel, or on location, it gives us time to take advantage of different settings and body angles, body positions and the most dynamic lighting. I will explain some things about my process so that you can see how I work and how this works for a basic session.
This is physically demanding for most, especially when they’re not professional models. I heard about a lady in an online discussion about a boudoir photoshoot that lasted over 6 hours and the photographer shot close to 1000 images. I was thinking, holy shit, what could the need for that possibly be? No doubt that came from overshooting the same look until moving onto the next. I’m not a rapid fire shooter. I take time to carefully select body angles and have lighting and mood figured out to compliment each subject. I’d rather have this be a fun and rewarding experience than an exhausting one. And we don’t need 100 photos in an album.
I’ve had clients come from out of state, some have even returned if they wanted to do a different shoot, and they find that balance worked well. In cases of a spread out area, or many specific outfits or looks, more time would be needed. But this covers the majority.
In last article showcasing a recent intimate couples’ photoshoot, I promised I’d share sample photos of their album, they consented, so here it is 🙂 I always offer albums to clients as a great way to present the photos from their personal intimate photoshoot. Print has so much depth in comparison to digital files, and there is no format or other obsolescence. Plus it’s an elegant and artistic, yet discreet way to preserve and display the photos. Whether for an individual boudoir or artistic nude photoshoot, or in this case, a couples’ photoshoot, it’s a great heirloom for a lifetime. I’ve heard regret from older people that they never had the courage to do a shoot like this when they were younger, or didn’t know a skillful or trustworthy enough artist. This is where I am happy to provide this service.
This particular album is 8″x8″ with an espresso brown leather cover. Other cover options available such as different color leather, hard cover, photographic (not recommended for intimate albums), linen, etc. I shot a few of the album in my studio.
Here are samples of the pages with open book, so you can see the design elements and how it all flows together. Also that the album is lay flat and there is no gutter in the center which causes puff up. It’s a seamless bind, where the very subtle crease in the middle doesn’t interrupt the design if a photo overlaps from page to page. This is why the 2 pages seen are called spreads. The paper finish is a beautiful semi lustre, you have to see in person to truly appreciate it.
Here is a close up of the open album so you can truly see the lay flat flush mount design.
Also a closeup to get an idea of how substantial the nice thick pages are! Please ask for any further details, I hope you enjoyed this little product tour from Farrell Gallery 🙂
I’m very excited to finally have a great intimate couples shoot to show off! I mostly do female form artistic nudes, or implied nude / boudoir sessions, as both parties of the couple being confident enough to do an intimate shoot are few and far between. These clients were visiting from out of town and came to Nashville to see a concert, so time would be limited for us to coordinate our schedules. I’m so thankful we were able to make it happen because they are so well connected and fun to work with. She has been wanting to do this shoot for a while, it just took him time to get comfortable with the idea. I was just glad they found me, because with my unique style of capturing my subjects, they felt a connection to my work and that helped establish comfort. Once they arrived, we talked for a few moments, and I got an idea of what inspired them, and so it began in the studio! We broke the ice with a silhouette. As an FYI, I made sure the couple was ok with me using these photos before doing so, I always ensure a fun and discreet experience.
It didn’t take them long to get comfortable on their own, so throughout the photoshoot, I followed the lines of the bodies, and began to follow their lead while I work with body position, hand position, dramatic lighting with contrast and shadow play, as well as most interesting composition.
They even braved it for outdoors, even though fairly private setting. The pool water was a tad brisk, they rocked it still! I’m happy to hear that they enjoyed their intimate session so much that they are thinking of doing another one! I also put together an album for them. Photos of that album are coming next article. I hope you’ve enjoyed this lovely couples intimate photoshoot.