Thursday, September 13, 2007

Country Glamour

For me, taking photos of extremely beautiful women is a balancing act between trying to make a stunning image and at the same time avoiding making the image overly sexualized or even crass. Magazines with scantily clad women plastered on the covers are hard not to notice but their prime audience is men, that is not what I am after. While obviously both genders can, and do, enjoy images of all tastes I am after the subtle attraction of understated beauty rather than in your face sexuality.

Anytime I shoot a girl with clothes that reveal more of the body than you normally see (outside of a beach of course) that balancing act becomes a little more difficult. You'll notice that we avoid the poses that emphasize the chest or the backside in favor of the simple elegant poses that display more of a soft femininity rather than exaggerated sexuality.

Take a magazine like FHM which is geared towards men and compare it to a magazine like W which is mainly geared towards women. They both showcase beautiful women but the approach is as different as night and day. Rather than objectify women with sexuality I attempt to celebrate beauty. The latter style seems to require a lot more style and creativity and is tremendously more difficult to achieve, it is a goal I strive for and I hope that my attempts are recognized by the people that view my photographs.

Silly String Suicide

It had been raining earlier in the afternoon, but about an hour before the shoot the weather cleared and it looked like it was going to be a fantastic day for an on-location outdoor shoot. When we loaded up the car and started heading out a light drizzle started, and within ten minutes it turned into a howling torrent. We opted to shoot inside an abandoned house but when the lighting started hitting all around us, and very big tree branches started cracking in half and falling nearby we decided to abandon the abandoned house and head for a safer location... but that meant coming up with a concept on the fly. This meant a trip to Wal-Mart was in order.

Not long after that we started the search for Silly String and Bubble Gum, both items were surprisingly difficult to locate but eventually we paid and were on our way back through the doomsday weather, which by now we had heard the airport had closed and a funnel cloud was spotted nearby. Yikes! But the shoot went on! And after seeing the results I'm sure glad it did!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fill Flash and Available Light

I love keeping things simple. When I first started out in photography several years ago I shot only with available sunlight. Eventually I added a small on camera Speedlight, then a reflector, then some large indoor hot-lights, and finally some battery powered strobes for on-location shoots. A very simple, and somewhat inexpensive, Lumedyne 1000 watt strobe was used as a fill flash in all these images. After the sun set I used the strobe as the main light and brought in the reflector for the fill.