Friday, November 23, 2012

Boudoir in Black and White

JT: Why did you decide to branch out into boudoir photography?

NS:  It seemed like a natural progression from working with models.  It’s an opportunity to turn other women into models for a day.  It gives me the ability to focus on creative lighting and posing.  

JT:  Why do you like sepia-toned and black and white images?

NS:  When you turn images to monotones it removes bad colors, certain flaws disappear (like a distracting camera flare, for example) and it can really just create a better tonal balance.  Plus, I just really love the look of the different tones.  

JT:  Which ones do you choose to turn monotone?

NS:  Usually the favorites get toned.  I like to have some variety.

JT:  You use digital photography, but you also make photo albums.  What are your favorite things about the different output options?

NS:  With boudoir photography the album is important because it provides privacy.  A woman can do a shoot and have a physical book that they can choose who can see it.  There’s a lot of intimacy to the feel of the album as a book of images, too.  I also think that they look great on a screen.  Plus, if a woman wanted to send images of herself to someone serving in the armed forces overseas, then the digital version is important, too.

JT:  One of the important elements in boudoir photography is posing.  How do you work with your models to get them into good poses? 

NS:  It all starts with the pre-meeting.  I want to get them thinking about it.  I want them to know what’s going to happen.  The first 50 photos are really just about warming up.  It’s a matter of walking around the room, working through the elements, looking at them and seeing what’s wrong, what needs to change, making adjustments and trying to find the best composition.

JT: I know that you recommend to your clients that they practice their poses at home.  Why is practice important?

NS: I want them to be conscious that posing has to do with their eyes and lips, and that it’s not just their body.  I want them to envision how they want to look.  It helps to write down ideas.  I always spend the time to come up with a list of ideas.  They should too.  My goal is to make this an empowering experience.  This also means discussing any areas of their body or angles of their face that cause them to feel self-conscious.  We need to figure those things out ahead of time.

JT: What’s the difference between working with models and with women who don’t have very much experience in front of a camera?

NS: You still have to work with the models.  They know a little better how to let me click.  There’s a flow, a rhythm of the shot, and it takes some work to learn. It’s a matter of slowing down and moving through the pose at a speed where I can get  a couple of clicks.

JT:  On your website it mentions that you’re hosting boudoir parties.  What’s the advantage of having a party for this kind of work?

NS:  It’s a really fun time for the girls.  You get three women together and their energy builds and they kind of cheer each other on in the shoot.  You have a second set of eyes catching anything that’s wrong or suggesting ideas.  It can backfire, too, though.  Some women might prefer to work alone.  It just depends on the individual and the group.

JT:  What do you think about models having a drink before and during the shoot?

NS: I suggest it if they can handle it.  I highly recommend it.  Just a shot of something or a little wine can be good for the nerves to let them relax and laugh.  The more we’re able to warm up the better the outcome.

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