I am speaking at Partnercon, Pictage’s annual conference in New Orleans. While at the event I attended a nude photo workshop with Carlos Baez. I am not a regular nude shooter, but I have probably shot three or four projects in the past.
I realized that as a wildlife photographer, I was going to have to use my imagination to get a shot that counted. I didn’t want to solely rely on the beauty of our lovely professional model. I wanted to contribute to the shot my own imagination.
We worked in an old French Quarter restaurant. There were lots of props and furniture to work with. Red velvet walls and ornate couches dominated the decor.
I wanted to utilize the space as best I could and still think about lighting and mood. I also wanted to create sexy but not SEXUAL photos. I wanted to let the implications of the nude body do the work.
I worked with my new traveling assistant Christy Penn to set up a shot that involved putting one light on the background to create the effect of a stage and another light that was to shoot across the model’s body. We turned her so all you could see was her back and I think the results were pretty good. It reminded me of how I look for backgrounds to use for wildlife portraits. I had to pre-visualize the result which was made easier by Carlos’ decision to light the set with hot lights.
Next, we moved to a different room and used the couches. This provided a chance to spread the model out across the couch. I wanted to shoot tasteful nudes that didn’t really show anything off.
I am not very experienced at this type of photography, but it reminded me that we all benefit when we try something different. We can usually apply some part of what we learn from new situations in settings that fall more within our traditional work.
Don’t be afraid to let your imagination take flight and try different things once in a while.
I’d like to thank the beautiful Bella who was our model for the shoot. She made the entire experience comfortable for all of us.