I was approached to photograph my friend J a couple of years ago. At the time she said she was interested in documenting herself as she is now, in her youth. Time ran away with me, I went overseas and then we didn’t get around to it. Finally, last night, we did. After about three hours taken by our calligrapher extraordinaire Tara to paint French words and phrases on J’s body, we were ready.
I had spent the entire time balancing the lighting, as initially when we arrived I thought the lighting would be too dim, even though going into it my plan was to rely solely on the illumination from the chandelier. As ‘luck’ would have it, I managed to bust my flash unit (actually, that would be horror of horrors) and had no choice but to manage without. In the end, the initial plan worked. I managed on a tripod on slow, slow shutter speeds, and J taking her movements slowly as well.
Beforehand, we had brainstormed the shoot over a few beers and decided to inject something of J into it – we decided to leave the African beads on (that she wears around her waist all the time), and to incorporate the French language into the shoot somehow (she is fluent in French). I suggested we paint the words onto her body as it fuses the sensuality of the nude with the sensuality of the language. The location is perfect, a little glam and very simple so it married well with J’s beautiful shape. The chandelier is the icing on the cake, a decadant and refractive lighting source that added to the styling I was looking for.
J herself did a bang up job, she waited patiently for the script to be applied, then managed a few contortionist moves for at least an hour during the shoot. I’d say she needed a dip in a hydrotherapy bath and a good lie down after all of that!
Merci beaucoup to J, the star attraction, Tara, our chief calligrapher, and to the Lagos family for allowing us to take over their dining room for the evening!
An interesting issue came up with this blog regarding the posting of some of the more explicit pictures that were taken of J. Initially I had a couple of others up, that are exquisite and show more nudity. In my enthusiasm to share them I posted them right away, thinking that it would be quite OK to do given that a model release is signed that verifies my ownership of the images and the rights to using them as I see necesssary. The issue came up in that J was in fact not comfortable with the full frontal nudity shots being posted, so alas, they are not here on the blog. We agreed the better approach for the future is to mention to a client before shooting that signing a model release also means the potential that I might share results from the shoot on my website or blog. I had thought that this understanding was already there, whereas in fact it wasn’t. So thank you J for articulating the point.
So if people want to see the full set of results from this shoot, then they need to write to me requesting to see them. I will have a new website soon with a clients only section that is only accessible by a password released by me, and again, more control can occur in terms of who actually sees them.