Blu and Morikami Gardens
I took Blu to the Morikami Gardens this past weekend. I tend to enjoy saving memories via photography, blogging, or even making little video clips. One day, when Blu is older, she will see these short videos and think of me. I hope to give her a small collection of shared memories with her father. I am usually terrible at photographing children, but for apparent reasons, I absolutely enjoy taking photographs of her. Even though after a while she gives me the, "Ok daddy, I think we took enough pictures ok?"
"Sorry behbah, your daddy likes to take pictures of things he loves and one day you might be doing the same with your behbahs using this camera!"
"Ok ok fiiiiinnneeeee.... one more pic? ^_^"
The moment she realizes that her dad is wearing a chef's hat while cooking."Daddy? Umm, what are you wearing?"
The Jade Merchant's Daughter
I enter through the main door and take a seat. Shortly after, the jade merchant's daughter walks in... wearing a cocktail dress, brunette hair laying to one side, glossy red lips, bright blue eyes, a silver neckless caressing her neck, and small silver earrings to match. I stand to greet her.
"What? What is it? You act like you've never seen me before," she says while wearing a big smile.
After breaking free from the smile I wore, I go to her, "How long have we known each other for?"
"And yet, after all this time, your beauty still manages to paralyze me at times. You look... beautiful."
"Oh shush," she says, her smile noticeably grown, and color added to her face.
"I think it's a wonderful thing really, that my heart still sinks when I see you, even after all this time. There's something to it, don't you think? Moreso, the fact that you're so humble about your beauty just makes you even... more beautiful to me."
Through her light complexion, I see red on her face.
And what I won't forget, is the way her lips moved as I leaned in for a kiss.
Photo Shoot with Sasha
So, I wanted to shoot something sexy. What? Sexy? An odd want. If you take a look at my portfolio, you'll notice that I don't tend to shoot women with little clothes on, let alone to pose in a sexual nature. My style of shooting is more about expression and emotion of sorts. If emotion is not involved, it's not art now, is it?
The truth is, I did shoot lingerie and "sexy" concepts many many years ago and determined that I was not skilled enough to take photographs of a beautiful woman in that way. I would not do the model justice with how I see her.
While many colleagues and friends and even the models themselves said they LOVED the photos and I made them feel beautiful, I still saw the results as over-sexualized, and I failed to see "art" in work.
I stopped shooting "sexy" shots.
This past week, however, I wanted to shoot something sexy. Sexy, but tasteful, yet simple.
I closed my eyes as I pressed the "Enter" key on my keyboard. I placed a casting call on Facebook. I made it clear what I wanted. What would people think? Would they think I am a pervert? Would they think I just want to see a girl in skimpy clothing? Would they think less of me for taking a sexualized photo of a woman?
"Screw it," I said to myself. "Let them take notes," as I chuckled at the idea. I'm doing a f*****g lingerie/sexy shoot and posting it on Facebook. Simply because I can.
Sasha messaged me and told me she was interested in working with me. Let's do this!
Poor thing drove about an hour to my place to shoot! If I would have known that, I would have done it another day and not during the week!
So Sasha arrives, and I explain to her that I don't have much experience shooting in lingerie or underwear, but that I want it to be tasteful. She tells me that she too is inexperienced in that style of shooting but was interested in trying it, because why not?
We go for the Calvin Klein concept that has been stuck in my head for a few days.
And she nails it :). I don't have a studio at home, so I simply used my living room wall as a backdrop. The gaze Sasha gives here to the camera is just outstanding, and is exactly what I was looking for! I used a simple Beauty Dish with an Alien Bee 800 strobe. 100 ISO, F14, 200 shutter speed. I liked how the background fades into a smooth grey gradient, matching her underwear.
That's it. I was done. I got the shot that I wanted but... we kept shooting more anyways.
So I was liking how the shots were coming out but during the editing process... I felt that something was missing. Something was lacking. Yes, it's sexy, the model is beautiful, but, I wanted more.
What to do what to do... SKIN TEXTURE
I normally don't do heavy editing in PhotoShop but on this day, I experimented with various skin textures and techniques. I remembered many years ago I took photos of a model, Katie Eastman in a similar style. I used the paint in the background to bring contrast to the pictures. This time around, I decided to bring the paint to the model's skin.
Suddenly, I started LOVING the photos even more! I achieved the sexy look I wanted, but I also added a nice artistic twist. The paint on the models forces the viewer to observe the model more, in greater detail, than one would normally do. I loved the concept and was excited to see the possibilities!
"Ricardo! You are so FREAKING AWESOME!" I say to myself! haha
Something about this shot that I love so much. Remove the silver paint, and you have a beauty with sexy lingerie. However, when you add the paint, it changes somehow.
Again, a beautifully lit, great composition, beautiful model, and an artistic twist that keeps the shot refreshing, engaging, and in a way... just... interesting.
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