Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Professional Make-up for Photography

Professional make-up for your photo shoot has many benefits for both the client and the photographer. I include make-up services in a lot of my packages and in others I let the client decide.

There are several benefits to the photographer. First is the reduction in the amount of time spent retouching. A good make-up artist (MUA) can make their skin look almost perfect. Additionally they keep the shine off the skin that some people get on their faces (both men and women). I hate retouching the shine off skin.

Now even if a client knows how to do their make-up (many are quite good), a professional MUA will be able to do things beyond this. Airbrushing the skin is one technique that yields awesome results that they provide. Additionally a MUA will be able to create specialized looks that fall outside the range of normal make-up. Classic pin-up is an example; another would be fashion make-up for model portfolios.

One of the benefits to my clients is how easy it is to just come to the studio and have everything handled for them. Many find it very relaxing to have their make-up done for them. We chat and joke around and get to know each other before the shoot. This puts the client at ease prior to the shoot, settling some of those pre-shoot jitters.

The MUA’s that I work with also travel to my location shoots. My clients love it when everything comes to them to make their shoot special. We’ve gone to client’s homes, hotels and even the middle of the desert. Every time the results were worth it.

Many MUA’s work in salons in addition to working with photographers. I have a team of MUA’s that I have used that provide incredible work. Having several on my team allows me to always have proven talent available when needed.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fine Art Nude Photography Vs Boudoir

Fine art nude photography is very different from glamour and boudoir photography, yet often clients like to add some photographs of this style to their shoots. They often feel that the fine art images can be displayed about for all to see, whereas they may find the boudoir images a bit too personal for such a public showing.

Boudoir and glamour photography is about making photographs to show beauty and reflect a sensual and sexy attitude. The pose, lighting and expressions are all designed to make the woman look stunning and glamorous. The photographer works to create an emotional response of desire in the viewer.

Fine art nude photographs are about showing the natural beauty of the human form. The shapes and textures of body are photographed. The expressions are typically serene; eye contact with the camera is less common. Poses are often less inviting than boudoir.

Sometimes the photographs are abstract in nature. The photographer limits the frame to a small portion of the body leaving the mind to ponder exactly what is shown. It is more about the shapes and lines than the actual body.

A common style of fine art nudes are bodyscapes. Lighting is used to create strong shadows and highlights, bringing the edge or shapes into the image. Clients find these images especially appealing as you can’t usually tell who the image is.

Fine art nude photography is still heavily black and white. Boudoir is more often photographed in color. Both disciplines do cross over, so take this generalization with a grain of salt. I personally tend to do my fine art in black and white.

Adding fine art photography to my offerings has given my clients another option for adding to their photography options during their sessions.

Orcatek Boudoir And Glamour Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Natural Light - Real or Fake

Natural light is a wondrous tool for photography. I had the opportunity yesterday to shoot in a room with a wall of north facing windows. The light coming in makes it so easy to create great images.

Great photographers through the years have often had studios with north facing windows and/or skylights. They knew that the light would give them amazing opportunities to create their work.

So you have two options in your studio. Option one is to have a wall of north facing windows to give you that great light. Windows on any side are still better than no windows. Other directions just are more or less effective depending on time of day. Sometimes I like windows with direct light on them to create the effect I want.

The other option is to fake a wall of north facing windows. To do this you need a good sized white wall. You then turn several strobes straight at the wall powered up a pretty good amount as they will be bouncing to create the light. A single strobe on a smaller white wall can work if you limit yourself to a smaller area. I like using the large wall as it just makes it easy for your model to move around the entire shooting area.

The faked wall is good, but not quite the same as the real thing. Sunlight just has a quality that the strobes can be made to come close to, but just miss.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Perfect Picture

Trying out new video tools

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Boudoir Fantasies

Boudoir photography is a great way to play out some fantasies. Everyone has some fantasies, most of a wide variety. With a little planning you can fulfill a fantasy or three during your boudoir photo session. You may even create a new one. Let’s talk about some of the classics to get you started.

Very popular is the naughty schoolgirl. Outfits include a short, typically red plaid skirt, a white halter top or shirt tied to a halter, and a variety of shoes. Props include books, pens, rulers, suckers and glasses. Movies such as “House Bunny” have kept this one popular. The flipside is naughty teacher.

Cheerleader is another classic with the obvious outfit. Props are of course pompoms. Often the pompoms are all that’s needed to create the fantasy photographs.

The naughty nurse fantasy is also popular with a lot of men. Outfits can be scrubs, a classic white nurse’s dress with stockings or a white lab coat. Props include stethoscopes, thermometers, tongue depressors, and bandages.

Then there is the bad secretary who just can’t seem to type. Short skirts and tops with button fronts are typically all that’s needed.

How about cooking in the nude wearing just an apron - watch out for the bacon grease. This of course leads to the maid who cleans more than houses. Both are common ideas that seem to run through a man’s mind.

Of course the movie classic, wearing nothing but an overcoat to meet him. It’s simple to create a wide variety of photographs with just an overcoat.

Of course if he is a fan of Mardi Gras, plenty of beads and a “flasher” top is all you need. Or add a feathered mask to go from Bourbon Street to the boudoir. Both are a fun way to bring create a mood.

And of some reason men really like they idea of two women together. So bring a friend who might be willing to add to your photos. I often just bring the second woman into the shots so she can remain anonymous. An arm across your body, a leg wrapped around yours is all it takes. If he doesn’t know who the other woman is it adds to the fantasy as in his mind he tries to figure it out.

Librarians, biker gals, ski bunnies, sports illustrated bikini model, Victoria’s Secret Angels, TV characters, hookers, massage therapist, nudist, delivery girl, mechanic, cowgirl, military, cigars, police, fire, construction worker, hitchhiker the list goes on and on. The only limits are your imagination. Think about what interests he has, and bet you can find a fantasy that fits it.

So discuss the fantasies you want to fulfill with your boudoir photographer. And of course you can use the session to show some of your fantasies too.

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photography on Location

Working on location with clients on location can be both fun and challenging. The resulting images though make it work the extra work required.

One of the biggest challenges faced when shooting on location is the lighting. Frequently these locations are outdoors so you have the sun to work with. Then comes the supplemental light needed to make the image come to life. Sometimes its reflectors, other times it is portable strobes. More often than not it is a combination. I personally like to use my speedlights as they are small and run on batteries.

The Pocket Wizard company has come up with a new version of their product that really makes this work well. Radio Poppers has also been selling a product to provide very similar features, albeit in a very different way. The end result is wireless control of your flashes using full ETTL in environments where the built-in IR method was difficult if not impossible to use. Both these products really add to options for location photography.

Another challenge on location is permission. Phoenix requires a permit to shoot anywhere in town that is not private property. Private property owners control their property. The city is actually pretty easy to work with, and the permit is not expensive if you meet the requirements. Private property owners can be hit or miss. Some are great, others are huge corporations that you can’t even find a person to say “yes or no”.

Other cities are in the Phoenix area are not so clear cut. I have contacted most of them and they say no photographer permit for small shoots that I typically do. However I have had police and park rangers ask for my photography permits. I always tell them the truth; I was told I don’t need them. If they insist, I ask them where I get them. In any case, I still have been run off a few times, and on follow-up found that no permit was required. Better to take walk away on your own, then in handcuffs, so I prefer not to fight it too much.

So check the rules in your area. Get some portable light control. And produce some great location images.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix