BUILDERS LIGHTS

Esperanza

Whilst we can extol the virtues of having now invested in more than £2,000 worth of professional lighting, we would like to say that is was not always like this…

Our early foray into shooting Pin Up and Burlesque styles had us utilise a set of double Builders lights, on a tripod, from a Hardware outlet that cost us around £25.

The Lights ran very hot and so gave little scope for modification or control. We did, however, manage to rig a sort of diffuser in front of them to avoid really harsh shadows.

Needless to say this was one of the few shoots we have done where the model, clearly used to more professional set ups, was clearly not impressed. Despite her initial ice cool reception she did dig deep to work and produce some fine poses.

The video below does much more justice to the shoot and just shows how with a little ingenuity one can ‘beef up’ the whole output to represent something cool and worthwhile.

All we say to budding creatives. Go with the flow, work within the means of what you can afford, but above all get out there and Just Do It! You will be amazed at what you can create.

 

RETRO LEG LOVE

You may or may not remember the old style ladies lingerie shops that used to display oodles of foundation wear and girdles and more often than not had upturned mannequin legs in the window adorned with the finest seamed stockings…

Well if you didn’t here is an example. Our fabulous model, got right into the theme of the shoot and when asked to show her appreciation for the inanimate stockinged leg showed her appreciation with her tongue. Cheeky Girl!

But after all, isn’t that the essence of old style Pin Up shoots? A sassy style and cheekiness go hand in hand with that era where sexuality exuded an innocent naivety sadly lacking in our more overt modern times.

Mistress PussyKat, understands the genre of Burlesque very well and knows that the whole point is to use her full repertoire of skills to tease the weaker sex into a state of complete acquiescence to the power of the feminine form. Whether it be an adjustment of her stocking tops, or a twirling of her pastie tassels, each delicate movement adds to the next in achieving the desired goal.

Mistress Pussycat

This, ‘you can look, but you dare not touch! style can be seen at many of the Burlesque revival shows that have become popular in underground subculture of late, and has even broken into the mainstream with the relentless promotion by top stars like Dita von Tease.

The other point of this style is a celebration of real women. Yes that’s right, women with a bit of meat of them, women unabashed and unafraid to share their buxom and very beautiful nature with you. Almost, the antithesis of what the global advertising industry pumps at us all daily of stick thin, anorexic almost ‘junkie style’ deities, known as models, who survive on a lettuce leaf for sustenance.

Yes its a Renaissance for all women (well with the exception of carpet munchin’ feminists perhaps!!!) And yes this article does not lie within the boundaries of ‘so called’ modern political correctness, but that after all is a concept designed to strip you of your sense of self and individuality. We welcome those of you who do appreciate the finer nuances of life’s rich pattern and take this text with the tongue in cheek style it is intended.

FILTERS AND POST PROCESSING

SarahLH Burlesque

So a young lady approached us to assist her with entering a competition in the USA. The first phase involved shooting her front side and back in fashion and bikini styles to gain entry.

SarahLH Burlesque

Off the back of this we decided to also shoot a little Burlesque/Lingerie set to add another dimension to her fledgling portfolio.

SarahLH Burlesque

She provided the shoes and basque, we put together the rest of the package, and as you can see the shots turned out nicely.

SarahLH Burlesque

We must admit, we prefer the floppy wide brimmed hat to the traditional Bowler on her, but that is part of the flow…Sometimes you have to try different things to get the look that really works.

Also we are talking today about filters and post processing. But it is also worth mentioning white balance. It is important to firstly set the white balance on the camera to match the sale of light you are using. So in this case we would select flash as we were working in the studio.

Even on that setting you can see that all the pictures above came out of the Canon camera, we were using at the time, a little on the warm side, which translates as a little towards the yellow side of the lighting spectrum. This tinge can be taken out by moving the white balance slider in Lightroom towards the blue end of the spectrum.

Some people get the model to hold up a colour balance card at the start of a shoot that has a neutral set of greys on it. This can then be chosen with the colour picker in the white balance adjuster to set the overall tone for the picture. The setting then saved and stamped on all the proceeding images to get a unified colour scheme. We hasten to add that this all only works if you shoot in manual mode. If you shoot in automatic, the colour balance etc will vary from shot to shot an make it a nightmare to colour balance the whole sequence.

Below we show an alternative style called cross processing that allies an algorithm to the shadows and highlights to achieve a totally different effect.

SarahLH Burlesque

The skin tone looks more natural, the blacks a little sharper and the edges/highlights have a slight bluish tinge to them.

Experimentation is the key and learning to use your kit to get maximum results. We also hope you like the fiddly stockings she wore which were reversed to the normal sense, with seams and fancy lacing don the front for a different look.

CHAPERONES

A huge swath of photographers don’t like the idea of chaperones joining a female model at a shoot. We understand the implications of a jealous boyfriend or husband cramping a model’s style and flow, but we have never turned down a female friend joining the session. So here starts our journey on today’s story…

Fluo Girly

In fact, sometimes a friend comes along who is so humble and self-effacing and yet they are a superstar waiting in the wings. One such lady came along to shoot to help a friend and experienced our fun and fresh approach and decided she wanted to try some pin up/ boudoir modeling.

DeeBird BabyDoll

This girl dressed down as a chaperone, but once made up and ready for the shoot looked simply stunning and very pretty. She confessed that she just loved the feel of the dotty pantyhose and RHT Nylons and said she rarely dressed like this in her day to day life. It made her feel feminine and attractive. Also she is a testament to the fact that a girl does not need to be stick thin to be a great model. Her ample figure fitted very nicely into the role of a retro minx, with a cheeky air about her, and an intoxicating smile.

DeeBird BabyDoll

She saw some pictures in the office of me performing shibari Japanese rope Bondage at a workshop plus some art nude bondage shots and confessed that she had always had a curiosity for this as an art form and means of possibly relinquishing control. Whilst she considers herself quite pushy and dominant with bratty tendencies in day to day life, she liked the idea of being submissive on occasion to either a male or possibly female.

DeeBird BabyDoll

So, I put her into a basic Karada body harness with a large grab handle worked into the array of binds and ties down her back. It was easy to demonstrate the power and control this puts into the hands of the Master effecting this restraint by holding the handle and giving her the feeling of being caught in a web. But, Trust is paramount and being a gentleman one knows not to step over any boundaries. This is after all a professional shoot and not a session of consensual bdsm. However, one can see from the shot above that she was in a happy place, and I was proud to have opened up a new facet of her personal experience.

DeeBird BabyDoll

The Art we created this day was truly astounding and such a pleasure to construct. The subtle erotic combination of bondage and Nylon is a genre that I will never tire of shooting and the delight of finding a new model from ‘out of nowhere’ is always a great gift. I also Love helping someone find a happy place and feel good about themselves.

We would like to add that these pictures are not retouched in any way. They have purely been put through a first pass edit in Lightroom and Aperture. So the model is very much as she is in the Flesh. We would also like to Thank the awesomely talented Master Orkadia, who is the edgier part of our team for sharing these tasteful bondage shots. He regularly praticises shibari and has held a number of workshops and one on one’s to teach the rudimental basics of safe consensual restraint. Pop over to his website for more detail ORKADIA

BEYOND MY MUSE…

 

Emma Louise from Worthing does 3 shoots on Tue 4th August

There comes a time when you have shot your muse many, many times and the flow is fabulous, and you get great results, and you feel like it is time to add in a new challenge.

When your muse is your partner and you tell her you want to shoot other women, it can pose an initial problem. A problem that has to be broached delicately as initial thoughts are that you have got bored with the working relationship. Far from it. The working relationship was to set the standard from which all other assignments would be judged. Also, when not shooting my partner I engage her awesome creative skills as an adept make up artist, or in more recent times as a second shooter as well. Behind the scenes footage is always of interest to a lot of tech savvy followers who like to see the kit in use as well as the end result.

Emma Louise from Worthing does 3 shoots on Tue 4th August

So here is the first model I shot with when making that next move. A delightful young lady known on Modeling websites as ‘BrightonBlonde’. She was my first, and as far as I can see still works today and is very popular. She is tall and slim with very long legs and that means she is perfect for showcasing nylon. Considering this was my first deviation with a new person I think it went exceedingly well.

Emma Louise from Worthing does 3 shoots on Tue 4th August

We provided the outfits and stockings. Over time we have built up quite a collection of outfits, stockings and props and the current quota runs into thousands of pounds worth. To get the best out of a shoot you need to invest a lot into it…