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.

STORMKITTY

Its always to nice to work with new models, and see their confidence develop throughout a shoot as they warm to the experience and find their own style.

StormKitty2

We hasten to add that we are big fans of people who develop their own style and personality and we Love helping them find a new side of that persona.

StormKitty3

So a delightful model, StormKitty, from Sussex agreed to shoot at a nice friend’s flat in Brighton and give some retro secretary in nylons and rubber a go. The Nylon’s in question were limited edition La Perla BlackFoot style with contrast seam.

StormKitty4

The Nylons set went very well, with both an appreciation for uber high heels and nylon foot tease.

StormKitty5

We then shifted to experimenting with different lighting to change the mood, and showcase a very shiny rubber two piece, Pink Peep Toe Heels and Jonathan Aston, ‘Burlesque’ seamed Pantyhose.

StormKitty6

We know that Stormkitty has gone on to being very popular with her alternative style and ‘can do’ attitude and is now doing around four or five paid shoots a month.

It is always great to give somebody the jumpstart they need to get their career off the ground. We have done it many times to date and are always looking for new talent to help and encourage into achieving their goals and dreams. Not all will succeed, but its a great journey and something to look back on with pride when old and wrinkly and reminiscing with the grandchildren…

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

Ask any photographer their opinion on chaperones and you will get a very mixed response.

DemiRetroplusMumPxl

If  a new model is just breaking into the profession she, or indeed he, may ask if they can bring a chaperone along to provide some level of safety or boost their confidence.

We say safety because they do not know the credibility or attitude of the photographer. There are plenty of ‘Geek with Camera – GWC’ types who are more than happy to part with a wedge of cash to see a model disrobe to partial or complete nudity. Their ability as a photographer may be good or questionable, and it is a risk for anyone to compromise themselves when they do not know the person they are working with.

To act professionally we always discuss a models ‘levels of work’ prior to a shoot. We pitch for shoots by placing castings on professional modelling websites. These sites facilitate a model looking at references and testimonials written and placed on the site. Thus lending some credibility to the attitude and action of the photographer. Models are also left feedback to attest to their performance and abilities to turn up and work professionally.

We are lucky! As a male with female partner and assistant, the workload is delineated into girls working with the models on dressing, styling and make up and me looking after technical aspects of the set, the lighting and the shoot itself. It negates the need for a model to feel concerned as we have impeccable standards to ensure they feel comfortable at all times.

You can see from the fun attitude and engagement in this shoot, just how much the model has settled into her comfort zone. We get to know people so we can engage with them in a friendly and fun way which gets them relaxed and able to laugh and enjoy the time with us. The results speak for themselves.

Also we let a model set the level she is comfortable with and do not push her boundaries. There is enough gratuitous content out there to go to the Sun and back a million times. We prefer provocative tease where often less is more and the model remains clothed and lets her personality and swagger do the talking. If people have a desire to shoot nude, we can do this, we are after all not prudish and see nudity as a beautiful thing if expressed artistically. But we generally reserve working to this level with people we know and have shoot with several times, or where they have commissioned us to do a shoot for themselves or a loved one.

So coming full circle to give our opinion on chaperones. We welcome people who come with a good attitude and willingness to participate. So no jealous partners, and no people who just sit there and get in the way of any progress.

You can see in this instance the model brought her Mum along. We got along fabulously well and they got a couple of cool shots together that were not part of the planned shoot, but taken as a Thank You for the Mum’s fun attitude and input.

BURLESQUE BEAUTY

Garter7

Some models were simply made for retro Burlesque/Pin Up style shoots.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

And this was one of our first attempts at going full tilt with the style.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

It is worth noting that whilst we had a reasonable Canon consumer camera at the time…

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

We were actually shooting with a set of Builders Lights purchased from a hardware store.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

Hence the odd assortment of shadows that have manifest on the images.

Stockings and Legs on a wet Saturday

Its funny when you look back at old work. One has a sense of knowing and wishing that we could travel back in time and re do the shoot again with all our current kit, knowledge and experience. Alas, models come and go and this retro beauty, as far as we know, retired from shooting not long after working with us on this set. Its a sad loss as you can see she was good at striking  pose or two…

We hope by showing our flaws and development that this encourages you to have a go at chasing your dreams. Everybody has a starting point and after eight years we are still learning something new every day. So get out there, find a good model, have fun and shoot something cool that pushes your boundaries to become a better creative.

DRUID GODDESS

Given the opportunity to showcase a delightful blonde model as a Druid Goddess we jumped at the chance. We knew she was a grounded individual as she works in animal welfare, and we wanted to capture something of substance and meaning.

Shimmery cape, PVC Boots and Corset and a Druid ceremonial Dagger all blended to create the look.

Then we moved on to disrobing a little and going for a classic boudoir pose.

Next, add in a pair of glasses for the perfect demure secretarial look.

Its always great to work with a model who is diverse in her approach to her kraft. A single shoot turns into a  wealth of unique content that can be put to good use in so many ways.

And this is only one look that we played with out of two shot across an afternoon. Wait for a later post where we will reveal the ‘retro femme fatale’ look with a designer hat by Zara Carpenter worth nearly two hundred pounds.

 

A FRIEND IN NEED…

So a good friend of ours had spent a fortune decorating his delightful country residence to a high standard. The small country lane comprised a number of fine places that had been blighted by an order by The Blue Circle Group companies for demolition and to make way for a new 2,500 house estate in a disused chalk quarry.

Wax Princess teases in Nylon

Two months after spending around £10 grand doing up his place our buddy was given notice to move out. He was devastated! So I decided to cheer him up and asked one of my good model friends to come over for a shoot.

The focus was of course on Nylon, and copious shots of a decadent, boudoir nature to make full use of the wonderful backdrop.

Its not surprising what a good tonic for the Soul this endeavour facilitated. We created a fabulous Christmas Card for him to send to all his friends, with the model sitting on his knee in a Mary Christmas outfit…

If anyone reading this has a unique or interesting shoot location that they are happy to offer gratis, we can bring a model or models along to shoot, and as our host you will have the unique opportunity to have a ‘Fly-on-the-Wall’ experience of being involved, first hand with what we do best!

Simply, reply via our contact form, and leave a message We will be sure to get back to you…

PASSION FOR HEELS

We admit it! We have an incurable passion for fine shoes and often buy many pairs on spec to use in our various photoshoots. Many models starting out don’t have a full complement of garments and shoes and so it helps if we can provide them…

DLFS

DLFS

DLFS

What we are showing in this post are out takes from a workshop we ran covering Burlesque and Fetish styles. We provided the shoes to accompany the models outfit adding value to the overall look.

We now have placed this pair worn only once on eBay for you to purchase as a keep sake or for a loved one.

FINE SHOES FOR SALE

DECADENT SEDUCTION

DD1

Born out of the demand for make over and boudoir style shoots we created a FaceBook page and soon will be developing a new website…

DD2

This will provide an opportunity for all women to partake of this service for their own pleasure and self esteem, or to provide a little spice as a gift for their loved one.

DD3

So let us guide you on this journey of self discovery, or indeed let the exhibitionist in you run free.

Prior to the shoot, we always sit down and get to know you over a Tea or Coffee and understand your goals and objectives for the shoot.

All shoots are conducted with the utmost level of professionalism with a female make up artist, stylist and wardrobe to help you find the right look and then help with poses that flatter your style, body shape and level of flexibility. By the time you step into the lights you will already feel pampered and like a star. Chatting and adding plenty of laughs into the mix helps bring out your personality and get the best shots with a cheeky smile. The real you shines through, without the worries of the Bills or picking up the kids or any other distractions.

We welcome women of all ages, sizes and especially welcome Big Beautiful Women as we feel everybody should have the right to express their femininity and experience a feel good factor.

In the first instance come over and like our page DECADENT SEDUCTION.

And do drop us a line if you would like to know more. We have flexible packages to suit most budgets…And you deserve to take some time out for yourself and tap into your inner Minx!