One of my favorite places to shoot is in an open doorway. I love soft natural light. Open shade, back lighting and anything in the realm of this type of lighting is seriously an obsession with me. Which is kind of funny because I also love super harsh lighting.
But I do love keeping it simple. One camera, one lens, an open door or window and a model or two. Add in a very small amount of wardrobe and suddenly you know exactly how to do what I do. Well almost.
I love mood. I don’t care if it is a fun mood, sexy mood, sarcastic mood, sensual, thoughtful, carefree, silly, seductive or any other description you can think of. I guess I am a moody shooter. I certainly am a moody blogger.
When I shoot like this I keep my direction to the model very simple and I talk a lot. I talk a lot anyway but I really like to have a full on conversation when I shoot like this. It is my way of keeping it loose and carefree. But if you do try this method I highly recommend knowing your subject and know how to talk to your subject! The last thing you want to do is kill the mood with your word vomit!
Since I am a talker I can usually talk about anything. If you don’t know what to do, ask them about themselves. But key phrases I like to completely avoid are pretty basic. I never use the words “you’re so hot” ever. Seriously, I’m there to photograph them, not hit on them. Plus this is the fastest way to lose trust. Yes some photographers love to talk this way, personally I avoid it at all costs. It isn’t in my personality to talk that way to any woman in any situation so why would I do it while shooting?
I was shooting with a group of photographers a long time ago and one of the photographers kept talking to the models like they were just sex objects. None of the models wanted to pose for this guy. All of the models were okay with nudes, but they just weren’t comfortable with him so they didn’t pose nude. When it came to working with me, there were no issues and honestly if I had an idea that involved nudity they had no issue posing for me sans wardrobe.
I also like to discuss limitations in a very open way. I always ask if they are cool with what we are shooting and I always have an open door to this conversation. If they have a question I make sure they never feel uncomfortable asking it. Sometimes a model who doesn’t usually pose nude will be reserved or have very strict limitations on what is shown. Sometimes they will flat out say “go big or go home” and bare it all for the world to see. I find this is the case a lot of the time.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you want to shoot nudes, don’t be a dick. The nude mood is something which needs to be respected. That is just the way I look at it. I know other photographers don’t think this way and they like the “sexy” look they get when they talk to models that way. So my way isn’t the only way to get the shot, but if you like the results I get, this is how I get them.
I like the nude mood. It is a soft, pretty, easy going vibe where we just hang out and create pretty pictures. Personally, I see nothing wrong with that. 😉