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The Adventures of Beyond Boudoir!
The most common error couples make when they are planning a private erotic photoshoot is to keep adding more and more elements to the plan until it becomes impractical. Then they often just give up in frustration. Here are some of the things people add to their shoots which increase the complexity, the cost, and the chances for things to go wrong.
1. VIDEO - adding video recording to a still photo session causes several problems. To start with, the two techniques require different lighting systems if you want both to look good. Video also brings with it the need for a quiet shooting area, since all sounds will be recorded. Then you need to ask how the photographer is going to direct the clients without his voice being on the video. You probably don't want your naughty video to include his voice saying, "move your bootie to the left a little." To do video and stills together requires a team of two or preferably three skilled people, so the expense mounts quickly and the intimate atmosphere of the shoot is lost.
2. MULTIPLE LOCATIONS - Doing a shoot in a hotel room or the studio is pretty straightforward. Doing a shoot in one place, then transporting everyone and the equipment to another place tends to be stressful and increases the chances of unexpected problems. It's not impossible, but once again, it adds cost and complexity. It's fun to think about doing a romantic outdoor shoot on a beach at sunset, then moving to a hotel room for more intimate action, but it's not the best idea.
3. ADDING ADDITIONAL ACTORS - Many potential clients I talk with get caught up in the dream of planning an erotic photoshoot. The most common element they want to add is another person, or maybe more than one. In addition to legal and safe sex issues, this adds another failure point to the plan. The odds of them showing up for the shoot are poor. If you don't already know them well, the odds of them being compatible with your fantasy are poor. It's just a bad idea.
4. TOO MANY SCENES OR POSES - It's pretty common for clients to create a list of all the erotic scenes or poses they'd like to squeeze into the time available. It's actually good to have a list, but you need to be flexible and willing to call a halt when you start to get tired or don't feel sexy any more. In my view, erotic photoshoots are supposed to be fun, not hard work.
5. WANTING TO SHOOT OUTDOORS WHEN OR WHERE IT ISN'T PRACTICAL - Finding places where you can do a nude or erotic photoshoot outdoors is very tricky. The best place is during warm weather, on private property, where neighbors can't see. It's true that I've done many outdoor nude shoots with pro models, but I only use experienced professionals who are OK with the risks involved. We always shoot on weekdays when the woods and rivers aren't crowded and we are ready to pack up and leave at a moment's notice.
I hope you found these words of wisdom helpful in planning your own private erotic photoshoot. If you have questions, feel free to contact me using the contact option at the top of every page.
About six months ago, I made the big switch to a mirrorless camera body, the brand new Canon EOS R6. My previous camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV was working fine, but mirrorless cameras offered some advantages that I felt would potentially make my work easier and better. Both features are related to the auto-focus system.
The first improvement is that the mirrorless autofocus almost always achieves perfect focus with any lens you put on the body. With the older DSLR bodies, the system had different autofocus errors with different lenses. To get accurate focus, you had to perform a task called "micro-focus adjustment" with each lens you owned.
Even when adjusted, some lenses would exhibit different amounts of focus error at various distances and even at different zoom settings. While it was annoying, it was just part of being a professional photographer. You dialed in the adjustment as well as you could, then shot extra images to allow for deletion of poorly focused shots.
Even if your autofocus system is perfectly adjusted, you still have to make sure you place the viewfinder autofocus point exactly where you want it, which takes attention and practice. It's not always easy to do if you and your model are moving.
The second autofocus feature I really wanted to try was the eye tracking function. The EOS R6 and many other mirrorless cameras will continuously track a particular subject that moves around within your view and it will keep the lens focused on that object. This is obviously a great thing for sports photography or working with moving children, just to name two genres, but I find it very helpful when shooting with models.
Once I switch on the autofocus system with the button on the back of the camera, the powerful computer inside the R6 goes to work analyzing the scene. A focus box appears in the viewfinder and quickly starts moving. It first finds the head of the model, then places a very small focus box on one of her eyes. It does a pretty good job of tracking that eye as long as it is visible and there is enough light in the studio. If it loses the eye, it will default to head tracking. If the model moves so that her head is no longer visible, the camera struggles to find something else to focus on. At that point, I press another button and the autofocus system changes to a small spot that I can place wherever I like.
It is now extremely rare for me to reject an image due to imperfect focus!
Most people assume that you always want to buy a camera that will record the largest possible number of megapixels. In many genres, such as landscape photography with the goal of making large prints, that is surely correct. But when photographing people, I believe that is not the case. Very few people make prints any more, especially when the images are erotic. My photos are generally shared electronically and posted to online sites with limited resolution. Beyond a certain point, additional megapixels are wasted.
My previous camera had a 30 megapixel sensor. When viewing those photos at full resolution, skin and makeup imperfections are very distracting. You can spend a huge amount of time retouching skin and throwing away much of the detail you recorded with your high-megapixel sensor.
The current generation of Canon mirrorless full frame cameras includes the R6 and it's more expensive brother, the R5. The R5 has a 40 megapixel sensor - I knew that was more than I needed so I chose the R6 with a 20 megapixel sensor. This is the first time I've stepped down to a lower resolution body, so I was a bit nervous. But I was pretty happy with that resolution in my old 5D III and even with the 12 Mp sensor in my very old 5D Classic.
After six months of photoshoots, I can say the reduction in sensor resolution was a good decision. I feel the images have a smoother, more flattering skin texture and I've never wished for higher res images. As a big bonus, the smaller RAW files are noticeably faster to process and store. I had been thinking it was time to build a new desktop computer, but it looks like my last build will be adequate for a few more years.
The sharpness of an image is not the same as resolution. It is determined by many things, but in this case I'm only discussing the effect of the lens. I've read articles stating that a mirrorless camera body has a sharpness advantage over an old DSLR body because the back of the lens can be closer to the sensor. Perhaps this is true, since the mid-priced 24-105 lens I bought with the new camera is extremely sharp, on a par with earlier expensive professional lenses. It is so good and so convenient to use that I don't have a lot of experience using other lenses on this new body.
Overall, I am very pleased with the R6. I think it is a great choice for photographers who work with human models and distribute their work for viewing on video screens.
There isn’t much to do these days with the cold weather and so many businesses locked down. It makes me want to look back through my image archives.
Way back in 2015 I had a chance to do a very cool photoshoot that produced some of my best work. There were four factors that came together to make this such a great shoot: A beautiful pro model, a cavernous old artist's studio, lots of natural daylight coming through large windows, and a nice set of professional camera gear that I had been using long enough to be comfortable with.
The model was Chrissy Marie from Model Mayhem, who has been published in Playboy and Penthouse. You can see her own site here: https://www.captivechrissymarie.com
She is and was a very professional model, proud of her natural body and not afraid to show it off with great skill.
The artist’s studio was located in a historic multi-story brick building in downtown Portland on W. Burnside St. My artist friend was able to rent an entire floor from the owner who was an admirer of his paintings. Half of the huge space was a room lit by huge windows, obviously designed before interior lighting became cheap and bright. This is where my friend created his paintings and had room to display dozens of them for potential buyers.
The remainder of the floor was dark, dirty and partly filled with junk. There was just enough light coming in from a couple of small windows to allow some dramatic backlighting, but I realized it was time to set up a studio strobe with an umbrella reflector. These images have a completely different feel from those taken in the art studio.
My camera was the workhorse Canon 5D Mark III, which was the first camera I’d owned with reliable autofocus. I used two lenses for this shoot that are standards for wedding photographers, the EF 24-70 F/2.8 L and the EF 50mm F/1.2 L. These large aperture lenses allowed me to create some lovely artistic background blur.
This shoot produced over 1,000 usable images. When I prepared this collection for sale, I split it into two sections. If you are interested in owning this photoshoot for your private collection, you can purchase it most easily on Bentbox at these two links:
Part I: https://bentbox.co/buybox_verotel?R7l0yoWU
Part II: https://bentbox.co/buybox_verotel?7CCexv4q
If Bentbox doesn’t work for you, I can sell you both boxes via PayPal and Google Drive for $60. Just drop me a note at: [email protected]
Thanks for reading! You know where to find me if you are interested in modeling or in hiring me for a private photoshoot.
I've seen a lot of strange, funny and moving things since I started doing private intimate photoshoots about fifteen years ago. One of the oddest things is related to bachelorette parties.
Several years ago, I documented a rather naughty bachelorette party for a group of ladies who already knew me. It was a lot of fun and I learned enough from the experience that I decided to offer that service to others.
I had no idea that this would lead to a ten year string of the strangest inquiries you can imagine. About once every month or so, I get an email from a woman asking if I will photograph her and a handful of her best girlfriends getting crazy in a hotel or private home somewhere.
Side note: Once in a while, they ask if I will follow them on a pub crawl, but that sounds like a photographer's nightmare so I always decline. Professional cameras are water resistant but not vomit proof and I have a low tolerance for drunks. I tell them to use their own smart phones.
The exchange of emails usually follows a predictable path. Once the woman finds out that I photograph bachelorette parties, she starts describing her imagined scenario. There are almost always five women involved and the one emailing me has agreed to find a willing photographer. She usually says that her budget is almost unlimited. It starts out simple and with each email exchange it gets more complex and more sexual. Instead of asking about how the photos will be delivered, she wants to know what I will "make" them do in front of the camera. Sometimes she wants to know if I'm available for sexual service (I'm not) or if I can provide a man to have sex with them or dominate them. She always keeps asking for more details and adding new erotic twists.
I've learned to spot the red flags by the second or third email exchange and sometimes I end it there, but I often play along to see if any new ideas come up. Sometimes I can't spot the fake for a long time and end up wasting too much time.
What I've decided is that the Bachelorette Party Photoshoot is a legitimate fetish. There are definitely women who find that talking about it is a real turn on. I think it's a branch of female submissiveness. They feel that during a photoshoot, they can engage in naughty acts that they would not normally allow themselves to do.
I finally removed bachelorette parties from the menu of services I provide, but for some reason, the internet keeps sending me these horny women. Maybe I missed a link somewhere. It's sad that 99% of the inquiries are just fantasy material, as shooting bachelorette parties is actually a lot of fun and the ladies get some great pix with their girlfriends. I'm still open to legitimate inquiries,
If there are any kinky novelists out there, you might want to see if you can turn out an erotic E-book on the topic. I bet it would sell pretty well.
A content trade shoot is an arrangement between a photographer and someone who wants to be photographed, who we will call the model. The two parties can negotiate any kind of arrangement they wish, but the general concept is that they each contribute their time and skill in lieu of cash. Each gets to use some or all of the resulting photographs (or videos) in whatever way they have both agreed to.
Other terms for this kind of collaboration include "trade for print," "time for print," "trade for CD," or simply a "trade shoot."
In the past, both the photographer and model would most likely display the images in their own portfolios to give their career a boost. More recently, "content creators" including models and photographers have been making money by selling their content online, through platforms like OnlyFans, Bentbox and Patreon.
A trade shoot is a win/win situation for both parties. Models who mostly sell their amateur selfies benefit from having some higher quality professional work that shows them in a different environment. Variety almost always improves sales.
Here's how my content trade shoots work -
Trade shoots can take place in my studio or at any suitable location. They typically last around two hours and usually involve full nudity. Models may get as naughty as they wish. My goal is to create at least 500 usable images. They won't all be masterpieces, but will be properly exposed, cropped and color balanced. Obvious mistakes will be culled.
The model will receive all the usable images within three days via Google Drive. She may use them any way she likes. I will most likely sell the same images to my fans on Bentbox.
I encourage the model to tell me what her fans want to see so we can include those things in the shoot.
That all sounds pretty easy, but here comes the hard part. The gents who buy my work tend to be more affluent image collectors who have preferences for what kind of models they wish to see. I call it the "girl next door" look. They want healthy looking, cis-female girls who are fit, but not too skinny. They don't want to see angry faces, a dozen tattoos, facial piercings, brightly colored hair or plastic surgery. They want to see natural looking girls who are smiling and happy. There aren't many models who completely fit that profile, so I have to make exceptions on a case by case basis.
Am I safe to work with? Please check out my references on my Model Mayhem page where I have over 70 verified credits from models I've worked with.
Drop me a note at My Gmail if you have any questions. Feel free to ask me anything!
Updated, March 2023
Being an intimate photographer during the pandemic kinda sucks, as you can imagine. Most people are afraid to travel and many are facing money problems. It's been a couple of months since the last private shoot I did for a paying client. I'm still available and not worried about virus transmission during a photoshoot, so drop me a note if you like.
Last month, I did an urban guerrilla shoot with a great model I have worked with twice before, Gemini Rose. She's a proud and brave nude model who hasn't been getting any work lately. I paid her to pose for me in order to create one of my photosets that I sell on Bentbox.
It was a beautiful spring day and we felt sorry for all the people who were locked down in their homes while we were enjoying delicious freedom. We went to a couple of sites in downtown Portland that I've used before. The streets were nearly deserted, so it made a guerrilla shoot quite easy. Here are some shots in front of the famous statue of Portlandia.
Our next stop was a deserted parking garage. We could look out at the streets of Portland and Gemini Rose could flaunt her beauty to the city. It was very therapeutic for her.
I wanted to make sure we got some mask photos so that future viewers would know this was a pandemic photoshoot.
Leaving the parking garage, we drove to a building that used to be a dairy processing plant. About a year ago, it was first painted white, then artists came in to cover the entire structure in creative artwork. It's going to be torn down to build apartments eventually, so I am trying to make good use of it while it's available.
Since Portland is famous for pot shops, we had to make one last stop in front of this one that had some great exterior art.
That's it for this post. If you'd like to buy this photoset on Bentbox, here is the link: https://bentbox.co/buybox_verotel?UAb8rfE7
Thanks for your support!
That is the question I am frequently asked by out-of-town couples who are seeking an erotic couple's photoshot.
In order to answer that question, I often have to exchange a few emails with potential private clients. So to save time I've created this blog post to help you decide for yourself. You can still ask me questions, of course!
Before we start, let me remind those who live in the Portland region that I do make house calls. If you have a nice bedroom at your place and a few hours of privacy, that may be your best option. Now, on to the main question.
My studio offers a number of advantages, so let's discuss that first.
The studio allows us to control the light and the background which allows us greater freedom to create many artistic looks that affect the feel of the photos. For example, we can use strong lighting and a white backdrop to create what is called a "high key" image, like this one:
I like using the high key technique for models with dark skin. Pale models tend to look a bit lost, so I will often pose them against a black backdrop like this:
There are many lighting options in the studio, such as backlighting to highlight the smoke in this photo:
Some people don't like photos posed in front of fabric backdrops. They'd rather see the model (or themselves) in a real room, so the photo seems more real to them. In that case, I just don't put up a fabric backdrop at all. The end of my studio often has interesting objects which are rendered slightly out of focus to help give a sense of depth and reality.
My studio strobe units give me lots of control and many options for how I light my subjects. One of the fun techniques is a stop-motion style that was popular in the 1960's when photographers first gained access to electronic strobes. Quite a few celebrities were caught in mid-air, as if they were floating. I don't recall any of them being nude, but I thought that was a logical next step. Don't you agree?
My studio has another window in addition to the one you see above. This one faces South, which gives us a number of fun options with natural sunlight. If the day is sunny, the blinds can be adjusted to give interesting striped shadows like this:
If the angle of the sun is right, you can do some fun techniques like this. The white background is a big piece of foam core board that I also use as a reflector.
I can also pose my subject very close to the window to take advantage of the very soft natural daylight. This works best on cloudy days.
I could go on forever about this, but I think it's time to point out the most important thing the studio lacks - a bed! I get around that to a degree by posing models on the floor with satin sheets and pillows like this:
It's not bad, but it really isn't quite the same as a real bed, especially for couples who might want to have some adult fun and prefer a softer surface. That's why I've gotten very good at shooting in vacation rental homes and hotel rooms. These two shots used portable strobe units with soft light diffusers.
I also highly recommend finding a vacation rental for your shoot. Avoid the little apartments and single rooms, you want a full size house. Here are a few examples:
I really can't get that exact look in my studio. But there is something that can be done in the studio that you can't do in a hotel room. My studio has what are called "hard points" that allow you to suspend heavy objects from a ceiling beam like this:
So the choice is yours! It depends on what activities you wish to do in front of the camera and what kind of look you want. Whatever you choose, I will make sure you get great photos to give to your lover or to create archival evidence of your passion for each other. Use the contact form or email me at: [email protected] to schedule your own private photoshoot.
Sorry I haven't been posting to the blog lately. I've been doing some private shoots for clients, but mostly I'm creating photosets to sell on Bentbox. Yesterday, I did a private shoot for a client who needed some tame, but sexy photos for social media marketing. There is a river about a mile from my house that can be pretty photogenic at certain times of year. Yesterday was one of those uniformly cloudy, but fairly bright days that we get in May and June.
The soft light is almost perfect for portraits, but you have to remember that the sun is still up there in a specific location. It's important to keep your subject looking toward the sun to get even lighting on the face, even if it takes you a minute to figure out where the sun is.
These shots were all taken with my usual Canon 5D Mark 4 using a Tamron 85mm F/1.8 lens at F/2 to blur the background. I liked that lens so much that I bought its little brother, the Tamron 45mm F/1.8.
I really like the way these two Tamron lenses render the background, while the subject is extremely sharp. It's almost a 3D effect. I call that subject/background separation and it's something you can do with expensive, large aperture lenses that you can't do as well with consumer grade lenses. These Tamrons are also stabilized for sharper hand held shooting which helps with that subject/background separation, in my opinion.
Collecting lenses is fun, but my collection of lenses for my Canon EF mount cameras is pretty much complete and I haven't purchased one in many months. Canon recently created a new lens mount for their new line of mirrorless cameras. I suppose in a few years my current lenses will be obsolete. So until I switch to a mirrorless camera, I think my lens collecting days are about over. We shall see.
Thanks for reading!
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