Hello! I’m excited and honored that you’d like to shoot with me. I put this writing together as a way to address some common questions or issues and to hopefully make the planning stage a little easier.
Starting with You
First, you should know that I’m very interested in finding out what you want to shoot and what appeals to you. I view photography as a collaboration and believe we should try to create something we can both be excited about.
To help with that, I often ask the following:
- Do you already have something specific in mind? Do you have any specific kinds of images you would like to make together? Anything you’ve been wanting to have pictures of for yourself or others?
- Do you have a particular reason for wanting to shoot together? Maybe you just think it’ll be fun. Maybe you want to see yourself in a certain light. Maybe you’re working on a portfolio or want to add something specific to it. Maybe it’s a gift you want to give someone else, or yourself.
- Are there particular aspects of your personality, style, or body that you would like to highlight? What sorts of compliments about all three do you typically receive from others (friends, partners, etc.)?
- What are some of your “favorite things” that make you happy? Like: vintage clothes, a particular style of shoe, poker, wine, umbrellas, salsa dancing, etc.
- Are there particular interests, fantasies, or fetishes that you would like to represent in some way?
Another approach I’ve found helpful is for you to collect a few images (from anywhere) that appeal to you in some way–that you find beautiful, sensual, sexy, or interesting–and share them with me. These aren’t images that we will try to “recreate,” but they do give us a starting point to discuss. If you do decide to try this out, try to also add a word or two about what appeals to you in each image: the style / tone / mood, the angles, the poses, the subject / content, etc.
I assume you’d like to work with me because you like my style of photography and my typical subject matter. So, that gives us another set of guidelines to help us narrow down the kinds of images we’ll try to create together.
While I’m always willing to try something new and explore new styles, new concepts, and new subjects, I typically shoot the following:
- Portrait / Fashion: Even though a lot of my work is of the “less safe for work” variety, I also enjoy shooting portrait, fashion, and more “work safe” modeling shots.
- High-Concept: I love the idea of elaborate shoots that have a fantastic, surreal, or whimsical feel to them … or that have a dark, gothic, quirky, or creepy feel to them.
- Performance: If you do interesting performance kinds of things (like dance, lyra, silks, pole, yoga/acro yoga, burlesque, fire, etc.), then I’d love to shoot it … either you in an actual performance or “staged” shoots that show off your skills.
- Fine Art Nude / Implied-Nude / Boudoir: Tasteful, fine art nudes, or partial/implied nudes that take advantage of lovely light, sexy clothing, or interesting settings.
- Rope: Particularly rope that involves interesting settings, challenging ties, or cool clothing choices. (However, please see the note below.)
- Fetish / Costume: There are plenty of fetishes that I don’t necessarily have myself, or costumes/looks that aren’t necessarily my thing, but that I would enjoy shooting. For instance, I’m not really into latex, but it can make for some cool images. If you have a fetish or costume/look that you want images of, feel free to ask. A short list of fetish-related themes I’d definitely be open to shooting: body paint, foot fetish, wet/messy, latex, schoolgirl, cosplay … and girls with books!
I don’t do full-on graphic porn or graphic nudity, but as long as it doesn’t involve either of those, I’ll probably be up for it.
How I Work
I also want to provide a little information about how I work, just so there are no surprises.
I usually have at least one assistant with me for most shoots (and definitely for the first few times we work together if rope is involved). This is usually either my wife or another trusted friend familiar with photography and modeling.
You are welcome to bring a trusted friend, as well. Particularly for shoots that involve rope bondage, this request is more than reasonable. However, please make sure that whoever you bring will not try to interfere with the shoot, direct the shoot, or otherwise cause difficulty during the shoot. We may also likely ask the person you bring to assist in some way, either by holding a light, adjusting hair or clothing, or helping out in other ways.
For “trade” shoots, I use a contract that allows the model a chance to review and approve all work before it’s released, including the option to not release certain photos. Given the sensitive nature of some of the images I create, I feel this is a helpful step to safeguard the model’s image and representation. Please review the release before we shoot.
Finally, I encourage you to ask for and check my references. Again, given the nature of much of the photography I do, it would only be wise for you to make sure I’m trustworthy and reliable and can be trusted with the images of you that we create.
A Few Words about Rope
Many of the requests I get involve doing a rope shoot together. However, I do have a couple of limitations when it comes to shooting rope.
Rope and Risk
Rope is a really high-risk activity, so I don’t tie anyone for a photo shoot beyond their current level of training and experience. I do this strictly out of a concern for the model’s safety. Rope for photography is a type of performance, and as such, it carries different and additional risks than rope for practice or play. And, in general, I don’t believe it’s wise to tie someone beyond their current experience level unless that tying is happening in a lab/practice environment for the purposes of learning and expanding that experience. (For more on this, please see: “Hi! Will you suspend me?” and “Dangling Objects: On Responsible Progression in Rope“)
What this means in practice is:
- I’ll be happy to shoot you in “low-risk” or “decorative” kinds of rope.
- I’ll also be happy to shoot you in rope that I know (through talking or working with you) is within your comfortable zone of training and experience.
- When possible, I may also offer to work with you to help you gain the experience you’d need to be able to shoot the kind of rope you want to shoot.
- For advanced or complex rope shoots, I prefer to have some practice time together preparing for the ties in the shoot before the actual shoot occurs.
Rope That Someone Else Ties
I’m also happy to shoot you in rope that someone else ties or that you tie on yourself. This includes shooting a “scene” between the rope top and bottom. However, I will still insist that the tying is within the experience-level of all participants, and I reserve the right to call off a shoot if the risk-level starts to obviously exceed the experience level.
Get in Touch!
If this all sounds good to you, start sending your ideas or sample images. I look forward to working with you!