I met Miss C. when she came to our boudoir studio as a paying client in 2018. I enjoyed our session so much that I contacted her last month to see if she’d like to model for a shoot I had arranged with a talented film photographer (I’ll call him T), whom I had discovered on Instagram earlier this year.
What I had admired most about T’s work was his ability to photograph models in very relaxed, “unposed” looking positions. (I wrote a lot about this style of boudoir photography in a previous post about my first film boudoir session with Miss A.) So, on a whim, I contacted him and asked if we could possibly get together sometime to talk about his shooting process and just film photography in general, to which he agreed!
When T asked if I could line up a model for us to shoot during his visit, I asked if he had a body-type preference. (Side note: I know it’s kind of gross that I asked him if he had a body-type preference for his model, but please allow me to explain why I did that. While I hate making generalized statements about any gender, it’s been my own personal experience that most male boudoir photographers seem to prefer shooting thinner models. After looking through T’s online portfolio, which is beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice that he doesn’t have any sessions posted that featured plus-sized women. Therefore, because I was mostly interested in observing T’s shooting/posing process rather than trying to challenge him in any way, I wanted to make sure that I lined up a model that he was 100% comfortable with photographing.)
So, this brings us back to Miss C. and how we came to shoot her last month. As soon as T told me that, “Slender to athletic is what I’m used to photographing,” I thought of Miss C. because of her strong, athletic build (this girl has a squat-butt to DIE for!) and the fact that I enjoyed working with her during her previous boudoir session.
I absolutely LOVE watching other photographers work, so I mostly just observed T shooting Miss C. that afternoon. I did load up my Canon EF 35mm camera and my Mamiya 645j medium format camera; however, my dumb ass loaded the 120 film incorrectly, so none of my Mamiya shots turned out. (So embarrassing.) T brought multiple film cameras with him and a big box containing a variety of films. I’m not sure how many rolls of film he took of Miss C. that afternoon, but it was several. I also noticed that he wasn’t using a tripod, which I asked him about since our studio was so dark. He told me that he always shoots hand-held, even at very low shutter speeds. Well, this kind of blew my mind, but also thrilled me because I HATE shooting with a tripod! I figured that film photography must be a little more forgiving than I had realized in terms of motion blur, and I happily chucked my tripod during Miss C.’s shoot.
T and I shot from around 2:00pm until after the sun had gone down that afternoon. At one point, the studio had gotten so dark that I had the pleasure of introducing T to the Ice Light, which is kind of like an LED light wand with barn doors attached to control the direction of the light. I know Miss C. had to have been completely over it by the time we wrapped up the shoot, but she a total trooper and she swore she had a good time.
While I did enjoy the experience of learning more about T’s process and watching him work that day, I can’t say that my film photography skills improved much from our time together. In fact, it pains me to say that the majority of the 35mm images I shot that afternoon did not turn out at all. Why? BECAUSE OF MOTION BLUR!!! I am still so disappointed in myself for believing that a film camera could handle hand-held shots at slow shutter speeds better than my DSLR. I also felt terrible when I had to tell Miss C. that only a small handful of my images turned out. After all, the poor girl spent HOURS in front of our cameras that afternoon!
Well, that is exactly why I’m calling this post “Miss C. – Round One,” because I fully plan to set up a second shoot with her in the near future. I have to, because I NEED to redeem myself, and because Miss C. just deserves better for all her patience and hard work that day. With that being said, I DO really like the images I took that actually turned out, especially the reflection of her in the mirror where she’s looking out the window. I love that one. However, I’m also going to go ahead and include some of the shots that were, in my opinion, ruined by the motion blur that could have easily been prevented if I had just used a tripod, damn it!
Again, I really do love the images above (even the blurry ones), but I cannot wait to set up another shoot with Miss C., because I know it will be better. Stay tuned!