Tag Archives: Model

Using Liquid Latex in a photo shoot

Liquid Latex Using Liquid Latex in a photo shoot

 

A dear photographer friend of mine this weekend taught me how to use Liquid Latex as part of a photo shoot in a way I never thought of before. All the credits go to JohnMStudios (Facebook link) for showing me how to do this, and a big prop out to Porcelain and Bri for actually allowing this stuff on their bodies and doing the work.

 

The liquid latex to use for this is Ammonia Free liquid latex body paint, it is kind of pricey, but a JohnMStudios used a 4-ounce bottle per model to do this. It covered about ½ of the body for the purposes of the photo shoot over the weekend. It was basically smeared on, and then allowed to get tacky on the models before he did anything.

 

Thing to note, when liquid latex dries it does generate heat so make sure your model knows this otherwise it might be a surprise. And make sure that they have no latex allergies by applying some to a test patch and make sure that there are no adverse reactions being noted on the models skin. Apply the liquid latex to a place not easily noticed in a picture, like the underside of the wrist so that it does not show up in pictures if there is an adverse reaction. Few models ever show the underside of their wrist in pictures.

 

The smudge marks on the naughty bits are done by me so I don’t get shut down by my ISP in case you are wondering. It is not a liquid latex feature or problem, just trying to do my part to keep the Internet PG-13.

 

Once you have the liquid latex tacky, press the models together and have them slowly push apart. The liquid latex will stick to itself more than it will stick to skin, and give you that awesome skin pulling effect that you see in so many horror movies. The good part is that you can get the liquid latex at amazon here (non affiliate link – I don’t get anything if you follow the link), and it comes in a variety of colors, including day glow black light colors so you can do pretty much so anything you want to do here.

 

I personally recommend that you do the skin prep formula as well for the models, but this effect requires you don’t do the skin prep. You want it to pull away in chunks rather than in one solid sheet. Try it out, it is a pretty neat effect, and show JohnMStudios some love by following him on Facebook here.

 

 

Even for a TFP shoot why model releases matter

Miss Katie Mae Liquid Light ShowEven for a TFP shoot why model releases matter

 

Some of this is a total trigger for me, and one of the reasons I really detest doing group shoots. I generally just want someone to sign the model release, and then lets go take pictures. But sometimes you run into people who want to negotiate a separate release than the one the photographer usually uses. Most of us use a Getty Images release or an ASCP release, some of us use a 2257 release, and there are a ton of variations on the theme.

 

A model release expressly grants and limits what can be done with the images the photographer creates. This is important, it grants in general the photographer full rights to the images that are created while the model gets nothing, other than the right to use the pictures to promote themselves.

 

In a TFP shoot, it is generally agreed that some of the pictures will be used to promote the model’s own career, and most photographers will be fine with that.

 

Sometimes models will want a variation on that release for full rights or equal rights as the photographer who takes the picture.

 

I have done this in the past, and it was a horrible experience for me. At times models have so re-imaged the picture in Photoshop that I wanted my name taken off it. Generally photographers will go in with an idea of what they want, and when the image is re-imaged or redone in Photoshop it can be a process of cognitive dissonance with the photographer and the model. Sometimes it is a horrible experience.

 

Another issue comes in when money gets involved. The model is inherently going to have a bigger following than the photographer, and it is super important that the model keeps the watermark on the picture. Full rights allow the model to remove the watermark. In this age of the Internet it is so easy to crop out a watermark, it happens every day everywhere, that it is very easy for the photographer to never be credited for the picture by the model, or the models fans, and not boost their career. Honestly if I was busy shooting super models, I would want my watermark all over that image because I want to leverage my fan base for the model, and I would want the models fan base to check out my other work. I would totally sell an unwater marked image to a magazine, but I need my watermarks intact.

 

Granting a model full right to the images allows the model to sell the picture to their fan base without anything back to the photographer. Photographers can also sell that picture with no money back to the model for their time or effort. So in that respect it is fair, people can use the picture to make money, but nowhere in there does it state the money will be shared equally. This can be a huge problem as the photographer has expenses that the model does not have. Models don’t pay for the studio or location, the gear, often the costume, and otherwise, even for a TFP shoot. The photographer has costs, the model might have costs, and it is very important that money be shared or we stick to the standard release.

 

I won’t even mention the auditing overhead for making sure everyone plays this honest. People do weird things when money is involved.

 

Full rights also grants the right to take down the picture, if they can do everything that the photographer can do, they can say that the picture isn’t flattering, or legally take down the whole gallery. If the picture set is popular (and some of my sets reach into the quarter million picture views), having the model request a take down because they have full rights can be problematic. Suddenly the photographer has to deal with the issue of very popular against the models rights that the photographer gave them.

 

Suddenly a model has regrets and wants the gallery down. With full rights, they can do that, with a standard release they can’t and you can keep your popular gallery going.

 

I am not against sharing, I am against full rights or equal rights for any kind of shoot for a model. And nothing personal, I do have costs like the studio, makeup artists, gear, clothing, and other things that brings the average cost of a TFP shoot to somewhere around $200.00 per shoot. It might be free for the photographer to have the model there, but there are other costs associated with the shoot that the model does not see.

 

This doesn’t even include processing and rendering time.

 

What are your thoughts on this, should models get full rights to the images that the photographer creates, or are we opening a can of worms here that will be the end times of photography?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latex Model Justine

Justine Latex ModelLatex Model Justine

 

I had a great opportunity to work with Justine one last time before she headed off to the big city to boost her career. There is always something wonderful about shiny latex, and taking latex pictures can be a challenge.

 

Latex is great under flash photography, under continuous lighting the shiny sometimes does not work out the way that it needs to work out with the light reflecting off the model so you get the super shiny highlights.

 

One of the interesting challenges of lighting this is to ensure the backdrop stays white, and that the colors pop all the way through the outfit. In the end I used two barn door spots on the background, and then two 30-inch soft boxes for the model to make sure I got something shiny. I do tend to use a four light setup, one set of lights for the background and one set of lights for the model.

 

To make sure I got the shiny on the latex I used a latex polisher and silicone based lubricating gel. The latex polisher was an excellent touch to make sure I got the shiny look and feel while the lubricating gel was all about getting into and out of the latex while giving it that wonderful wet look that is essential to taking good latex pictures. The stark white background was used for the shoot so that I could get the colors to pop off the outfit and give additional texture and vibrancy to the colors.

 

I am still learning how to do amazing latex pictures, but what I find the most interesting about shooting latex is the phenomenal costs associated with purchasing the outfits. Latex models are also a breed apart when it comes to working with the materials. Some of the best suggestions I got on the care and feeding of latex was from the models I work with. In all this is a fun project to work on, and while I wish I could show you much more, I am still plagued by people trolling through Smugmug looking for naughty pictures, so much of what I do has been locked off and is no longer publicly accessible.

 

 

 

Bring Something Sexy the Movie

Bring Something Sexy the MovieBring Something Sexy the Movie

 

So in case you didn’t know we are part of a Freelance Modeling movie by Rebel and Dark Angel Productions. You can see the teaser trailer right here down below if you are interested in seeing the life of a freelance model.

 

Kristy/Rebel has been one of those folks who inspired me to be a better photographer and take on some of the move interesting art projects like Liquid Light, Projektor and the upcoming idea of “Dark Beauty” although I desperately need to change the name to suit more of what I am going for with the 1920’s 1930’s jazz age photography styles.

 

The teaser trailer is right here:

 

The uncut footage from the liquid light shoot I did with Kristy is right here:

 

In all I am super excited about being in a movie for and about freelance modeling, because this is an important aspect of the industry. I hire only freelance models; I don’t want to work with agency models because all the money does not go to the model. I would much rather the model gets all the cash and calls it good.

 

I also work with freelance models because I enjoy them; they are often freer in emotion and expression than what is coming out of the agency. Plus I get to work with new models, models that I continually seem to rehire depending on the project, and models that are taking an active interest in what I am doing as an art project. I tend to do more art projects than simple fashion or event photography. I have found many agency models to be a bit stiff in how they work, and that seems to be part of the agency system. I need art models, not fashion models and this drives the process.

 

Go check out the movie, check out the web site bring something sexy, and I hope you watch the movie when it comes out, it is going to be a great flick. It was a lot of fun to participate in, and hey it’s our first movie where we are not taking it. That is worth the blog entry and then some.

 

What is Freelance Modeling?

What is Freelance Modeling?

 

What is Freelance Modeling?

Editors Note: This is a guest post by Kristie Jessica of Femme Photo LTD, you can find her on Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr and Twitter. I have done a lot of work with Femme Photo LTD, and they are an amazingly cool group to work with.

The common Perception of a “model” is stick thin, 6 feet tall. This is a media-spread image fueled by the fashion industry. A very small percentage of women in America meet the standard for a fashion supermodel. Plenty of other women out there are beautiful! Small businesses and Freelance photographers have caught on to this, and many have decided to cut out the agency middle man to hire freelance models! The advent of the internet has made it possible for women of different styles and body types to get involved with freelance modeling. There are benefits and disadvantages to freelance modeling opposed to being represented by an agency. One must do all her own bookings, act professional, and adopt an entrepreneurial way of life.

The number one difference between freelance modeling and agency modeling is that freelance models book their own gigs. Open castings, Word of mouth, and online networks are options for freelance models to find work. The largest network for freelance models and photographers to connect is currently a website called ModelMayhem.com. An Agency represented model is usually contracted to work for a specific company that finds gigs for the model and takes a percentage of the income. Agencies charge high fees and have insurance requirements for those who want to hire their models. For those who meet the standards of the agency, this may be a good option. Freelance modeling allows for models to consider what type of photo shoots they would like to seek, what days and times to shoot, and they can keep 100% of any modeling fees they negotiate. However, freelance photographers who find models online are not always safe people to be around!!! One year ago, 19-year-old Colorado Springs model Kara Nichols disappeared on her way to Denver for a photo shoot she booked through model mayhem. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Fortunately there is a way for freelancers to check references by contacting models in photographers portfolios, if there is no contact information provided for models via model networking sites; it is likely a red flag! Booking your own gigs can be very successful if you’re responsible at it!

Responsibility is a key element to being a successful professional freelance model, as well as having success in ANY job! If one wants to be paid for their services, they must act professionally! This is what separates the divas from the ladies. Having a good attitude is important. Other responsibilities rely alot on managing ones appearance: staying fit, working out, eating healthy, and knowing how to style your own hair and makeup are some basic modeling responsibilities! You can’t just show up and look hott, you have to be coachable and learn to use different poses and facial expressions: the skills of your trade! By responding to emails efficiently, showing up to gigs on time and ready, and being clear on the rates and job description in advance, freelance models can build a reputation for reliability and will get more work through word of mouth.

One of the greatest rewards of freelancing is being your own boss! Agencies organize most of the behind the scenes work for the models they represent: finding casting calls, advertising, sending inquiries, managing a schedule, negotiating the fees etc. Freelance models have to have the entrepreneurial edge to do all this on their own! Earning a living as a model also means you can write off your expenses when tax season comes along! Receipts for makeup, hair products, outfits, etc should all be cataloged! Having a monthly or weekly goals help in managing a schedule: How many gigs per month does one need to cover living expenses? Did you leave room for down time and hobbies? Balance is important!

Hollywood, TV, and magazines promote an impossible standard for women to live up to, but there are millions of beautiful women out there! Leave the insecurities behind! If you or a friend of yours wants to model but don’t meet the strict height or weight requirements for agency modeling, consider modeling in the freelance world! All it takes is a little research, a coachable, positive attitude, and a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit!

 

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Gas Mask Girl

Gas Mask GirlGas Mask Girl

The Gas Mask fetish is one of the more interesting fetishes out there, part punishment play or breath play, or used in horror movies to make people tons more scared. Some of the vintage Soviet gas masks make for awesome horror movies like the Reeker, a really grade B horror movie. Depending on your take, the isolation of facial features makes the gas mask an essential part of horror and in some cases BDSM. As far as fetishes go, it is something that reaches all the way though BDSM, to Horror, and in some cases even into the Steampunk communities.

It is also good for helping your model remain anonymous depending on what they do for their day job.  The Gas Mask is an element of design that can be interpreted through at least three community lenses that I know of, and there are probably more. If you have a gas mask it is always a good idea to wipe it out with soap and water at the end of the shoot so that it remains clean. If you want to keep it shiny use silicon oil rather than a petroleum product as petroleum will eat through the rubber. They can be pretty expensive depending on what kind of mask you purchase. The cheaper ones are the more common, like the Israeli and Russian common masks. Some of the hardest to find are those like the ShMS Gas mask that has an other worldly alien and quite scary look and feel to it. If you want to do fetish work with a gas mask go with the regular ones you can find in most army navy stores. But if you want something really special like the ShMS Gas mask your best bet is Ebay, and around 100.00 dollars when they are available. If you are short on funds, or just want to try it out, you can generally find gas masks at the army navy surplus store for 20 to 30 dollars.

Below is one of the regular gas mask girl galleries that I have online.  Standard setting of the white background, standard studio lighting, I used CL lighting rather than flash because I really wanted to control the reflections in the eye windows of the gas mask. Usually the flash will flare off the plastic eye covers and I wanted to get what I was seeing. The camera was set for 100 ISO at 1/125th. The floor is painted black but I wanted to use the highlights off the floor as well in composing the image. Overall it was a fun shoot and follow back on the gallery link to check out the other stuff.

 

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2013 The Statistics Year in Review

Behai Park Beijing China2013 The Statistics Year in Review

We all know that being a photographer means that you have to be an attention whore in a number of ways. We need to get people looking at our pictures online just to even think about getting started selling them. That means we need to stand out from the crowd, we need to keyword and tag what we are doing, as well as dealing with age gates, other photographers, linking and embedding, and all the processes that help us literally stand out from the crowd.

According to the blogs on Flickr and Smugmug something on the order of 3.5 million pictures are uploaded daily on those sites. Instagram if you use it and Facebook are more than billions a week. It is very hard to stand out from the crowd, and 2013 is the year I took SEO (Search Engine Optimization) seriously.

And it paid off, this is the first year I sold pictures, and sold enough pictures to pay for all my hosting plans at DA, Smugmug and Flickr. Here is how the numbers work out.

Flickr:

Starting number 700,000 ending number 10,223,640

Total picture views this year

Sales – Nada, Flickr really needs to figure out a way that others can purchase our pictures. While linking back to Getty Images is cool, that has turned into a dead process for me because of the pictures I take. I don’t do stock pictures, and that complicates Flickr for me. So no sales and unlikely to have any sales via Getty any time soon.

Smugmug:

Total picture views for the year 4,649,198

Sales – enough to pay for hosting and a small craft beer, which is not bad because this is the first year I have ever had sales. The interesting is the graph below, you can see the obvious difference between understanding Smugmug keywords and its internal audience and those days I did not understand them. The midyear point is an amazing turn for people looking at my pictures.

Deviant Art

Starting Number 112,000, ending number 236,927

Total picture views for the year

Sales – enough barely enough to pay for hosting, but this is also the first year I have sold pictures on DA so that makes it special. I mostly sold electronic downloads there, no prints.

Total picture views for the year are: 14,297,765

Facebook and Google Plus

After a small ruckus caused by my pictures from AMDEF 2013 this year, I had to move all the photography over to a page. I was effectively shutdown in Facebook for something like 30 hours this year because people would flag them as porn or something else. While I have had thousands of picture views on both sites, I had to move everything over to a fan page to keep the flaggers/trolls at bay and not upset their fine sensibility, or run afoul of Facebook’s solid issues with Nipples. Seriously Facebook has almost a deviant psychosis when it comes to nipples, or at least some of their users sure do. Although I am ok with it because a lot of other international and national photographers also found themselves shutdown at times. So I am not going to count them this year because of the transition from timeline to fan page.

All other sites, I don’t really post much to 500PX or Instagram or others so they don’t really count. All the numbers are below 10,000 and insignificant in comparison to what is happening over on Flickr, Smugmug and Deviant Art. 2012 was in comparison a pretty paltry year, with maybe a couple hundred thousand picture views, and with the millions of picture views this year along with making enough coin to make hosting payments I really cannot argue where this year ended up. Remember to do all the SEO you can to help you stand out of the billions of pictures that are uploaded weekly.

 

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