February 21st 2015, Wedding Photographer London
Laid bare (NSFW)
My friend Chris Henderson is currently doing a project called Bare and I have borrowed its title for the title of this post. I can’t think of better words and not just because of the subject matter, because of the journey that led me to creating these images in the first place.
I met a life model several years ago and she offered to model nude for me and my camera. I really, really wanted to take her up on that offer but it was so far out of my comfort zone that I didn’t take her up on the offer and instead I frequently thought about setting that shoot up but I didn’t actually do anything about it.
I have always wanted to photograph in an intimate way and I don’t even really mean intimate in terms of nudity or even boudoir. I am good at drawing out the personalities of my couples because I can use their relationship to do that, however even then my images tend to err on the side of joyful, rather than sultry, contemplative or emotional.
I know that this is because of my own barriers. I am quite introverted (although outgoing) and I am pretty guarded in terms of my own feelings and letting people see them. The thing with photography, though, is that you get out what you put in.
You need to push yourself and take risks, to grow as a photographer. I am getting better at this and my instagram 365 project, although in its infancy, is helping me to try new things and put different types of images out into the world. Images that don’t fit neatly in my comfort zone. Images that might be totally rubbish in the eyes of the rest of the world but that represent me trying something new.
This shoot was about as new as it gets, as I have never shot boudoir before and I have certainly never shot a naked person before. In fact at the time of writing this I’ve since shot two more people in various states of undress, as I’m currently on a photography retreat in the Smoky Mountains (check out #hhr2015 on Instagram or follow @heavyheartedphotographers) and there is a LOT of shooting going on.
I love these images. It helped that our model, the beautiful Cheyenne is a talented boudoir photographer and 100% comfortable in front of the camera and her own skin. I probably felt more bare than she did, hence the post title. It’s probably not something that clients think about too much – the fact that we are putting ourselves out there too. Sharing something you created with the world can make you feel very vulnerable indeed. I am so, so pleased with this shoot though and I know that I have to feel vulnerable in order to create something new.
I would love to shoot more boudoir photography. If you’re interested in a shoot (where you can be naked, clothed or somewhere in between) get in touch.