2014.01.12 Lizzy RBlood in Philadelphia
This is Lizzy Rblood. She is a beautiful tiny creature who enjoys coffee, tattoos, metal, and drinking human blood.
I had some business in Philly and set up a few shoots during my trip. Lizzy was kind enough to invite me to her place in East Falls. I was hung over that day so the morning is a blur aside from a vague memory of eating Dunkin Donuts in my rental car while parked at the IKEA in South Philly.
Once I got to lizzy's place we started discussing the shoot and things became tense. We had agreed she would pose nude, but now she didn't want to. Some days I don't care, on this day I did. We were at a stalemate and it felt as if she was going to throw me out of her house.
I explained to her that I usually don't shoot fully nude, instead I like to have some degree of wardrobe in the mix. She agreed but didn't seem enthused. As I've mentioned before I am no stranger to shooting models who dislike me. As we started shooting and she observed my precise eagle-like vision for posing and shooting angles, she slowly loosened up. I showed her a few of the photos in my camera and she looked as if her heart was going to explode with joy. I have shot a ton of girls but I've never met one who enjoys looking at pictures of herself more than Lizzy does.
As you can see the light in her place was fucking amazing. You cannot plan for these things. You just have to keep your eyes open. Consider all possibilities within the space. Usually girls don't care if you move stuff around in their apartment in order to produce a better shot, as long as you move it all back afterwards.
By the end of the shoot she was doing stripteases for me and sticking her butt in my face. I've never had a model do such an extreme 180 - from hating me to liking me in only a few hours. I think the lesson here is that, as a photographer, it is important to know your skillset and preferences, and stick to them as much as you can. Compromises are fine but know your boundaries.
It's natural for a model to be nervous about shooting nude, or wearing wardrobe she isn't crazy about. She is probably receiving many suspicious messages on Modelmayhem and is also shooting with lots of guys who have no fucking idea how to take a good photo. You need to be able to assure the model that you know what you are doing and she is going to look beautiful in the photos. Sometimes you accomplish this by sending her specific examples of your work beforehand, other times it is explaining why you are doing something during the shoot. Find a way to build that trust and comfort and the end result will be exponentially better.
I should also note that at one point during this shoot we took a break because Lizzy was hungry. She came out of her kitchen 5 minutes later eating a corndog. The aesthetic of a naked indian girl eating a corndog was among the most bizarre things I've ever seen. I was so shocked that I forgot to take any pictures of this once-in-a-lifetime visual experience.