Getting Started; Big Comfy Chair

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Page created January 20, 2011
Sitting date:  June 25, 2010


This is Tiana.  She is a very well known model.  She started modeling young, and she's now on top of her game.  You may have seen her in fashion and/or glamour magazines, possibly advertising cosmetics.  This was her first trip to town.

Tiana is also best friends with Betcee May, one of my favorite models.  Betcee hasn't made it back to town in years, but we've kept in touch.  Betcee went out of her way to give each of us a great reference for the other.  When Tiana's lodging plans fell through at the last minute, I volunteered my guest room for her, based on Betcee's recommendation.



My previous photography session was with a newbie posing for the very first time (Ashley S.).  In contrast, Tiana is as experienced as any model I've ever met.  She is clearly comfortable having her picture taken -- in fact, she was quite at ease throughout her trip.  She was relaxed, comfortable, graceful, warm, and genuine all the time we were together.

In fact, I immediately noticed something amazing about Tiana.  Most experienced models simply can find the best light instinctively.  With Tiana, it was quite different -- good light just circles & dances around her, like all those woodland creatures who were enraptured by Snow White in the classic Disney cartoon.

Look at her!  This is the spot the big comfy chair normally sits, and I've photographed many models right there.  Never has the light been more lovely.  How the heck did Tiana do that?



Tiana had only a couple of sessions scheduled here, which was a surprise to me.  Her rates were reasonable, and her talents are impressive.  In any case, she arrived on a Thursday evening.  On Friday morning, I showed her around town.  The light in my house is best in mid-afternoon, and that's when we made many of these pictures.  We had a nice dinner, and we turned in early.  On Saturday morning, we visited the Farmer's Market, which Tiana enjoyed a lot.  On Saturday afternoon, she went off to her second session.

She was totally delightful throughout.  Our conversation flowed easily -- she was very easy to be around.



I'm including this picture because it is poorly exposed.  (I find my "misses" to be more educational than my "hits").  When working with natural light, you just have to pay attention to even the subtlest of changes to the lighting.


Here is my first glimpse of Tiana's wonderful figure.

I can't help but contrast Tiana with Ashley S. -- Ashley's sitting with me was her first time posing nude; she was nervous, excited, and she didn't know what to do with her hands.

In contrast, Tiana was comfortable & graceful without her clothes.  She moves so naturally!





Another contrast between Tiana & Ashley S.  Tiana gives great eye contact.


I like the cropping & composition of the two images that follow.




A word about cropping.  Back in my film days, I was creating large-ish 6x7 negatives, but I was typically only printing on 8x10 paper (although I've been known to make prints as large as 20x24).  Even with modern digital cameras, film is capable of retaining more information than the highest resolution digital images.  So, with a moderately large negative printed on a moderately small paper, I had a lot of latitude to crop an image.  That's an ingrained habit of mine.  

It's not so good nowadays.  This image, above, is about a full framed image, and it looks fine.  But if I crop it, even a little bit, the tonal quality of the image deteriorates.  It's a tough habit to change -- I used to defer cropping decisions until I edited / printed the images.  It's something to think about.





Hypnotic, isn't she?

I should mention that Tiana & I had such a fun casual time throughout the day & a half we spent together, but when it was photography time, she was all business, all professional.  We were efficient, and "Hit vs Miss" ration was much better than usual.  I can see why she is in so much demand as a model.






Have you noticed that I haven't included any of my "signature" sepia toned images on this page yet?  (There will be plenty in the Out Takes).  

In this case, I do like the color -- the color balance is very accurate, light is delicate & lovely, and the exposure is very good.  Is that the stars lining up?  Is that an indication that my skills are increasing?  Or is that just part of Tiana's magic?  I'll guess it's a little bit of all three.


I observe my own habit -- we set up a particular lighting scheme, we work it, we try some variations, and when we feel we've explored the setup as much as we can, we experiment.  So, Tiana tries this, lying down semi-backward on the chair.  This didn't work well for me -- I don't like it when faces are lit from "below".  So, one last exposure, and we move on.




Tiana is a most impressive model.  There is gold in every exposure.  

We move to the other side of the room, to my couch and the studio lights.

My Couch


(Remember -- feedback is always appreciated) 

All images (c) 2011 Looknsee Photography

Tiana, First Visit Out Takes

More than 130 more images from this sitting are available in the Out Takes Galleries, which are available to those who have made a donation to the upkeep of this web site.  See this FAQ question for more details.