Moon from a Fairy Tale

These are from working with Xlcr Moon back in late July. The odd weather of this summer continues, but this marked the start of a turn around in my luck when it came to the weather. After being rained out much of the spring and Murphy’s Law winning in Arizona, this shoot marked the start of a run of close calls, but successful outdoor work.

There’s something about this location that often brings me to mind of fairy tale shoots. I think it’s a combination of the outstanding greenery there this time of year, the beautiful streams that flow through the area, and the wonderful rocks and boulders that are scattered around. I’ve shot here probably more than any other location over the last four years and I doubt most could tell photos taken yards apart. These photos are from a spot there I’d not actually used in a couple years and like how they came out. The white dress and bright green I think give it that fairy tell look here.





Jessi June in June

You know I didn’t even notice we shot in June until I started to write this entry?

I had intentionally taken a bit of time off from shooting after my trip to Arizona in early June expecting I’d be worn and with a lot to go through. While the trip didn’t go as planned, it still turned out good that a family medical situation tied me up for much of those first couple of weeks back in Tennessee. I was able to work in a shoot with the wonderful Jessi June. We’d shot together before and it was amazing to see how much she’s grown as a model since the last time we worked together. A quick shoot, but one that worked out very well as you can see in these shots from our shoot.

Jessi June

Jessi June

Melissa in the Hall

Following up my post a last week with Melissa a few more from that second shoot. The setup for these is much the same as the last image with a little tweak. A single flash behind the door at the end of the hall still provides the only light, but the door now opens wider. The flash now casts a beam through the more open door illuminating more of the hall along with the floor around Melissa. That single flash provides the only light for these images. I left the flash unmodified to produce a very harsh light to better bring out the textures in the wall and give a high contrast lighting reminiscent of film noir. The film noir style focuses on moody, dark, and dramatic themes with a low key black and white lighting style.

So a bit about the setup behind these images and the path that got to here. A few days before this shoot I’d watched the Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall version of The Big Sleep based of the Raymond Chandler novel. It’s a classic film noir and my personal favorite example of the genre. The film tells a tale of a private investigator played by Bogart that becomes embroiled in a mess of blackmail, murder, and betrayal after being hired by a wealthy man to handle his daughter’s gambling debts. Like most film noir the story contains elements of sex, blackmail, crime that have led crime stories to be associated with the genre.

After shooting some images as the last I posted with Melissa peeking into a cracked door, the idea came for these. The light already had an element of that noir look and I enhanced that by shifting the light and removing the modifiers to give sharp lined shadows and hard contrast lighting. Our thought here was the story of a male presence along with a nude woman in a simple interaction of looking at each other across a small distance. The male presence is myself in a rare appearance in front of the camera. The camera is on a tripod at the far end of the hallway from Melissa and being triggered by a remote. I don’t remember for these two, but in several of them Melissa has the remote and triggered the camera hiding it shadow for the shot.


I like the first image above mostly from Melissa’s pose and expression. The male looks to have just come into the hallway and found her here. The look on Melissa’s face has just enough ambiguity in its neutrality to make you wonder at her reaction to the arrival. She seems a little concerned and guarded. There’s the question of why is she in the hall? Why is she nude? Who is this person with her? What is their relationship? What’s inside that room with the open door? My positioning where I stand in silhouette and block any view beyond her are both intentional to add mystery to the scene.

In the second below I’m a more full presence and I like the connection of her looking up at me as I look down toward her. Her pulled in body contrasts with the less guarded expression. In both images I think there are several stories once can fit to the scene. What are the intents of both characters and what relation do they have? Why are they here? It’s that ambiguity and question I wanted to capture in these photos. In the end a noir story or movie isn’t about the results. You don’t watch The Big Sleep to find out who killed the chauffeur, you watch to see the investigation and the twists and turns of the story. Here the photo doesn’t tell you what happened before this moment or afterward, but provides enough for you to write your own story around it.


Melissa from Winter

I know I’m posting kind of randomly right now. I’ve had a number of shoots this year I’ve not posted anything from so I’ve been making an effort to go back and catch up on some of the better ones. Here I’m going all the way back to end of last year and first of this one with and some shoots with Melissa Troutt. She’s always one of my favorite models to work with and one of the best art models I’ve ever had the chance to collaborate with. We end up with some interesting things every time we work together and that’s part of what makes our collaborations so enjoyable. I spent some time last week going through those photos again this past week and realized I’d never posted any of these so I’m correcting that.

First a couple of her in a simple setup with her lying on a white sheet draped over a large sofa and natural light coming through a sheer curtain on a window to the side and behind me. I love the eye contact with the camera and her body pose in this image.


Another that I really like. Her I think her face has a nice subtle emotion with a hint of sadness and regret. It’s a good pose again as it enforces that feeling of sadness in her body. I do wish I’d had Melissa move her forearm a bit to completely cover her nipple as i think the image would have worked even better as an implied nude.


One more for this post from a different shoot with her that’s completely different. Here we have a much different setup. The ambient light provides just enough light to give shape and the primary light is a flash that shows through the crack in the door. I like the element of mystery to this one with the darkness on her body leaving her nude, but only barely revealed and the question of what she’s looking into the door for. Is she looking to get in or out? There’s a lot of stories I think can be placed into this photo.


I’ve a couple more of Melissa and this same shoot for a later post, but that’s all for now.