I figured I would finally hire someone to come over and model for me. I am a little tired of hoping for the right image to come across Facebook or taking images off of the internet. Frankly, I haven’t had much luck with either of those methods.
I decided a while back that I would take a step on my own to acquire the images I needed for reference shots and some usable images. However, it is a nerve wracking experience.
For starters, this is a transaction between two strangers. I know nothing to very little of whom I might be hiring and vise versa. I was nervous going into this. I have considered it for a while, but it is hard to find people willing to model. Understandably, some of my friends might be to some point. Though I do not know if I could ever muster the courage to ask for nude, near nude, or implied nude images. Art is riddled with these types of images and there is something graceful and magnificent about them.
Of course, that means asking a friend to pose nude, or to be nude. It sounds weird to some. I mean, I should learn and know enough about anatomy to fill in the blanks, however to some point that is not true. There are so many subtle changes and differences in the way the skin will pull and tighten. The way light will fall and shadow will cling to the flesh. Veins, bruises, scars. All of these are important. I do not see them as imperfections. I see them as being part of who a person is.
So I needed to also see the body move. See it in and under lighting. I needed to have a greater understanding for what I am working with. More importantly, for what I am about to render. It is hard to find the right images. The ones that have enough detail will have subtle post editing. Scars and imperfections will be smoothed. Weight will be taken off. In some categories, the anatomy will be altered to fit some basic concept of the way things should be.
Or the images will be shot by an absolute amateur. I have seen these images. Little to no light balance, no editing. They will not even throw a basic filter on it to balance the colour and if they do they will throw too many on. It makes it tough to find a good image. Then comes the lack of quality. The image is compressed again and again. By the time it finally is used it is smaller than one’s pupil in terms of detail. That is not useful.
Then the final version of trouble comes in the sites that have great shots, those are all pulling images from pornography. Nudity seems to be attached too obstinately to sexuality. The idea of a nude image being racy or sexy. To stop this, they just add absurd circumstances. Weapons or guns. Impossible objects in the hands of (typically women) the subject that have no place. Or if they don’t the shots are clearly pornographic in nature with emphasis placed on thinning bodies, pulling attention to sexual organs, and aroused expressions. Of course, thanks to porn, I have found a few genuine and beautiful expressions of human emotion. But that is another post all together.
There were some concerns with hiring the model. Will she be willing? Who am I inviting over? What will be the limitations? Can I find a person willing to model nude and still have it be professional?
This model was surprisingly perfect. She was not the prettiest woman on the planet, however she was perfect for the shoot. She wore just enough makeup and had her hair styled simply, but it was more than enough to work with. All because her emotions were genuine. All because of her beautiful smile. One that as she laughed it pulled nicely at the sides of her mouth. I regret if anything, making her smile and laugh as much as I did. It did interfere with some of the shots. But it was not dire. When I needed it, I got some amazing pictures. I wish I could share them, however I cannot. Not without blurring her face, which would ruin the shots that I processed.
However, she confirmed some of what I feared. Not in her actions, but rather that I am a rare majority. That I am the only one to hire her for a non sexual in nature shoot. Apparently, she had had more than a few weird individuals asking for shots I would be ashamed to even ask for. I felt weird asking her for a somewhat racy shot, but going by what she has been asked a partially nude shot (that was a little on the sexy side) was beyond tame. I could not even begin to have the gull to ask her for anything more.
Going by the ads I had to sort though to find her’s I am not surprised. That and what options I was considering to find someone willing to model, I feel I got truly lucky to find this woman.
If anything, I will be posting some of the sketched I do online over the next couple of weeks, and I have to say I am looking forward to being able to do another shoot, perhaps with a different body type (that should not be tough, when I post a sketch or two people will understand). I am sure that I may be able to find someone willing, it will be just a matter of setting up the shoot. However, that will be another day.
Have a nice one!