In this series of articles I am going to share with you my personal journey and insights into becoming a sexy woman photographer. I’ll tell you all about the decisions I made along the way and the why.
Amateur By Choice. Professional By Approach.
Don’t be misled by the “amateur” label – I can assure you that I am very professional in the way that I approach my photography. I am an amateur photographer by choice. I like the freedom of choosing what, who, where and when I shoot without the pressures of having to make enough money to pay my bills, I have a day job unrelated to photography that takes care of that.
My Journey Started 40 Years Ago
I first started taking photographs back in the 1970’s in the days of film. Everything was manual so you quickly learned how your camera worked, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO and to “get it right in camera”, otherwise you wasted money on film and processing.
Marriage and pressures of family life meant that photography took a back seat for about 20 years, but I never lost the passion. A change in my circumstances meant that I had the opportunity to re-kindle my love affair with photography and the advent of the digital era made it affordable and very accessible. Oh, I still had some of my old gear that I thought was redundant and not relevant to digital photography, but as you will see later this assumption was very wrong!
I am also extremely lucky that I have a partner who understands my passion and is very supportive of, if sometimes also a little exasperated by, my love of people photography in general and specifically fashion and glamour photography. She is also very good at helping out with styling of the models and even suggesting poses and wardrobe changes that neither myself nor the model could see at the time.
Landscape-, Still Life-, Portrait Photography. But How To Do “Sexy”?
So… Where to start? You have your DSLR, maybe a couple of lenses, you have learned the basics maybe cutting your teeth and starting your learning journey on landscapes, still life and maybe even people photography.
What you don’t have is a portfolio, a track record or even started to build your reputation as a sexy women photographer (yet).
When I first started back in the late 70’s, I was a much younger man than I am now and was in the “dating phase” of my life. That meant that I had “readymade subjects” to practice my photography on. Some were not convinced initially, but when they saw the resulting photographs, they started to warm to the idea of acting as my guinea pig.
At that time I hadn’t moved totally into glamour and nude photography. Eventually I moved in with one of these girlfriends and my images began to start getting more towards the glamour and nude side of portraiture. This is one way to get started, to learn the techniques of this genre of photography.
Using family and friends can only take you so far though and it can sometimes feel uncomfortable and awkward. You will, however have started to build your portraiture portfolio and even begun your glamour portfolio.
Restarting My Journey In 2009
As I said in my introduction, circumstances meant that I took an extended break from my photography, so for me we skip forward some 20 odd years to 2009 and I rejoin you now in the digital age.
Probably you have the benefit of your fledgling portfolio – I was starting from scratch. I only had a few images from that earlier time, many of which were of their time and looked very dated so I had to rebuild my credibility.
Thanks to the internet I made contact with a young aspiring model and we arranged a shoot at a location near her home. I had minimal equipment – a Canon 350D with its 18-55mm kit lens, an 80-210mm telephoto lens and a 5 in 1 reflector. Rather fortunately we were both pretty much at the same stage of development so we were a good match.
Surprisingly we managed to get a few good images that kick-started both of our portfolios but it also served to show me how little I knew about digital photography and image post processing. I knew how to make the images in camera but not how to finesse and polish those images.
This is where part 2 of my learning journey began. More about that in my next article.
PS: This Is Some Of My Gear Today…
I’ll be covering a lot more about my gear including modifiers and reusing old school style flashguns and modern equivalents in a later article.
Thanks for your interest!
My Article Series Outlook
- Getting started: Building Credibility, Camera Clubs & Model Nights, TFP – what it is and isn’t, On Location or Home Studio?
- Working with Models: Where to look, The Shoot, Model Levels & Respect
- Training: Learning Posing, Lighting, Composition
- Shoot planning: Collect Ideas, Lighting Setups, Location Scouting, Sharing your Shoot Vision with your “Team”