Welcome to one of my throwback episodes. The shoot presented here was done quite a while ago but it’s totally worth sharing with you.

The action took place in 2006 and it was approximately the 5th glamNude shoot that I had ever done. I produced in my then studio/apartment and the purpose for me was to practice and hopefully get a few lovely pics for my very first glam portfolio.

I had the luck to get Marketa Belonoha (references on Google Images ) for this job who was already quite a web celeb at that time. Marketa had countless shoots under her belt and already starred in 2 books published by Petter Hegre. But Marketa was still all natural in behavior and totally fresh in her ways. No allures, endlessly sweet, easy to work with and seemingly very forgiving when working with newcomers like me.

Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan Hostettler - Results

Even though I was most thankful for the experience, I could not really use many pics from this set. Exactly one shot was good enough to make it into my very first booklet which is of not such a high standard anyway.
The rest of the series is a great reminder of how not to execute lighting and angles… I am still frustrated that I did not prepare myself better.

Behind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan HostettlerBehind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan Hostettler
Behind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan Hostettler

Lighting Design: Wrong Placement, Wrong Ratios, Wrong Characteristics

This set plan (= lighting design) is just pro forma. As particularized, the lighting was not exactly brilliant, but rather shitty. While the position of the lights, the directions and even the lights’ functions (key, fill) might work, I would definitely use different ratios (for example, less power for the head fill-in) and other modifiers (for example, a gridded standard reflector for the key).

2D Shooting Light Set Plan - Marketa Belonoha - Rose Shoot - Nude Photo Shoot Observation by Dan Hostettler

Also one huge mistake happened here that disturbs the style of a glamNude portrait: there are almost no recognizable reflections (= feel!) in the model’s eyes. As I always preach: it’s the catchlights, catchlights, chatchlights!

Rediscovered Pics From This Set

Just a few more images from the “Rose Set”, rediscovered 11 years later. Shot with a different angle, applied different post, created a whole other look/mood. It basically makes no sense at all (composition, overblown, framing) but I simply admire to see Marketa’s beauty. She’s a gem. And I did not do as much work with her as I should have because – as mentioned before – those were my very modest beginnings… (Hegre has been clearly at an advantage back then :-))

Alternative Results - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan HostettlerAlternative Results - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan Hostettler

Lighting Gear

  • 3x 400 Ws Monoblocs
  • Key light: Collapsed reflective umbrella (white coated)
  • Fill-in head: Bounce over a reflector disc (white side)
  • Fill-in legs: Stripbox, not hitting the set

Cam/Lens Settings

  • Nikon D200 (cropped sensor)
  • ISO 400
  • f/11
  • 1/60
  • 18-85mm

Behind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan HostettlerBehind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan HostettlerBehind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan HostettlerBehind The Scenes - Marketa Belonoha - Early Nude Shoot, Insights by Dan Hostettler

Despite all the hurdles and not-so-thrilling glam outcome we had a great time on set and it was worth the investment. The roses almost cost more than the model fee :-)))

Content value?

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ESSENTIALS - Studio Lighting For Nude Photography with Jenni Czech & Melisa Mendini by Dan Hostettler

ESSENTIALS. Studio Lighting for Nude Photography

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