Chelsea Hooker, nude, dressed in shadows

Sexual or a celebration of a form that’s beautifully intricate?

I had certain hesitations when it came to shooting a set celebrating the female form. On one hand, I had a model who was super comfortable shooting this content and on the other, I didn’t want the photos to be purely sexualised by a male gaze.

A few years ago, I’d fallen into shooting this style of photography and while it was praised, a part of me watched as my male following overtook the female one and the creepy DM’s started to flow into my Instagram. SO, about a year ago I decided to slow down on it and focus on working with stylists and working more heavily on the video side of my portfolio. I didn’t want people looking at my work for what I believed were the wrong reasons.

Now with time, I’ve understood that I can’t control the way people perceive work, of any kind. Some will sexualise, some won’t and others will find the healthy balance in between. And now I’m happy to say it’s lead me in a direction of creating that inspires me a lot more. With this set though, there was really no pressure. An hour with someone confident in their own skin.

Chelsea Hooker oozes a chill vibe, and spontaneity. She also says ‘Dude’ more than any other human I’ve met.

Chelsea popped up on the socials several times over the past couple of months, with a cool mix of artistic nudes and portraits. I hadn’t shot anything like that in a fair while but we thought our styles would align so why not? We decided to wing it, and shot at an air bnb she was staying at in Palm Beach. The light on that muggy morning meant we could play around with the shadows on her skin and experiment a bit. No plan, just a few rolls of film and a cruisy human that exuded a chill confidence.

Cameras, lenses, films?

Cameras used:
Canon EOS 3 w/ Canon 24-70 F2.8 mii
Pentax 67 w/ Pentax 105 f2.4
Films used:
35mm Portra 400, 120 Tri – X 400, 120 Portra 400.

I shot at 200 ASA and metered from that!

iPhone 11 is the new MVP for digi backups

Film always carries a bit of risk so I shot a few things on my new iPhone 11 and they kinda blew me away. Don’t think I’ll be needing digi backups on my shoots anymore? Not for small scale projects anyway. Really enjoying the challenge of seeing how I can push my every day phone. Definitely want to get into shooting video with it. 3 shots below on iphone, edited using #vsco:

iPhone shot in the shadows
iPhone and a sunshine beverage
iPhone shot processed in black and white on VSCO.

I often get asked: does it get awkward?

The short answer is no. You can really only shoot stuff unclothed if the model is extremely comfortable. And the only way to make him or her comfortable, is to be comfortable yourself. In your process, and your reasoning for being on the shoot. If you’re more interested in gawking, the shots will never be as strong as they could be. Once you start clicking, the rest is just background noise really. Plus, let’s be honest, you don’t want to be the creep with the camera.

Hope you enjoyed the set and some thoughts that decided to pop into my brain while I uploaded them. This blog will become a regular place for deeper looks into my work and my reasons for doing what I do. It’s also to hopefully help others on their way. If even just one person gets some value out of the process, I’ll have done my job.

Til next time.

Clash