A few months ago, I signed up with Model Mayhem to get myself motivated to photograph more people, experiment with light and basically let my imagination go wild. Not too long after signing up I had two people contact me asking to photograph them based on the photos I posted to my profile. On Remembrance Day, I photographed Jewelz, a vivacious, curvy young woman who’s goal it is to break into the plus size modeling world. She is so passionate about this, she even has “EFFYOURBEAUTYSTANDARDS” tattooed on her left calf.
Before the photo shoot, I researched how to photograph curvy women. I managed to find great images online for tear sheets that both of us looked through for inspirations. In my research, I discovered a household icon, whom everyone knows as Spock, photograph curvy, voluptuous women along with other fantastic bodies of work. ‘scuse the pun.
Leonard Nemoy is interviewed in this article showcasing his work from, “The Full Body Project”. It’s so far, one of the best articles I’ve read about this project. Perhaps it’s because I can hear his voice ring out that is truly his and not Spock’s. Thank God… I don’t… have… to hear… Kirk’s! For the first time in my mind, Leonard Nemoy is his own person. I sent another article about “The Full Body Project to Jewelz. I wasn’t sure if she knew about it already. Turns out she didn’t and here’s what she she wrote back, “OMGSH THAT LINK WAS DOPE. I have no idea Leonard N did photography and he is fucking fabulous at it. The black and white was dope and then i saw the full body and im like WOO.” I was very pleased to know she was as much excited about this discovery as I was. Indeed, I’d love to get my hands on a Leonard Nemoy book of photography.
It was a simple set up; a canvas mottled brown background, 1 Alien Bee with a shoot through studio umbrella. In the beginning, I didn’t move the light source from the left side I had it in. The light filled the space completely lighting her softly, so for the most part we went through many poses, some working some not. Jewelz had so many great facial expressions that I asked her to look pouty, surprised, or sheepish. Another great feature, her hair. I kept fluffing it forward and she kept smoothing it back. From these batch of photos, I had an inkling they were like a painting I had once seen, or several paintings from the same artist, but I couldn’t put my thumb on it until Rob mentioned it at Photographers Anonyms. “You know what these are like?” asking me to scroll back to a full length of Jewelz pieogioned toed and looking as though she was caught with her hands in he cookie jar. ” No what?” “It looks like a Botero Sculpture.” Not recognizing the name right away, I said, “it looks like that Mexican Folk Artist.” “Yeah, Botero! And he’s Columbian, not Mexican.” It’s because of his suggestion that I’ve contacted Jewelz again to see if she’d like to do another shoot in the Botero Style. She’s agreed and the shoot takes place on December 3rd, but more about that later.
Close to the end of the night, I decided to move the lighting from the front to the side. Tethering or wifing it through the Canon 6D would have come in handy at this point. Now I had dramatic lighting, but felt as though I’ve exhausted every pose. Or the poses that looked great before, didn’t work now. This was what I needed. A chance to switch up the lighting and experiment, especially with a challenging unique body type. I In the end I had some successful poses, but because there was little time remaining, I wasn’t able to pull much more from myself or Jewelz. My favorites besides the Boteroesque images were the portrait shots. Jewelz full moon face, rosebud mouth and runaway curly hair reminded me of a cherub from a Leonardo Di Vinci painting. Lol. I’ve also thought of cherubs as yet another themed photo shoot for Jewelz.