Ah, remind me never to start shooting a shoot at like 1am. But that’s what often happens when you spend all day putting together (an maybe overdoing) a set.
The I wrapped it up mostly thinking that I might bring it to AVN, then I thought to myself maybe it was a little too weird and left field for that show, and seeing as I haven’t been to AVN in ages, anything I made in the last 5 years is new to them, so again, it got shelved.
But when I got back from AVN there was this great smutty Victorian creation of mine waiting for me. After concentrating on my video update, a few days ago we had a warm spell so it wasn’t restrictively cold out in my studio. I knew cold weather and a snowstorm was on it’s way, so this was my best chance to get it done.
So the original plan was to shoot at 6pm. Then it took longer to assemble all the set bits and pieces. Maybe i should have gone simple to counterbalance the busy outfit, but for whatever reason I decided to make the background as busy as the outfit. Sort of old trap of “Well I put this much effort into the outfit, I’d hate for the set to look like an afterthought”.
I dragged this old Victorian parts cabinet out into the studio. I put up tons of frames. I set up far more crap in the background than maybe I needed. There’s stuff there you don’t even see in a lot of the photographs, but the purpose of a big set is best summed up by what I tell people who shoot video of me.
People tend t get hung up on trying to show the whole set in every shot, and that’s not the point. So I tell them the purpose of a big set is so that you can get more angles of me and there’s always something in the background. It’s not about the set, it’s about the model.
So everything dragged on till after midnight and I was only finally ready to shoot. Ever wonder why I self-shoot 95% of my shoots? Often because I’m never ready when I say I should be. Now if I shoot with a photographer at someone’s house or something like that, I’m always on time. But when left to my own devices I tend to obsess over details and it drags on. But hey, I was still awake and the studio was warm so let’s down an energy drink and do this thing!
Now I thought I had the lighting how I wanted it to be (3 point with a nice rim light giving me that “Suze Randall” look). But somehow the rim light got blown out by the 2 main softboxes so I didn’t quite get the effect I wanted.
Worse still, my white balance setting on my camera somehow got screwed up. Since I tend to always use the same lighting kit for each shoot, I tend to stick with an white balance setting that I did a while ago. But I brought my camera with me to Vegas and somehow the settings got changed, and I ended up using the automatic setting, which I think when you start to get a little foggy at 1am I’m like “automatic is good, right?”, and I stuck with that. I think though that maybe I need to get into the habit of re-setting the white balance every time I shoot.
Only when I downloaded the pix to my computer did I see how red and orange-y they were. Yuck! So the only way to save them was to tweak them a bit and in the process I lost a lot f color information – which is ok since I tend to like to make my color palate limited to fewer colors. I do think it might have been a mistake to have the gold picture frames in the background, and as it is, there’s like no greens or blues in these pictures at all, and yellow should have gone too. Since I was going for a faded look, and making them all sepia-toned would have gone too far, I think they came out fine with the tweaks I had to do. Although when you compare them side by side the originals don’t look so bad now, but to my eyes they were far too pink, red and orange-y.
Anyway, I still don’t know if I made the right decision about tweaking the colors. What do you think? I wanted to look goth-y pale but is it too porcelain pale?
Then of course whatever was I going to call this shoot? I had been throwing the term “Vaudeville something” around and that didn’t fit. While searching for Victorian and French looking fonts (since pink and black seem to be associated with late 19th century Paris) I jotted a bunch of arcane words down on a sheet of paper. I was amazed that somehow the word “Coquette” had never been used for one of my shoots. I was then going to go for something tame like “Striped Coquette” but my deliciously gutter minded sensibilities won out and I went with “Coquette Cumpot”. And though I am not filled with cum in this shoot (if only!) there is a pretty epic pop shot.
And the juxtaposition of oldey timey words and dirty, filthy pet names is what I do. This is my art. My art is really the intersection of historical fantasy and filthy sexy trans porn.
So here’s “Coquette Cumpot”! If you loved “The Sex Machine” and “National Pornographic”, you’ll love this shoot, even if the background is a little busy.
And that list of words? Well, they’re giving me all sorts of ideas for new shoots!