You win some, you lose some. (“Harlequin Romance” and… ?)

Well, I had a little spurt of activity lately, where I did a shoot and a half last week.  Or maybe just one shoot because my attempt at a second shoot really didn’t produce anything worthwhile and I’m not even sure that it’s worth going back into to finish it.

So, let’s start with the good, because well, chronologically that’s how things panned out anyway.

So I made this outfit ages ago (actually almost 10 years ago!) to match a Venetian mask I bought somewhere. This outfit has held up really well as I rarely wore it to events and since it wasn’t made out of PVC, it didn’t just naturally fall apart (some of those earliest ones are sadly gone now.  I do get people asking me what happens to my old outfit.  Well, sometimes they just disintegrate into a pile off goo, really)

When I did this outfit before I called it “Carnal Carnivale” and I have to say the big difference between how I did shoots 10 years ago and now – other than my plastic enhancements – is how I’m much better at getting down to business of showing the dirty bits, right?
But yeah, the new version “Harlequin Romance” is good stuff.  Right to the point, and using my studio instead of my house gave me a little bit more freedom with the lighting and so forth.

But this shoot came out really well. It’s another one I did with my two camera set up. And as it sometimes happens, I had another area set up for another shoot, so that I could take advantage of my makeup and also being in the mood to take more horny pictures.  You’d be surprised how sometimes it takes me a while just to get into “porn star” mode.

But the second shoot.  eh.. not sure it was meant to be.  Backtracking a little bit, I had made a great Molotov Cocktease outfit in something like 2014 for a sci-fi/anime convention, but never really figured out a way to do a shoot in it.  Actually, if you google image search “Molotov Cocktease cosplay”, this picture of me at Arisia comes up pretty much on the first page. (actually image #20)

Anyway, I had an old beat up Jaguar parts car that I’m probably going to get rid of this year (its a parts car to another one that I have in better condition that’s actually right-hand-drive which is kinda cool)  The windshield was broken so I made a few “bullet holes” in it and thought it would be cool to set up the lights around it and do the shoot at night.

Well, things didn’t go that well.  The flashes on my studio lights are activated by the flash on my camera, and this tends to work pretty well in a studio environment.  But outdoors in the dark, I guess there’s less light to bounce off of things, so about half of the pictures didn’t trip off the flashes at ALL.

Then it turned out that sitting on the roof or on the hood of the car put me, the model in very awkward places where normally it’s not good for the model to move closer or further away from the lights.

Also, the fact that the only light sources outside were the studio lights meant that something as simple as going back to the cameras and hitting the buttons meant that I was working in the dark, so that was Yet Another Thing to worry about when I’m really supposed to figure out the best poses and how to stay horny.

So, if you’re wondering how the pictures came out, I think I shot about 50, and of them, only 25 or so had usable exposure, and then out of those, here are the best two.  And if this was a regular shoot, even these two wouldn’t even make the final cut.

To make things worse, the eye patch meant that since I had to get on and off  the car and constantly fiddle with the camera settings, I either had to endure not having any depth perception and risk bumping into my camera on tripods (potentially fatal if one fell over), or keep flipping it up and messing up my hair, etc.

After about an hour of this bullshit, I decided to call it quits as there were way too many variables there to screw up a shoot, and getting myself into a good groove just wasn’t going to happen.    I also sorta  had to hold my catsuit together where the cleavage is because I might have to rethink the way I had sorta double sided sticky taped them down (which works ok if I’m at a con, but not so much if you’re constantly bending over and stressing the catsuit.

So I gave up on this for now.  Maybe this is just one of those shoots that I can’t bang off on my own.  I’m sure many people are wondering why I don’t always use a photographer for my shoots, and I guess this is as good a place as any to describe my work process and why I do things the way I do.

First off, I’m NEVER ready when I say I’m ready, so the idea that I’m going to be ready a 8pm on a Wednesday night when so and so it coming over to shoot. Well, that rarely happens.  Shooting on my own time means just what I did here, that I was able to shoot when I was ready (like 1 am) after hours of experimenting with the lights and whatever.

Secondly, As you know, I do pretty much all the costumes and pretty much all the set dressing, and well, all the lighting, so a photographer really has to be adding something to that mix otherwise they’re really no different than a self timer.  And I have had a few photographers who literally have just had their camera on a tripod and shot the pictures where everything else was “me”..  Which made me wonder, what do I even need them for?  I know that sounds kind of dickish, and geez, why would anyone want to work with me now, knowing what a primadonna I am… but….  if there’s literally no difference between a photographer and self shooting with a tripod on my own time, I’ll choose the latter each time, and yep, be able to take all the credit.  Because that does make you wonder, who owns the photographs at that point?   The person who takes it or the person modelling?

But yeah, if a photographer worked with me and was able to do amazing things I couldn’t (and I agree, there are compromises when I self-shoot), then that would be a different story.

As to whether I’m going to continue on the the Molotov Cocktease shoot, I don’t know.  I’m not entirely convinced I can pull it off (though if I got the lighting perfect, and found the perfect spot to sit, then I guess I can), and also I’m not entirely convinced that I can “porn-ify” the outfit sufficiently to make it into a pornographic shoot.  That was kind of the problem anyway.  Too many potential disasters to keep track of so that getting hard and exposing myself wasn’t even on the cards at all.  I could go back into the studio and try to shoot in there but then the whole background would have to be done differently (which maybe isn’t a bad idea anyway). As to rolling the Jaguar into the garage, well, it doesn’t run, period and those things weigh several tons and had multiple flat tires so even rolling it downhill would end up being a nightmare.

I may do some kind of different outfit/junkyard shoot with it maybe in the daytime, who knows?  I also have a really cool idea to revisit the Snow White costume where she is attacked by horny trees in the Haunted Forest.  The idea being that I would bring my lights over to a woodsy area near my studio and  set them all up at  night.  But it’s going to take some more experimentation to figure out how to get the lights to go off reliably.

But enjoy “Harlequin Romance” for now.  I think what I do next will be a little bit more in that vein, something I can predict what the outcome will look like!


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7 Responses to You win some, you lose some. (“Harlequin Romance” and… ?)

  1. Biandy40 says:

    I love the way you put so much effort and thought into your shoots.
    Also that if you are unhappy with the results you don’t inflict it upon us doting fans.
    The outfit is incredibly sexy however and love you with the Scarlet hair.
    Those boots are amazing too.
    Whatever makes you happy to share with us, I am sure will be an amazing and wonderful shoot.
    I am spending my time browsing your older shoots and there are some amazing ones to be admired in there, you have built up an incredible archive of outfits and shoots over the years.
    Keep it up Darling!

  2. Bob says:

    Loved the Harlequin shoot lovely Miss Tara, you continue to top yourself every time in my opinion. Inspired poses and erotically charged as ever. One will never tire of viewing any of your content. I’m so very glad I’ve subscribed to your site. Definitely money well spent as I am as I peruse your wondrous images. 🙂 As for Miss Cocktease, perhaps Brock just doesn’t want to share. 🙂

  3. tara says:

    Yeah. Hmmm. I still don’t know if it’s quite worth the effort to go back into it and do more, though at the very least I could get a few halfway decent non pornographic cosplay pictures out of it. That usually happens when you just happen to find the *perfect* angles and the *perfect* poses. Which is somewhat difficult when you have a lot to think about. This is where a photographer would be nice, but he can’t just be a person randomly taking pictures. When it really works well with a photographer, he or she will be instructing the model to pose in a certain way, and be very mindful of bad shadows, or things like my belly chubb bunching up like the Michelin Man (not that that happens often, but the Wrong Pose can do that).

    I’ve had a few photographer not really pay any attention to that sort of thing, and they end up adding little more to the set than if I just self shot it and accepted a higher percentage of duds. These two that I posted would have barely been acceptable in a situation where I had a lot of good ones to choose from. In comparison, in the harlequin shoot , there were so many good ones that I had to toss out many pretty good ones, to make room for the excellent ones to shine.

    but yeah, I’m not even sure I can make that Molotov catsuit work in a pornographic way, unless I went and like added a zipper fly or something. At best, I might just get my cock to poke out of it, and it might end up looking funny.

    So I’m on the fence as to whether my time is better spent on looking forward than looking backward.. Hmmm

  4. biandy40 says:

    You are the expert when it comes to your shoots Tara.
    I respect your thoughts on whether a costume will work in a shoot and if you are unconvinced I am sure that you are right.
    Still lovely to see you in something clingy for a change though.

  5. Kylie says:

    It’s obvious in your Molotov scene that you are lit by the strobes only. Any night scene would have other lighting. Moon, car lights. It would give depth to the scene. My first thought was “Day for night” to simulate night shooting. Might simulate the moon well. Never tried it. Toss some lights on the front seat like the dashboard is lighting the interior of the car. Light the fence with another car’s head lights. Or just use colored spots on the fence, after all this is a comic book. Dress up the fence graffiti, car parts?.

    Changing the costume to be crotchless with a red thong/G-string underneath might look good.


    • tara says:

      yeah thats a lottta lotta lights I don’t have, and a lot of effort I don’t think I’m that enamored with the concept to even to through the effort to do. however, I think if I had the backlight behind me be stronger, then that would have added some extra dimension. Whenever you do these shoots, the thing is, you never really show the whole set anyway and you always end up doing super close ups anyway at least halfway through the duration of the shoots. Also I don’t think my cameras quite have the sensitivity to be low noise in lower light, so using hot lights might not really work that well anyway. I don’t really want to change the costume so much that I can’t wear it at a con. In any event, I think the pvc was already starting to go on that catsuit, so sadly, for something I wore out once or twice, it’s already starting to deteriorate.

      I think in the end, I’m going to move on to some other ideas instead. If I get some ideas on how to improve this shoot, I’ll try to shoot some more. I only got a handful of useable ones anyway but it’s a start. As it is, I have plenty of outfits that are mostly done, waiting for sets and shoots or waiting to just get finished, that have been on the back burner for years, so this shoot is less of a priority anyway

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