Welcome to my “new” blog – after being offline for some time (changing web site host) and not blogging for an even longer period, here we are with new layout and style – thanks to Stephanie! I am increasingly getting tired of “only” posting my pictures on social media, becoming addicted to likes and comments, posting the “strong” (read: popular) images as otherwise the algorithm starts to ignore you, etc etc. I am exaggerating a little […] but I missed having a place where I can post my images – in a context – from a shoot, a vacation, of friends and family or whatever else I came across. It is like a diary of my photographic life, which spans pretty much most of my personal life. I have sincere intentions to dedicate time making regular posts, some will be longer, some shorter, not every shoot will be covered, not every event, or vacation, …if I manage to make a post or two per month, consider me happy.
I start with the last shoot and work my way back and forth, as time permits. I have been shooting with Marine for about 5 years now, the first time when she was 17. We have been shooting in my studio, at the beach, in hotel rooms, and always 100% natural, hardly any make-up or hair-prep. Most other people do the same, as Marine is just as she is, gorgeously pretty – nothing else needed. Over the years, I have collected endless comments on my pictures about how terrific, amazing, lovely,… she is, hardly any other model in my pictures gets similar comments, again and again.
This made us wonder, why no agency seems to take any effort or interest to efficiently promote her. Stephanie – coaching models already for some years – started to support her by reviewing her portfolio and organising some shoots to complement her portfolio. And I was lucky enough to be chosen for one of these shoots! My task was to get pretty pictures with Marine – with lots of make-up, hair-do and styling. An Voorhoof was so kind to do the make-up, Stephanie was in charge of hair and styling – and she also organised the location, a little, but very pretty daylight studio in Brussels.
I was a little handicapped as I crashed with my bicycle the day prior the shoot, I was pretty stiff, could only walk very slowly and hardly bend my legs, so I knew it was not going to be a very dynamic shoot, for that reason I kept it simple (and light) and took the Mamiya RZ67 on a tripod with the 2.8/110 lens, and my Leica M3 both with Kodak TMAX 400 and some Portra 160 (which I still have to send to carmencita for processing, so I will add these later). What I love about the Mamiya is the possibility to focus very close, for a face like Marine’s that is perfect. The Mamiya used on a tripod with a film like Tmax, good light and exposure gets you an amazing quality – with an almost three-dimensional feel to it.
What I really found useful and fun to experiment with, were three large styrofoam boards that were painted black on one side and kept white on the other. They worked as backdrop, reflector or to block out light, something I will have to get for my little home studio. You can see them in the first picture below, used as a backdrop.
At the end I took a number of close portraits, and for one half of them I surrounded Marine with the white side of these boards to bounce as much light at her as possible (see main/first picture of this post). For the other half I turned them around, so the black side is facing her and no light is reflected at her – so she is only lit by the direct window light. Below a selection of images, hope you like them!