I’ve always ached to push boundaries. In social situations, not so much. In human interaction, yes. Eye contact, proximity, physical contact, friendly affection… It probably helped me in all those sales jobs I held while going to college. For some years, I’ve also heard random people say that I ooze sexuality in some intangible enigmatic way. How do you take that as a compliment exactly?!
Then photography found me. And so did people. I photographed friends, strangers… then weddings. The common practice in the wedding photography industry has become to gift your couple with an ‘engagement shoot,’ or a casual ‘lifestyle’ photography session, where the clients are captured candidly before their wedding. As I did more and more of these, with certain couples, I felt that I could push a little more… and give them permission to open up. More. I noticed that I had also begun to attract couples who were open and life-loving, expressive, in the same way I was.
There was this one shoot, where I got up the courage to say ‘I wish you guys would embrace just like this, but just in your jeans. Both of you.’ And they did. I knew I was onto something. That’s how my journey into Intimate Portraiture started. I looked for couples on the same wavelength, couples ridiculously in love who understood what I was trying to do. Now, I think I have a ‘radar’ for those couples! 🙂
One of the most profound Intimate Portraits / Couples Boudoir sessions to date was one I’m about to share with you now. Amanda & JT brought me to New York to document their love. Just like that. Document their love. The intention of these images was to celebrate the NOW, not a past milestone of an anniversary, not the anticipation of a future engagement or wedding. Love blossoms in the daily, mundane, the fleeting moments in between, the warmth of beating hearts and shared silences.
We shot at the amazing Gansevoort hotel on Manhattan’s Park Avenue. It was a small intimate space. At times, I had to stand on the bed, shooting down, holding my breath and hoping I won’t step on their body parts. I also put together a sexy playlist on my iPod and let it loop as we shot, since then this playlist has become quite an extensive collection!
I was going to rock this session with my Canon 50mm f1.4L lens… But literally a couple hours before Amanda & JT showed up at the suite I realized that the lens just wouldn’t focus… Worst nightmare EVER! No mater how much I gently shook it, put it down & picked it up again, begged & pleaded with it, it refused to work. I hopped in a cab and rushed over to B&H, only to find their doors closed for holidays. My last resort was K&M camera on Broadway, I was running out of time!! I couldn’t believe my ears when the sales rep told me their only prime lens in stock was a 35mm f1.4L. So I bought it. And it turned out to be the most amazing lens for Intimate Portraits. EVER. It forced me to get close. It forced me to see angles differently, to see more, to feel the ebb & flow.
Rob & I are so excited to kick off our Intimate Portraits workshop series at our REAL WEDDING WORKSHOP in Punta Cana next April!