by Mark Laurie Published 01/12/2008
It 's been 28 years this past summer doing pretty much exclusively female nude and lingerie work. Things have changed. When we started back in 1980 we offered strong soft focus, David Hamilton type images.
The search for the perfect soft focus filter was ongoing. Calgary was only 400,000 people, highly conservative and in Bible Belt country. There was no glamour or nude photography industry back then and very few, (I think I found two), books on boudoir photography. No courses or seminars.
Yet we decided this was to be our niche. We always projected; initially it was with a machine that projected 4x5 prints onto my white built-in oven. Now it's a projector going onto an 8 foot by 7 foot screen, live in Photoshop
About two years into it, in desperation for diversity, I experimented with what became our body sculpture line. These are clean sharply focused nudes on simple backgrounds, with poses that exploited the form, not the personality. When our patrons saw it they began to specifically request it. Even so, the norm was still lingerie and softer nude poses.
In the first year I stumbled upon the approach of creating sets and doing session planning. I had two sessions, back to back, by accident - the planned session, with sets, made more income and was more fun. Our settings have grown, but can go up in less than 15 minutes.
There have been some startling changes in 28 years. When we started, pretty much all the sessions were gifts for husbands and boyfriends. Now 50% are commissioned just for the client. Often there is not even a man on the horizon. It's something that is important to the individual client to have them done, usually marking a passage or celebration.
They are bolder; very few of our patrons bring lingerie any more and when they do it is a small amount with most of it not being worn. Their poses are bolder and usually show a wider range of personality. Happy and sexy are not the only moods expressed.
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