Got the slides back yesterday from the photo shoot I did with Shawn several days ago. This was our second photo shoot, and went more smoothly than the first. For one thing, there were no equipment problems this time; for another, it’s Shawn’s second time working with me, and he’s more relaxed. Also, this one was at Dick and Kei’s house in Hawaii Kai, not in a public place like Diamond Head Beach, and I think the model tends to be more relaxed in a private place where nobody’s going to come along and interrupt the photo session.
So last night and this morning I went through the slides. It’s a very time-consuming, tedious process, going through over 600 35mm slides, one by one—and it’s also great fun. I love seeing what I got. There are always some disappointments—but there are also always some nice surprises.
We started in a sunlit area near the swimming pool. There’s lots of greenery there, which makes a nice backdrop.
Shawn wore a pair of red cargo shorts to the shoot, and I loved the look of them, so I began by shooting him posing in those. Then I had him unbutton and unzip them, so they drooped a bit, and had him walk around in circles so they would gradually droop even more. That was fun to watch. And, oh yes, it produced some nice images
The area by the swimming pool has a nice wall of greenery behind it and I liked the setting a lot. I wanted to see Shawn in jockey shorts, then I thought no, they should be WET jockey shorts, so I had him put on a pair and jump into the pool.
Then he got out dripping wet and I shot a whole roll of him walking around, stretching, moving, etc., in wet shorts. Some nice images, especially when he’s peeling the shorts off.
I continued with some nudes of Shawn walking around and stretching against the same backdrop of greenery. Again, some really beautiful stuff. (I can hardly wait to start drawing and painting from these slides!)
Then we went inside the house, where there are lots of potentially nice backdrops. I did some shots of Shawn standing up in the dining area, looking over the railing, while I stood below in the living room and photographed him from below.
Kei & Dick have a really big, beautiful potted bird of paradise, so I did a whole series of shots of Shawn behind, in front of, sitting next to the plant. The shapes of the different parts of the plant are really beautiful, but it was quite a challenge finding a way to shoot Shawn in and among the leaves. Still, I found some interesting compositions.
Then we went over to the sofa and I had Shawn sit on it, kneel on it, lie on it, writhe around on it—anything and everything he or I could think of. I find this kind of challenging because I don’t want to just take a picture of a nude lying on a sofa—that can be nice, but I want the model interacting with the sofa in interesting, unusual ways. I got a couple of nice shots that I’m looking forward to working with.
Then we traipsed out to the backyard, which is really kind of a nice spot, with the sun shining through the leaves, an orange (or is it lemon? or tangerine? I have to ask Kei) tree, and lots of little ants! I had Shawn sitting and lying on the grass and the ants were driving him crazy. In spite of that, some really lovely images came out of this part of the session.
Then I ran out of film. Or I thought I had. So I told Shawn, We’re done! He said, Good, I’m going to go in the pool and cool off. So he did. And while he was doing that, I found another roll of film in the bottom of my bag, so I went out to the pool and did some more shots, telling Shawn to just keep doing what he was doing, the photo session was over, I’m just using up this last roll of film. And of course I got some of the best shots of the day, because he was no longer posing. That’s what I always go for in a photo session, but which is so hard to get—the model relaxing so totally it’s as if he isn’t even aware of the camera. But Shawn has relaxed a lot since the first time we worked together, and has become a pretty good model. I have a feeling he’ll be even better next time.
UPDATE to this post:
In April 2012 I produced an e-book of uncensored Shawn photographs. You can view it and purchase it for instant download here.