A year ago I did a photoshoot with fitness/figure pro model and competitor Bethany Nelson. At that time, I had been seeking a well-toned model to do an artistic nude series, so when Bethany reached out to me, I knew I had my first nude physique model. I asked her if this is something she'd be open to, and she (somewhat surprisingly) said yes. I say somewhat surprisingly because I usually don't expect models to just jump in with both feet first with a proposition like this -- especially when 1) it was our first communication online at the time, 2) she had never done anything like this before, and 3) I had never shot anything like this before. I had no worries pulling the shoot off; after all, I had done plenty of fitness shoots, and nude model shoots (as you may have seen in my blog/portfolio). But at that time I had never actually combined the two.
So here we are, a year later (sad) and finally I'm ready to show the photos. My gear:
- Olympus OMD-EM5 camera body
- Olympus 45mm/1.8 lens
- Yongnuo YN560iii speedlights
- Yongnuo YN560-TX
- Westcott Apollo light modifiers (one 28-inch softbox, two strip with grids)
This photoshoot also took place while my 42.5mm/1.2 Panasonic Leica DC Nocticron lens (my favorite for micro 4/3rds) was out of commission and in service. No matter, because my backup Oly 45mm was easily up to the task and in my personal tests, is just about as sharp.
As an artist while shooting, I'm posing her in my head before I decide to take the picture on the spot. In the past, I'd usually draw up little sketches of the poses that I'd like to try before the photoshoot. But sometimes I like to mix it up and just let the shoot organically flow. Not having seen her nude in person before this shoot (plus I wasn't sure how lean she would be), I have to adapt poses to her body part strengths. Luckily, she was in competition mode and made my work easy. So all I had to do was create interesting angles using her body. Then, I'd visualize if my lighting would show her off in the way I pictured her in my head. In essence, I'm sculpting her with posing and light as the photoshoot progresses.
Here are the rest of the photos:
If you looked at the captions for each photo, you'll notice that there are slight variances in camera settings. This is because I am constantly tinkering with the light output, and deciding/experimenting with 2- or 3-lights for each shot (which is where the inexpensive Yongnuo YN560-TX transmitter is simply awesome--I can adjust power output of each YN560iii speedlight remotely, or simply turn on/off the lights without moving my butt). So in the end, the camera settings themselves don't really mean much as an off-camera flash shooter in a plain background (studio) environment. Now if this was a natural light/environmental shoot, then that is a different story.
I hope you have enjoyed this series from me. I'm always seeking attractive fitness models to try more of this, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you think you've got what it takes :)