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Moab, Glamour, Beauty and the Nude Photography Workshop

Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough in an old mine shack in the Moab.

Event: Moab, Fashion, Glamour, Beauty & the Nude Photography Workshop
Date: 5/18-22 (Arrive on Thursday, May 18th, 2017, depart on Monday, May. 22nd, 2017.)
Venue: Moab, Utah
Details: SOLD OUT
Note: This workshop is limited in size. 

Interesting rock formations in the Moab make for great locations!

Interesting rock formations in the Moab make for great locations!

Ever want to get away, like to really get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and photograph beautiful models in the Moab desert? We’ve got an exclusive deal just for you that allows you to shoot & learn.

Fly into either Salt Lake City or Grand Junction, rent a car, prefer an SUV, and take the scenic drive down to Moab. You can fly directly into Moab, but flights are very limited. Once there, stay at our recommend hotel, or a hotel of your choice, then be prepared to shoot for two and a half solid days in the Moab environment plus a half day of photo critiques of your work. This semi-private instruction workshop is very limited in size.

If you haven’t seen my portfolio of images on RolandoGomez.com, called Moab Light, check it out now to get an idea what to expect.

1. You must pay for your own lodging, meals and travel, we’ll provide suggestions.

2. You must be physically fit enough to walk a city block and lift 25 lbs. We will provide some lighting equipment, but don’t hesitate to bring your on camera flash if you’d like, though not required.

Moab Photography Workshop Model

One of our models from a recent Moab photography workshop.

3. You must have the passion to photograph up to four beautiful models and patient enough for them to change into wardrobe. The type of photography is fashion, glamour, beauty and nude photography.

4. These are long days, which means late dinners along with early mornings—you will get tired by the time you have to leave, but you will treasure every moment and leave with amazing photos. Five of the six photographers for our June 2016 had attended our previous Moab photography workshops!

5. Camera requirements are any type of camera, preferably 35mm DSLR or SLR, medium or large format is optional. Lens focal range, from 24mm to 300mm, though a typical 70-200mm lens is all you need. A back-up drive to download your images every evening and/or laptop computer is highly recommended.

6. Professionalism is required, we’re there to capture beautiful images of beautiful models in a remote, but beautiful location. Safety is number one.

7. The cost, $2499. Use the secure, PayPal button below for payment.

SOLD OUT

If you can meet the requirements and you have the passion to create some beautiful, unique images, this is the workshop for you. 2017 is a limited workshop schedule, so this is a first-come, first-serve event and due to limited photography slots, this workshop has a tighter cancellation policy (see below).

Moab Photography Workshop

Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough at our Moab photography workshop.

Model releases for this event is $100 per model at the end of the event ($400 total for the entire event). These are mandatory releases, not optional like other workshops, paid on the last day of the event. These releases are provided and allow you to use the images for commercial use and the only restriction is prohibitions for adult related material—nudes are artistic and glamour nude only. This workshop is open to all levels, but places an emphasis that you seriously want to capture some great photos and take your photography up to the next level!

You are required to arrive no later than 7:00 p.m., local time, in the Moab on a Thursday and meet at a central location that evening, then be prepared to shoot all day on Friday, Saturday and most of the day Sunday. Departure is on Monday on your own or when you choose. Hotel recommendations will be provided, most hotels are close together and average from $120 to $170 per night but we have a preferred location that has a special workshop rate, revealed to you after booking your workshop slot. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and lodging are not included.

Artistic, glamour and exotic nudes will be available in this location.

This semi-private instruction workshop includes personal instruction from Rolando and use of his lighting gear along with the models and make-up. You are guaranteed to produce some great images you can be proud of. Cancellation rules apply as this is a first-come, first-serve event limited to five photographers only, but more specific cancellation policies are modified to include that should you be qualified for a refund or partial refund, there will be a 30-day waiting period.

Playboy Playmate Holley Dorough in the Moab Golden Hour light.

Shot exactly as seen, the creative possibilities are endless.

Amazing images in locations scouted out in advance that are rarely photographed as these are off-road locations found through exploring.

What Is An Editorial Nude?

As I transition more to authoring new books, blogging and participating more on GarageGlamour.com, many photographers have noticed that as part of my “Farewell Photo Workshop Tour,” that we’ve included our editorial nude photography workshops in some locations. This has brought a few emails asking for some clarification.

Simply put, there are various forms (genres) of nude photography, including fine-art nudes (which others fall into also), implied nudes, glamour nude, Playboy nudes, editorial nudes, and just about anything you can add the word “nude” to at the end of it.  You name it, someone is teaching it—the problem lies not in nude photography, but many so-called glamour and nude photography workshops are just gang-bang shooting of cheesecake nude photos—and you wonder why there are some photographers labeled GWC’s, guys with cameras?

Unfortunately nude photography is being diluted daily, so I decided that I’d add editorial nude photography years ago as a different workshop than my “Glamour, Beauty and the Nude” themed workshops—and after conducting almost 500 photography workshops, seminars and lectures around the world in the past 12-years, I think I’ve got a good hand on what is what when it comes to photography.

In the case of editorial nude photography, it’s basically nude images that help convey some meaning, not sex, not porn, but true meaning including sometimes the mood of the subject.  These types of images often tell a story, and sometimes have a great story behind them. It’s about mood, emotion, storytelling, lighting, shadows, and sometimes even controversial, though I tend to avoid the latter.

At my Editorial Nude photography workshops, we work with simple lighting modified normally with 7-inch metal reflectors and metal grids.  The concept is to use shadows in your favor, tell the story, and to get away from marking the treasure map “X” on the floor—in other words, we don’t want you just standing there, we want you moving around the subject so you can see how the “Angle of Incidence Equals the Angle of Reflection” physics law come to play in photography.  We also ask you to turn your camera, not just plain horizontal or vertical images.

These types of images you could sell in art galleries, these are not cheesecake glamour nudes, these photos help you create are artistic but more important, solid and worthy of hanging in art galleries.

Now when we do your “Glamour, Beauty and the Nude” themed workshops, we use larger light modifiers, like 7-foot Chimera Octaboxes, 4-foot by 6-foot softboxes, beauty dishes, ringflash, California Sunbounce Pro reflectors and the list goes on—normally lighting used for editorial nudes is not the type we’d use in glamour photography.  Still not sure, well please visit EditorialNudes.com, my editorial nude photoblog that I just launched—it’s expanding with more images, so please be patient.  For now, since we don’t want to upset Google advertising, we can’t post images here, but you can find them at EditorialNudes.com.  Thanks, Rolando

Bring Out the Detail, The Black & White About It

Black cards were used to bring out the detail in Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough's hair.  Black cards were used to bring out the detail in Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough’s hair.

Often photographers are challenged to bring out detail in the clothing their model is wearing, especially black or white fabrics. The solution is to understand the 90-percent physics rule of light and reflection when it comes to black and white tones in digital and conventional photography.

The 90-percent rule simply means, whatever is pure white will reflect 90-percent of the light that hits it, whatever is pure black will absorb the light that hits it—the key word here is “pure,” as blacks and whites come in many shades.  Keeping this concept in mind, we can judge how fabrics and even skin tones reflect light, and since we normally expose for our subject’s skin tone, the camera exposure settings will directly impact our subject’s garments if they lean toward black (underexposed) or white (overexposed) tones.

Basically, normal human skin-tone rests closer to an 18-percent gray tone reflectance and when we expose for the skin tone, darker fabrics will photograph darker and lighter fabrics will photograph lighter when it comes to the final image if the photographer doesn’t take corrective measures. A simple corrective measure is to use V-flats.  V-flats are easily made for studio use by taking two 4- by 8-foot foam core boards and taping them together on their longest side.  The best foam core boards are the ones that come black on one side and white on the other side, thus making them reversible for more efficient use.  These gaffer-taped boards are called “V-flats” because they can be placed and adjusted to form a “V” that allows them to stand up without additional light stands or supports.  The V-flat is placed as close as to the subject as possible, but outside the camera frame.

For example, if a photographer had to photograph a bride in her white-gown, the V-flats, with the black surface facing the subject, would be placed on each side of the bride, thus the photographer would have two sets (four foam core boards total) two on each side of V-flats for the subject.  The black adds black tone into the wedding dress by reflecting at least 10-percent black onto the dress.  Some photographers will call this subtractive lighting.  California Sunbounce makes black on one side and white on the other side fabrics for their Sunbounce Pro (4- by 6-foot) frame, which makes for greater portability than a sturdy foam core board and the Sunbounces can be mounted on C-stands easily.  This is a great solution for on-location photography, especially when working on the beach where sand and water act as an additional reflector and foam core boards will deteriorate with moisture.

If a photographer has to deal with a subject, such as the groom, wearing black, especially when the background is black, then either by using a California Sunbounce Pro, white-side out, or V-flats, white-side out, the white surface would reflect light back into the black garments, thus bringing out more detail in the darker fabric.  While this technique is great for bringing out detail in your subject’s clothes, you can also use this technique when photographing dark or light colored animals, such as dogs or cats, or perhaps even a white rabbit.

This technique, though using smaller foam-core boards, is very helpful when trying to bring out detail in a subject’s hair, like the blonde hair of Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough on my first book cover, “Garage Glamour: Digital Nude and Beauty Photography Made Simple.”  Basically, small black cards were placed around her hair to form a tent of black reflectors to put detail in her much lighter hair since we exposed for her darker skin.  Another concept for using black cards is in jewelry photography.  While most photographers will use a “white tent” to illuminate their diamonds, adding small black cards close to the jewelry will help bring out the diamond facets, thought this is tricky as the photographer must still bring light around the diamond while keeping the miniature black cards out of camera frame.

The key to all these types of photography, bridals, glamour, pet or jewelry is to place your black or white cards as close to your subject as possible, but out of camera frame.  It’s all about the 90-percent rule of reflectance reminding you about what you’re photographing and that the human mind uses brain and psychology perception to help us see differently than a digital camera, as digital cameras capture detail based on physic rules that pertain to light and reflectance, thus the mind compensates while the camera does not.  Well that’s it for now, but please don’t forget our troops, their families and friends as they make the ultimate sacrifices so we can enjoy our freedoms.  God Bless!  Rolando

Capture a Headshot Easily!

Tess' headshot from a more glamour shoot in Philadelphia.

Tess' headshot from a more glamour shoot in Philadelphia.

Often you’ll hear photographers or models commenting on their need for a good headshot for their portfolios and indeed, the ability to showcase your talent as a photographer of models needs to include a nice headshot.  Models, especially agency models, have comp cards to showcase their talents to potential clients and the front image of an industry standard comp card is the headshot, though I’ve seen many variations of what people consider a proper headshot.

I’d say first, don’t confuse an actor’s headshot with a model’s headshot, usually those are two different types of headshots and for this quick blog post, my focus will be on capturing a model’s headshot—not so much the technical, but the approach.

Normally when a model comes to me needing a new headshot, I take a simple approach. I set up one of my normal photo shoots with the model and let her know that if I see the headshot I’ll take it, as I don’t want to plan a “headshot shoot.”  I let her know most models, even some experienced ones, will “freeze” up when they know the photographer is focusing on a headshot.  So I educate them with the idea, that the best headshot comes when the model doesn’t know I’m taking one, thus, I push for a regular photo shoot.

Elite agency model Jenni provides a great comp card image from a normal shoot.

Elite agency model Jenni provides a great comp card image from a normal photography session that include full-length poses.

Basically, when a photographer and a model agree only on a shoot to capture a headshot, it becomes too planned and everyone expects it to be done in 30-minutes. Based on my experience, the model becomes a different person and a great headshot is usually harder to capture in this mindset.  Not to mention, the photographer becomes too focused on creating a headshot under a short period of time and tends to lose their creative passion.  It’s this passion along with great communication and rapport with the model that normally creates a marriage of the minds to bring out that perfect smile—when the corners of the model’s eyes are in perfect harmony with the corners of her lips. Normally a great photographer won’t achieve this in 30 minutes.

I prefer to shoot a normal glamour, fashion or flamour photography session and as the shoot evolves and I “see” the headshot, I step up to the plate and capture it—usually the model doesn’t even know what I’ve captured it in my camera and assumes I’m still shooting her entire pose.  One advantage to this approach, if the model is posing for me in sexy clothes, she’s going to feel sexy and usually it’s easier to capture one of the four S’s of glamour photography, sexy, sultry, seductive, sensual or a combination of the four in her looks. This leads to a more alluring image, a more provocative but tasteful image.

Headshots are like portraits and in most people photography, if you don’t have “the face,” you have nothing, no matter what the model is or is not wearing.  It’s always about the face when it comes to a great image of your model, especially the headshot.  So if you or your model needs a great headshot, the best approach, treat it like a normal photo shoot and capture the headshot when it happens, not when it’s planned.

Well that’s it for now and as in all my closing remarks, please remember our men and women serving in the military along with their families and friends, as ultimately they sacrifice many things in life to give us the ability to enjoy our freedoms.  God Bless them all and may they all come home safe!  Thanks, Rolando

Study Photojournalism Techniques

Today, both fashion and glamour photographers are employing more photojournalistic styles, producing images that stand strong and often make statements. I’ve been fortunate enough to have almost thirty years of photojournalism experience that often kicks in when I’m photographing glamour models. If you don’t have this type of training, I recommend that you study photojournalistic images by looking through news magazines and observing what you see printed in your local paper.

A great book I highly recommend, old but still available, is The Picture: An Associated Press Guide to Good News Photography (Associated Press, 1989). It’s thin, concise, and lays it out like a dictionary. This book covers terms used to describe photojournalistic styles of photography, which are becoming more popular in photography today, and also helps give you ideas for your poses and styling of the set.

[Read more…]

Glamorous

While I personally prefer listening to country music, most models today listen to various types of music, including the more hip music. While conducting my Virgin Islands workshops, we have the ability to plug-in an I-Pod, or in my case, my I-Phone, which has caused me to download songs from I-Tunes, more in tune with the younger model crowd

I often use music to get my creative juices flowing, whether writing articles or books, or when photographing models on location, especially in the Virgin Island, Glamour, Beauty and the Nude workshops. I tend to choose music that will relax the models and get them moving and with glamour photography, one song that seems to get the models, and even me, flowing, is the song by Fergie called Glamorous.
[Read more…]

Virgin Islands-Nov 09′ (SOLD-OUT)

Date: 11/5-10/2009 (SOLD OUT)
Venue: U.S. Virgin Islands
Details: The first Virigin Islands worskhop sold-out in less than 2-weeks!  All of the VI workshops for 2008 sold-out, most sold-out a year in advance!  All of the 2008 workshops are sold-out! Here’s your chance if you missed out to book early for 2009!  Only Twelve Photographers and Six Models per workshop.  First-come, first-serve! 

This will be our 20th Virgin Islands workshop.    The dates are Nov. 5th-10th, 2009.  Fly in on Nov. 5th (Thurs.) to St. Thomas (Airport code STT) then we ferry over to a smaller island where it’s private, camp-style workshop–open to all levels of photography, from beginners to advanced–your departure day is Nov.10th (Tuesday) unless you choose to stay longer in St. Thomas on your own.

These workshops promise to be better than the best workshops ever done–this is not a foreign country, this is the U.S. Virgin Islands! No currency conversions, no foreign language, no crazy inflated value-added taxes or worries about the food and water or your camera equipment held in customs till you pay the “bribe.” Currently a U.S. passport it not required, provided you present a government issued identification card, such as a driver’s license.
 

(All images below, photographed at previous Virgin Islands’ Workshops, actual models, equipment and location featured!)

We’ve got a place that rocks! The location was featured on HGTV this year and Brad Pitt filmed parts for one of his movies on this secluded island part of the islands.  It’s not your “typical tourist hotel” trap found in other workshops–this is a private paradise 10-minutes from St. Thomas giving us great sunsets, sunrises, private infinity-pool shots with the ocean blue/green waters and golden sunsets in the background. 

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Posing, the Body Language of a Photograph

Over the past six years I’ve taught almost 200 glamour, beauty and nude photography workshops, seminars and lectures from Maui to the Virgin Islands, in Europe, Mexico, Canada and throughout the United states and one of the most recurring questions is, “How do you pose a model?” Normally I’ll answer that question with a demonstration on how I pose the body in three pieces, from the hips to the feet, the torso and from the neck to the head—and of course everything of the body in those pieces.

As simple as that sounds, it would take a book to focus on the posing fundamentals, concepts and principles for successful photographs of models. This book should illustrate how the proper lighting, clothing and image direction help the scene and pose form a powerful photograph. There should be at least one chapter on correct communication to achieve the proper pose along with another chapter on how proper composition, cropping and compression within the image help justify the pose. [Read more…]