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

LensDiaries.com, Let the Stories Be Told

In today’s world of being anyone, including a photographer, we have to constantly evaluate our situation and adapt to the changing times, so I’ve launched LensDiaries.com, my new hybrid photoblog created to spread the gospel of photography as I transition away from an exhaustive, 11-plus years of conducting over 450 photography workshops and seminars to thousands of people around the world. At LensDiaries.com you’ll find the stories and technical specifications of photos I choose for your insight in my photography. This photoblog is an extension of the five photography books I’ve published–so please help me spread the passion of photography.

With your support I will add photography tips and multimedia content along with photo critiques. For the inquiring minds that want to know, I will continue to conduct workshops and seminars, but on a very limited basis starting in the Fall of 2010. This will allow me more time to continue with my writings, future books and my photography. My focus is aimed at smaller, more exotic workshops to provide a more semi-private and a more intimate environment that you sometimes lose in a larger workshop environment. I’m always available for private photography instruction, just contact me here with your contact information and best time to call.

I will still blog on this site and inform you of my schedule and other items that I feel are better left on here, on my personal blog. On occasion, you will see a replication of content on both blogs, but remember, this site is a more personal blog and LensDiaries.com is a hybrid of a photoblog and blog, so both sites will have unique content too. I will also shift my focus from workshops to concentrate on Photographic Therapy, as a concept and the website, PhotographicTherapy.com. I hope you’ll visit all three sites.

Overtime, with your support, LensDiaries.com will transform into a more established photoblog–-this is a photographic journey we can accomplish together. Finally, I close by saying that I need your help to spread the gospel of photography by tweeting all the blog entries both here and on LensDiaries.com. Please tell all your friends and colleagues through all the social media networks—there are Facebook “like” and Twitter “retweet” buttons, please utilize them, every tweet and mention helps. Let’s spread the knowledge together. Let the stories be told! Thanks, Rolando

Photo Workshop and Party at the Palms!

Photo of Mari, art direction, Playboy photographer Arny Freytag.  Photo taken after the Phoenix Mansion photography workshop.

Photo of Mari, art direction, Playboy photographer Arny Freytag. Photo taken after the Phoenix Mansion photography workshop.

Note: Just announced, next Phoenix Mansion Shoot with Arny Freytag. (info here)

I just returned from a fabulous photography, semi-private instructional workshop featuring Playboy’s top photographer, Arny Freytag.  On occasion, Arny comes out and guest instructs at some of our photography workshops, most recently the Las Vegas and Los Angeles photography workshops.  Next month he’ll join us for a day as a guest instructor at the Los Angeles (workshop info here) photography workshop held at a 6,000 sq.ft. studio location with six gorgeous models including Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough and American Idol star, Amy Davis.

Arny also indicated he’ll make an appearance at our Las Vegas workshop and birthday bash celebration this August at the Palms Casino where we’re alway treated well from the owner and staff. This will be our third photography workshop at the Palms Casino and at our Dec. 2009 glamour photography workshop, Arny spent two days instructing our attendees as we photographed models in the luxurious, 6,200 sq.ft., Sky Villa Penthouse suite—in fact, some of those images are in my new photography lighting book, Rolando Gomez’s Lighting for Glamour Photography: Techniques for Digital Photographers.

The Palms Casino and Palms Place always provide for some great shooting and touring of the clubs for all the attendees, and this photography workshop will be the best as Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough and I will be celebrating our birthdays on Saturday evening throughout the casino along with a few other Leos who have their birthdays very close to ours.  The workshop is on Friday and Saturday, then more fun begins Saturday evening as we head out to tour the clubs at the Palms like the Rain, The Lounge, Moon, Ghost Bar, Satellite Bar, and even the Playboy Club.

Playboy photographer Arny Freytag, Palms Casino Owner Gavin Maloof, Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough and I at Gavin's house.

Playboy photographer Arny Freytag, Palms Casino Owner Gavin Maloof, Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough and I at Gavin's house.

We’ve got a few slots left, so we hope to see you there, so far the guest list is looking great and our models Holley, Amy, Mari, Candice, Eleya and Heather are looking forward to pose for all those digital cameras.  We might even add a few more models to make it fun and exciting for everyone! We’ll even have our top make-up artist, Stephanie Dawn. All attendees get special room rates, so there will be no need to leave the Palms Casino during this weekend workshop and celebration.

Hopefully you’ve signed up before we run out of spaces, but regardless, don’t forget our men and women in uniform who make all our freedoms possible along with the sacrifices of their families and friends, God Bless! Rolando

Rolando’s Wisdom

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom people have either heard at my photography workshops, heard me say at seminars and lectures, or read in my photography books. Enjoy!

Words of wisdom by photographer and author, Rolando Gomez

It takes a real man to admit his mistakes, Lord knows I’ve made many.

Send her flowers when she least expects it.

It’s about flexibility and adaptability, not inability.

Don’t solve her problems, capture her needs.

When you stop dreaming, you die.

If you are confident and prepared, you’ll be able to overcome any obstacles.

Smiling is healthy, laughing is dangerous, unless you’re smiling.

to be continued when the brain neurons start flowing again….

Goals, the Key to the New Decade

While there are many folks out there arguing if the new decade starts in 2010 or 2011, one thing for sure it’s a new year and obviously many like myself made new resolutions to live by and all seem to have a common thread, that 2010 will be better than the previous year.  I wholeheartedly agree and without getting too personal in my life I’ll give you insight on my thoughts for the New Year.

As humans we all make mistakes, and Lord knows I made quite a few in the past decade, the key is how we learn from these mistakes.  My greatest mistake in the last decade was trusting in too many people that promised so many great things, often that lead me to promise others things I found out I could not deliver unless the promises made to me became reality—some did, most didn’t.  I trusted too many people and that alone impacted some of my own integrity—but I’ve learned from it, trust less, trust yourself and your gut more.

Still my best friend in life, Rhonda.

Still my best friend in life, Rhonda.

I’ve always been taught to help others, that I did in the past decade more than ever.  Many took that help and never looked back and said thank you, others did say thank you, and the reality of it all, I learned who were truly friends for the sake of friendship and were friends only for their own personal gain.  Obviously during this trial of friendship you separate the two, sometimes more quickly than others—but ultimately you know who they are and they know who they are too. My mantra is simple, never be a quitter, always look forward.  Keep the passion alive and the passion will guide your goals.

I set many goals in the previous decade, some I didn’t accomplish, but the importance is that I set my goals.  My goal strategy is like in the military promotion board system for noncommissioned officers, we express long-term and short-term goals as part of our promotion evaluation.  While 2010 will start out tough at first, I foresee that it will finally begin to flow much smoother than the past, especially if I stay focused on my goals, perhaps I will even get promoted.

My short term goal this year is to push very hard in getting my “photographic therapy” concept out to many, my long-term goal is to realign my business back to a level higher than it once was, to move more forward in my photography and writings in a more positive manner without impacting it in negative fashion from potentially false friends and false promises. It’s time for me to use the lessons learned to help decipher quicker who is real and who is in it for their own benefit.  It’s time for me to make wiser decisions and focus more on what I do best based on experience, passion, and creativity.

In the new decade, as I’m one of those that feels the decade started in 2010, I plan on avoiding conflict, poor decisions and learning to filter the real from the unreal.  I plan on spreading the gospel of photography in every possible way my passion guides me to do so, for the benefit of others of my choice, and those that stand with me will gain, those that don’t, will be short-lived in my life as I have far less room for error in this decade as I get older and much wiser.  Separating the real from the unreal only gets easier because I don’t live the past, I’ve learned from it and learned there is always better.

To Write About Life, You Have to Experience It First

U.S. Army Pathfinder Training--Slingloading

U.S. Army Pathfinder Training--Slingloading

There is an old saying, “In order to write about life you must experience it first,” and when you’re my age, 47, you’ve got a lot to write about, though sometimes I don’t think people will believe half of what I’ve lived in my photographic career of over 30 years. Regardless, I’m a person who loves to convey messages of life through my photography and my writings, so I decided to give away my fifth photography how-to book away for free—because I want to give back, educate and tell the stories of the power of photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem, more specific, photographic therapy.


After all, who would believe that a U.S. Army, soldier, would be posing nude for the camera during an ongoing investigation on soldiers that sexually harassed her? Not to mention she was almost raped by an Army Ranger and the Army was doing its best to throw her out of the service because they didn’t want to deal with her. She took the chance while under this stress to pose nude for my camera and immediately began to feel better about herself.

Just like the story of the young Air Force officer who returned from the Officer Training School only to find her own clothes on the front porch because her newlywed husband chose the bridesmaid, her best friend, instead. Yes, she too used photography to overcome her sense of helplessness, betrayal, and rejection.

While I spent over 17 years combined federal service with the U.S. Army as an active-duty solider and as a U.S. Air Force civilian, not all the stories are military related like that of the young lady who lost 131 pounds thanks to bariatric surgery.

Yes, these stories did happen amongst many others that I was able to witness at times in the form of hearing, seeing, and believing thanks to my camera lens, my subject’s mirror. This process brings out life experiences in a subject who is in the need for photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem. I see it everyday as a photographer, people seek strength in the barrel of a lens, not a gun, but when the photographer fails or doesn’t comprehend the subjects needs, then the photographer’s lens barrel can fast become a gun barrel, especially for someone in a depressed state of mine.

Photographers must be careful in the photographic therapy process and understand they are not there to replace medically qualified professionals. Photography is powerful, hence why I’ve giving away my fifth photography book away for free. There are no gimmicks, no adware, no spyware; it’s a book designed in Adobe InDesign and edited by one of the top photography editors in the world, Alice Miller of Plum Communications. It’s a 3.1-megabyte file in a clean PDF format and like all my books, it’s 8 ½-inches by 11-inches, full color, with over 60 photos and captions.

Plus, it includes 11 chapters, a preface, index, recommended resources, and more make up this almost eighty-page book targeted for photographers but written and designed in a hybrid format so potential photographic therapy subjects can learn and perhaps relate to the stories told. Perhaps potentially even save a life, so please pass it on to your friends and colleagues that you can download a free copy at http://www.freephotographybooks.com or here at this blog. It’s free! You can’t beat that, especially when my other books sell for up to $40 at local bookstores worldwide. And if you feel the book has given you something of value, you can provide a donation toward the costs associated with the distribution of such a large file. Every little bit helps as I’ve returned back from another successful Virgin Islands workshop filled with life’s experiences that I’m sure I’ll write about someday. Thanks, don’t forget the troops and their families, God Bless–Rolando Gomez

The State of Professional Photographers

Rangefinder Magazine Cover, Sept. 2006, ©2006 Rolando Gomez

Rangefinder Magazine Cover, Sept. 2006, ©2006 Rolando Gomez

I just returned from the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) trade show and conference for professional photographers and though it was unusually cold and wet in Las Vegas where it’s held annually, over 10,000 people attended. Attendance, composed primarily of photographers, was up 25-percent from the pervious year making it seem that professional photographers are doing great during these tough economic times, but unfortunately they are not and the photo industry is learning to adjust to this pinch by targeting some of the very customers that are impacting photographers’ incomes.

Many photographers have seen less assignments over the years and their income is spiraling down thanks to digital cameras and the home/office ink-jet printer along with the corporate climate today. The general feeling amongst photographers queried at WPPI is that they were hoping the seminars and lectures at WPPI would teach them new ways to survive as many are experiencing diet days. [Read more…]

Everyone is a Photographer Today

Technology today seems to make everyone a photographer. The introduction of inkjet printers and digital cameras in cell phones seems to make everyone believe they can contribute to the royalty-free market. While I encourage the gospel of photography and love to see new photographers evolve, the evolution of a slow photography market didn’t start recently with the current economic state and the evolution of digital cameras. Though it should take some credit, the real dilemmas facing photography started before digital cameras in the late 1970’s when the first one-hour mini-labs entered the market, thus creating a slow, chain reaction as photographers and the photo industry today scramble for new ways to survive.

When the first mini-labs entered the market, from the Nortisu QSS systems to the smaller KIS systems, the face of photography changed. Some may argue it all started with the Canon AE-1 a few years before, but in realty, the AE-1 only forced camera manufacturers to spend more money on research and development for cameras that provided more than manual modes of operation.

These one-hour, photofinishing, assembly-line machines opened the door for a new market, initially mom and pop photofinishing labs that would evolve into photo studios (by offering passport photos and baby pictures), photo copying factories and even camera stores. The long-standing camera stores, which rarely made profits on actual camera bodies (low turn-over inventory items) and only on point of sale and peripherals products like filters and frames were either forced into photofinishing and adding their own photo studios, thus ultimately competing against their own customer—the professional photographer. [Read more…]

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…]

Top Friends? Myspace, Facebook, etc…

I’ve often talked about therapeutic photography, or photographic therapy, the power of photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem, but here recently, I’ve also noticed another power, the social networking power.

Myspace, Loyalty, Frienship, Models, Photographers, Digital Photography, Youtube, Facebook, tag, pets

While that topic can encompass many areas, especially with Myspace, Youtube, Facebook and other powerful social network communities, one thing they have in common, is the ability to “tag” (comment) each member in your friends network. It’s not only addictive, but those members with marketing savvy use these peripheral options along with their blogs, bulletins, announcement, photos, tagging of photos, pets, walls, groups, etc. and more as great marketing tools within the network.

This marketing of oneself is not only the selling of one’s products and talents, but of themselves and often for their own ego and self-esteem. Often a popularity contest, I have more friends, comments and tags than you! In the Myspace “pets” application, the goal isn’t to be the owner of pets, but to increase your net worth, though this is often perceived as a popularity contest more than disposable income. Many members of these sites are not only concerned about how many friends they have, but if they are on, and in what order, their friends, “Top Friends” lists.

[Read more…]