Photographers I respect: Monica Motor

There are several photographers whose work I respect. They all have the skills to produce excellent images. For blog entries in this series about photographers I respect, I will introduce each one of them. In many cases, I know them only through their work. In other cases, I personally know the photographer.

The first photographer I will mention is Monica Motor. She is a photographer in Poland. What I like most about her photos is the clear mastery of lighting that she shows. She uses lighting to show shape. She also uses it to hide flaws, although I doubt that any of the models in her photos have may flaws. Look at her portfolio of women, and in particular, look at their noses. The light always shows the model’s nose perfectly.

I would be interested in seeing what she can do with a more diverse collection of models, especially models who are older and/or larger. Given her control of lighting, I suspect that she could do a fine job with them.

One criticism I have of the photos is that several of the models have rounded shoulders. Since good posture is sexy, I think that the women in her photos would be even more attractive if they had good posture.

A sample sexy or boudoir photo shoot

Here is what happens before, during, and after a sexy or boudoir photo shoot.  By reading this blog entry, you can know what to expect when you book yours.

Before the boudoir photo shoot

Several things occur before your photo session.  Hopefully, you have had a good night’s sleep and plenty of liquids so you are well-hydrated.  We will have sent you any paperwork you need, and you will have signed the contract.  All of the batteries will have a fresh charge, and everything will have been tested to ensure it is working properly.   If you are coming to one of our locations, before you arrive, my photo assistant and I will be setting up the lighting equipment, prepare props, etc.

At the beginning of the boudoir photo shoot

woman holding a color standard
AzariaZia holding a color standard for use in setting the proper white balance and verifying the exposure.
I will take test photos to test the lighting and ensure that the color balance of your photos will be correct.  If we are working at your location, I will do these tests before we start taking photos. If we are working at one of my locations, I will have a basic lighting test done before you arrive.

Ann Colberg Scheller Furdon applying makeup to Jadyen Haylee.
Ann Colberg Scheller Furdon applying makeup to Jadyen Haylee.
When we first meet, after introductions, my assistant or I will offer you tea, coffee, or anything else that helps you feel more comfortable.  We discuss the photo session, what type of photos you want, and how you intend on using them.  We look at wardrobes, props and choose them for the first photos.  We set up and start any music you want (from your music player).  We assist you with makeup and hair preparations.  If you ordered one of our better packages, you will have your hair and makeup professionally done.

Comfort and safety

Throughout the whole time, your comfort and safety are paramount.  We will make sure that you are warm enough.  We strive to also make sure that you are mentally comfortable.  When I am photographing a woman, I always have a female photo assistant.  Besides helping with lighting, poses, and props, she has your comfort as a primary responsibility.

Taking the sexy and boudoir photos

a man pointing how he wants the model to move.
Kenneth giving posing directions (what direction to move) to AzariaZia in a boudoir photo shoot. Photo by Mel Pardi.
When we start taking photos, I will describe poses, sometimes even being silly and demonstrating them.  We will move from pose to pose.  

a man showing a woman photos on the back of a camera
Kenneth showing AzariaZia some of the recent photos in the boudoir photo shoot. Photo by Mel Pardi.
Frequently, I will show you the resulting photo, showing you how beautiful you look.  For a given wardrobe, we will take 20–40 minutes of photos, meaning we normally go through three to six outfit changes.  After one outfit, we take a break.  While you change clothes, touch up your hair and makeup, we will make any changes needed to the lighting and props so they are ready for you.  We then go back to work taking more photos.  From a normal photo session, we will get 20–30 good photos per hour, so a two-hour session produces least 40 photos.

After the boudoir photo shoot

The photo session is all about you and showing how beautiful and sexy you are.  As we do the photos, you should be feeling really energized, happy, sexy, and beautiful.  A boudoir session is all about the experience and how good you feel.  It is a great ego boost.  It just happens that you also get great photos to preserve your beauty and sexiness.

At the end of the photo session, you will change back into your street clothes.  While you are doing this, we will be packing up the lighting equipment, props, and all of the other gear.  When all of us are done with these tasks, we will deal with any final paperwork and discuss the next steps.  In most cases, this means talking about photo editing and when you can expect your photos and/or any other products you have purchased.  Normally, you will get digital photos within two weeks.  Photo products are often ready within this timeframe, but it depends on what you have ordered.  You leave feeling sexy and beautiful.

Posture and sexiness: good posture is sexy

It is quite possible that a parent (my mother, in my case) spent a lot of time as you were growing up to get you to have good posture, and avoid slouching.  Well, your mom or dad was right.  Besides any other health benefits of good posture, you look more confident, more slender, and sexier when you have good posture.  Let’s look more into posture and sexiness.

Examples of poor and good posture

Compare these two photos of beautiful AzariaZia:

a sexy woman with rounded shoulders
Even though she is beautiful, her posture means she is not as atrractive as she could be. Poor posture also makes her look heavier than she really is.

sexy woman with good posture.
Bringing her shoulders back makes a real difference in her appearance. Notice also the curve of her back, and she looks more slender.

In the first photo, her shoulders are rounded forward and her spine is not straight.  This means that she does not have a lumbar curve. This curve adds to sexiness when it is visible.  Even when it is not visible, the effects of having a good curve in the lower part of the spine show up in much of the rest of the body, and it’s all good.  You can see the curve showing up in the second photo.

Having her shoulders and spine rounded in the first photo means that her chest is concave.   For a woman, this hides the breasts and makes them look like they are sagging.  For a man, a broad chest is sexy, not a caved-in one. Again, this is fixed in the second photo.

Supporting data about posture being sexy

I am not the only one who things good posture is sexy. For example, Don R. Osborn said that “posture was comparable to body build in influencing attractiveness” (in Beauty is as Beauty Does?: Makeup and Posture Effects on Physical Attractiveness Judgments, in Journal of Applied Social Psychology 26: 31–51. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01837.x). In other words, posture is as important as how your body is shaped in determining attractiveness.

Another person promoting posture for sexiness is Geoff Girvitz, a gym owner and fitness blogger notes “Posture is a significant indicator of youth, vitality and mental state.” (in The First Sexy Posture Article). This article has specific advice on how to improve your posture for improved sexiness. And, there are some sexy photos to back it up. You need to undo the effects of spending a lot of time sitting at a desk, so go read it (as soon as you are done here :-).

Speaking of exercises, Isaac Odim also has an article about exercises to help you improve your posture. In The Power of Posture: Easy exercises to look more confident and sexy, he provides several exercises that address specific posture problems. It’s another article worth checking out after you finish reading mine.

Finally, Health Habits notes in Physical Attraction, Sexiness and Health…The Female Edition that posture is a general indicator of good health, a trait that is attractive. After all, a healthy mate is likely to produce healthy offspring.

What this means for photography

What you want in a photo is to have a chest that is open, both vertically as well as horizontally. Many of us in the US are unaware of our posture, and hours of sitting at a desk rarely helps. On the other hand, yoga, many (all?) types of dance, and other activities that require that you be mindful of your body help improve your posture. When I was doing at least 30 minutes of yoga a day, a photographer friend commented that my posture was the best he had seen.

When I am photographing someone, I work to be aware of the subject’s posture. This was the case for these two photos—I noticed the problem and she immediately corrected it in the next photo. When I was processing the photos, the difference between the two photos was so striking that I knew it had to be a blog post.

What is Sexy: A connection with the viewer

Remembering the definition of “sexy”, sexy photos cause arousal and imply the (fantasy) that sex is possible or maybe even imminent. This means that, most times, the subject needs to have a connection with the viewer. The easiest way for this is for the subject to be looking into the camera, so there is eye contact with the viewer. For example, here is a photo of the lovely Nikkii:

sexy woman looking straight at the camera creating a connection with the viewer
The eye contact from this beautiful woman really gives a connection between her and the viewer.

However, the arousal can also come without eye contact, if the rest of the photo sets a mood or scene where sex might be occurring soon. For example, in this photo of Chelsea Christian, she is pulling on her top in a way that will expose more skin.

woman pulling on the straps of her sexy top
This photo is sexy even though she is not looking at the viewer because there is the intimacy of being on a bed and her action of pulling her clothing in a way that might make it come off or reveal more.

This connection explains why some nudes are non-sexy or far less sexy than photos showing much less skin, even though the nudes show what is not normally seen. Examples include most bodyscapes, many art models for figure studies and the resulting fine-art nudes, and ethnographic photography.