Micah is probably a familiar face for those who have followed my work for any amount of time. Micah has been a frequent collaborator in so many ways I can't even count. Over the years she has been in front of my camera more times than I can count, but also functioned as a makeup artist, an assistant, an accessories designer, all quite effectively. This shoot came about while Micah was playing around with crafting cage bras and harnesses, and she had a few prototypes made up. It was early July and the studio had no A/C.
I remember it being over 100 degrees outside. My pale nordic self wasn't about to shoot this look in the mid day sun so we let the large fans in the studio do what they could could keep it bearable.
We had several rolling flats in the studio made from foam insulation panels, that I didn't really use much as they didn't like to stand straight on their own. I would usually prefer to set up my 6x6 Scrim Jim, or a v-flat, or some other sort of bounce. These did come in handy though for creating partitions between shooting areas. Most of the time while I was shooting I just left them pushed out of the way toward the middle of the back wall of the studio. One day seeing them back there it just dawned on me that hey, there's a wall there, there's stuff in front of it, that's a useable background. The panels in the background added some nice lines and shapes to the frame that gave Micah some definition to the space she had to work in. Micah can move and pose her ass off, but I do find that it's much easier to come up with new/fresh poses and keep the flow going when you have a more defined "box" to work within, especially when you have a model that understands photographic composition and isn't simply twisting their body around. I'll talk about posing and the model being a compositional partner in an upcoming blog post.
I lit the scene with a 22 inch beauty dish high up to camera left, and a bare bulb strobe head firing into the ceiling well ahead of Micah as fill. The white floor caught the flash from the bare bulb head and bounced just enough light back into the scene to open up the shadows. I wanted to keep the lighting very directional and contrasty but with more open shadows than what I would get with running a more focused light source like a long throw/magnum reflector or a fresnel.
I shot these using a 70-200mm 2.8 lens from WAY back in the studio. That's the benefit of working in a larger space. Sure I could have shot this look with a 50mm up close, but shooting from further back and using the longer lens allowed me to control the perspective ratio of model to background, compress the scene a bit, and also let Micah move a lot more freely as it is much easier to follow from afar with a telephoto lens than it is to jump around like a monkey when shooting up close.
I added some fogged film/light leak effects in post as I feel like it added to the perception of the heat we dealt with during the shoot. That combined with the pentagram harness Micah's recently peach/salmon colored hair is what led me to name the story "Inferno" as tip of the hat to Dante. This got picked up by Kaiser Magazine, which had both Micah and I super pumped, as it is one of my favorite magazines publishing work that blurs the lines between fashion/art nudes/erotica.
If you would like to order a copy of the magazine, you may visit: https://www.kaiser-magazine.com/blog/lingerie-harness - Make sure to choose Volume 8
For uncensored version of the images featured here, as well as countless others from the span of my career, BTS content, and more, sign up as a member on my Patreon page at http://patreon.com/nickjohnsonphoto
More stories from past, current, and upcoming publications coming soon!
Cheers - Nick.