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Happy Holidays!

You know, I was really going to do a self portrait, I have a dress I've been saving and I was going to be all corny, but I had noooo time! WTH! I shipped the last album today and I am breathing. And I had an unfortunate incident with my bangs.They are on the short side. They are on the short side of when my sister cut her own bangs when she was 6. I must stop the madness.

Anyway here is my stand in, in holiday cheer. She is perkier anyway.

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Holiday cheer

yeah, yeah, can you tell I am a fan of the holidays? Only because I am busy with the holiday orders and time is flying! like what the f! It's December! time is flying!
well, here is something to keep you warm. And no it's not me just because you see a hint of black hair. I wish I had that waist. Anyhoo, ho ho ho. I better get cracking on those orders!

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Tasty :)

So last weekend I didn't do ANY Boudoir. I did make-up portfolio shots for a friend.
4 Models in my boudoir and shooting from 10 to 4, I was pooped. I fell into unconscious sleep after downloading the pictures around 8pm. On a Saturday night, how lame am I.

Sorry folks, no nudity! they all had tube tops, which do not get in the way of sensuality I say. This one is all ready all over Model Mayhem, and the model said: "chocolate...mmm"
I concur!
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Wedding: Erin and Jeff

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Glossy lips

Yeah I've been MIA, but have no fear! despite being sleep deprived and edgy I will post! Here is another client at my place. Preserving her secret identity.

I find interesting that to me an appointment is always like a blind date. I have no clue what the person who is coming looks like but I am always pleasantly surprised. And what is up with the tattoos. I think 9 out of 10 of my clients have one. I have a dinky one that me and my best friend got when we where 18, and still looking for the perfect one for my update.
What is it about tattoos and boudoir? Is it the flamboyant nature? the comfort in their on skin? I'm getting philosophical here, must get some real sleep.
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Lace and lipstick

So sometimes, I have images that I take all ready nice and cropped. Keeping the privacy for my client and showing a nipple. I rule!

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Ta da!

I've been thinking... since I shot my self in the foot by not posting faces of my clients, and there is so much you can do cropping pictures and still make them look nice, that I had a burst of genius. Well, I was a bit bored you see. And I am one of those that can't be idle unless I am watching heroes, and maybe then I am also straightening my hair. So, I was thinking on my inability to post some of my all time favourite pictures because there is a face and sometimes a nipple and sometimes both at the same time. So! I drew them! I am combining my love of comics and my artful mouse drawing technique with my favourite pictures and here it is.

My favourite clients and pictures are getting one. Jenn you are next. And I will put them on a calendar, yeah! more brain bursts.
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ha! I am done!

Freaking website menu was driving me nuts. But it is done! If there are some 404 errors don't tell me... well maybe do tell me. So far I think I changed my website like 4 times. Now I like it!

and a gratuitous cleavage shot, because I can
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I apologize for being MIA, but I've been catching up with a lot of stuff and I am getting ready to spend a lot of time in the lab tomorrow, I am being anal and want to make sure the prints are right. Very weird of me.
Anyway, coming soon! my revamped main website. It is time for a makeover.

Speaking of which, I like this:

I had this idea a long time ago when I was doing the online dating thing. Some pictures are freaking scary. Or with other people, what is up with that?
So go get a nice picture of your self! I can help! I have to tell people that my magic "get-naked" powers are optional.
I have a headshot package somewhere, use it for this kind of thing!
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One for the photographers -- DSLR cathechism


Which lens is best to have on hand? The one at home.
Which camera is best? The model a step up from the one you just bought.
When will the right camera for you be available? Probably next year.
When will it be affordable? When it is obsolete.
What camera do ‘fools’ buy? Yours.
Should you shoot RAW? No! Shoot jpeg and get it right the first time you moron.
Should you shoot jpeg? No! Sliders and presets and curves! Shoot RAW you moron.
What must you improve? Your workflow.
Of what must you have more? Screen real estate.
Where does no one want to be? In front of a computer.
Where does everyone want to be? Out shooting.
How much light is there? Not enough.
What must the light be? Natural.
What must the colour balance be? Neutral.
What must the subject matter be? Interesting.
What do adjustments make your photograph? More interesting.
What must the background be? Blown out.
What mustn’t the highlights be? Blown out.
What must the shadows be? Punchy.
What must the flash be? Diffuse.
What else? Soft.
Like this? No. Now? No. Now? Just turn it off.

What’s the meaning of it all?
Self-redemption through an endless stream of pouty self-portraits on Flickr. Also weddings.

ha! and wait for all the pictures from guess who was a "supermodel" when the real ones got their dates mixed up. Oh, the dorkiness in front of more than 20 cameras.

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For the coupled folk

Yes! I know! naked people are required for the blog. But this couple is hot even dressed so :P
Since this was shot in her bedroom, I want to make note that I will travel for pictures within the Toronto Area- And I am planning some work trips to New York and Montreal, I just need to narrow the dates.
So gals and couples in those areas shall experience, well, me and my "awesomeness".
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Boudoir Photographer Manifesto

I will promise:
1. To always find your best angle- or body part.
2. To give direction: "suck in your pouch", "sit up straight" and "don't do that because I see a double chin"- in a really nice way.
3. To retouch anything not smooth.
4. To make you feel comfortable.
5. To make you laugh and relax.
6. To not have your naked pictures all over the internet. Well maybe suicide girls. Kidding of course.

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In my boudoir

Go on- laugh a little. I know my expression is super dorky. I wasn't going to post it, but I think it explains a bit of what goes on during the sessions.

This session was really fun, it is like friends hanging out. After some wine and the biggest wardrobe of lingerie items I have ever seen, I had to try the transparent, feathery robe thing. Of course it took me a while to find the sleeves.
We laugh a lot, take a lot of pictures and sometimes forget one is completely naked.
I am going to watch Saturday morning cartoons in one of these numbers. :)
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More couples- but dressed

This couple did some naked ones in homage to their idols.
Sorry I am not posting their butts. Those are for the reception! Cool or what? Can't wait for the wedding!

And after they put on clothes and we walked to a park we took this one.

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Because I can

and I will post more Glamour. Here is someone that read my about me and said "I always wanted to have my glamour shot taken, every time I passed it in the mall it looked like so much fun."
Well it was, I have to say. So she had her own feather boa and everything. And this hat.
On a naked note, I like to say that when someone says to me, oh I will just do some lingerie shots, I will not show anything, I say no problem, no pressure, but if at the end I get a nipple, I feel I did my job.
"Master of nudity" strikes again!
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i heart pasties

These are the things that even I do not see often, pasties. Wow do they make me giggle. Specially when this conversation is going on:

"I got these but I think they are too big"
"I do not think pasties come in different sizes, well can you make them spin?"

And more stuff that cracked us up. How serious can anybody be around pasties? Yeah the best one:
"Ok now turn your boob a little bit more towards me"
"you give really good directions!"

If only someone heard it all.

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My scrapbooking... sort of

I stumbled upon this site and I had to try it :) There is a very sad music selection, I was about to choose twinkle, but decided no music would be better. I'm so hooked.
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My retouching

Not touching, re-touching. That's extra.:)
Here is a sample of my magic touch- I promised magazine quality retouching and here it is. So any of you out there worried about a scar or stretch marks or postbaby stuff, hey I soften it all! Heck, I have it all!

I heart photoshop.

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Boudoir photography for couples

I was checking my google analytics of my page, because of course, I am a nerd and like to see how many people read my crap- anyway, I saw that one of the main hits was boudoir photography for couples.

All the same packages are applicable to couples, but I get requests for quotes for sessions where the couple gets to keep the images and want absolute privacy and want to do whatever they want. Just in case they run for prime minister one day.

So in a genius burst I am creating the ultimate intimate package - sorry I kind of got carried away- that includes me, as the photographer for one or two hours- no rush, also me retouching makeup, 4 gig card and you keep all the images, and you do whatever you want as long I don't get splashed.

You will have the option to send me images that you like for retouching- but they are all yours, photographer released and everything. Like if you decide to build your own sexy website or something.

Some conditions will be applied to keep it kosher. So there I won't have to custom quote anymore for couples or intimate portraits.

PSST if you need extra spicy erotic photography go to it's me, but that site is not as PG -ha

Tips for your Boudoir Photography for Couples
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Couple session

Some people call it E-session, as in engagement session, I reserve my thoughts on that- oh I can't...lame! Anyway I think is super important for a photographer have this time to get to know the couple. We get to court each other and see what we are getting ourselves into. After all, we are spending at least 8 hours together, plus the emailing- or calls, after. That is equivalent to like 3 or 4 dates. That's almost commitment. Here is one image of one of my recent couples. yes only one! because I am frugal. And there are some awesome ones that I will spread out.
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Like a girl

never satisfied... with the furniture arrangement. So playing around with templates. I need bigger pictures, and I wanted my columns to look more organized. Almost there, I think. Maybe is too black? Never in my life I thought those words would come out of my mouth. Never too black!

I bought the domain to give it a whirl. Sounds sexy. I was surprised it was available.

Anyway I found a glamour shot image from way back when I was working there. I have to say the girls I worked with there where not settling down for the feather boa. I'm soooo glad. This is from 2001- crap made me feel old. And if she didn't have that thing or her neck you could not tell. Or yeah- maybe the hair is a bit puffy, but it was pure glamour.
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Minding my business

Here I am googling Boudoir photography for kicks. Darn there is some holly-eighties-crap out there batman! HUGE. No wonder people think your image is going to look like this:

Not if I can help it. Of course there are some awesome photographers out there, but my only pet peeve is that there are those multi-talented photographers that will take a picture of your puppy, and your son's baptism, and then your naked pictures.

I am like: really? Are you sure? Can you see me as a baby photographer? Which I was for part of for about a year, but in the behind the scenes. I learned my lesson. I get a tick in my left eye when a hear a squeaky toy.

I am all about the multi talents- but I think a website should be dedicated to one part. Clients have asked me to do family shots- which I gladly do.

All right, there is my rant of the day. And here is proof also that I also put out for people I like. :)

p.s. no squeeky toys where harmed during this session.
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The secret

People have asked me: how do you make somebody feel comfortable naked?

First of all- I have to say that the secret is that I understand that is not easy to feel comfortable in front of somebody fully dressed clicking away.
I know what it feels like! I've done it a couple of times myself, and mostly with guy photographers and I've learned what and what not to do, the naked way.

I find that 90 percent of my clients are really nervous about it- only a handful go like- ok! let's get everything off now! I start the session slowly and it helps if I am doing the make up because it gives us time to chat a bit. You'll soon realize I am silly. I am a goof. I am an ultra nerd trying to be cool.
And I almost get away with it. I can not say " squeeze your boob harder" with a straight face. However many times I say it.

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Look ma, no flash

So some picture from a recent event I attended of my friend Eric Mattei. I have to say I have a love-hate relationship with flash so I used it as little as possible. I just grab my 50mm lense, crank the ISO of my camera and click away and dont worry about grain. Grain is sexy.
And I am so into this blogging thing that I am neglecting the creation of my other baby- coming soon.
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more FAQ's Wedding edition

First of all, yeah! I know! I need to update my galleries. I have some cool new shots and they are still not up there. Ok, soon I promise.

Now- since is the season, and everybody is in love and feeling the preassure to fit in to a wedding dress, I am collecting some interesting information for brides to be. Because grooms don't really care. Unless your name is Lindsey. (I apologize for the joke at the expense of my boyfriend- yes that is his name) he will be a groomzilla, I've been warned. All I care are about the pictures anyway. And that is fun. And the booze. Oh and the food must be good.

Ok! enough of that. Here are some of the most common questions.

What are the advantages of hiring a professional photographer?

One of the main reasons is experience. A professional wedding photographer will have all the right equipment.
And here is my kicker- "my cousin just bought and new camera and he said he will do it for 250." Or, " I saw an ad on craiglist, my whole wedding and gazillion prints for 399".
I can say so many things here, but I will be polite. Do you want the pictures that will forever capture one of the most important moments of your life to be done by a newbie? Do they even have back up gear? Extra lenses? Or can they herd your aunt to the family portrait with authority and conviction? Retouching? Light? Composition?
Hell I have 3D pictures of my son's birth! I can't wait till his old enough so I can scar him for life!

What questions should I ask a wedding photographer?

First availability, then negotiation of the packag
e. I am pretty flexible in this area- since my main focus is boudoir, the most important thing for me is that the couple likes my work and are
passionate about having the traditional and the not so much for their wedding. I'm supper excited about this couple that want Yoko and John Lennon style pics for their engagement shoot.
Woo me, and I will put out. :)
Also personality is super important- go for the photographer that makes you feel comfortable. Meet a couple, it is a lot like a blind date. Remember you will have this person the whole day of your wedding telling you to put your shoulders back and suck in your gut, so you better like him/her. Ask anything- don't be shy.

How can I help the photographer on the wedding day?

One of the main things is to help the photographer organize people. Herding I call it. This I think is a Maid of honor chore. Give her a list of the pictures you want for the group shots and let her help me with he herding.

Should we provide lunch or dinner for the photographer?

This one I know is a bit tricky for couple on a budget. Some photographers have it in their contacts that they must sit in a table close to the couple and have full service. But it is not always possible int the real world. Most places o
r caterers provide you with a Vendor meal option for us minions like the dj, musicians and photographer. I love buffets.

I too like to bring an assistant for weddings over
100 people. Again this is up to the couple. And no, is not my date, I actually need a slave to carry all my junk and take some extra candid shots and in generally keep me hydrated. Once my camera jammed and my assistant came to the rescue of shooting the couples kiss during the ceremony. I still have nightmares about it. Super assistant to the rescue.

Deposit and refund policy.

A professional photographer always requires a non-refundable deposit in order to hold your wedding date for you. This provides security for you, and provides a way to break up the cost of a wedding photographer. Even if by some emergency the photographer can not make it, he will provide a back up.

And in certain occasions that the couple breaks up or is very sick or something. But really, this is to save the date for you, and if something happens, the photographer can't book this date again and is loosing money. Other photographers have a refund only if they can book the same day.

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I am read- woo hoo!

My first actual live commenter- thanks Richard! I know my friends read this and some potential clients to see what the hell they are getting themselves into, but other photographers honor me. I while back I received an email from Julie, and now this commet. Make me feel appreciated :) See Nicole? comment once in a while! Jenn too!
Anyway! I was about to post the now famous head-on-demi-moore's body. I found it and it makes me smile. Here is my friend Eliza in all her glory- now a super mom of twin girls.
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More Cryptic Canvas

It turns out is now my favourite hang out. What else can I ask for, free drinks, cool people, and friends come to meet up there, I just wish they where more often :) Oh and people making out. That was the artist and the muse I think.
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My FAQ's

Or what I like to call my Faaaawks. You can almost hear my accent.

1: What to wear to the photo shoot?

If it were solely up to me I would only let people wear black, white, red and hot pink. Pastels remind me of ice-cream. Uhm, well maybe that is a good thing. Avoid fussy prints, and flower motifs. I encourage animal prints.

Bring a special dress and two lingerie items. One can be a simple t and cool boy shorts and another one something more naughty. Transparent, lace, vinyl, leather, all welcome.

2: What should I bring with me?

If you are having your makeup done by me I encourage your own foundation if it's really awesome, and your own mascara. But I have lot's here, I am an addict.
Jewelry the bigger the brighter the better. Necklaces, Pearls, his tie.
Shoes- the newer and the sluttier the better. Clean them really well, even bottoms.
Your outfits of course.

3: I have a pouch/flabby area. I'm worried about x not looking nice in the portrait.

Guess what, me too! And all the women I see here. I highlight the nice bits and I am on the look out for anything that wouldn't be a nice composition.

4: What's the extent of the retouching? Can I have my head on Demi Moore's body? (jk)

I did that once though, for a friend's baby shower I put her head on that famous vanity fair, pregnant shot of Demi. It was funny.
Anyway, the retouching is to enhance the portrait, not complete change it. The final prints will be retouched for skin blemishes, extra folds (self explanatory I think :), brightening of the smile and eyes and some extra little things I call the Marlen touch. Yes, that is exactly what I call it.

5: Can I bring my friend/boyfriend/assistant with me?

Sure. If you are sure you could squeeze your boobs in front of that person, I have nothing to complain about. Some start in the bedroom and then decide to go to have a beer at Murphy's Law down the street or wait on the couch. If your other half is coming we could even do a some couple shots. Topless works for me.

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Ok I've been a little behind on blogging, but what else is new! There was a session a little while ago that it was really hard to edit because I liked a lot of pictures! And I have to narrow them down for and easy 30-50 tops, but it was hard I tell you.

She was really nice, and a bit shy so because I completely respect the fact not everybody wants their picture all over the internet, I have here just a peek. It was awesome. Light was perfect, hair was perfect and she was wearing hot pink.
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You can call me Cleo

I've heard it enough times that I am answering to Cleopatra, or Cleo for short. So of course I started playing a bit and took some self portraits, these are the less dorky. For someone who takes portraits for a living, it takes at least 10 shots for me to relax. Both tequila and camera shots :)
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Inspirational quote of the day:

"Free your mind and your ass will follow"
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Adventures in Boudoir Photography

As always, keeping entertained. Forgetting to blog, rats. But this time I've been productive. I've taken the liberty of creating my character, with loads of creative freedom; like I wish my boobs stood that way, or my arms looked that toned, never mind the skin without a trace of any stray hair. And the body- maybe with plastic surgery because I am too lazy to go to the gym.

Its the Marlen James pin up. My homage to my favourites Alberto Vargas and Betty Page. It kinda looks like me, I mean its based on me and my new cool haircut. Its my superhero character, the result of all my nerdoom. Hey I am allowed. Adventures to follow :)
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Cryptic Canvas

Soooo, yeah I am a bad poster; bad girl, bad girl. Here are some pictures of my friends gallery , very nice place in Toronto.

When I do event coverage, I find that the best pictures are the ones no one notices the camera is there.
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Playboy bunny

Another couple of shots from a really fun session, they are a bit cropped to preserve some anonymity, its not like I like to out my clients as "naked-likers". These are pg13, the ones after these are awesome, she got so comfortable and that resulted in some natural shots.

When there are two girls in a room, and one of them is naked it goes two ways: one, nobody minds and is very nonchalant or two, there is a lot of goofing off. This was the later.
The result: the best gift his fiance ever got! :)
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No wonder

I'm on a roll, two posts in two days! I was cleaning files from my computer and I bumped into these... a couple of my paintings circa 1998, craaaap ten years ago! and what where my subjects you may ask? naked people. I seem to have a tendency to gravitate towards nudity for some reason... And they are still at my parents house, I couldn't part with them, but maybe they will be worth a pretty penny one day- make me an offer :)
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My new year resolution was to keep up with the blog... I suck. Ok, I cant believe is already February and the last Valentine's session is next week. Oh, and I hate snow.
Anyway, here is a picture of, what else, a girl, a girl with cleavage. Not any girl, I took the same picture more than a year ago of my friend Mo, and here it is, Mo V2.0. So it made me realized that I am Mo's official cleavage photographer, hey somebody has to!
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