In September, I attended a photography workshop in Kansas City called After Dark. This program is right up my alley: Classes start at 1:30 and go past midnight. (I'm a night owl.) They're small, at most 20 students to a mentor, which gave me real access to some really fantastic photographers. And I got to practice what I was learning on the spot. While I can be book smart, until I do it I don't always get it. I love learning. I was that geeky straight-A student who loved most of my teachers. After graduating from college I continued to take creative writing workshops for over a decade (I'm a poet and an essayist) because they keep my brain fresh. And in photography, I seem to always be watching an online seminar, involved in a workshop or attending a local class or meetup. I'm a curious person.
At After Dark, I spent a lot of time with Jennifer Rozenbaum, a gifted and successful boudoir photographer from Jenerations in New York. Jen is a tiny spitfire of a woman. She's smart, she's knowledgeable and she's incredibly generous with sharing that knowledge. She spent a lot of her time discussing and demoing boudoir posing--a topic I can never get too much of.
The best boudoir photographers understand how to pose a woman to enhance her assets and hide her perceived flaws. Jen is a posing master, and by watching her and mimicking her I learned ways to tweak my posing and take it to the next level. Something as simple as pointing a knee diagonally across the pose instead of into the camera can make a woman look lean and long.
I was able to practice new techniques with really talented models. My favorite was Samantha Illas, a 20-something girl from North Carolina. You'd think that incredibly fit girls like Sam can pose in any direction and look good. Not true. Put her arms along her side and shoot her straight on, and you add 10 pounds to her. Give her torso some breathing room, angle her body and create some great S-curves, and you enhance her femininity and sexiness.
Of all the photos I took in Kansas City, this one is my favorite. What do you think?