Sexy Bookworms Calendar Project
A great idea for a pinup calendar that didn't come to fruition for me. Got some great photographs, though.
So this is the Sexy Bookworms Calendar Project. Or it's my side of it, anyway. This was a great lesson in a lot of things. One: get it in writing. Suddenly, terms changed and ideas changed. It wasn't a paid project. It was a just for fun kind of project: some fun, pinup pix for a Sexy Bookworms calendar. We had 2 photographers (I didn't know this until I got there) and, well, our styles were very different. Most of the images were very wide with the model doing some artsy posing. They looked more artsy to me and less pinup. I know pinups. I love pinups: I've known about Gil Elvgren and George Petty before I knew anything else about art.
Anyhow, so I didn't say anything. I probably should have. They never came straight out to me and said they didn't like my photos. No, it was more of a brush-off. I heard second-hand what they really felt. Some pretty nasty stuff in this town. I won't say what I heard because they didn't say it to me directly which means they at least had some level of respect or decorum. Maybe they didn't want to hurt my feelings? I've also been told I can be intimidating which confuses me.
This model was great to work with: she was responsive to direction, she had great poses, was willing to try goofy stuff that didn't work, but she humored me. These are her two best ones. She wasn't even a model. I think she did some dance stuff. I would love to work with her again. I can't because I don't have her contact info. This is a segue, by the way.
This model was also great to work with. I love her look here. These are exactly the types of images I love to make. I was very hopeful about this project. Then I didn't hear back. No status. Nada. I had uploaded several files. I had some lighting issues I knew about, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed. Further, didn't have any model releases signed. Oops. I had some, but was told they had model releases for all of the models. I should have had them sign one of mine. Would have taken 1 minute. I didn't. I had no formal agreement in writing. I totally fucked up. If they have model releases, but I don't and we have no agreement, they can't use my pictures. When I realized that, I tried to contact them. I didn't want any payment, I just wanted to know who I shot so I could contact them about signing a release for me. The person I was dealing with refused and then decided she didn't want any of my photos. This is the short version mind you. Her's was that sort of longwinded corporate speak you use to condescend to someone and tell them you're sorry, but it's all bullshit and you know it when you start hearing things from the magpies.
I love this photo: she is beyond cute and coy in this one. One of my personal favorites.
So, now they don't like my stuff. Okay. I'm a big boy, I can deal with it. I asked that she please remove any and all copies of my photos from her drives and reminded her that though I don't have the model's photo release, I still retain copyright. Yeah, that might have been a bit much. I might have felt a little miffed right there.
Oh, if you want to see the ones they did like, go here: There was a domain name associated with it, but now it has the default GoDaddy logo. Hasn't been updated in over a year so I'm guessing the project has reached it's maturity. I sincerely hope the project was successful. I know how difficult it is to get a calendar going when you have few resources. I could think of at least a dozen better ways they could have approached the project to have it be a big success, but that's not relavent any longer.
Oh, this photo made the cut, but it's not one of my favs. It looks sexy, but the angle is all wrong: should have been at an angle (like she is on the floor) and I have her at chair height and I'm centered to the back on the chair. Would have been better with a longer lens and a ladder. Here, I'm afraid she's gonna suffocate. This was totally my bad.
This model was great. I love her figure! She really takes it with her clothes, hair, and makeup. This one really captures her form in this dress. I would have loved to have shot her with some different costumes. She was grasping the poses, but I think was a bit apprehensive. I managed to coax her a bit ans she started to really respond. Again, I really didn't mind working with these well-dressed ladies - if they lack a little bit of posing experience, I can get them in the right place. 
Another great photo. She did the lip bite, just for me. I was teasing her, too I think. I think it helps a little. Not always. Sometimes that makes it worse because they think you're hitting on them. It all depends if that's good or bad. I never know. I err on the side of gosh-gee-shucks. Besides, isn't it more fun to ask forgiveness than permission?
This one is ticklish for me. Her expression is very soft. A light smile. But she's also holding that string, mildly revealing her chest (not her cleavage) and making direct eye contact. I think it was an in-between photo I accidentally triggered. Love it, though.
Not just stuffy old classic pinup styles: she was an avid roller derbyess. She can't do it now, but I got this awesome photo.
Same with this. Makes such a great shape.
I love her devious and evil grin. I have some more, but she was wearing black and my low lighting wasn't cutting it. I have some great strobes now. Would love to reshoot in a different locale and shoot her in something brighter than black.
She is so cute here. These are my little techniques: have the model cross their hands comfortably on her lap, then gently bring the elbows forward to accentuate the breasts. Most women are self-conscious of their breasts (especially when they're not models), but if you can assure them it's all photo trickery with these simple tricks. It also helps them open up a bit.
Last one for now. I may make publish even more later. Incidentally, this one is my absolute favorite: great pose despite the from-below angle, though that might be exactly why it works, her expression is a little off, but her body language read wonderfully. She has such a great form here, too!
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