My second underwater session of 2013 was with Seraphina Fiero, a belly dancer and burlesque performer who currently works with Stripped Screw Burlesque. She brought a lot of great outfits and props, but the thing you will see in the majority of the images are the golden Thai fingertips, long metal adornments that could be rather dangerous if you're not careful. I originally thought we'd just use them for a few shots, but they looked so great that they simply stuck around for a good portion of the session.
I had to do a bit of rearranging when Seraphina showed up and I saw that her hair was nearly jet-black. I typically shoot against a black backdrop in the pool and I've learned that extra dark hair can totally vanish against it. We ended up doing a bit of work against the black, but the majority of the time I had a white backdrop in place. Even though I have a preference for using black, I have an even stronger preference for keeping things visible.
The underwater photo season officially started at the beginning of July when I had the opportunity to shoot Ruby Mimosa, a local performer who is part of the Atomic Bombshells burlesque troupe. We had exceptionally great weather and I was very happy to verify that my underwater camera case had not developed any leaks while sitting dormant for the past 10 months.
Even though we shot at the beginning of July, it has taken me until now to get the photos posted due to other scheduling conflicts. In fact, I'm going to cut this short so I can get to work on the photos I took the following weekend!
Because people keep asking me what I have planned for SEAF 2013...
And because I know there are people out there waiting to hear what I'm doing so they can be among the first to volunteer...
And because I haven't posted anything to this blog in a couple months...
... I'm ready to announce the details of my SEAF 2013 project.
I'm not doing anything.
Faithful followers know that my projects tend to be rather large and complex; there really isn't any way to do something that uses 100 volunteers and pull it off with just a few hours of work. These things take a hell of a lot of planning, can stretch over several months of shooting, and then can take more months of production and construction. Having gone through that cycle the past three years I'm simply ready to take a break. As much as I'd love to have 100 of you visit the house to disrobe for my camera, it's just not something that's going to happen this season.
But yes, I do have a few project ideas in mind for the future, so let's stay in touch, OK?
More often than not, people in Seattle can safely consider the end of August to be the end of summer. Although the calendar might claim there are still three weeks remaining until the onset of fall, we can usually count on the beginning of September to reacquaint us with the cooler, wetter weather that becomes our daily companion for the next nine months. It was only fitting, then, that the last weekend of August contained my final underwater photo session of the season, a wonderful conclusion to another wonderful summer of submerged imagery.
Well, as poetic as I may have made that sound, it turned out that our summer weather has stuck around for a few bonus weeks. But even though the warm and dry days have remained longer than anyone would have guessed, I resisted all urges to squeeze in any additional shooting, thereby ensuring that this was in fact the last session of the season. Let it be known: Summer 2012--as measured by my underwater shooting schedule--did in fact conclude at the end of August.
I first met Nina a couple years ago when she took part in my Common Thread project. A year later she was one of the first to volunteer to be in the Ant Farm, in which she donned a shocking red wig and stuck a very animalistic pose, one that most viewers tended to linger over when they were looking at the project. After the Ant Farm shoot, we started talking about doing some underwater work, and many months later it finally happened.
One thing that was very different about this shoot relative to others is that we did not run through very many different outfit/prop combinations. While this may have reduced the overall variety of the shots a bit, it gave me a lot more content to work with within each style. Even though I ended up taking fewer shots than I typically do, it ended up taking me longer to sort through them Funny how that works.
The final thing we did was play with the red rope from the Common Thread project, which turned out to present its own set of challenges. The rope was annoying buoyant and kept trying to do its own thing. Bad misbehaving prop! Still, Nina was able to wrangle it into submission; there was no way we were going to let the rope win that day.
And with that, I bid farewell to the 2012 underwater season. I set out with the goal of doing relatively few shoots, and I managed to hold it to just four (which I think is the lowest number ever). I also wanted to work exclusively with models who were knew to me and I met that goal as well: I had never shot any of these models underwater, and two I had not even met prior to our session. I'm calling 2012 a success.