Walking the walk of a boudoir photographer
Martina zandonella on the other side of the camera
Earlier this year my friend Anna and I travelled to Guatemala and Belize on a winter adventure. While traveling I get so inspired about different locations and I love to shoot at the various sites I find.
On this trip, when we reached the sea, I felt very inspired by the pier, the wind and the beautiful turquoise color of the water. As you can see from my branding and logo I love turquoise. I chose it for its vibrancy, its refreshing properties and its associations with sophistication, femininity, creativity and emotional balance.
The setting was right and I decided to ask Anna for her help in photographing me for a change! I loved the location and it had been a long time since I had been on the receiving end of a photoshoot and thought it was about time I refreshed my memory on what it is like to be the model as opposed to the photographer.
I also brought along a silk scarf that holds a lot of meaning for me. I always encourage my clients to bring a scarf or any material or texture that is significant to them so that the special connection will elevate the image and make it even more memorable and important. Materials are also so fun to play with and unleash simple, classical creativity with shapes. The art masters had a specific term called "drappeggio” (drappo is a drape). This refers to the decorations and folding of precious materials in draping, or the creations of dresses, but also in sculpting and drawing. Draping is an art form - to create decoration with drapes and materials and to emphasize the shapes on the body with the movement of the materials, their highlights and shadows. We had some fun with my silk scarf too, molding it on me with the help of the wind.
I refrained from posting this shoot for many months, as I was worried about judgment of the shoot and of myself! I felt apprehensive, like most women, about being photographed and of course about the results.
I finally got the courage to publish the photos. My main drive in doing so was to show a commitment to my clients and to overcome the worry about attracting attention and being noticed. It’s unusual for me to be placed on the other side of the camera lens and the experience helped me to appreciate a lot of the concerns that my clients must often feel.
The truth is that self-posing is very hard! Most people imagine posing to be done like models, in a flow fashion, changing pose every few seconds. For amateurs, and for my clients that are new to photoshoots, the story is very different. I help position my clients and the pose is held until I am happy with the capture. What feels good for the subject, might not be flattering through the camera and vice versa. I had this exact feeling posing on the pier in Belize, but I am so glad I persevered and did it! I feel that the photoshoot captures the location well, and the carefree, bohemian spirit of that moment. And I’m happy with how I look! The poses didn’t all feel natural at the time but the shapes we created look great. Now I can better sympathize with my customers that express worries about the boudoir photoshoot, because I put myself through it too, instead of firmly hiding behind the camera!
I have a disclaimer to make here: this is not by any means a serious boudoir or beauty photoshoot, but rather a holiday capture by my friend Anna, guided by me, to have fun, practice some posing, and remind myself how challenging it is to be on the other side of the camera.
And now some photos by Anna. Thank you for the help and for the trip Anna!
Model: Martina Zandonella
Photos by Anna MacLeod
Location: Caye Caulker, Belize
"I finally got the courage to publish the photos. My main drive in doing so was to show a commitment to my clients and to overcome the worry about attracting attention and being noticed. It’s unusual for me to be placed on the other side of the camera lens and the experience helped me to appreciate a lot of the concerns that my clients must often feel." -Martina-