Sunday, November 4, 2012

Arianna, Simply Beautiful

Arianna, Simply Beautiful by Sol Lang

Arianna, Simply Beautiful, a photo by Sol Lang on Flickr.

I need to share a little secret. A small neurosis that sometimes overwhelms me before a session with a model. This time was no exception.

One would clearly see, by the line-up of models I photograph, that my selection of subjects is made with a great deal of care. It is not every day that a model would walk through the door that would posses the exquisiteness that I require all my models to have. This would be both in external physical beauty as well as the more subtly visible spiritual, inner beauty. I have yet to photograph a model that did not posses one or the other, but mostly both, by the time I have photographed and processed the images of them.

But back to my neurosis. I select my models from various sources. On-line casting sites, agencies, recommendations, applications. I always have the opportunity to evaluate them physically from their portfolios, if that exists, or at the very least from a series of photographs that they can provide for my inspection. Once I make my decision to photograph a subject, I go through with the session. This would mean that the model would have already been scrutinized by me and my aesthetic preferences. Still the day before the session. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would wake up with anxiety, wondering wether of not I made a right decision choosing the model I am about to photograph. Seems a bit crazy, but it is so.

And so it was the night before my shoot with Arianna. The neurosis started. I started fearing that I would find flaws that I hand’t noticed in the portfolio. What if the shots in the portfolio were so heavily retouched and I will have a horrible surprise tomorrow when she arrives. I have actually heard such horror stories from other photographers who were faced with models who showed old images of themselves tha weret hardly representative of their present state. Oh God! Please let it not be that!

But, no. How could it be. Arianna did an Italian Playboy appearance in the September 2011 issue and is about to do the cover of the December 2012 issue. Stop fretting. Get back to sleep. It will be a wonderful session with a stupendous model that will provide countless photographs. Much more than I will have time to process. And not to forget the tons of video footage that will produce a neat little visual story by the time I am finished editing it.

So I calmed myself down and went back to sleep. Must gather my strength for this physically demanding photo session.

I am happy to report that the next day, with all the malfunctions previously stated (see other posts), the session was a success. Arianna was beyond my expectations. Possessing stunning, breathtaking beauty, she posed to my heart’s content.

I will be adding images from these sessions as I process them. Come back often to see how this set will evolve and grow.

View this image large

There will be several videos showing behind the scenes of the Arianna sessions.

This image can be purchased as a signed, limited edition print, by contacting me either here on Flickr or by email sol@sollang.com

A Room with a View

I was faced with many challenges in achieving this shooting session with Arianna. The first challenge was to find a model that would meet my critical aesthetic requirements, which Arianna easily met and indeed surpassed. Yes, I have been told many times that I am tough on aesthetics. I don’t really think that I am. I have my preferences and as it happens, my preferences do tend to please most viewers of my glamor photographic work. But at the same time my range of preferences is rather wide. Anyone looking at my work would see that. But getting back to my challenges of shooting Ariana… We (my wife Mary and I) had just driven in to Rapallo, Italy from Chamonix, France, arriving one hour before the agreed upon time to start the session. We had to check into our hotel, unpack and set-up our equipment, do some test shots and be ready for Ariana’s arrival. It all had to be fast, flawless like clock-work. This was not what I am used to. My work is rarely on-location. I do most of my work in a more leisurely fashion, in my home studio, where I have all my lighting equipment and, apparently, unlimited shooting locations around the house. In Rapallo, at the hotel, I was limited to our room and the requested balcony facing the Mediterranean with Portofino to one side and the Rapallo Marina on the other. A pretty nice setting. The only lighting equipment I brought was a single strobe head mounted on a stand with a reflector umbrella. After setting-up, I tested the strobe and it worked just fine, but then I heard a “pop” sound that came from the head and, just as I thought, it was no longer functioning.   Arianna, who came from Milan, arrived twenty minutes early. Very unusual for a model. Most of my models call an hour late asking for directions. This was a refreshing change. I could see that great things were going to come of it. And so the session began.


I will be adding images from these sessions as I process them. Come back often to see how this set will evolve and grow.

View this image large

There will be several videos showing behind the scenes of the Arianna sessions.

This image can be purchased as a signed, limited edition print, by contacting me either here on Flickr or by email sol@sollang.com

Three Days in Rapallo

Knowing I wold be in Italy for three days, I thought… I can't visit this wonderful country without sampling one of its lovelies. By “sampling”, of course I mean doing a photo shoot to produce an artistic, sensual souvenir that would hopefully delight viewers for many years to come. So I arranged to do a shoot with Arianna. My lovely model is not new to glamor photography. She had been featured in Italian Playboy in September of 2011 and will be again on the cover of the December 2012 issue. I feel honored and privileged to have had this opportunity of shooting with Arianna. 

I will be adding images from these sessions as I process them. Come back often to see how this set will evolve and grow.

View this image large

There will be several videos showing behind the scenes of the Arianna sessions.

This image can be purchased as a signed, limited edition print, by contacting me either here on Flickr or by email sol@sollang.com