My story begins with a beauty in Budapest…
Since this is my first blog entry, I’d like to offer up the story about my very first photo shoot and the first series of images ever posted to my website, beautyisdivine.com – which is now x-art.com.
Every professional photographer who’s ever shot a model in the nude remembers their very first experience. It’s practically the equivalent of your first kiss. It’s a feeling you can never forget. Your hands shake with nervous excitement and anticipation as you try to calm your nerves. Once you experience this, it stays with you for a lifetime.
As a former fashion model and ‘consumer brand’ art director (read: corporate art slut), photography had always been on the periphery of my life and one of my greatest passions. Finally, at age 29, I decided once and for all to make photography my career. I was living in New York City at the time and asked a friend who was a successful commercial photographer/cinematographer to give me some pointers. She quickly taught me the fundamentals of lighting, the ‘zone system’ and how cameras work. She also led me through books by the Masters like Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Salgado and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and gave me one very valuable piece of advice:
“Shoot what you love!”
From my heart, I knew that my greatest interest as a photographer was the female nude. I was drawn to the seemingly infinite beauty and creativity that this subject matter offered. It took a little soul searching to come terms with this; friends and family suggested I was just ‘going through a phase’. But just two weeks later, I quit my marketing job, bought my first digital SLR, did a couple of test shoots for my portfolio and then hopped on a plane to Budapest.
Soon after I landed in Hungary, through a stroke of good fortune, I met Regina; the daughter of a well-known European film actor. Regina was working on her modeling portfolio and asked if I’d take her picture. The next morning, she came to my rented flat. We only had a few hours to shoot. I nervously fussed with the lights and camera while Regina tried on incrementally more revealing outfits. Fortunately for me, Regina was a truly gorgeous and charismatic natural beauty… when she smiled, her eyes brightened and it lit up the room.
The images from our shoot became the first gallery I ever posted to my website, beautyisdivine.com. Over the years, I’ve received hundreds of emails asking, “Why so few photos in this set? When can we see more of Regina?” Truth be told, when I shot Regina, I really had no experience as a photographer and found it difficult to focus the camera because my hands were trembling with excitement!
Here’s a small bonus set of outtakes from our shoot that never made it to the website.
Although the pictures of Regina are few, they document the beginning of the story of my adventures as a photographer. Enjoy the ride! 🙂