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I have always been THAT guy who hates the work of my peers and never wanted to learn from anyone around me. All my career I pretty much isolated myself from other photographers so that even if it sucked my work would look different. Only class I ever took was darkroom stuff back in the day.
Anyway at the time bubble baths in the tub were all the rage. Every glam photographer was shooting pretty girls in soap bubbles and then I thought. Hmmmm... how can I turn this on edge, how can I "dirty this up". So I had this idea for wet underwear in the bathtub.. No bubbles no cutesy or sexy. I googled and looked through every photo book I could find. "nothing" it had never been done that I could tell.
I tried it a few times between 1998 and 2002 with mixed results... though one of my pictures did take off on the net... but I really wanted to get this concept right.
So, I am preparing to test this shoot concept again and I get a call from a makeup artist who has this girl who just graduated high school and wants to try modeling. I thought, "Ok good place to test my concept, if it sucks I won't be wasting the time of a pro model".
Day of the shoot, cute young girl shows up. Very sweet natured. I was doubtful. But once we began shooting we just clicked, she came alive like no model I have seen, she was a natural all the way. She lived in every shot... I said "you are a tiger" she growled! She was A M A Z I N G!
I put her in this set and cut her lose and she became sexuality incarnate. Never seen anyone just take to modeling so purely.
I shot the set again with a pro model who did her absolute best and only really was able to equal what this girl accomplished. I put the shot up on a few sites and everyone went nuts for it. Over 1 million views in one week... and then, POOF every photographer in the world was taking this shot. Within 6 months to a year it was a cliche and I regretted having ever posted it.
But hey, someone would have thought of it sooner or later right? That's how these things work. I like to think that I still do it better than most.
As for the model, she wanted to come stay in Tucson and do an entire series of work. Playboy gave me a phone call about her. Her mom flew down to talk to me and pretty much gave me the third degree, she did NOT appreciate the images I think. I can't blame mom, we all want to protect our kids and I cannot say this industry is a good one. Anyway, she went back to Alaska and I realized her modeling career was over.
They come they go. Still, a highlight of my photography experience though. And we can all thank her for the dirty glam bathtub cliche!
I don't always achieve it but I try.
men, women or couples shown in sexy poses is not enough for me without knowing the context of what led to that moment.
I can appreciate the picture of an attractive person in the nude - but what really turns me on is to know what circumstances brought them there. in the Titanic "nude portrait" scene, Jack and Rose are falling in love and each is seducing the other in their own way. the fact that Rose has spent her life following society's very strict rules of morality makes her desire to be seen by Jack, nude and vulnerable, off the charts hot.
Then Jack raises the sexual intensity even more by ordering Rose (my interpretation) to expose herself not only to him, but to the entire ship. Yes, sublime definitely fits the energy.
Keep doing what you're doing.
That is all...
Personally, i wish i had it, i hope i still do (i haven't given up trying yet) and even though my area of expertise is a different one, i hope that i can do what you did, which is give birth to something that others see as brilliant and want to use. (i gave photography a great deal of work, but frankly, if i was to ever make it to where i want to be, i'd have to leave Norway to do it because in Norway its currently saturated with photographers as it is, and freelancing isn't something for me)
You may see it as a good shot gone cliche, but i hope that you also take into account that this is also proof of respect that people have given you for what you showed them can be made. Its also a shot that while it exist in millions of slightly different settings, is an inspiration for many to more to come, and perhaps this shot can be the spark for some newcomer to create their own idea, which again may be spun on the same train of thoughts you had to create something equally amazing.