My recent purchase of a Canon 5D Mark III required some initial testing to see what improvements the camera has over the Mark II, and also how it compares to my Canon 1D Mark IV. I thought it would be best to pair up my newest body with my best lens, the Canon 85mm 1.2L Mark II. I brought my gear to a weekend getaway and shot in a real world environment, a hotel room with plenty of natural light just like any bride would be getting ready in. I shot at the widest at f/1.2 and had no problems focusing on fast moving bodies tossing and turning on the bed with the new 61 point AF points while making beautiful bokeh behind them. I never worried about missing the wrestling action with the faster 6 frames per second, every tug and pull, slap or grab was caught on camera. I was also impressed by the quieter shutter sound which was drowned out by the screaming, laughing and moaning, making it much less unobtrusive while being in photo journalistic mode. The subjects forgot that I was even there. While the layout of the Mark III has changed significantly from previous Canon bodies, getting started shooting didn’t take long at all. The body is bulkier than the previous version which helps my large hands get a fuller grip without getting tired. Now I can have a full frame body that matches the more professional features of the 1D series. If you are still reading this, I applaud you and I hope to have more opportunities to review equipment in the future. Enjoy the test shots!
I get asked often whether or not my models are professionals or if I like to work with amateurs versus experienced models. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both, but if I would have to pick one, I am usually more excited to work with someone with little to no experience in modeling given that she has visible potential. Before I list my reasons why I would choose either one, it would be best to explain my type of work. I prefer my style of photography to be intimate and feel more personal, almost a boyfriend perspective rather than a studio session. I want the audience to feel as if they are actually there playing with a real woman. I want the chemistry and interaction to be palpable. I don’t want the model to feel distant as if she were above and beyond the reach of the audience. Simply put, I want the girl-next-door feel.
When working with an experienced model, it depends what field of modeling she fits into. My least favorite type are fashion models, they have memorized ten fashion poses that are usually unnatural, sometimes uncomfortable looking, or simply just trying too hard to look different. A fashion model’s job is to make clothing look good, not their own body. Granted, if a model has the ideal height, face, and body structure, she can make any pose look good, however it still won’t convey a sense of intimacy in the photos that I am looking for. No matter how hard I try to direct an experienced fashion model to be more natural and playful, the poses are so ingrained into their muscle memory that they fall back into them and I just shake my head! On the other hand, if the experienced model usually does glamour or any other sexy genres, then I’ll shut my mouth and let her take control of the session and I become a trigger-happy-puppy. She will know how to flirt with the camera, how to tease with her outfit, and enjoy being suggestive with her poses. An experienced model in the same genre as the photographer’s interest make the session go by incredibly fast and efficient with guaranteed results.
When working with beginners, it’s always a gamble whether or not this model will truly have potential in front of the camera. The true test is when the shutter starts clicking and the model is required to start moving fluidly and interacting with the photographer. All beginners need some warm up time, some women require only thirty minutes while some might need additional future sessions. My evaluation for every model on her potential varies greatly on what I think of their looks, attitude, and personality. I might give some women more chances than others. It does seem like a lot of investment is required in terms of time and energy to work with a new model, time spent coaching and directing her. Notice I used the term investment. Being a model’s first photographer leaves a huge impression on her and usually gives me priority for future work if I make her feel beautiful, sexy, and comfortable. This is true throughout the photography world. I’ve ran into models that will not shoot intimate portraits with anyone else other than their “personal photographer”, just as I have models that are exclusively mine. An experienced model might work with me only if I can trade her final edits or if payment is involved. A beginner who is looking to build her portfolio will be my muse for the time being and I can pursue my creative path without the pressure of delivering a final product. We are all possessive in some ways. To summarize, the best things about a new model is the exclusivity of their time and image, and being able to mold them to how I work as a photographer.
I believe both experienced models and inexperienced models both have something to put on the table, and both are a gamble sometimes, so I don’t restrict myself to one group. I really just want to find the next model that I can share amazing chemistry with and really blow the audience away with spectacularly intimate photos that other photographers haven’t captured of them. I’ve had plenty of bad experiences, but each one is a learning process to better filter out future potentials, and the amount of amazing women I’ve created incredible work with far surpasses the forgettable ones.
Cassie is a true testimony to my philosophy. Treat the women you work with respectfully and generously, and you will build a special relationship that will be rewarding in your career and personal life. I was Cassie’s first photographer many years ago, and even though she doesn’t look a day older or an ounce less stunning, she was a timid and shy model during the first session. She eventually jumped into the glamour modeling world and has built a great amount of experience with many photographers while sharing an occasional shoot with me during that time. Since then, she has been concentrating more on her career and less focused on modeling. I am the one she’ll call up whenever she’s in the mood, and I can proudly say I will always be her photographer and she will always enjoy the freedom of being in a state of undress and feeling beautiful in front of my lens. Every second I’ve invested in her from the first day to the end of the last session hasn’t made her more of a professional or less of an amateur, it has made us into the ideal artist and muse pair.
Here are some leaked images of what happens at a Vegas bachelorette party! Maybe that’s not what really happens when there are a bunch of girls in a hotel room, except when you add me into the mix, I will make it happen. So don’t let your next Vegas memories be a bunch of boring sorority-sister-hands-on-hip poses with a drink. Let’s do something you’d get in trouble if your boss finds out.
Aria is looking stunning in her black lace lingerie on this royal maroon and gold bed, thanks to Bed Bath and Beyond’s Super Set package! You can get comforter, sheets, pillow covers, and extra fake pillows that all women love in one convenient package to transform your photo set. Aria came to shoot at my old studio a second time after the first session, and it only got hotter. I can’t say enough how perfect her body is and how her hair is unbelievable. When she lets out a cute playful smile, it just makes you melt. Don’t miss the bonus video below!
Every few engagement or bridal sessions, I like to sneak in a few photos with the couple that aren’t the most appropriate for the parents’ album. Isn’t it more fun to be a little frisky, give a little hint of your bedroom manners? You don’t get enough chances to have a professional photographer capturing your chemistry together, so don’t just take regular PG-rated hand holding and kissing photos that I usually yawn to. I wanted to take it a step further and make a bridal shoot even sexier, the reverse of getting ready, a voyueristic look of a bride who is dying to get out of her dress.
We started with some warm up shots, as it became progressively more comfortable and easier, the photos got more intimate. I treated it like any other intime session where I wanted to show off her best features while also showing off the bump all while making sure she was comfortable. I find it even more sexy when a real woman (or soon-to-be mother) can open herself up to be captured so intimately, more so than a model who has to look sexy for a living. I cannot wait for our next true intime session with me. Here are some of the safe photos to share with the world.
Mark your calendars for August 17-26
El Bob is coming back to grace the West Coast to crash your weddings and steal the cute Asian girls! Book your meet with El Bob today, either for a couple’s session or intime session. Available on weekdays only!
If you are just starting in the industry or even been in long enough, you will still feel the frustrations I feel, which is why I need to make another public announcement: Don’t be a flake!
Let’s start from the beginning. If I give you the time to reply to all your emails, answer your questions, and even schedule in dates for you, have the courtesy to reply in a timely manner (one week), and don’t be wishy washy with your schedule. Not having a calendar shows your irresponsibility in life. I can only reschedule you a few times before I start getting annoyed by you. Why would I want to make you pretty if I am annoyed by you?
If you are interested in working with me, your excitement helps fuel mine. It’s a great thing. I will try to hype up the photo session for you in a realistic manner, and so should you. Over promising yourself and not delivering is the best way to kill my inspiration and interest in you. For example, don’t assure me you have a “banging body”, and when you arrive, you’re short and over weight. Yes, those were her exact words. Don’t tell me you’re comfortable with nudes and change your mind last minute. While I will never force you, I will be more likely to send you home sooner. Perhaps this is the way women try to manipulate men into doing what they want but change their end of the “deal” at the last moment.
Most importantly, if I actually do schedule precious time out of my year to make you pretty, you can at least try to show up! As a amateur photographer, you can expect more flakes than not, and over the years I have prevented most flakes from happening. Most women take photographers for granted, they apparently come a dime a dozen. Scheduling with me is not the same as scheduling an oil change and not showing up because you weren’t in the mood for it. I have to mentally and physically prepare for you. I do this for the love of it, not because I need you in my work.
Have the courtesy of not partying and getting wasted 24 hours before the session, and show up with a headache, bruised limbs, and eye bags just because I’m a master at Photoshop. Your enthusiasm for my talents will be reciprocated when I delete your photos. God forbid you miss one night of partying for a timeless photo shoot. Prepare the outfits! Too many times the model throws random items into a bag five minutes before leaving for the session. If nothing you brought works, guess what? You’re going home.
If you’ve worked with me before, you should realize how much sweat and blood I am willing to put into our projects, so should you. On that note, who wants to shoot?
“We’re a busy couple…but ever since the intime photos went up on our computer’s screensaver and wallpaper…the wife and I have just been…all over the place. During dinner, in the middle of a conversation…its crazy!”
“I saw myself in ways that I didn’t even think were possible. It was like there were hidden secrets about me, which even I didn’t know… and he brought them out for me to see. ”
“As usual we brought the laptop to bed. We also had the best sex afterward I think we’ve had in recent memory. It was…so good. Both times”
What to expect from a session with Tony:
How do I apply?
Sex life feeling a little low? Nothing a few sexy photos can’t fix! The best experiences I hear about are when the guys encourage or even hire intimate photos for her. It’s a fact that after a while, the man gets used to seeing the same woman “as herself,” and with the help of a little makeup, lingerie, and another guy’s perspective, it will drive him nuts when both of you share the experience of looking at the photos together.
What are you waiting for?