Before I met her, Anna had been trying to make it as a Charleston swimwear model. I met this six-foot model at a bikini contest at Isle of Palms, where she was a runner-up. A female companion was with me to help with the recruiting. Anna had never modeled before, let alone a nude modeling job. Not long after, Anna emailed me, asking if I had any upcoming openings. After our first shoot, rebooking with Anna was a breeze. She’d often be available with just a day or two’s notice. I’ve completed ten photo shoots with her in Charleston and Folly Beach.
A bit unsure about posing nude, she wanted to first gain a comfort level, and that was fine with me. I began photographing Anna wearing her bikini, the same outfit she wore when I met her. This made a natural leaping off point. Her swimwear was also less likely to leave elastic marks than if she had begun fully attired. One of the warm-up outfits I used to acclimate Anna was a see-through swimsuit. I photographed her in a wide variety of outfits before doing any nudes, and even then progressed slowly. By the time we shot the first nude frame, I think she was relieved that the warm-up was over and she was finally posing unclothed.
Not everyone I work with is this tall. I work with anyone who is at least five-foot four. I also work with a variety of body types. However, the swimwear model body type is a preference. Because of the number of girls who want to be or who are a Charleston swimwear model, I get plenty of inquiries of this type.
After the little bit, she was completely comfortable working with me and had zero hesitation. At our second shoot I did only six minutes of clothed warm up, and Anna was anxious to quickly get out of her outfit. Working with her repeatedly, I had the opportunity to branch out from the plain look of the studio. She brought an array of imaginative outfits and props to add character to the images. She’s an avid horse rider, and was able to get her hands on authentic western riding wear.
In stark contrast to her initial stance, she became comfortable shooting outdoors and we captured some photographs on a deserted beach as well as in a secluded woodland area. We also conducted some sessions on location at a custom home with a hand-crafted wooden staircase, a billiard room, and a retro-style oversized bathtub. In total, I did nine shoots with her over the space of two years, and she became the cover model for my first book.