CHRIS NOAKES | STUDIO
If you follow my work at all, you’ll already know there are a small handful of people I consistently work with. When I want to experiment with new concepts… try new things… and push myself – it’s this small group of friends I reach out to.
And assuming you know that, you’ll also already know that Lorrie is one of those few.
A lady I have worked with many times now, and will happily work with many times more.
Honestly; I’m not even sure what prompted this last session, save that time in the studio with her is always a lot of fun. Any time I want to experiment, she’s always been willing to help, even driving all the way from Sudbury just to lend me her face and time. Something I appreciate.
A pleasure to work with… confident in front of the camera… stunningly beautiful. I say this as much to her as anyone else, but if you are in the industry and looking to hire a model, you can’t go wrong with Lorrie. You’ll just have to take my word for it. She's definitely one of my favourite people to work with.
This series was shot in my North Bay, Ontario studio. The backdrop is a Lastolite (by Manfrotto) collapsible lit with two Bowen’s Gemini. The subject was lit using a Profoto D2 + socked dish above and a Lastolite Triflector below as a hint of fill. And as always - I absolutely love excessive amounts of negative space.
I’ll say right away that the title (obviously) doesn’t refer to the model, who I think we can all agree looks absolutely stunning.
Rather I'm making light of a misunderstanding on my own part.
A few days ago I made the decision to branch out in a new direction. I’ve been experimenting here and there, playing with different styles, but this was a decision made with a little more focus. I wanted a style that I could shoot along side my headshots, but that allowed more of a creative release than a headshot does.
And I’ve always loved the look of the “beauty” style photography I’ve seen. I love the simplistic perfection of a well-done beauty image. It does exactly what the name implies, displays someone in beautiful fashion. I feel drawn to it.
What I admittedly didn’t understand was the purpose… that being to sell a product.
Some awesome people, in a professional group I’m a part of, explained to me that in beauty photography – the focus is meant to be on the product. The make-up. The skin. The hair. The model in beauty photography is simply the canvas displaying the product. An analogy might be made to the plate holding the food in commercial food photography. I don’t like that.
That’s not to say it’s wrong, just that it doesn’t suit my own intentions. So, I borrowed the aspects of the genre that I do enjoy, and made it something more my own. I love the perfection seen in beauty work, and am borrowing key components of beauty photography - but I'm bringing the focus back onto the person. I want my work to be about them, not what they’re selling.
Thus; almost “beauty”…
...and Gabrielle completely killed it.
I had just been posted from North Bay to Ottawa when Michelle decided to give modelling a try. At the time we talked, and promised each other that if we were ever in the same area at the same time we’d collaborate and see what we can create.
Then she moved to Ottawa, and right around the same time I got posted back to North Bay – so we again missed each other, and again made the same promise.
It finally happened. She moved home, I’m still here, she visited my studio, and this session was a very long time in the making. She wasn’t even modelling any more at the time, but made an exception, and so this session also marks her return to that passion.
There was no real theme for this session, it was just some fun among friends. Completely winging it. And also a feel good session, Michelle wanted a confidence boost to help her get back into the modelling mindset and so we made it happen. Added a little playfulness emulating a Sean Archer vibe (because I love his work). She completely killed it, so hopefully this session did exactly that for her.
And it turns out her favourite colour is pink, so with that as the only real motivator, the below are what we ended the session with.
Personally I hope she keeps running with it. It certainly isn’t the easiest industry to be a part of, especially in the area we live. But like me with my photography – if you love doing something, you just have to keep pushing.
I’m going to preface by saying that Chelsie is not a professional “beauty” model, and I am most definitely not a professional “beauty” photographer.
I am however infatuated with the look and feel of a well-done beauty portrait.
I don’t work within the beauty industry, and probably never will. I know these images would never pass the wicked strict requirements of that industry. However; my infatuation leaves me wondering if I can take that look, and that feel, and apply it to the rest of my portrait work. Take the vibe but make it more about the person and less about the product.
We captured these images at the end of our session together - playing around, trying new things - and personally I love the way they turned out. I love how clean and natural the images appear. I will definitely be doing more like this in the future.
Chelsie is brand new to the area, and I believe to the modelling game. She has huge dreams that I hope she continues to chase. She killed it. Not bad for two people working outside our comfort zones.
Every now and then I get it in my head to glance back through my old work. And it’s usually a pretty painful experience, as I question why anyone ever liked what I was producing. It’s a great way to confirm I’m still growing however – honestly I dread the day that I look back and my photography looks the same.
Breaking that cycle is Hollie; with whom, several years back (roughly 2015), I captured some photos that to this day remain some of my favourite work ever. I honestly believe I’d have a hard time reproducing these images today. I don’t know how much of it was luck, or her experience… but yeah.
In North Bay there is a thriving model community, full of amazing people with huge aspirations. However; there are very few who can rightfully lay claim to being a professional model… Hollie is one of them… and I consider it a massive compliment that she agreed to work with me.
No slight meant to anyone else of course, I love working with you all.
But as a learning photographer, my collaborations with Hollie solidified my love for working with experienced models – showed me what they can add to an image – there’s a certain something that models simply learn with time spent in the industry.
These photos reminded me, so I reached out, and despite her having moved away… onto bigger and better things… I’m excited that I may get the opportunity to work with her again in the near future. We’ll see. If I’m lucky.