I’ll Trade Ya

For the second time in 20 years I’ve been in my building we have a hoarder, yes a bonified hoarder.  The personality type is quite fascinating.  They have no room to actually conduct business which eventually puts them out of business.  I have to admit I have a lot of “stuff” but I can pretty much find everything.  I keep everything clean and organized.  I have about 3700 sq. ft. but most of it is taken up with wardrobe and props.  I do recycle and give a lot of things away.  If I picked up something for free and don’t shoot it I tend to give it away.

The bed frame in the image is a hallway find.  The hoarder has so much stuff he leaves things in the hallway.  I mentioned I would like it and to keep me in mind.  He doesn’t need it but because it had value he was holding on to it.  I mentioned I would trade him something and that was the magic phrase.    The landlord occasionally makes a sweep in the building requiring tenants to empty out the hallways so he had to make a decision.  He wasn’t loosing anything if he got something in exchange, his hoarding tendencies have been satisfied.

I have a studio prop bed that I use for boudoir shooting.  The headboard is just pushed up against the bed and weighted with sandbags.  The fabric is clipped onto my background stand.

The model is looking out my bank of north facing windows.  I have black Duvetyne fabric for studio blackout that are pulled up to her face so all the light is ahead of her face.  (I wouldn’t do the Duvetyne again though as my heating pipes have literally destroyed it)  I also have black knit fabric on some of my windows and prefer it.  I simply have a silver reflector to her left.

She’s laying on a deep comforter and feather bed to engulf her a bit.  This is a good setup for a shorter, curvy model.  When a model is on a bed make sure you don’t have her feet coming out of her head like antlers.

I love how windows light a models eye.  I also find that not having a dark studio with strobes popping off can lend a more casual feel to the shoot.  Window light and shooting wide open is so forgiving when it comes to skin…just sayin

3 comments category: Backgrounds,Props

1 Mary DuPrie May 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Hi Todd

Yes, I do have problems with the bed sometimes. I bought a normal double bed. I also bought a feather bed to put on top and a deep down comforter. I stopped using the feather bed, it was just too deep for most models. In this shot I’m using just the comforter. It can be a challenge because you lose body parts in it. Sometimes you might want to lose a bit of body, but I do think you need a firm mattress.


2 Todd May 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

Aloha from Maui,

We currently use an air mattress but are finding that it doesn’t have much support for certain poses. What do you use for yours? a regular mattress?

Great information on your blog btw. I’m learning a lot.


3 antonio toscano May 10, 2010 at 4:23 am

when i saw your studio pictures a few years ago, I was fascinated, I called my wife and I told him that’s what we need, something like this should be great to have it in order to get what you want, your creativity is absolute in your shots, I was because of your good taste for the props you use, warehouse, cash for confident, unlimited height for your lights, woow, I guess as you say the job should be to keep everything, but believe me to see your completed work was worth it . greetings from mexico


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