I’ve been obsessed with people place and how it can reveal oneself for a while now: /home/, /persona/ are testimonies of my past tries dealing with this rabbit hole. Lately, I’ve been focused on building the /equi.libre/ project which is a pretty complex one, involving multiple models, staged aesthetics, location finding, complex lightning ... and I really needed to have an alternative project running: one which would be lighter, easier to set up, and properly sized to encounter new people who I would involve in other sets: this is how I gave birth to the /den/, of which I must say I’m pretty excited about!

The challenge was that:

  • it should take place at the model home,
  • the environment should be as important as the model, and not staged,
  • I should be able to travel with a light setup for lighting the place,
  • I should be able to shoot in very small places since the average Parisian flat is small as hell,
  • I don’t want to build a fantasy, a sensual intimacy shot, I want the models as honest and empowered as possible.

Once this has been said, I asked the amazing Ada Ardente if she wanted to be involved in this ongoing experiment. She said yes, and here are our first tests shots.

For the outfit, I asked her to shoot topless as I still need a primal relationship with the skin, and she would choose the rest which can be from fully nude to casually dressed or even in disguise if she wanted. She chose to use her fancy lingerie that she loved. It’s another way to give power back to the model and have a proper balance between directing and letting the model express herself... and I love that.

Dealing with camera and lighting porn I shot this using a single Godox 200 portable light with a small collapsible softbox and grid. I used a window (natural light) as my fill light and the flash using TTL (and high-speed sync) as the key on the model without overexposing it. I also found that adding a third light source like any available lamp add a pretty good balance to the scene (missing on those test shots).

My contract is fulfilled thanks to Ada. Set up is ready, mixed light works well. Now let’s go and shoot in your own den!