Shooting Nudes with Photographer Mike Saavedra

When it comes to photographing nudes we all have our own thought of how it should be approached artistically. Some prefer a more reserved image, others, a more raw approach. Either way, I think we can all agree that art, is interpretive. When Mike stopped by the studio with model Nicole, his end goal was to create images that inspired people. “I wanted the viewer to be intrigued, regardless if the thought is artistic or just plain inspired with artistic gusto.”

What or who was the inspiration behind the project? 

Nicole, the model, was actually the main inspiration, her androgynous features were something I wanted to highlight in our shoot. We both wanted to partake in a collaboration that was different from the normal work we've shot before. Something more robust and ambitious. 

What creative process did you use from the preparation to the editing?

Pre-production: I sketched out what I had in mind. For the location, I used the photos of the studio from the website and planned it out from there. The secondary objective was to give Nicole a wardrobe that suited the shoot's theme and attitude. I’ve been collaborating with an excellent stylist named Astrid, she’s fantastic and always seems to be on the same level design wise. She provided the much-needed leather jacket for the shoot and her input was definitely one of the final touches for this set.

I also stockpiled on much Fuji Instax film as I could.

Post-production: Coffee and lots of it. Oh, and somewhere loud and noisy, with an outlet and WiFi.  

Oh did I mention coffee?

Why did you choose Studio B?

I’ve shot at a lot of studios but none were unique as Studio B. Especially with its windows and natural light, it was perfect for what I had in mind. 

What do you want viewers to think about when they view this collection of images? Is there a certain emotion, question, or thought that you wanted to portray?

This is going to sound super cheesy, but I want them to feel inspired. I want the viewer to be intrigued, regardless if the thought is artistic or just plain inspired with artistic gusto. 

Do you have a favorite image? Tell me why?! 

It’s kinda a tie. There’s this one photo of Nicole (the amazingly talented model), where her hands are reaching the back of her neck and the lighting is leaking into the frame, creating this slight violet light leak. It’s absolutely one of my favorite shots. 

The other is of her sitting on a wooden stool, and she’s got this amazing smile. The frame itself is perfect. It’s genuine, and it suits her personality. 

Was there anything that you learned from this shoot, technical or artistic?

I learned how much I loved shooting during the day, I usually shoot at night. I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in shooting in the day, but this was definitely a change of pace. 

What gear did you use and why? (lighting, camera, lenses) 

I used a Canon 7D MkII, with a Canon 50mm, f1.8. With a reflector provided by the studio. I also used a Fuji Instax 70. With monochromatic and color film. I originally brought my lighting kit with me but soon as I walked into the studio and saw how perfect the ambient lighting was, that idea completely went out the window. 

I wanted to keep it natural, 100%, from that point on, so I just borrowed a reflector and shot away. Sometimes, keeping it simple is more rewarding it than you think. 

Make sure you check out Mike's Instagram to see more of his work. 

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