should I expect?
Once you've made the decision to commission a sitting. A meeting will
be arranged to meet with me in person and discuss the details and
expectations of your shoot. This is the time to bring any issues to
the table as well as thoughts and ideas that you would like to have
incorporated into your sitting. Usually at the end of that same meeting,
I will take a series of color Polaroids to study. I use the Polaroids
to help determine collectively how to "accentuate the positive,
and eliminate the negative" (should there be any). If costumes
are required, it may take 2-3 weeks to design several concepts. We
will meet again to select the design(s), and then meet once more to
have a working fitting. During the working fitting, I will drape the
garment directly on you and draft the pattern afterward. A working
fitting can last from 1-3 hours depending of the item(s) being made.
It may take a week or more to make the costume(s), depending on its
simplicity or complexity, or my workload. Once we have all the elements
in place, we schedule the shoot. The shoot usually lasts no more than
3 hours. The images to be printed will be selected at the end of the
session. Printing is normally done in 2 weeks.
you can see, it's very much about the PROCESS. It's not about walking
into the studio for the very first time
click, click and we're
long does it take?
A normal sitting will last about 3 hours. This usually doesn't include
hair or make up. Just shooting time.
I have my hair and make up done professionally?
Yes, but it's not necessary. Many women can do their own hair and
make up quite well. At the present time, the studio does not offer
services for hair and make up. We always suggest that hair be very
simple, usually pulled back, and the make up be light and neutral.
All work is shot on black and white film, so make up should reflect
have tattoos, should I cover them?
I always like to see the tattoo before making a suggestion. I know
tattoos are very personal in nature. It's like a logo for the body
that helps define you. In many cases, I like to incorporate the tattoo
if appropriate. If it isn't appropriate, we can either not shoot that
body area or it can simply be covered with make up.
have piercings, in addition to the ones on my ears...!!
If it's essential to who you are, then we include them. If not, I
like to evaluate it on a case-by-case senario.
have tan lines from my bathing suit. Is this okay?
Actually, tan lines aren't good. I recommend either getting an all
over tan to even out the skin tone (naturally or tanning salon) or
use Clarin's self tanner. Last resort would be to schedule your shoot
in the winter.
having a baby, and I want to commission a nude portrait!!!
C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S! Having a baby is such a special time
in your life and a time that you will want to crystallize in the form
an heirloom portrait. There are special preparations needed to make
your sitting special. Ideally, a pregnancy portrait should be done
just at the end of the 2nd trimester. It's when the effect of your
belly is fantastic and that the stress of the 3rd trimester hasn't
set in yet. I also like to know if you know the gender of the child
(and yes, I can keep it a secret if you don't want it to get out)
and your due date, because we may tie in imagery to represent the
child's birth sign, making it truely a customized image.
had a child and I feel my body isn't in the condition I want it to
Perhaps you should wait and come back when you feel more confident.
How you're feeling will be reflected through the lens and recorded
on film. If in doubt, wait. Frankly, it's too expensive to risk not
feeling your personal best in front of the camera.
would love to have my portrait taken, but I have one concern. I have
a scar from childbirth (c-section), plastic surgery, or accident...
Some women like to incorporate that aspect of their life in their
heirloom. A proud artifact. For others, it's something they wish was
not there. I need to know where you stand with your experience, and
we can take it from there. It's not an obstacle either way.
never been photographed nude before. Can you give me suggestions to
make me feel more comfortable?
Yes. I always suggest the week before the shoot that you spend as
much of your time possible being nude. While you are at home, eat,
breath, sleep in the nude. You'll be fine when you get to the studio.
have a favorite set of lingerie that I would like to be photographed
I'd like to see what that is. I would suggest that you bring all your
'wardrobe' ideas to the 1st meeting. I usually find most lingerie
very dated and a bit corny. There's something very honest about just
you recommend any personal grooming?
Yes, we can discuss those items after our initial meeting.
I be photographed like one of your models from 'The Altis'
Absolutely. It's incredibly fun to pick a persona from The Altis.
The possibilities are endless. Costumes and props can be custom made
expressly for you. These keepsake items are yours to have after your
sitting is over.
don't live in New York City, but I would like to commission a sitting
I generally work out of my OrchisArts studio here in New York City.
I would suggest that you schedule a visit to the city for the shoot;
however, many of the preparatory things can be done long distance,
like the Polaroid test I mentioned earlier for example.
it possible to have my portrait taken in my home?
I generally like to shoot in my studio, however, any special arrangements
can be made if we feel it's right.
you work with couples?
Depends. It's a hard call. Working with more than one person presents
its unique challenges. I reserve to say until I speak and meet with
I bring my husband or boyfriend along to the shoot to watch?
Long answer, yes; short answer, no. I prefer to work one-on-one, but
if it's something that will make you feel more confident, then by
love your style and I'd like to commission a portrait clothed, not
nude. Can you accommodate me?
Yes. Although my specialty is the nude body, there are cases where
I have taken on clothed commissions.
looking for a more erotic, harder edge look. Can you do that?
My work is usually not sexual in nature, although there will always
be a sensual element because of the nude body. That's a given. My
suggestion would be to discuss your needs and wishes with me in a
frank and honest way. I am confident to say that I am a master of
subtle sensuality. I can find that element in every person. If you
are looking for images that are more sexual, I respect your wish,
but I may not be the right choice for you---but let's discuss.
much do you charge for your services?
Each sitting is quoted on a case-by-case basis because of the many
tailored options. But the range is usually around $3,000 for a simple
sitting to $15,000 for a more in-depth sitting that includes costumes
and the DVD documentary option. There is a 50% deposit to start the
sitting. The deposit is non- refundable. No exceptions will be made.
I have my session video taped for a keepsake?
Without a doubt. That is the Special Commission DVD Documentary option.
It's a documentary created about you. We film each segment of the
process, as outlined above and edit it down to approx 4-5 minutes
per segment. For example, if you have opted for a session that involves
the initial consultation, a costume fitting, the shooting itself,
and the presentation of the prints to you (post interview), there
are 4 segments. Your documentary will be approximately 20 minutes
long. It's a genius choice.
you offer framing?
We sure do. We offer a 100% archival (acid- free) framing service
that is done to my specs. Pricing is based on the size of the piece.
would love to have Martin take my portrait, but it's so expensive.
Are there other options??
On a rare occasion, if I'm looking to cast models in a project, we
can exchange your time for a print, but that's again on a rare occasion
but you should ask. Don't be shy.
if I'm not satisfied with my portrait?
We strive for 100% satisfaction. That is our goal. One of the ways
that make my process unique is that I shoot on a very special Polaroid
film. It allows us to have an instant dialogue
there's no waiting
for proofs or contact sheets. In 23 seconds, we can see the image
we just took. We'll instantly know whether we are on the right or
wrong track. However, if you sign off on the image(s) to print [therefore
acknowledging that you are happy] but to find yourself unhappy in
the end, you will forfeit your deposit, but will incur no other charge.
All deposits are non-refundable. No exceptions will be made.
owns the copyright to my images?
You do. You paid for it. They are your property although I store almost
everyone's negatives here at the studio, in case you wish to make
other prints at a later date. But of course, the Polaroid positives and negatives
and DV cassettes will be returned immediately to you upon your request.
You just have to ask.
hope this has answered many of your questions. Please feel free to
contact the studio directly if you would like to discuss any of your
ideas or simply to get more information. +1.212.285.1874.