The Feather Nest Inn located at 703 Hampton Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey is an ideal place for a photographer to produce nude or erotic photographs. The Inn was set up as a “rendezvous” place for couples to meet for an hour or two or overnight depending on the circumstances of the guests. The place is clean and neat, has good security and a variety of “theme” rooms to select from suitable to one’s individual taste.
All of the suites have mirrors over the master bed and very large jacuzzi tubs, a common theme for this type of clandestine motel lodging. I felt relaxed working there knowing that management wouldn’t be asking any specific questions about what I was using the room for. Mainstream hotels around the globe have very strict – no nude photography – policies as part of their operating procedure. I always use extreme discretion whenever I check into any four star hotel. I make sure to bring along as little camera equipment as necessary to successfully execute the shoot.
On one unfortunate occasion while working on a film project in London, one of my assistants was snagged by the concierge when he noticed a large boom mic hanging out of the assistants back pack. That prompted a visit to my room by management asking me on know uncertain terms to leave at once. Needless to say, I never hired that assistant again. He certainly should have none better. Discretion is one of the keys to success when shooting erotic photography on location.
Finding the right model for an assignment or even to test for a project is crucial to the success of any given shoot. Before I make the first picture, I have a dialogue with the prospective talent to see what their goals are as a model in servicing the needs of photographers they are interested in collaborating with. The familiar term for this collaboration in the industry is called “test shoot” meaning that both photographer and model agree to make a series of pictures that will benefit both of the parties. I outline the parameters of the test shoot in the form of a collaboration agreement that both parties must sign on the day of the shoot. Setting the parameters of the shoot are paramount for the successful execution of the sitting. Models do not want to work on a photographers set without knowing what the photographers intentions are. That is particularly true in the case of erotic photography, where negotiations between photographer and subject must take place to establish the degree of nudity the model/subject wishes to explore. No one walks on to my set without discussing those limits beforehand.
For new models that are looking for fashion and beauty work, they often need a good head shot and an excellent three quarter or full length body shot to start with. It is of most importance for the photographer to know how to light the subject to flatter her in the best possible light. In the instance with photographing Laura Ghobrial I used a ring flash, the perfect lighting tool to keep the light even over the models entire body elicits a distinct pristine observation of the subject.
Laura and I met through a fashion designer in Amsterdam by the name of Desiree Webers, owner of Webers Holland, a kinky fashion brand located in the heart of Amsterdam. We met at the designers atelier for a fitting. Once the items were selected by the designer to accentuate Laura’s physique we proceeded to the location to produce some photographs that both of us could use for our perspective portfolios.
It is always a good practice to go back through the files to find new pictures that were never made available to the public before. Unfortunately, some of the negatives from this shoot for Neiman Marcus in May of 2004 were lost during a flood at the studio on July 25, 2021. The flood was caused by a ruptured water main at the corner of 6th & Bainbridge streets in Philadelphia. We were at ground zero during the event taking on thousands of gallons of water before the Philadelphia Water Department was able to shutdown the water flowing at break neck speed through the ruptured pipe.
It has taken me weeks to sift through the losses of countless negatives that were in the darkroom suite while I was in the process of reviewing negatives from the archives for an upcoming exhibition at the Dupree Gallery opening on October 1, 2021. Unfortunately, some of the images I was considering to exhibit have been destroyed due to catastrophic flood damage to the negatives that were in the process of being printed in the darkroom in consideration for the exhibition.
This color negative of Inez, modeling lingerie for my client Neiman Marcus survived the floodwaters. Approximately, twelve thousand seven hundred and twenty other negatives in color and black and white did not have the same fate.
Darkroom: Black and white processing and printing services.
This is the darkroom where Tony Ward spent countless days, months and years making thousands of gelatin silver archival prints for his well known body of black and white photographs exploring various subjects including; portraiture, fashion, nude and erotic photography of which he became world renowned.
The darkroom was built in 1985. This unique creative space is available for rent to the public at The Ward Studio on a per project basis. Photographers that rent the darkroom may keep processing chemicals for developing film and prints stored at the studio for ongoing darkroom sessions.
Price for darkroom rental:
We offer a four hour minimum at $175.00. Any time over the first four hours is charged at $50.00 per hour. Photographers are responsible for their own chemistry. Amber bottles are best for storage.
Price for darkroom consultation:
Professor Tony Ward is available for one on one consultations regarding darkroom process and technique at $200.00 per hour.
Location: 704 South 6th street Philadelphia, Pa. 19147
To schedule a darkroom session:
Note: Any person using the facility must present proof of being vaccinated for Covid.
Photographers are always searching for the next shot, especially if they are working in fashion. A new model brings a new thrill with the hope that the next picture will be the best in an ongoing process of creating something new.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in March of 2020 I haven’t taken a new picture that was worthy of cataloging. That is the longest stretch of inactivity I can recall in my career as a professional photographer since I started producing images for a living in 1980.
Over the past 12 months I’ve looked back at the contact prints and digital files of countless photographs taken over the past 41 years and found previously unedited pictures that brought me much pleasure and satisfaction. I often tell my photography students how photographers can miss a meaningful photograph from a shoot because we often times produce a new shoot with certain expectations of what we think the newest picture should like like. In the case of the above photo of model Jennifer Grabel Rooney, I hardly noticed this picture 11 years ago when it was taken. However, just a couple of days ago after looking again very carefully at each image taken that day, I began to see a new image emerge on my computer screen that was lying dormant for over a decade.
A photograph is one of those art forms that can be transformational when a picture is edited in Photoshop. Ideally, as a photographer matures and evolves he or she learns more tools to edit a photograph that previously may have not been part of the image makers play book. That was the case with this recent edit of Jennifer’s sitting from 2009. I continue to enjoy practicing and learn new editing techniques to bring previously overlooked photos to life.