An Introduction to Shooting Content: 1

Paul Markham

Shooting your own content for your site or resale can be a dream or a nightmare. The better preparation taken can give you more dreams and reduce the nightmares.

When I started shooting porn in the late Seventies, things were very different. Less competition and fewer places to sell. Today lots of people want to shoot porn and the Internet is an insatiable market for it. Add that to the price and ease of using a digital camera, and you have a recipe for some to think that all they have to add is a nude model.

That’s the first and biggest mistake most would-be shooters make, because if it were that easy the market would be flooded with successful photographers and content suppliers. One look at the blow out deals being offered today shows this is not as easy as it looks.

Preparation isn’t everything but it helps. Firstly equipment; a good SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera and lens are essential. The Canon EOS-10D for around $1400 or the Nikon D100 at $1800 are both excellent. If you think a $400 pocket camera will do, forget it. A good image can be reduced in quality easier than fixing a bad image. Both these cameras give the user control.

Then studio strobe lights and a light meter. Do not rely on a camera-mounted flash, you want to be in control not the flash. A good light meter will tell you where and how powerful the light is. Assuming you want to learn what effect light has on an image.

Also get some good books on photography, digital or film, they will help in getting you started. Read the manuals and books front to back at least twice before you pick up the camera. Then go through everything again with the equipment, try using a chair as a model before moving onto a live one. While learning how to shoot chairs tend to be less hassle, more compliant and cheaper than the real thing.

There are no short cuts or easy routes at this stage, and nothing can substitute for practice. I have heard the cry that all you are trying to achieve is “Amateur Style” content. Well if you think Amateur is an excuse for rubbish then stop reading and go and shoot it. You are planning to shoot explicit pictures of naked females to make money and unless you offer more than the other 100 guys who had the same idea this week, read on.

The main problem with “Amateur Style” content is it lacks something to put it apart from the next guy offering the same thing. This is why you need to be in control of your equipment and not the equipment in control of you.

Working With Models
Now for the hard stuff: models. With the greatest equipment in the world and years of practice, if the shooter cannot find and control his subject he’s in trouble. In a major city finding people to be models is easy; put an ad into your local paper that is read by the people you want to recruit. Tell them what you want, what you will pay, what they will be doing, and for which market, do not think you can get them to turn up to be fashion models and then persuade them to pose nude. Do not rely on them posing for a slice of the profits, either – they answer ads to earn instant money.

Again practice is what is needed; think about what you are going to say on the phone. Who you are, what you are doing, and what’s in it for them. Unless you come over as a straight type of person from the beginning, never expect anyone to turn up for a casting. Arrange to meet them at a neutral venue; your home is not a good idea until you are more experienced.

Think through what you are going to say, explain as much as possible, be open and honest. When finished ask if they have any questions and answer them honestly, then ask them what kind of work they will be comfortable doing. If they want to do something they’re not suitable for or you do not do, say ‘sorry’ and let them go. Be polite but firm, do not attempt to persuade them. You will just come over as desperate, or pushy and even if they say yes, they will either not turn up for the shoot, or they will turn up – and this puts the model in control.

Meeting more than one potential model for a casting is good, it gives confidence plus the feeling you are not after anything other than to take pictures. First impressions are everything. You need models thinking you are a nice guy; winning trust and respect. A clean shaven guy in a laundered shirt who smells good will get more than a guy with two days growth, a torn Tee shirt and who smells of body odor. Sounds like common sense? Well speak to girls who have been on a few castings and you’ll know why I wrote this.

Stay tuned for more!

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