Corset Piercings

Gothic Shoot with a Piercing Twist



Tara (aka Ravensnow as she’s known on her new modeling page) has long been one of my favorite people to work with since we both started almost 2 years ago. Recently she’s been blowing up working with photographers from all over the state, making friends with a stellar makeup artist known as Stormie Steen and getting spoiled in the process by photographers and re-touchers.


Even though Tara has been making her way up the modeling ladder she still keeps in mind why does it in the first place, for the fun of it. Whenever anyone at our shoots (Me, Tara, my girlfriend Emilie ect.) comes up with an idea whether it be a pose, a prop or even a location or theme, the general consensus is always “fucking go for it.” That’s the kind of attitude that I love when it comes to shooting with Tara.


Everything in the shoot just happened to tie together almost perfectly. Tara’s hair and makeup (Done by Stormie Steen), her wardrobe choices, the location (just a stairwell behind the Albuquerque Convention Center), the prop machete and the corset piercing (Done by Scott Self) all blended together in a very horror-esque Gothic way that also somehow accidentally  had a bit of Harley Quinn influences in there (don’t know how it happened but it did.)


On thing that I wasn’t expecting out of the shoot was how well the location worked out. Location scouting is always difficult and there is always a level of exploration that goes into finding the perfect area. When I was having the conversation with Tara about where we would do the shoot she said she wanted something that looked very dark and abandoned. I remembered the stairwell at the back of the convention center and how it fit that mold perfectly for what she wanted. The climate was very controlled, nobody was ever really around and there was a nearby outlet that I could hook extension cables to in to order to get my lighting kit set up.


What was also perfect was the location outside the stairwell. This was the part that took a little exploration. Right outside the stairwell was a well shaded are with lots of space, Some concrete and even some nature which allowed us to get some other aesthetics in with the set.


The best thing that came out of the exploration was this sort of tunnel are that ran along the street with it’s own walkway. The lighting that it gave off was unique and perfect for portrait shooting. Of course a lot of it ended up getting blown out in the highlights but in the case of these images it worked extremely well and it’s ads more of an ethereal feel to the images that the stairwell didn’t have. I intend on using this location again in the future, I just need to figure out what that will be.


Editing wise everything was very simple. Stormie’s makeup was so well done that there wasn’t much for me to correct and everything else was my standard contrast and color correcting. Tara of course had some input on the edits this time around. She probably has a more critical eye than I do. I tend to be very conservative with my edits and I’m trying to take in the models input more and more. I need to remember that I don’t necessarily have to follow the same rules for Photojournalism as I do for portraiture.



It was great to be able to work with Tara again and hopefully we both continue to do awesome things, together and separately+, well into the future.

BTS Shooting Before the Shoot.


Candid Photo journalistic work is my jam, it’s more of what my background is and I feel like the photos just come out better when I take them in a much more natural setting.


Portraiture, though, has a much bigger market and people enjoy being part of that process a lot more. So in my great big reunion with my friend Tara we came up with idea for her to get temporary corset piercings done by Scott Self of Evolution Body Piercing out in Albuquerque New Mexico.


What was so impressive about Scott was how professional he was about what he does and making sure he used a sanitary work environment. We even had a brief conversation about the States broken licencing practices and the issues he has seen with it. Needless to say if I ever decided to get a piercing one day I now know who to go to.AJA_0028

Tara of course being true to form was an absolute trooper and a joy to work with. She got through the piercing process in no time at all and with no complaints what so ever. You also have to appreciate that she had just gone through lasik eye surgery the day before, which was something I was concerned about going in and it turned out to be a complete non issue.AJA_0026

The resulting photos came out amazingly and the photos from the actual portrait shoot are some of my new favorite images in a long time. Stay tuned for those. AJA_0035