Photo Essay

Nyxon in Rochester

I met Nyxon at the Rochester Erotic Arts Festival (REAF) in March of 2012 – the third year in the making. She is a full-time fetish model that does a lot of traveling for her job. She was featured in a stellar piece of work by Scott Church at the festival and by chance, she traveled to the event with him. Even before I met her, I knew I wanted to shoot her. After meeting her, we scheduled a shoot the following day.

Normally, the models I prefer to shoot don't use a lot of make-up and if they do, it is usually due to the theme we are shooting. Nyxon, however, her face in the photos is the face that the bank teller sees, the face that her neighbors see, it's the face that she wakes up with in the morning. Not that I have to point it out, but she wears it well.

Saturday morning came with snow on the ground and cloudy skies. The view from my hotel room was decent with exception to the trapped condensation between the window panes and their dirty, partially washed exterior. Looking out onto the Genesee River, it was just as murky as the sky. Some traffic, but not much. You could tell how cold and windy it was just by watching the people struggle and renegotiate clothing with jagged steps as they made it down the streets and across bridges. I wondered why I didn't see more taxis on a day like that.

I focused as best as I could to pick out individuals from my 15th floor perch. I get nervous before shoots and our shoot was already postponed two hours, thus dragging out my anticipation. Focusing on the souls below didn't do much to weather the wait, but it was better than pacing or fidgeting with my camera equipment. It takes me at least ten minutes of shooting and sometimes, accompanied awkward conversations to calm down and focus. Every model is different and with very few exceptions, finding pulse and rhythm between model and the camera is work. It nearly always happens, but when it isn't there, neither are the shots and it shows. It's important to get through those moments together as fast as possible.

The room and Nyxon had more bearing on how the shoot went more than what I did to influence the shots. Nyxon's experience made the shoot successful and easy to get good shots. It was my second time shooting in a hotel room and thankfully, it was spacious and had plenty of natural light. The colors and some of the furniture worked well with her clothing and demeanor.

The most successful prop of this shoot was the cotton candy sucker that I bought the day prior in Buffalo at a local candy store. Originally destined as a treat for my kids, it was too good to pass up for the session. It fit perfectly and just had to use it. Her acting and expressions made those shots my favorite.

I still had suckers for the kids, so I don't justify it as a dick move. In case you were wondering...

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