Holiday Photos

I know you probably hate it when people start talking about shopping for the holidays early.   I know I can’t stand it when I see Christmas stuff before Halloween.  But photography is one of the exceptions.

Great  photographs take time to create, retouch and print.  It is not like a DVD or shirt that you can buy a few days before.  The best photographers book up early so don’t miss your chance by waiting too long.  The photo labs start having backlogs.  Everything takes longer.


So contact your favorite photographer now to get those photos in time for the holidays.






Even more reality TV

Well I made it into another episode of Vh1’s Baseball Wives.  This time I was go through the retouching and photo selection with Anna Benson of their pin-up calendar.  The scene starts at about 22 minutes remaining.   It was a fun working on this portion as you can see by all the laughter.

Click to watch video


Reality TV and Me

Recently I had the chance to appear on reality TV.  It was a fun experience and everyone I worked with was great.  The show brought the wives to me to shoot a charity calendar in a conservative pin-up style.   As the photographer and you get to see a bit of me at work.  Of course the real show is all about the wives.  I am in the last 15 minutes or so of the show episode 2.

Orcatek Photography – Phoenix

Retouching Pin-up

For me pin-up is all about fantasy.  So when I retouch I take a lot of liberties.  I’ve studied some of the great pin-up artists and seen photos of their models and the final artwork.  This led me to develop my style.

Let's cook sexy pin-up

Let's Cook Pin-up

For example, waists get tucked, rears get rounded, boobs get lifted and reshaped.  But that is just for starters.  I will also often style the hair as needed to create the look.  All this is very simple process in Photoshop.

I think about how I would draw the pin-up as an artist.  Smooth lines and curves are important.  So the edges are all flatten, removing the bumps in the fabric.  Her jeans were made to fit perfectly and the curve to her back was stylized.

Witch Pin-up

Flying Witch Pin-up

Backgrounds are also part of the process.  The colored circles are real popular right now, and I use those frequently, but I also like use other options.  Such as the clouds and moon in this witch pin-up.

For me I find shooting my pin-ups on a solid white background makes it easiest to extract them and place them on the new backgrounds.  In fact all my pin-ups are photographed on white.  I am a fan of Topaz Remask for extractions, but the new tools in CS5 work very well too.

Vintage Vixens Pin-up Phoenix

Vintage Vixens Pin-up Phoenix

The other key factor for me is the reduction of details.  This goes along with the edge smoothing I talked about earlier.  Details such as moles, wrinkles, creases and other fine details are all removed.  All the details I feel I would draw if creating the artwork by hand.  I ask myself if the detail adds anything to the final artwork, if not, it is removed.

This simplification is probably the key to my overall look.   I want that illustrative look to come through and to look less like a photograph.

Pin-up photography is a lot of fun.  I spend much more time on the post production of a photo, but for me it is worth the effort.

Orcatek Pin-up Photography

Orcatek Pin-Up Photography Workshops 

Pin-up vs Boudoir Photography

Every once in awhile I get asked what is the difference between my pin-up and boudoir photography.  Some think that it is wardrobe and others think it is props. And many think it is the expression and pose.  Those are all parts and pieces of it, but there are a few more key differences.

My boudoir photographs are designed to beautiful, tasteful and sexy.  The photograph shows the woman inviting you into a private world that she is sharing just with you.  Smoldering eyes and that come hither look are all part of it.  They tend to be more overtly sexy in nature.

White lingerie and mirror in this boudoir photo

Boudoir Style

Whereas in my pin-up style the look is more of a flirt and a story.  There is none of the seduction with the eyes.  More often than not it is a surprised look as the pin-up accidentally shows more than she planned.   When it is not accidental exposure, it is a flirt and smile as if to say look at me everyone, a pose that says “I know everyone will see this.”

Caught on hat rack pin-up

Accidental Pin-up

Witch pin-up by Orcatek in Phoenix

Flirt Pin-up

Now of course not all pin-up art follows this definition, Alberto Vargas is perfect example of a great artist who has another style for pin-up.   Gil Elvgren’s work tends to be more along my thoughts.  Both artists vary across time and both are very different from each other.  To me it is this variety that gives pin-up a lot of its attraction.

Take a pin-up photography workshop

Phoenix Boudoir and Pin-up Photography by Orcatek

Boudoir Photography, the perfect gift!

With the holidays upon us, it is often hard to find a gift that says something special and that they don’t already have.  Boudoir photography fits that need.

Boudoir the perfect sexy Christmas gift by phoenix photographer Orcatek

As a gift for him you tell the man in your life that you want to be his sexy fantasy girl.  You fill his head with memories that he will come back to over and over again.  Maybe sitting in a meeting waiting to come home, waiting in traffic or just working around the yard.  Guys minds are often filled with fantasies, and now you will be giving him some things to think about.

Do you think he really wants another tool, gadget or tie?  Give him something that says I wanted to do something just for you.  It’s a gift he won’t want to exchange because you got the wrong one.   And having some sexy photos of you is probably one of his fantasies already!

As a gift for her, when you give her a boudoir photo session you tell her that you think she is beautiful and sexy.  Every woman wants to know this.   Sure you say it, but this makes it real.  Something you can both share for a very long time.  And when she sees herself looking like she stepped out of the pages of a magazine, she is going to be very happy.

Sure you could give her perfume (ok) or jewelry (acceptable) or kitchen tools (she better have asked for these), but where’s the imagination in that.  Give her something unexpected that lets her know just how amazing she really is.

So if you still stuck on the perfect gift, give boudoir photography!

When in Arizona visit Phoenix Boudoir Photographer, Orcatek

Pin-up becoming very popular

As I mentioned last week more and more of my boudoir photography clients are requesting classic pin-up images to be added to their shoot or as their entire package.  The past week was a prefect example.   Of my boudoir clients, about 30% asked for a few classic pin-up images to be added to their package.

On top of that 60% of my boudoir clients were entirely classic pin-up this past week.  Now this may be an anomaly, or maybe it is an indicator of an trend.  It just something I will be watching over the next few months.

Pink Love Heart classic pin-up by Orcatek Photography.

It the retro style of pin-up that they are asking to have created.   At first I thought it might be that a lot of the classic art is conservative, but that is not really the case.  Many of the clients still want full nudes, just in with the retro flair.

So what is drawing them to this style of photography.   I think it may be the bright colors and simple backgrounds.   These work perfect in the many pin-up calendars I have created lately.  Just imagine this image in a calendar.

Blue lingerie on an orange backdrop make this pin-up pop by photographer Orcatek

Then again it might be the Photoshop styling to an illustration that attracts them.   In the fantasy world of pin-up, it seems okay to have some fun with the retouching.   Sometimes the client has me really exaggerate the retouching in the pin-up styles.  Much more than I ever am asked to do for standard boudoir photography.

I am curious to hear from other photographers to see if they are seeing this trend.

Phoenix Pin-up and Boudoir Photographer – Orcatek