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Crete, my sexy trip!

Written on September 8, 2012 Categories: Events and Travel, Outdoor Glamour Shoot

Fun in the Sun

Crete, the Greek Island most known for being the party destination of Europe and center of hedonism. It sounded like a place tailor made for Oni Studio! My husband and I had been planning this trip for quite a while and I was very excited to do my first shoot in a foreign country.

My husband was particularly excited about the visit, as his favorite movie is Caligula, and thought that’s the experiences we would be having there. Even though I told him Caligula was based out of ancient Rome, it did not deter him from packing his toga in the hopes of nights filled with debauchery.

Now although we never seen anything close to the orgies of ancient Rome, we did get lucky and run into a few girls that were more than willing to pose for the camera. I’d like to thank them and the wonderful people of Crete for giving us a very wonderful and memorable trip. Now without further ado, here are the ladies! Don’t forget to leave them a comment or like at the bottom of this entry to show your support.

First up, Ana!

Ana in Crete

When I first talked to Ana she said she couldn’t shoot that day because she was trapped in her house. I thought that was a pretty weird answer, but she clarified that the power frequently went out in Crete, and her electronic gate would not come open. So she couldn’t get her car out. We regretfully got off the phone with her, and was about to try our back up model when she called us back and invited us over. She said she had some great shoot locations near her home and told me that if I didn’t mind coming over then the shoot was on. Of course we were on our way!

Ana on the beach in Crete

Ana poses on the beach near the Cretan city of Chania

After the shoot with Ana I was primed and ready to shoot some more. I was a bit hesistant about shooting in a foriegn country, especially sexy subject matter. What if I offended the Crete locals, and how do I ask a girl that had trouble speaking english to be sexy? I quickly realized that “sexy” in Crete, and the rest of the world is all communicated through body language. Once I got that down my problems were over!

Next up, Efi and Katerina!

Efi and Katerina in Crete

At first I didn’t think the shoot was going to happen with these two lovely ladies of Crete. We called them and agreed to meet in a nearby village, but got the names mixed up. My husband and I waited at a gas station in 95 degree weather for half an hour, playing phone tag. Finally these two ladies showed up… on mopeds. Now how sexy is that?! I was even more excited, and they told us to follow them to some nearby shoot locations.

Efi leaning on a wall in Crete

Katerina on a scooter in Chania Crete

Kiss me deadly

When I first started shooting Efi and Katerina we were in a park that was pretty much devoid of people. Their were a few tourist who came and watched us shoot, but for the most part we had the place to ourselves. However I soon ran out of inspiration and it was time to move to somewhere else. My husband saw a bar not to far away, and told me he was sure he could get us inside to shoot. I didn’t get my hopes up to much as it was lunchtime and I knew the place would be crowded. However before I knew it, he came running back and told me he had got permission. God I love that man! The shot below where Efi is laying at the bar, and the shot above with the insinuated kiss was taken at the bar. You can’t see them, but the place was CROWDED. I can not believe these two lovely ladies were able to perform without any fear. I only wish I could have put them in my suitcase to take back to Seattle! Efi and Katerina, if you all ever visit Washington you can stay with us as long as you like!

todays special in Crete

Next up, Nimmo!

Well, her name is really Brittany Nimmo, but I loved her last name so much! Nimmo is one of those individuals that have an aura of power and success about them. You’d really have to have the pleasure of meeting her to understand, but take my word for it, this lady is going places! It was a huge pleasure to shoot with her!

Where is my Prince Charming

Come get some

What are you looking at

milk was a bad choice

Temple of Crete

Nimmo giving a quoate on her photo shoot with Oni Studio in Crete.

That’s all for now ladies, hope you enjoyed the shots as much as I enjoyed taking them! Now if you all ever find yourself in Crete and want sexy pictures done, don’t fret! One of my favorite photographers, Nikos Alpha, actually lives in the area, and it was one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t get a chance to meet him.

Now for some bitter sweet news. If you all haven’t heard before now, we have gotten orders to Bangor, WA and will be relocating some time around the new year. We have been in the Whidbey Island area for five years and have really enjoyed it here, but are very excited for opportunities that we will have in the Silverdale area. We know that many of you have to go there for the medical center, if you find yourself in town don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me!


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    Victoria and I have always enjoyed Halloween. In fact, its most likely our favorite time of year. It’s the only time everyone can dress up and unleash their inner monster and this is what Oni Studio is all about: Bringing out the hidden personality!  When we met Johanna and company we knew we had met our match. Every year Johanna, along with an army of volunteers, operates the Frightville Haunted House to help raise funds for the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club. We had met Johanna a while back as she had been a fan of our work and was kind enough to invite us out to shoot the event. During the pre-shoot reconnaissance we knew this wasn’t some run of the mill haunted house where people were just going through the motions. This group means business! With countless hours dedicated to designing and building the sets, special effects make up and nightly shows, their dedication to raise money for such a fine cause is admirable and we wish them the best of luck with their event.

    If you would like to help out with the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls club or make a donation please call the administration office at: 360-240-9273 or you can visit the website here.

    The first time we saw pictures of the Frightville House they were taken by another local Whidbey Island photographer, John Pendleton. His pictures had a very creepy and gritty feel to them, and were just as phenomenal as his other work. Since I put John in the same class and category as Joe Mcnally in the area of lighting, the prospect of going out and shooting the same thing he had was intimidating! Victoria and I talked it over (as we do most of our shoots) in order to attempt to flesh out every creative detail. In this process we will discuss lighting, draw out diagrams, examine potential pitfalls, discuss marketing possibilities and research the internet to see how the project has been shot previously. She wanted to utilize a more even type of lighting with softboxes and grid modifiers, but I was vehemently against it. I thought it would make the pictures look “too real”. Victoria stressed that all other photographers would try to light it in a spooky type way, and that her style of lighting would serve to distinguish our work from others. Since I didn’t have any ideas of my own I went along with the plan.

    After a long discussion we packed up most of our studio equipment and set off to the Frightville House with the intention of using our grids and softboxes. Although we walked through the rooms before, when we actually got there with all the equipment, we realized the spaces were too small for setting up our studio lights. In addition to that we had forgotten our hot shoe speed light! We were trying to figure out a lighting set up when Victoria dropped another bomb on me by saying, “No pressure, but they are not open today. The crew came down here on their own time and spent hours in make up just to have this photo shoot done.”


    Sometimes when the pressure gets really applied to me I have an epiphany, and thankfully I had one then too. Why not just use the light that’s already here? The keepers of the house have done a lot of research and experimentation into sculpting the light in the creepiest manner possible. With the creative use of our light reflector, high ISO, tripod and Photoshop we would be able to bring that raw fear to our viewers!

    It took a bit of adjusting with the camera, but we started getting some good shots until we got to the shot posted below with the corpse bride in front of the moon. Obviously the moon back lights her, and no matter how hard we tried to bounce that light back into her face with the reflector, we were not getting enough detail in the face. I was racking my brain to a solution when I saw another volunteer using a flashlight to find something they had dropped, and then the ghostly voice of Obi Kenobi whispered in my ear, “Use the flashlight Luke!” I would have never had attempted this in front of my instructors at DINFOS, but I took the flashlight and shined it directly onto my reflector to diffuse it. Victoria took the picture and I waited in nervous anticipation for the little happy jump she does when the picture is good.

    “Click”….happy jump! Yes!

    So the irony is that the thousands we have spent on lighting equipment was defeated by a $20 dollar flashlight, and an old $10 ebay special reflector. Kinda neat!

    All the shots we have here were taken with the use of only a reflector or a combination reflector/flashlight.  We hope you get as much pleasure viewing them as we did shooting them! 

    …This is our 11th year and the Haunted House is one of our main fundraisers for the Club. All proceeds from the house benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Harbor. Everyone who works in the house is a volunteer and construction begins in April to have the house ready by October. (We do like to joke with our “masterminds” that they start planning on October 31st right after the house closes for the season). It takes between 25 and 30 volunteers a night to man the house, again all volunteers. We are very proud that Frightville was rated #5 out of all the haunts in Washington State. …thanks again for the great pics! It was a lot of fun to watch you do your magic!

    Peg Fenstermaker

    Director, Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor

    Keep in mind constant reader that we were only able to shoot a small portion of the haunted house. There are many more rooms, and many more monsters! We at Oni Studio hope you have an awesome and safe Halloween! Tune in next week for another exciting and sexy edition, and remember if you would like to book your own shoot with us its as simple as filling out the contact portion on our website here!



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      My wife Victoria and I have to keep our skills up just like every other professional, and while we do regular shoots such as family and senior pics, those types of shoots rarely allow us to flex creatively enough to learn new concepts and ideas, hence why we search out projects like this to practice various lighting set ups and new photographic techniques to incorporate into our repertoire.

      The first thing we do is scour the internet for a picture or idea we would either like to recreate or expand upon. Granted recreating another artist work isn’t the most original thing in the world but the process of studying how another artist created something in the absence of them telling you is a great educational experience. For the spider woman shoot I found the picture on the internet and instantly fell in love with it, it was created by a photographer named John Farrar, who is a most phenomenal photographer. Here is the original picture we found:

      After saving the photograph the first phase of the project began, recruitment. Like usual the recruitment process began by posting the photograph on our Oni Studio facebook page and asking for volunteers, the photograph generated many responses, including a KISW rock girl, but for some reason or another I never picked out anyone.

      One day while at work I saw a girl from the side and for just a second a picture of her in a skimpy super hero outfit flashed through my mind, (creepy I know) and I asked her if she was interested. Her name was Kat, and she readily agreed, stating she loved to have her picture taken and always wanted to try a professional shoot. Heres a pic of Kat similar to what I saw that day:

      This phase has pitfalls as well though, once someone has been picked the wife and I move along with other parts of the shoot process such as deciding on lighting and background trusting the model is doing what she needs to do. Sometimes the model will have done nothing claiming she has no idea where to buy outfits, can’t afford outfits, or hasn’t had time, ect. This usually means we have to find a new model. However Kat seemed to take the assignment seriously and not long after our first discussion informed us she was in Burlington shopping for a new outfit, impressive!

      In the meantime we were trying to get availability from Ashley our makeup artist, and I started to sympathize with my wife a bit more. Since this was the first time I had headed a project I was unaware of the challenges that came along with it. First I didn’t have anyone’s number, true I could have gotten it but I have a phobia about saving numbers in my phone, (weird I know) so relied on facebook as my communication tool, which in my opinion was ineffective as Kat and Ashley would message me, and I would lose it, or they would lose my message,

      Anyway, finally after multiple schedule failures we all came together for the shoot, Kat got straight into makeup, here’s a few pics of the process:


      Just sitting down, getting started!!


      This was about an hour into it I think, Kat is finding out this is harder than she thought!


      Last thing is the lips!


      Finally after over two hours of Ashley applying the makeup we are done, in my opinion this is some of Ashley’s finest work, she was very self critical, but everyone in attendance was more than happy!

      We then moved on to the shoot itself, Victoria and I had argued (errrr debated) over the light set up, we wanted to recreate the lighting we saw on the photo, you learn a lot trying to copy lighting, its very exploratory and you pick up new tricks and techniques you can use in paid shoots, however again it’s not very original. This was one of our first attempts:

      Uh oh! Something we didn’t take into account, Kat being nervous in front of the camera! After a bit she really loosened up and started having fun! However, we like for the models to do a little more than have fun, for lack of a better term and especially to be invited back for more projects they have to be able to focus and “bring it” or emotionally connect with the camera and viewer. We think Kat pulled that off in these next few pics:

      Hope you enjoyed our first major blog post, we hope they will get better and better, tune in next time for our next upcoming project, codenamed, “The Kiss” here is the concept photograph by Tanya Chalkin:


      Our next upcoming project, if you’re interested in volunteering contact us for further information, volunteers will receive a high resolution printable disk of the shoot, a chance to work with us again, and our undying gratitude!

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