I have never met her before, except on the internet. She’s all around the internet, google her and you’ll know what I mean: Julia Yaroshenko.
We worked together a couple of weeks ago, I rent an Airbnb in Brussels and we did an afternoon session. A first image as a little preview.
This weekend I’m giving the first two of my workshops, about working with available light in portrait/boudoir/art-nude photography. The above portrait was created in a small bedroom with only one window. Not everything is possible, but a lot can be done with a little creativity and bounced light. If you’re interested, there are still two spots available for next Saturday (01/06), tomorrows workshop is fully booked.
a long time ago I made some studio setup diagrams for this blog, … time to make a new one. First the image, it dates from a while ago, last fall I invited two friends to do some studio work. I rarely use my studio equipment for light, but in winter times it can be handy to have an alternative to available light sometimes.
I wanted Steven to get some sort of gangster look, cool looking, hood, sunglasses …
I wanted a soft light and deep shadows under the hood, so I went for some sort of symmetrical light setup, using two studio flashes with 60x60cm softboxes, and two large reflector panels to even enlarge the light source.
it was only a matter of finding the good ‘depth’ position of the model, to create just enough light on the face, and keep the light only on the front.
another one without the hood:
thanks for watching, come again soon,
or at least I often think about quitting …
… because when I think about all the costs I have been making – for photography gear, for exhibition prints, for locations, models, make-up artists – then I must realize that it does not generate any money, quite the contrary.
Then I sit down, try gathering all my courage for the next shoot, try to find a good location, a model, a make up artist, find a moment that fits for everybody involved, phone calls, emails, messenger … and then after the shoot I get home, more or less exhausted. But then when scrolling trough hundreds of images from that day, I see that again we could make some beautiful shots and I think, ‘come on, just hang on a little longer, things will turn out ok one day’ …
thanks to Sahri Nimi Modelpage for being my model once again, thanks Isabelle Eeckhout for making her look gorgeous again, thank you Vergucht Franswa for joining us for making a reportage about me during this shoot, and a big thank you to the family that opened their fabulous house for me as if it were my house. And last but not least, thank you to my wife, who has even more patience with me than I have myself, that even pushes me harder than I could do so myself, and that still believes 200% in what I do.
• Bath with a view •
Hi, it’s been a while since my last post, I think this one will make it worth the wait.
• MUST READ •
you probably have noticed I worked together with Charisse a lot last year, I would like to show you some pictures from our first collaboration to our last one, as some sort of a tribute to this young woman, that in front of my lens, evolved from a shy and uncertain person, to a very self-aware and confident model.
I asked her yesterday to write down in her own words about our cooperations, and she did, Italic words is her writing.
We met at an exhibition in Damme, Belgium, she seemed interested in my work. She flipped trough my book ‘Women’ and showed even greater interest after that. We agreed to keep in touch.
Ludwig and I met on an exhibit in Damme, May 2016. He gave me a business card so that I could contact him if I would be interested in working with him. At that time I was an insecure model with limited experience, but the pictures he was exposing and the atmosphere they contained were very into my liking.
First shoot together, June 20, 2016. We met at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins, Belgium, and we shot a couple of rolls of 120 film, and a digital session. She was very shy at the moment, and there were too many people running around at the Godshuis, so we moved outdoors for the rest of the day.
Not much later, we agreed on doing a photoshoot at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins. He arranged a MUA because I wasn’t skilled in make up back then. I felt pretty nervous but he immediately put me at ease during my posing. He was very tranquil, careful, polite and made me adjust my poses in a very respectful way. He never made me do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. So it became pretty easy to feel comfortable and my confidence was slightly growing. This first shoot resulted in pretty images and we were both feeling content.
Second shoot together, she came to my place, I have an old, small confectioners workshop in my garden, and we did an afternoon session there. She showed more courage and confidence already. She hurt her leg while smashing the radiators with a big sledgehammer. April 5, 2017.
The year after that, we agreed on shooting a second time, this time in his “studio in progress” in Ronse at his place. Great, because no potential peeping toms. We started working in a similar theme like the first shoot, but after a while he asked me if I wanted to help him smash the studio. I got to put dirt on my face and Ludwig handed me a sledge hammer that was almost my own height in size. “Knock yourself out”, he said. So I smashed the huge radiator with it, resulting in a bruise and scratch on my leg. Ludwig was taking pictures of me doing so, on a safe distance. The images were very cool and tough looking, something a lot different than the romantic, elegant moods we worked on first. It felt good to work on different themes.
Third time around, I still had to get my ways around the studio, and we worked there for the first time. It was a very fruitful day, with an apple as desert 🙂 Charisse had changed, she had become very much aware of her female figure, and the sensuality in her poses was suddenly obvious. Februari 22, 2018.
Another year later, in February 2018, we decided to do a shoot once more, in his new studio. This time he asked me what I wanted to do, and I felt like taking the next step. Something more sensual, maybe even a little erotic. In the 2 months before that, I had the chance to express that side of me in poses and expressions, because I had worked with another photographer intensively. Now I wanted to do something with it in Ludwig’s style. Grown strongly and without any obligations coming from Ludwig, I got in an endless flow of poses, and he just let me work by myself, he let me be myself. It all resulted in an awfully long day for the both of us. Exhausted but extremely happy about the resulting images, we agreed upon working together a lot more in the future. Those mutual satisfied feelings gave me an enormous boost.
Shortly after that we met again, for a shoot in the castle I’m able to use as a location if I want to, here we shot ‘the beauty and the beast’, ‘the great great granddaughter’, and a lot more beautiful images. We are march 23d, 2018
Only 2 months after that, we got together again to shoot, this time in a beautiful little castle in Tournai. The shoot went like all previous shoots, except now we started to understand each other more and communicating got even better. It got easier to get into eachother’s minds and create images fitting in a certain theme.
5th shoot together, a hot summer day last year, and not really arranged long before, I just called to find out if she was available, and ready for an experiment, and a day later she took the train to Ronse again. Shot in my garden workshop, and outdoors. ‘when things get messy’ and ‘statue’ … July 3d, 2018.
After that shoot we had another shoot on a hot summer dat where we experimented with some leftover clay he had in his garage. The shoot contained the preparation (me mixing the clay powder with water in a big pot, with my bare hands), the execution (me rubbing the mixture all over my body, including my face, neck and hair) and the result (the drying of the clay on my body while I was sitting still on a big cube). The whole process was a lot of fun to do, getting all dirty and feeling like a child. Again, Ludwig made beautiful images of it. Afterwards I first got a cold shower from the garden hose and then I could take a warm shower.
And hopefully not the last collaboration, and certainly not the least, again in the studio on October 30th, 2018. Long time since I used flash light, so let’s get up-to speed again with some different settings. Charisse is always ready for some new things, she is physically limited due to a muscle disease, but she has never let me down in her efforts of making every shoot successful and worthwhile, she understands what I want to achieve as a result, but she’s not afraid of giving input if she things it would make images even better,
After that we had another shoot in the studio on a cold and rainy day, working on images based on the work of Andreas Bitesnich, but also a heavy make up and water combination theme. That’s what I like about the collaborations I’m having with Ludwig: the exchange and being open towards each other’s ideas, always trying new things in a style we both like, but especially the mutual trust we built in these past few years.
We have a very good relation with each other, but the professional level we work in stays very well maintained. In the mean time I got to know a lot of photographers with whom I got to work together as well, but Ludwig stays an absolute favourite to me. Because of his professional attitude, easy personality, and the endless respect he has towards his models and their limits and conditions.
Thank you very much Ludwig, for this amazing journey. I’m looking forward to keep working with you in the future.
Thank you Charisse, it is a pleasure working with you! I might do a book on you some day!
Some images you might have seen before, but I tried to show you some previously unpublished pictures too, as from a session there’s always a lot of material, so I cannot publish all, sometimes I forget about a series, sometimes when I review, new ‘keeper’s get my attention …
thanks for reading, maybe you might consider buying a large print from any of these? …
She can be found on facebook now as Sahri Nimi – https://www.facebook.com/sahrinimi/
not safe for work, except of course if you work in an open-minded place, which I hope everyone does. A little edgy maybe, glossy and slippery, these nudes I did with Sara Scarlet.
I’m enjoying the studio in these cold winter days. Shooting outdoors is not really handy now, especially if you want to do glamour or nude work … I put up the heating a little higher in the studio, and I can work at ease, without my model turning blue … so the blue you see here is purely a post-processing effect.
• Slippery •
Happy new year to all of you out there! 2019 already, and we only just forgot about the millennium bug it seems. Years fly by, so I wish you will all be doing things you love doing this year. Remember the Holstee manifesto: ‘If you don’t like something, change it, If you don’t like your job, QUIT!’ a bit scary isn’t it. … I hope you’ll find the courage and be brave enough to start new adventures.
About two weeks ago I went to the notary to cancel my company Renderhouse. …
OOPS … you can still find the remainders here: www.renderhouse.eu
Why did I? Because I couldn’t find pleasure in it anymore. Time for something new, something I love doing, something exciting, … I kind of feel freed of this burden that tied me up for some years now. LIFE IS SHORT. LIVE YOUR DREAM AND SHARE YOUR PASSION (also from Holstee.com).
I travelled a lot this year, I made a lot of beautiful images and I’m still in touch with my boys, so I guess I fulfilled last years aspirations.
I’m still working on my beauty portfolio, which has been accompanied by some other projects I’m working on, so my artistic work is getting more diverse again. I have had the studio for about a year now, so this permits to plan session even in winter time. The studio has proven very adaptive to my needs, so I’m pleased with it. I hope I can keep it for some more time (I rent a temporary space, until the owner of the place decides to start a new project on this location). I managed to get some experienced women (+50) in front of my lens, but more may come, working on this project has been surprisingly refreshing. The conversations with older women and how they feel about their bodies are very interesting and enriching. “The age of beauty, the beauty of age”, models wanted!! I have agreed with these women not to reveil any image before I get a complete series, so you will need to have some patience I’m afraid.
Thank you for your continued support in visiting this site and blog. It drives me to continue writing posts and publishing images. Some articles get more attention than others, but that’s absolutely fine with me. Last 365 days I could count 113.483 Visitors and 588.624 visits. That is roughly +20% visitors and +40% visits compared to last year.
You come from all over the world, with 179 countries represented in 2018, USA leading with 31.712 visitors, next comes Belgium with 11.487 visitors, then Ukraine, China, France, The Russian Federation and the Netherlands (4553). I found a new unknown (to me) country in the list : Saint Kitts and Nevis. 🙂
I have published 58 posts in 2018, and the visitors and visits chart looks like this:
The peaks are due to someone starting reading my blog, and not getting to bed at a decent hour. I can clearly see a change in activity when I add a new post, or when I’m more active on internet fora.
So thanks again, please keep visiting my blog, leave a comment if you feel like (moderated) and feel free to share my work to people you think might be interested!
some highlights of this year:
first session in the studio • inspiration • (note the books on erotic photography)
a series I was very fond of: • an apple a day • … with one of my favourite models
the bed’s too big without you, a very emotional series of images with Yana Mood.
fun in the studio, with a couple of young dancers, capturing dance in motion.
• Ra, God of sun • shot in a public park near Brussels. With Vita Goncharuk
my books finally available on my website-page ‘BOOKS’. I am currently working on a new WOMEN book, in which the images will be accompanied with text. Behind the scene’s information, funny things worth knowing, ideas and vision …
A last minute location, with Michelle Alba in the Netherlands.
Traveling to Côte d’Opale with students, to Bretagne (France) with my wife, and to Exmoor (UK) all alone. Experimenting with a new aspect ratio and enjoying the Fujifilm x100F.
An image shot on the same day as the ‘an apple a day series’ … • Sunrays •
Meeting Lilith Etch in Brussels, a wonderful apartment, here an image shot on film.
fun with clay in my back yard … • statue •
wintertime, looking for fine erotica in the studio …
Another new model, Emily, in an afternoon session both in the studio and outdoors, the latter image is shot on film, with the Yashica 635:
• the treasurer •
Male power in the studio, experimenting with light.
I hope you liked this post, you can find all these images in my last 58 posts, don’t hesitate to go looking for them 😉
It might be a good idea to check out my youtube channel and subscribe, you will see me and my models in motion over there 🙂 LUDWIG DESMET ON YOUTUBE
bye, and see you soon,
and he left me with some nice images.
I love walking the boundaries of erotica and art, I’m not sure how and where the limits are, but I kind of like these images. For me they are erotic, artsy, tasteful, beautiful. It’s winter in Belgium, and the weather forces me to work in the studio more than I would like, but this session boosted my confidence in the studio a lot. Some things could have gone better, I should have paid more attention to my light levels overall, but the division of light and the addition of water and the poses and the model worked out all very well. Working in the studio is a completely different game than working with available light outdoors, it has other challenges, it needs a totally different approach. I used a couple of different light setups, all based on minimal lighting, creating only highlights on the models body. I was inspired by the nude work from Andreas Bitesnich, and wanted to experiment within his style. I especially love the way he works with highlights accentuating the body shapes, and I was not really able to recreate what he did, but then I didn’t really care, since I created something new 🙂
Thanks to my great model, Charisse again 🙂 small and pretty, she never thought she could become a model due to her size, but is making her way trough faster than she could imagine I guess.
Thank you for visiting, I will soon have my own Patreon page, where you will be able to financially support my work! You will be able to choose between a set of tiers that I’m sure will please any of tastes. Be it just supporters, apprentice photographers, or collectors of art-nude!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Two weeks ago I did a model call for a freestyle shooting session in the studio, just to try out some light setups and to not forget about working with studio strobes. Remember, 90% of my work is purely based on available light.
I had two models coming over, one male that I never worked with (lets call him Steven) , one female that I had regular cooperations with since about two years, lets call her Charisse 😉
Steven never modelled, he said the day before he came to me. Ok great, I told him, that’s cool, so we can find out if newbies can lead to great results. And he did, 200% he did. See for yourself:
the images above are all made with two studio strobes.
Then that same morning, after this first session I had Charisse arriving at the train station for pickup, and we started shooting early in the afternoon. A totally different setup, with both nude and non-nude work, of which I will show you only a small teaser for now. We did a lot of different things, with a lot of good results, so make sure you come back again soon.
thank you for stopping by, visitor of this blog. Consider subscribing if you like what you see. Come back again soon.
thank you Steven and Charisse, for being my interim models for the day, for your patience and your trust!!
ps. I: soon I will be on Patreon, where you can support my activities and get extra behind the scenes video’s, how to tips, and other benefits! Watch out!
ps. II: video: me cleaning the studio afterwards, here you can see more or less all I have in the studio. Limited stuff, a lot of creativity.
things are calming down a little here, with fall offering less possibilities for shooting outdoors, I have to get back behind the computer to finish some series shot earlier. You might have seen a first image here.
From the series I did with Charisse, early this summer. It was very hot that day, and I decided to play around with some natural plaster (easy and soft on the skin) outdoors.
this is my final series, definitely something I want to explore more when the weather allows for it.
• Statue in my garden •
thank you for watching!!
Sorry if you have been trying to reach this site and blog in the last 24 hours, it has been down due to a PhP update on the host’s side, and I am by far not a web-tech-geek, so it took me a moment to figure out what happened, and to fix things accordingly.
to compensate, a single image post.
I had this first collaboration with Emily two weeks ago, and we made some nice images. We worked in the studio first, to continue after that on the local city-square, where there was this fair going on. I shot two rolls of film on the Yashica 635. A first glimpse at the developed films shows that either there is something wrong with the film transport mechanism, either I have not paid attention and unintentionally double exposed some of the frames. To be continued.
• The treasurer •
thanks for watching, please come again soon.
I have been doing some interesting studio sessions this week, but the images need some more work before I can publish. First this, fall is coming and I’m happy to live in some of Flanders greatest landscapes, the Flemish Ardennes, or in dutch ‘De Vlaamse Ardennen’. the region is well known among foreigners for the Belgian cycling classics that come by here every spring. Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Kruisberg, Patersberg, … all cobblestone climbs from the best of bicycle races, and certainly famous from the ‘tour de Flandres’.
Just next to some of those climbs you can find Flanders most beautiful forests, lying on the hills that have been left behind when the rivers Schelde and Leie sculpted our land.
Below you can see the result of yesterdays afternoon walk trough one of the finest forests.
All taken with Fujifilm X100F on a Siriu T-005-KX mini-tripod. All at ISO 200, varying aperture and shutter speeds.
• Fall is coming – Hotondberg •
thanks for watching,
see you soon for some more work!!!
from this summer, early in July, I was in the Netherlands with my wife and I could spend some time there photographing. I had a meeting with Michelle, and in a last minute arrangement I could shoot at the local glider plane club. Michelle had this very classy, classic looking set, a slim fitting skirt and a beautiful blouse, and there was this plane waiting for the thermal to build up. I shot a couple of rolls in this setting, this is my selection.
• Michelle at the flight club •
I had the film developed by a local lab here in Belgium, but I was not really pleased with the quality of the development, and the care they have (not) given to the films. Lesson learnt, better take time to do my own developing at home. This has cost me a lot of retouching spots, dust, scratches, and the results are only ‘just good enough’ for publishing on the web.
come again soon, and if you feel like, subscribe to my blog!
I had some very good news last week. I have received an invitation to be the guest artist for a rather well known exhibit next summer. All expenses paid. That is a première for me, and a pleasant one.
I have been checking out the list of guest photographers that have passed in the previous years of this very same exhibit. … some well known names, some great artists, some who I esteem way above my league. Then doubts started coming up … is my work up to this level, will I not be blown away by the other participants (selected by jurors and curated by someone known in the field of art photography) … It struck me rather hard, to be honest.
Take a deep breath, listen to my wife’s saying ‘you have been asked to be the guest photographer, so what are you still worrying about’ … I guess she’s right, so let’s go, … I enrolled in a mentorship program that starts next week. I had confirmed to this before this invitation came in. To be honest I had no real item to work on, till now. I will use this program to fine-tune my work, discuss my work, discuss the selection of images that will be exposed, maybe prepare a book that will go with the exhibit, … exciting times to come, I will keep you updated.
More great news came in this week, when the organizers of the ‘fashion nudes’ contest run by Normal Magazine (France) contacted me to send them the high resolution files of the images I sent in for the contest. This means I got selected in the pre-selection, and my work will be printed for the final jury. Jippiieeeee!!
One of the images I entered for the contest:
• girl with an attitude •
Do you remember this one? I do, I was wet and cold to the bone, and then I discovered this moss overgrown forest, and the rain calmed down a little. Something I couldn’t resist to.
• Ariundle National Nature Reserve – Strontian – Scotland •
0,3 sec f11 ISO100 Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm @19mm
The Zinkae exhibit I took part in has ended yesterday,
a lot of people were a bit surprised not to see my women, well, I think it’s good to surprise people from time to time. 😉 See you there next year!