Looking at the flickr stream of Bonheur Beaumont, (in-world name Bonheur Chenaux), I was intrigued by her style. In her photos she has a talent to 'paint' the atmosphere just right, combining effectively a misty and decadent, elegant allure, with a highly erotic, earthy, grungy energy. And in lenghty photosets, such as 'On Loan' and the aptly named 'Filthy Surprise', the visual discourse between sophistication and fleshliness is absolutely fetching.
Her set titled "A Picture Novel: Speakeasy", is a three parter ( one, two , three) and delivers what promised. It is a visual novel, a smoky noir filled up with eroticism, and I was curious to learn more about what inspired it and the challenges it presented. Enjoy this little Q&A with the delicious Bonheur, and a small selection from her Picture novel featuring the gorgeous Desirae which I invite you to check out, of course! The photoset, not Desirae. Well, her too. Dang, let's move on!
- Tell us a bit about the idea for this photoshoot , what inspired you and when did you think about doing photos with that theme and setting.
" The idea for this particular set came from a music video. Much of my work is inspired by music or art. The song is called "Bones", by MsMr. I will include the link to the video so you can see it. You will see that while I did gain inspiration from the video, I did change it up some to suit the occasion and the constraints of a virtual atmosphere. "
- How long did the in-world part of the shoot take? Share a bit about what went into preparing the photoshoot and getting the best possible snapshots during it.
" The in-world shoot took about two to three hours. I tend to work fast when I have an idea in my head. I managed to take all the pics in one session. My wife, Desirae, who was the female model in these shots is extremely patient and naps if I take too long haha. The poses were a mixture of static and animated mocaps that were inside the chair we used. The set was two different locations.
The first photo of the set was taken in an antique shop and the rest were taken on our sim on a set that I created. I am a firm believer that simplicity creates the best art. Preparation was mostly just lighting adjustments which I tend to use a lot in my work. "
- Tell us now more about the editing: was it difficult to keep the visual consistent through all the set?
" This is an interesting question, because I edited these three episodes at totally different times. I waited 3-5 days between releases, so keeping the look of the set uniform and coherent was something that was important. I wrote down all of the settings that were used in my editing process and referred back to them for each editing session. Given the atmosphere of the story I wanted to maintain a greyscale or sepia look to the sets. With the addition of a smoke overlay, I think the photos worked out wonderfully."
- Which photo from this set presented the biggest challenge, and/or made you happier with the final result?
" The photo that presented the biggest challenge for me was the stairwell scene. We were inside of a basement so lighting was tricky and in the stairwell even more so. With the help of a light umbrella I was able to give enough light to the shot to make the characters visible without taking away from the darkness of the basement which was crucial to the shot."
- Is there any specific tool you consider essential for photography, or that makes at least your life much easier?
" Tools... hmmm I love my light umbrellas, but really I don't use many tools. The most important thing to me during a shoot is to have a content and patient model/s. I am a perfectionist and I like to get things just right. If I don't I will go back and do it over. It takes a lot of love for what I do to spend the time to make it look effortless. My wife models for me a lot, and that is really such a tremendous help. She's stunning, patient AND she puts up with my perfectionism."
- Lastly: Do you have any upcoming project, and is there a 'dream', or naughty fantasy scenario you are itching to do but you haven't gotten around doing yet?
" I have a couple of projects in motion actually. While I do photos on most days.. my bigger projects are very special to me. I am doing a set for Aroused Magazine in their upcoming issue which I am very excited about. I am also about to start on a literal picture book.. I won't give much away but I will say that my wife has been shopping a lot in the latex department. I will be using several models for the project so my eyes are watching closely right now at all of the wonderful Flickr pages. "
Thank you very much to Bonheur for sharing the experience and also her pre-edit version of her last photo of the set (as you see above).
And I am really looking forward to see more of your amazing work featured here on the blog. Remember, if you have stories to share about your photoshoots, techniques you are proud of, and don't mind to have us take a peek at your behind ( the scenes ), then what are you waiting for ? It's always a good time for some making