If you want to relax on a weekend, I have something for you ! It involves weed and sex, and...
Self portrait II by B.E.N.
I mean of course an interview with one of the most creative guys in the porn biz! He's a mariachi, a janitor, a delivery boy, a makeup-artist, an acrobat, the next James Bond, although his trademark sideburns would make him a prime suspect for an Elvis biopic or being the next Wolverine once Hugh Jackman calls it quits.
Although he is not afraid to trade them off to become a shady sheik and all sorts of other characters...including the police dude prominently featured in this post.
A versatile model as well as photographer with an intense stare that is sure to burn a hole into your soul, here's my interview with The Notorious B.E.N. aka Benjamin BigDipper, inspired by his 'Busted' photoset with Lara Sands-Dieterle!
- When did you get the idea of doing this particular photoshoot? Did you have already Lara as model in mind for it?
" Well, the basic ideas for my shoots are probably much less elaborate than some people might think.
It all starts with a very basic idea, and the rest is pretty much out of my hands, the creative process takes over.
For this shoot, I was playing around with terrain sculpties to create a desert set, and somehow it turned into desert highway. And after a bit more brainstorming by myself I came up with the almost stereotypical "Cop pulls over sexy lady who did something naughty" idea.
I had Lara as a model in mind already, because she was super eager to do another shoot, after her first one."
From the first set with Lara, 'Full Service'
- I'd like to know the various phases of the photoshoot. What did you do to make the idea come true?
" The first phase of this shoot, and pretty much any other more elaborate shoot, is planning the set - that means looking through my inventory for props I can use, if I can't find anything I have to check on the marketplace for hopefully free or cheap props, or ask friends to rez props for me.
I was playing around with my terrain sculpties to create a desert set, for a future shoot, so this wasn't really a planning phase. Somehow during that playing phase it turned into a desert highway set, I started to build a road between dunes of sculpties.
Slowly all the props came together, from the roadsigns, the cactus, to the borrowed cars.
After the set was complete, with the road, cars, signs, etc, I played around with windlight to find a decent desert-looking sunset.
Then I was checking out angles, to see if the illusion of the desert road was believable enough for pictures.
The shoot itself took place once I could pick a time and meet up with Lara.
She shows me her outfit for the shoot, I tell her to make changes, if necessary, and then the main shoot begins.
It's pretty much the same process from then on, posing the model and myself with anypose, and moving all the needed props in position. For the lighting I usually don't change the windlight settings, but have 1 projector prim out with a little bit of ambient light.
Once I have shots for all the poses we did, which isn't always planned either, I upload those to flickr and give them just a slight edit.
It's mostly just cropping, a little bit of contrast and brightness, and tinkering with the saturation.
I believe that one should try to get the most out of unedited SL photos, and only do minimal photoshop work. "
- So how much of the shoot you would say is planned, in the end? Are you a "one click one pic" type of person, or you take lots of snapshots from sligthly different angles before you choose the best ones?
" As I've mentioned earlier, I don't really plan much about my shoots.
I have a very rough basic idea, and then the creative process kind of takes over.
For example, the shot with Lara and I sitting on the car and smoking a joint after sex was a totally spontaneous idea that came up during mid-shoot chat.
For some shoots I might have an idea for one or two specific shots, but sometimes I just discard these ideas because I find something better on the way. And yeah, I'm the shutterbug type of person, I take like 50 shots but throw away 35 of those again.
I think the creative process is the keyword here, one shouldn't try to force ideas to make them work, or be too rigid about their planned shots, a lot of things are "Happy Accidents", as Bob Ross would say. ;) "
- For those not familiar with your work yet, would you like to name off the top of your head at least 3 photosets OR single pictures that are your favourites?
It's hard for me to pick favorites here, people have such different tastes, and I do so much different themes, from artsy popculture to just blatant porn, or the occasional BDSM/fetish shoot.
The "Shark Cage Shaggin' " shoot is definitely worth mentioning though, because it was such an unusual location.
I can only recommend to check out my albums list, because the more extensive shoots like Busted!, Hot Coffee, or Full Service all tell a little story.
A snippet from 'Hot Coffee' featuring Racheal Rexen
- Is there any shoot you would love to do but haven't quite gotten around doing yet, or find hard finding the right setup for ? What is the next project from The Notorious B.E.N. ?
" I guess there are a lot of ideas that are flying around in my head, but sometimes other projects sort of butt in, and the idea comes back on the backburner for then. Most projects I haven't started yet have the problem of lack of props.
Despite the couple of years we've had mesh now, some items simply do not exist in SL, the only ones that exist look bad and/or are too expensive for a single shoot. Once I find a valid alternative to those props I usually start to brainstorm ideas by just playing around with the set.
The next project is still somewhat of a secret, but the first installment of it should be out by the time I'm writing this. "
I told you that Ben will be the next Wolverine: he's already giving Stan Lee cameos...
And by the time I wrote the post, the whole set was posted, actually! Ben's Underground Slave Auction set, in six parts ( one, two, three, four, five, six ), involving models such as PJ Thornton, Tanja Doll, Carola Conover, Pwincess Buttacwup.
A big congrats to Ben and everyone involved, as the SL Porn scene certainly needs people with his kind of attitude and ingenuity.
Ben on the wrong side of the gun, with regular model and muse of his Margarita Blanco
Please do check out his sets, and I hope you will let him have some feedback as well. Elaborate photosets always get somewhat overlooked in the big 'game' of faves exchange going on in Flickr, and it's a shame, as a lot of work goes into productions like this.
And please let me know if you'd like your work to be covered on the blog!