Louva – Shadow Dancer

Camera Info:  Canon EOS D30

Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.0

Shoot Date: December 7, 2002

Louva is an internationally known French fetish model. She’s also recognized as a top latex fashion designer and manufacturer. While she was visiting Los Angeles, we met (probably at a dungeon party or something along those lines). I’d seen many photos of her in European fetish and latex magazines, and she was also familiar with my fetish work, so setting up a photoshoot seemed like the right thing to do. . . . this image is from our very first shoot.

Louva is a very talented, experienced model. She moves easily from one interesting pose to another. At that time, her English was only slightly better than my French, so much of my direction was done with hand signals and body movements.

I had placed a single strobe low on the floor in front of the stage so that her shadow could be projected up and onto the painted cloth backdrop. Adding an additional hair light with two rim lights outlined Louva’s body against the dark background.

She began the session facing towards my camera. After a few minutes, she decided to display her intricate back tattoo and turned  around. For the first time Louva saw how her shadow appeared as it projected onto the backdrop.

There was music playing.  Louva appeared mesmerized as she began playing and dancing with her shadow. I watched her for a couple of minutes, shooting pictures all the while before she suddenly turned back toward the camera, and began a series of dramatic exaggerated poses knowing her shadow would repeat her every move. This photo session suddenly became quite dramatic.

At one point while taking a break, my assistant asked Louva about the large Chinese characters that were tattooed on the front of her torso (from the top of her sternum to just below her navel). She explained that it was an ancient saying, or prayer of some sort.

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