My name's Ray L'Dera. I'm primarily a fine art and pin up photographer. You might also want to glance at my pinups page, http://www.modelmayhem.com/1575881
and my nudes page
I'm 75 years old and I've been an actor, director, playwright, etc. for over half a century. I'm a member of SAG-AFTRA, a produced playwright, and an honorably withdrawn member of the Dramatists Guild. My wife and I ran a successful off-off-Broadway theatre company for 25 years, which we recently laid down. This has allowed us to concentrate on photography.
As a mentor for new models I welcome PMs from newbies on any appropriate subject. We all have specialties, of course, so if your inquiry deals with a genre or a question for which I don't consider myself qualified I'll do my best to refer you to someone better able to help you. I also strongly recommend meaningful participation in all the forums.
I work primarily in the greater New York metropolitan area, New York City itself, its suburbs and in the Hudson River Valley/Catskill Mountain region. From time to time I wander further afield, to areas such as New England and Northeast Pennsylvania. Half to three-quarters of my work is in landscapes and architecture without the use of models.
Most of the pictures in my portfolio were shot in my small in-home studio in the Bronx, about half an hour from either Grand Central or Times Square.
Unless the shot involves something I consider dangerous or degrading to either the model or me, I'm probably happy to shoot it. That said, some of the things I'm especially interested in as a photographer include:
Classic pinup in the style of Vargas or Petty, not necessarily focusing on the hair and makeup styling of the period but rather on the saucy, sexy impertinence that defined the era,
Tasteful, non-exploitative fine art and glamour figure studies, including clothed, full, partial, anonymous and implied nudes and bodyscapes,
Re-creations in the style of classic painters such as Rubens or El Greco, etc.
Fine art portraiture,
That magic word again, tasteful lingerie,
Anything else that the model and I agree is both fun and artistically valid, so long as we stay this side of pornography or extreme fetish. At the moment, I'm just beginning to try my hand at body painting, and am especially interested in completing a few body painting projects for my portfolio.
It's been my experience that models who are comfortable enough to work with some degree of nudity tend to be more comfortable and expressive in the use of their bodies than those who do not. While I enjoy shooting nudes, I don't enjoy making models uncomfortable. It's your body; it's your face; it's your decision. I will always ask since many models are ambivalent on the question of nudity, (how much, how soon, with whom, etc). As far as I'm concerned, skin is just another costume, so if I ask you if you can shoot nude, implied, lingerie or bathing suit, it's pretty much the same as asking if you have the wardrobe to shoot evening gowns, grunge, ethnic costumes, etc. Much better, IMHO, to get these questions out of the way in advance. So if we are to shoot together, it's essential that we communicate, preferably in a sit-down, face-to-face meeting, but if that's not practical, at least in-depth communication via either email or telephone. Saves a lot of misunderstanding later on.
How I like to work-
At this time in my life I'm not seeking commissions.
For the moment, if I contact you it is to work TFP/CD only, with a share of income arrangement for those who work with me regularly. I do not charge models who are willing to work trade with me on projects that interest me and I am very happy to work with inexperienced models; we can both develop our portfolios together. In the case of commissioned work, a reasonable model's fee is always budgeted in, however, as I said, I am not seeking commissions at this time.
Performers frequently want only headshots or compcards for submission to agencies, auditions, etc. As an actor myself, I can certainly understand that but please understand, these are worthless to me for my portfolio, so if that's your sole interest, I'm happy to accommodate you at a very modest fee, but "Trade" does not equal "Free". For a trade shoot, you must also accommodate me by shooting something that I feel will enhance either my portfolio or my skill set. Otherwise, it's cash on the barrelhead.
If you are interested in modeling for me,
please drop me a line. I be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are new to modeling I would especially urge you to visit newmodels.com and to make the most of the forums on Model Mayhem.
A Special Note:
Unfortunately, flakes are a way of life on Model Mayhem. On the other hand, things do come up unexpectedly. I have no problem rescheduling on 24 hours notice but if we set up a meeting or a shoot and you fail to show or cancel on less notice than that with a less than valid reason (Paid work comes first, but I'd question a job that doesn't give you 24 hours in which to cancel), I will probably consider you a flake and block you.
Looking forward to meeting you in person. Thanks for stopping by.