Miss F’s first Sensual Session.

Slowly getting back into the swing of things and why I encourage reacting over posing.

The move to my new place has been mostly completed. Everything is here and now it’s just a matter of finding the right place for everything in this new space. I can’t wait to get started shooting here as the light and space are better than the old one.

Unfortunately, due to the effort put forth in relocating, I’ve created a backlog of images to be edited and posted. I have my work cut out for me in the coming days as I try to climb the mountain of images waiting to be processed in post-production. The effort will be worth it as there’s some truly amazing new images waiting for their moment in the sun.

Take Miss F. here. We got together for a sensual session a few weeks ago. Although she had some experience with modeling she gave it up for a while. Now wants to get back into it and thought this was a good way to announce her return.


I was amazed at how fast she got into “The Zone.”

One of the most common mistakes people make during these sessions is to assume they have to “pose” for the camera so they start trying to hit these extreme positions that they’ve seen from on-line searches and magazines. I now actively discourage that.

When I first started this journey, I asked people to bring examples of poses they wanted to try that they found. I very quickly figured out that this was a horrible idea.

For one thing the poses you see oftentimes are from professional models with years of training. They make the poses look effortless and perfect. What most people don’t realize is that it takes years of hard work like yoga to bend that way, hold those positions, and still look at ease like it’s no effort whatsoever.

An even bigger issue was that the client didn’t have the body type like the ones they’ve seen in their inspirational images. This means that, even if they can hit that pose, it won’t look the same.

I very quickly learned that it was an act of futility, a point of frustration, and made the client feel discouraged. The person would look at their inspirational image, then look at the one we created, and realize they just don’t look the same. Too often the inspirational images actually were very unflattering for the client.

I very quickly dropped the request for inspirational images and started my own investigative journey to figure out a better way to create flattering images.

What I discovered was a way to discourage “posing” and encourage “reacting.” I guide them into a mental state where they react to the environment. I encourage them to appreciate the caress of a sheer curtain against their face, the fragrance of a scented candle burning on the dresser, the way an outfit or material feels on them, the way a certain song brings out certain aspects, et cetera.

We work to a state where they can relax and enjoy the sensations of being a woman. My goal is to have them lose themselves in the moment and just react to it. When that happens, then the great images happen.

Miss F. very quickly warmed up to the notion of reacting over posing. As a semi-professional model she had training on posing but soon realized losing herself in the sensations resulted in images that far surpassed her expectations. It also allowed her to truly enjoy the session as the pressure was off.

That is what I strive for in all my sensual sessions.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based photographer covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him at mknopp1@cox.net to book your sensual portrait session today.


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