Return to the Dark Side with Bre.

Stay in this business long enough you’ll find yourself coming back to the starting point.

When I was first dipping my toes into the world of fine art photography over 14 years ago I developed a style that was dramatic, contrasty, and dark. Someone compared my work of the human form to the stylings of Edward Weston. I took that will a large grain of satisfaction.

Over the intervening years I tried my hand at a lot of different styles and genres. When I first started to do boudoir five years ago I defaulted back to the world of dark and contrasty images with an air of mystery. Heavily influenced by Film Noir, in fact. When trying something new it makes sense to go to something you know to ease the transition, I figured. It was one thing I knew so I could spend more energy developing new poses, compositions, et cetera.

Then about two years ago I started working on a new look. Luminous, light, ethereal lighting to envelope the subject. Make them angelic, even. I was very proud of this and it was welcomed by the community.

But the dark side is never, ever far from the surface. It’s in my blood. It sings to me in ways others cant. It’s a siren’s song that pulls at me to come back with open arms. A craving, if I am to be totally open about such things.

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Recently, while looking over images for editing I noticed it started creeping back into some images. It was subconscious but, once seen, it couldn’t be unseen. Perhaps you noticed it?

So, I caved. It was inevitable.

And, again if I am to be honest, it was so, so very satisfying. And a bit naughty. Like scratching a bug bite. Or eating a fast food burger after not eating for a long, long time. You know it’s wrong but it feels so good. Glorious. So satisfying. The best part is that there’s no lingering regrets.

I totally understand that the Dark Side isn’t for everyone. It takes a special someone to open up in the darkness and reveal their inner self for the camera. Someone a little more edgy, a little more daring. That’s why I’ll continue what I’ll call the Light Side. The light and luminous images you’ve seen here for the past few years.

Both options are open when someone books a session with me.

There are so many ways to explore what I do. Again, I reject the notion that I’m a boudoir photographer. Standard boudoir is limiting in scope. I’m a sensual photographer. That opens an infinite amount of roads to explore as there are an infinite amount of ideas of what sensual can be.

Take Bre here as an example. She recently came to me for images for that special someone. Some of those images were posted here. After that session we discussed many things, one of them being her return for another session. When I brought up the concept of the Dark Side, her beautiful eyes lit up. She readily agreed, knowing that it would be an exploration for the both of us.

We discussed wardrobe – and the fact that it really wasn’t needed that much – aside from a few special pieces. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual. The basic concept was that she would just lounge while I moved around looking for interesting moments and intersections.

The resulting images speak for themselves. Bre just plain rocks no matter what she does.

Before I sign off I’d like to point out that it’s mid-August and I’m still shooting sensual images indoors. Typically demand tapers off when the weather gets nice and people want to venture outdoors. I am shooting a lot outdoors, and we can certainly shoot sensual images out there.

However, I’m very happy to continue this trend of indoor work. Its hot and humid out there and it could storm any day. We shoot outside mostly in the early mornings as anytime else wrecks havoc with hair and make-up. A nice air conditioned space that can be used any time of the day opens up a lot more availability slots.

Also, there really isn’t a season for sensual images but there are times when it’s more in demand. Ready or not the holiday season is approaching and now is the time to start thinking of gifts for that someone special or just for yourself.

The question for you is – are you Light Side or Dark Side? Perhaps a mix of both? You decide and get back to me. Let’s create something wonderful that you’ll be proud of for a long, long time.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based sensual/boudoir photographer covering the Hampton Roads community and more. Contact him today at for your photographic needs.

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