Returning to Form.

It’s good to be home.

I love being a photographer. It is, in all honesty, my life. If I’m to be even more honest, there are certain topics that I love shooting more than others. I love working with people more than, say take traditional landscapes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good landscape. Working with people, however, reaches a deeper level of satisfaction.

For me, artistically, black and white form work is my personal acme. It is where I open up and do my best work.

Even the act of photographing it elevates my spirit to a higher plane. All the distractions and white noise of daily life fade away. My mind, which is usually a jumbled mess of a thousand things fighting for my attention at once, goes quiet. I am completely and totally in the present with my focus tuned into a patch of skin a few inches across but really represents it’s own landscape.

form-boudoir-virginia-beach 19

It is also the most intimate level of photographic exploration I can think of. There must be complete trust and confidence between the subject and myself. I am literally inches away from them, moving around them, looking for those mesmerizing intersections of light and shadow. That takes a level of faith that is earned over time.

Yes, the people in them are nude. Yes, sometimes you see a nipple or something else. To me these images are so much more than that. The texture of the skin, the hair, the wrinkles, the scars. These things make us uniquely human and just plain unique. Each of us carries our stories on us.

This flies in the face of today’s photographic world of reducing someone’s skin to a plastic doll of “perfection”. These are not glamourized or sexually stylized images. Here we see the truth, in all its beautiful human glory.

Lately I’ve been seeing them creep back into these sessions. I’d be doing something totally different and then I’d note a dance of light and shadow caused by a collarbone or a well defined back. I couldn’t help myself and fired off a shot or two and then continue on with what I was originally doing. These acts, done in an effort to scratch that particular itch, actually increased the desire to do more of them.

So I pitched the idea of doing a session exclusively devoted to form to Trinity ( As an aside, typically the persons face is not in the images nor are they named to protect their identity. Trinity had no problem being identified in these images. She rocks.

She readily agreed and we set the date. I joked that she had the easy part as all she had to do was lay on the lounge chair, under a very warm light. In reality she worked really hard holding the poses long enough so that I could do my thing and get the shot. Both of us were spent by the end of the session but deeply satisfied with what we got. They are so much more than nudes. They are the ultimate portrait.

I want to do more.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based boudoir photographer covering the Hampton Roads community and beyond. Make sure to follow this page so you’ll get alerts when it gets updated and leave him some love in the form of likes and a comment. Contact him at mknopp1(at) with any questions you might have or to book your session today.

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