MY TOP 20Images Of 2023
This year I decided that I wanted to collect the best images I took from this past year. Doing this exercise also helps me spot things that I do differently now and ways that I have improved because every year little things change and I get better at doing something else compared to the previous year or years before. That’s what I love about my job because I get to keep growing and getting better at what I do.
Now I have to say this was an almost impossible task to choose just 20 images, and one that I found a lot harder to do than I had initially thought it would be. My criteria for the image selection is based partly on three factors. How much I love the image. If it’s a new technique that I started using in 2023 so the image is noticeably different than a similar style image shot in years past. And lastly, if there was some other emotional connection I had with the person in the photo and how that photo made me feel. At the end of the day these images are in no particular order and I could’ve legitimately expanded this out to include hundreds of images because there are so many great shots I take of people all year long. What’s crazy is to boil down one person’s session to just one image seems a little bit criminal.
But I want to reiterate that these images are in no particular order, and I didn’t include close to 100 images that could have easily made this list. The initial batch of images was painstaking to sort through. And just because you don’t see yourself on this list doesn’t mean you didn’t absolutely rock your session the image just had to tick all 3 criteria boxes.
This shot was way outside my comfort zone in the sense that I don’t usually shoot outside my studio let alone on a gorgeous beach in Maui. Katie And Isaac were my room mates at a boudoir learning event I went to in Maui back in May 2023 and they became lifelong friends because they are just the kind of people that can only be described as quality humans. Katie is a boudoir photographer herself near Dallas, Texas and you should check out her work. These two aren’t models (but should be) and we had such an amazing time shooting this series. This image makes my list not just cause I love the image but the whole experience around the creation of the image and the lifelong friends is what does this for me.
I meet Berri at a Toronto photographer meetup and from the moment I saw her, I was taken by her look. The tattoos, the hair, the expression. Wow. She is also a super cool person and I had her come to my studio for an off the hook, super sexy session and this is just one of the MANY images I could have chosen from the looks we shot. I just love everything about this look and the colours and the light. It’s all perfect.
3 Girls Lounging
My friend and regular model muse Ciara (aka Modeladventurer) rented my studio for a workshop she was hosting and because she had space on her last workshop asked if I wanted to come by and shoot. I jumped at the opportunity and shot some amazing images of her and the two other models and we even did a 3 person shoot with the image above and it was the first time I tried this particular lighting and I have been using it ever since.
You Go Girl!
I want to include this image because every now and again you get a client that just has a look and a personality that embodies EXACTLY what I do here at Provocateur Images. By that I mean, here’s a gorgeous woman that doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of what beauty is supposed to be but who the fuck cares because she’s a knockout! And what’s best, is that she owned her session and I was so proud of her at the end. Needless to say, she loved her images and showing people that you only need to impress yourself is what this experience is all about!
The Fastest Couples Series I Ever Shot
Another image from my Maui boudoir learning experience, this time these two people (models but not models) helped my shoot the fasted couples series I’ve ever shot. We went from doorway to living room to bedroom in about 7 minutes. I got 25 incredible shots and tried compositions and coaching expressions I had never used before. This was in a big way thanks to Lizandra who taught the workshop and I genuinely believe upped my game when it comes to the experience side of a couples session. Everything I learned from her is now integrated into my couples sessions and I’m so grateful for her sharing her knowledge.
in 2023, I told myself I was going to stop being so introverted as a photographer and go to events all over the place. I went to Maui, Boston, and also Porto. Porto was awesome because I got to meet up with Katie and Isaac agin (See Maui Lovers image for back story) We rented an AirBNB and had an absolutely amazing time catching up. But this shot of my partner Audrey in the window of our AirBNB was an absolute highlight of the trip. I love the light, the historic apartments in the background and the ambiance of the place. Plus, Audrey looks really F’ing good! It’s always so incredible photographing a partner as it’s just that little bit more special for me than shooting a client.
All Tied Up
Love this image because I’m getting pretty darn good at creating rope outfits for clients that want a look a little more into the kink side of boudoir. I’m offering these ties up to clients that want them. I just love this shot because the kinkier side of boudoir photography is a lot of fun and I’m finding a lot of people want to explore this. My friend Castalia was the model for this image and we shot such a killer series I can’t get enough of it!
This was one of those kinda star struck moments for me and that doesn’t really happen all that much but I had an open house in March 2023 and one of my absolute favourite burlesque dancers Thrasher agreed to perform at my party. I got to shoot a series of promo images of Thrasher and she’s a force in front of the camera. I just love shooting burlesque dancers because the costumes are so ornate and fun. Plus meeting Thrasher in person was just so darn awesome and finding out how cool she is.
Sunset On The Ocean
Yet another Maui shot makes an appearance this time the story behind this shot is that I signed up for an in the water workshop by mistake and rather than say meh it’s not for me as I’ll never shoot anything underwater I just rolled with it. We shot with camera in underwater housings supplied by the instructor but being me, I wanted to use my own gear so i grabbed my camera kit which costs a fuckton of money and went chest deep in the ocean to get this shot. Could I have been smacked by a wave? Yea.. But did I really want the shot? You betcha. Moral of the story is twofold. First, do things that are different and secondly, take risks to get the shot.
Red + Frames
Here’s one of those compositional images I just love. This time when I shot this on my red wall I shot down the frames to give a greater sense of depth which is something I do all the time now and I love the results.
I’ve been working a lot more trying to create mood with my light. Show everything and show nothing at the same time. Most of you probably don’t realize how hard it is to get darker images to look perfect. It’s a balance of not making the shadows too dark and highlighting just enough areas to give some shape. But this image with Amanda was one of those instances where I got it just right and it’s a lighting setup I’ve used many times since.
Harlequin Novel Cover
As Already mentioned, my couples game has stepped up since my trip to Maui and when Steph brought her husband in one of her requests was to capture the passion she and her husband had for each other but do it in the form of a harlequin romance novel cover. So with that in mind, we did just that and shot some stellar images. More of which will be posted later as this happened in December of 2023. But it’s so great to take two people and have them have a blast shooting but also do so in a way where they are both comfortable.
What A Look
This image is in here for one simple reason. I just fucking love it. It’s sensual but playful. It’s sexy without being too much. It’s quite literally just right in all the categories.
You Need To Colour Your Light Purple
When Amanda came in for a fun shoot at my studio she gave me the challenge of shooting with coloured gels on my flashes to create a look that was a bit different. So after doing that, I kinda love the purple light look and I’m going to be using it more in the future. Also I’ve been really blessed to be able to get know Amanda more and I’m just so happy.
In 2023, I purchased a huge standing mirror which has become one of my favourite props in the studio and this shot shows how I love using it. Now although I am calling out the mirror here, make no mistake the client in this shot is stealing the show. I love everything about this shot. Especially the expression and the moody light.
The Primrose Manor
There’s this house up in central Ontario called the Primrose Manor which I’ve had the pleasure of shooting at a few times now and I have to say, I love this place. Sandy Invited me to shoot with her up there and I of course jumped at this chance. Where else do you get doors like this to shoot scene so grand?
Beauty In The River
Ok one last shot from Maui. We went on a hike and Mina who i’d just met jumped in a model on this river and all the elements lined up to get this shot. The light was to put it politely, SHIT not 2 mins before we took this shot and the photo gods put a cloud in to soften the sun. I took this shot and from the moment I saw it after I pressed the button I knew this would be one hell of a shot. Sometimes everything comes together for a fleeting instance to create an image that otherwise couldn’t have been captured.
Don’t Get Lost In Her Eyes
Here’s one where I have to hype my beauty team, specifically Jen who did the makeup for this shot and I just love the eye makeup she did. It doesn’t hurt that Stefanie is giving a look that would drop jaws of all men and most of the ladies too. I just love this image and can’t get enough of it.
Sultry, Elegant & Powerful
Ok you know how I said I wasn’t going to list a favourite image of 2023? Well by the absolute slimmest of margins it’s this image of my good friend Christa-Eve. I keep trying to push myself to shoot images that are right on the line of being too much or too erotic. It’s a really hard thing to do but every now and again I get it just right, Every time I see this image my jaw hits the floor and I shake my head and think, god damn, that’s a gorgeous image!