I have always wondered what it is like doing an erotic photo shooting with a couple. In my imagination it seems more intimate and therefore more difficult than photographing one model. One person only needs to focus on his/herself. Two people have to get into the mood, focus on each other and be able to forget the camera, the surroundings, in a way forget themselves, in order to create authenticity. When photographer Thomas Hofmann (You can find his Gallery here) told me he recently had done a shooting with a couple for Separee Magazin I asked him if he could explain to me how it works.

NMHW: Tell me about shooting couples.

Thomas: There is not that much difference between an erotic couple shooting and a ‘normal’ erotic photo session with one model. First I arrange a meeting on neutral grounds, like in a coffeeshop. That’s where I try to find out if the chemistry is there, if there is mutual sympathy and if a collaboration is possible or not. Equally important is gaining the sympathy of the man – which is the most difficult part, because compared to women, men in general are more uptight.

I also try to determine the common theme for the shooting and discuss ideas. The exchange of ideas between me and my models is of high importance to me. I hardly use a concept and see my images as ‘visual interviews’. Ideas and motives always emerge together. I direct and document the results.

When all three of us have a good feeling, we usually agree on a date for the shooting rather sooner than later. On the day itself we start by chatting a bit about this and that, discussing if any concrete ideas concerning self-expression and staging have come up, how to start and with what.

These chit-chats help loosen up the situation. When I work with female models, not much time is needed. With couples I schedule more preparation time, sometimes even two hours – like with this couple. We had something to eat, drank a few Vodka’s, smoked a couple of cigarettes and had a wonderful conversation. In the end it was raining ideas. That is the time where I will diverge towards the shooting and before you know it, everything goes more or less by itself. The only question that most commonly arises, no matter if it’s a couple or an individual shooting, is when to stop. This particular session started at 12:30 hours and ended around 21:00 hours, breaks, short conversations and snacks included.