Many thanks to everyone who filled in our survey on bondage and photography tutorials. The survey is now closed and we are setting to work to create new photosets, videos and documentaries to fulfil your requests. I thought you might be interested in knowing the survey results.
First of all, we were very encouraged by the sheer volume of responses. We had 71 in total, of whom 66 people were interested in tutorial materials on RestrainedElegance.com.
This in itself is a huge boost for us- that’s a significant fraction of the membership, something we didn’t really know about before running the survey. It is great to know that people are really interested and it has definitely encouraged us to put significantly more time and energy into the tutorial material on the site this year.
I’ll aim for at least one tutorial feature a month, two if time permits.
(On this chart 1 = everyone hates the idea, 3 = everyone loves the idea. Sorry for the odd axes, blame Survey Monkey or me for being too cheap to pay for upgraded presentation options).
From this I take away that pretty much everyone is interested in tutorials on bondage ideas, how to tie and bondage techniques.
There’s a strong interest in stills photographic technique, model-related technique (posing, makeup, how to direct a model, etc.) and in post-production.
There’s some interest in video-centric tutorials. For some people that’s their main interest (reinforced by individual comments) but quite a few people are only interested in bondage and still photography.
The least interesting overall was industry-related technique like selling your work, hiring models, etc. but even that had plenty of people who would be very interested if we did do something on this.
We will aim to prepare tutorials all of this in due course, since nothing proved absolutely uninteresting to everyone.
We will prioritise bondage technique first, then stills photo technique, then video specific tutorials.
I’ll try to cross-over video technique and stills technique where I can (eg natural light lighting and equipment is useful for both) to broaden the appeal.
It’ll take a while to prepare some of this eg some tutorials require a day’s shooting, where others (eg equipment advice) just needs me to sit at the computer for an afternoon. But thank you that sets our broad agenda for 2019!
Style of Presentation
Slideshows are clearly the least popular. I will continue to put up slideshows where we have given invited talks but will not use them otherwise.
All the other formats have their adherents, but people clearly value a better-constructed tutorial video or behind-the-scenes over a video-log talking head YouTube video style. In some ways that’s sad because talking-head videos are easy to churn out quickly. But I shouldn’t be surprised that RE members would prefer us to do fewer tutorials but make them more comprehensive and better presented!
Annotated stills sets with text are clearly appreciated too, which is nice for me as that’s often the most natural way for me to discuss technical issues like the aperture/depth of field series.
A mix of materials is good, so we can choose the format that most suits the subject. Behind the scenes, documentary-style videos and annotated photosets will be the three main formats.
Can the Model sometimes be untied?
We are conscious of course that we are primarily a bondage site, so where we can have the model tied up we will. But sometimes if a technical series is being done with explanations or with us shooting documentary video, that could take a very long time and require her to be bound for longer than is safe or efficient.
For example, the recent Paul McRope/Ariel series. The early technical lessons involved a lot of fiddling around with lens changes and f/stop changes – there was too much going on, and each series took too long to shoot, for me to really be comfortable having Ariel tied up for all of it.
But once we stopped doing the methodical learning exercises with lights and camera in each of six places and were putting it into practice, something more like shooting a normal set, of course we went back to having her in bondage.
So thank you for this, it’s a significant consideration in shooting some of these tutorials. Especially the popular documentary-style videos. It means we can continue to do stuff like the aperture tutorial series and the lighting tutorial series without needing the model to endure potentially two hours or more in bondage.
A few highlights from individual suggestions
Thank you to everyone who contributed suggestions as well as just answering the questions. We’ll try to cover as many of them as we can. I particularly plan to cover:
- How to achieve sharpness in your photos
- Shooting on a shoe-string budget
- Shooting on a camera phone (ironically, I’m not qualified to shoot this one. So it’ll be more of a “photographer challenge” – spend the day shooting with my iPhone, can I get anything worthwhile? I’ll film it and let you know!)
- A basic all round videography tutorial
- A basic all round stills tutorial – which I’ll follow up with more advanced videos on sub-topics
- A basic all round bondage technique tutorial
- A basic all round bondage safety tutorial
- A basic all round working with models tutorial
- How to approach post-production (one for stills, one for video)
- Using light and shadow to make it seem real
- Showing emotion
- Sets, equipment, environment and production design – how do they contribute?
- The hogtie (multiple requests here!)
- Posing ideas for models in bondage, especially when the bondage is not so restrictive (eg collared and chained, but quite free to move)
- Developing mutual understanding with models (suggestion mentioned studios and other photographers, too, but I think there will be less interest in that)
- Effective shooting methods – which I’m going to take to mean “I have a model booked for a few hours. How do I make sure I get some good shots?”
- Building up – from full auto to manual on the camera
- Metal bondage technique
- Moving from simple floor bondage work to more advanced ties
- Doing your first bondage shoot
- Doing your second bondage shoot
- How to step up your game with some basic extra equipment
- Progressive ties – ties that can start as one thing and turn into another without untying
That’s already WAAAAY more than a year’s work to cover everything, but I’ll do the best I can!
There are a few things that I will not be covering any time soon. Self bondage – while Ariel does sometimes tie herself up, and models do it on camera with metal bondage, it isn’t our area of expertise, especially since we ALWAYS have other people present when we do it. So I’m not qualified to speak about this I’m afraid.
Suspension – we don’t currently have a safe suspension point in our house/studio, and we’ve always been very cautious with suspensions anyway. So while we could put something together it would need a lot of resources, and I’ve already got my work cut out for me covering the above!
An updated lexicon – I think we can update the pages, but doing a whole extra lexicon shoot is a massive undertaking, so may not happen any time soon.
And Finally… Tutorials in Person
We have a very small number of slots for one-on-one dedicated tutorials this year. Take a look at the sort of thing we laid on for Paul McRope in the recent tutorials with Ariel. If you really want to kick-start your bondage photography or level-up your skills, this is by far the most effective option. We will construct a tutorial program to your individual specification, for one or two days.
We won’t have time to offer small group tutorials this year (although if you wanted to book us for a dedicated tutorial with yourself and a friend or partner we could totally put together a dedicated program for you).
If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you happen to be interested in some of the above topics and are willing to let us use the resulting shots to put together tutorials for RE members as Paul did, we can definitely give you a break on the costs of the tutorial.
If you are interested don’t hang about, as we will likely only be able to fit in two or three people at most as we’ll fit them in around existing RE shoots and Ariel’s modelling, so we’ll need to get dates in the diary SOON.