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Hot Bodies: Luba + Vlad = Engagement Session

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Hot Bodies: Luba + Vlad = Engagement Session by Zorz Studios (27)

For this epic engagement session, I’ve finally had my first chance to work with a motorcycle, a sport bike Suzuki GSX-R.

Booking with these guys was a no-brainer: I photographed Luba’s brother seven years ago. He and his then-fiance were the lucky winners of the studio’s 2008 EngagEd contest and scored a free engagement session which turned into one of the legendary and most talked-about engagement sessions in studio’s history. (Back in 2009 my blog wasn’t as well maintained so the written story was not completed, unfortunately. It is a shame, especially for such an insane 33-hour long engagement session, so I hope to retrospectively revamp some of the older entries.) When time came for his sister to get married, we gathered for dinner and sealed the deal for the excitement to go on.

I have to say they are incredible! I couldn’t have even imagined that we took those shots. Julia did tell Luba and I that you do amazing work, but I never pictured it being this awesome! I love the bike shots! You’ve caputred Luba’s true colors! The way she looks in your photos is the way I see her through my eyes!

Vlad V.

I was thrilled to discover Luba’s fiance, Vlad, passion for sport bikes, and the fact that he owns one of Suzuki GSX-R. My thrill was short-lived because Luba was not as kin on making the session all about that stuff, and I get it. To Vlad’s joy, we managed to talk her into using the bike to some degree, then switching to a more conventional engagement session style. Well, how can you deprive an aficionado of such a prop! Although not with a bike, I had a similarly approached engagement session involving McLaren and BMW cars. Having his iron stallion by their side during the shoot visibly added sparks in Vlad’s eyes, and gave me a joy of embracing a new big toy!

By the way, the cover title of this engagement session comes from HotBodies Racing, a California-based store that offers tuning and customization of sport bikes. You can spot their logo on Vlad’s bike. Coincidentally, the name works for the couple perfectly!

Done with the sport bike theme, they changed and I continued with the “normal” engagement session approach, still leaning towards the editorial feel, just as I love it. I shot well into the sunset creating some romantic and glamorous moments, complementing the earlier edgy bike scenes with a soft and pleasant poetic feel.

Speaking of location: I’ve been thinking of using a spot on the Brooklyn side with a closeup view of Manhattan ever since I wanted to do a photo shoot for my branded car (despite talks in social media, it never happened). I tried my luck with this couple and we crashed one spot, seemingly approachable. We got booted by the NYC Parks rangers when we moved closer to the stones (a permit is required) but if you keep the distance, you may get lucky with a smaller setup. A bike worked, not sure about a car. To see the exact location, I suggest visiting a new and developing location scouting service, Scoutt, where I logged this shoot for those who may be looking. I am new there myself but always thought a specialized hub for photo- and videographers would be beneficial when you research a location or look for new ideas. Hope this helps!

(Click images for full size)

Here’s a behind-the-scene of the set, and a shot grabbed on our way home from a passenger’s seat, the guys gave me a ride.

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.