about mark

mark laurie

Mark offered the first nude & boudoir photography studio in Calgary and remains the best. His imaginative portraits expand beyond the typical “lingerie and satin sheets” boudoir. Mark’s creatively passionate presentation of women has earned him the honour of being the most awarded photographer in his niche in Canada. Possibly North America.


Girl On Fire! Does It Hurt?

Girl On Fire! Does It Hurt?

Wearing fire is a bold wardrobe choice. It is not your typical boudoir experience; we put the fire right on your skin. We had three women volunteer for our promotional session. It was exciting, daunting and emotionally a breakthrough for them all. 

First, yes, it is real fire, a very safe process with a pro fire master. Kez. 

We are not new to fire photography. We have already done several fire sessions with flames twirling around my clients. Our last session had so many clients it ran for 13 hours. My clients were doing a mix of nudes and lingerie. They loved the nude work. They could feel the heat swirling around them.

But this, with Keziah Arsenault, was different . . . and much bolder! She puts the flames right on the body!

Keziah is a long-practicing Fire Master Specialist. She works with circus folk and kink communities, performing fire performances and demonstrations. She knows fire in a way very few on the planet do. 

The first day we met to explore collaborating, I went on Facebook Live. Kez lit up my arm in flames. Nothing better than a demo. She put the protective film on my hairy harm, spread the accelerant and lit up my arm for our Facebook Live. How is that for trust in our Fire Master? You can hear the whoosh as the flames create a firewall across my arm. It was electrifying. Not an arm hair was singed, nor my eyebrows.

Check that video out here.

I am so eager to tell you about this session and the women’s first fire experience.

I invited Gina, Carol, and Angela to our promo fire session. They all leapt at the chance.  

But I want to frame it for you first. While it is safe, it is fire, so the brain has doubts about its safety. It takes a lot to have an accelerant spread on your body. 

Thank you, ladies, for your confidence in us. 

Fire is one of the most symbolic icons in existence. There is the whole phoenix flying up from the ashes legends. So many women I photograph in my regular boudoir work identify with the phoenix mystic. 

In fact, most women come to us for a profound transformation. Stepping into flames, you emerge more powerful. It is a rush and yup, the first few times you are pretty nervous. 

The whole legend of fire is transforming, burning away the old. It is powerful stuff. If you face one fear down, you face a lot down. It is, I understand, how the mind works. 

Now, did it hurt? Not physically, but emotionally it could. Women can tie all sorts of emotional weights that struggle not to be released. Once it is, it is emotional and so freeing.

There Were Sprites!!!

Kez told us to watch for them. They usually appear in all of her fireworks. There is a connection, especially with fire on skin, to the sprites appearing. Sure enough, we saw faces, bodies, unicorns, and animals in the flames.

Their Session

All three of my bold clients arrived at the same time. Kez took them through orientation. 

With its black floor and black fabric background, my studio sucked up light. Fire burns bright, so very bright. To balance it, I had a bank of LED lights. To the eye, boy, it was bright. To the camera, not so much. 

They had questions: How hot was it? Would it fry their hair? How long would it last? While thrilled and excited to be here, there were some nerves. I had photographed all the women nude before, so just the fire was their concern. 

The women were all supporting each other.  

Angela stepped up first. Still wrapped in a robe, she held fire in her hand for the first time! With a whoosh, her flames burst from her hand, apocalyptic movie style. It was a thrill! She briefly felt the fire’s heat on the palm of her hand then it was gone. 

It happened in a flash. In my slow-motion videos, you could see the flame expand. It’s very cool. 

Each woman took a moment. Gina had her whole arm covered. I had fun with her image, using AI to wrap an elegant dress on her. As you can see, it looks amazing. 

Carol left her robe behind and took an elegant nude pose with her arm stretched out to her side. Of all the women, this session meant more to Carol. After the session, she sent me this note. 

“Thank you so much for this life-changing experience.  I feel so honoured and humbled to have been a part of it. To connect that deeply with other women is a first for me. I can empower women on a deeper level now.”

Comfortable with the flames being wrapped around their bodies. We started the session. 

Carol’s effect was the wildest. She cupped the fluid in both hands and then pulled them apart and up as the fuel was lit. A fire trail followed each hand with a powerful burst of flames in the middle. 

A wall of fire rushes up before it is pulled apart. Her face felt the heat as a firewall appeared in front of her. It was such a rush. 

We used props, too. I strung a silver chain from the ceiling. Angela, a professional Fitness trainer, got a good grip and leaned back. The flames raced up her arm, climbing the chain for a bit. 

It’s a lot to think about, such as balancing and arching, and yes, that fire can be distracting!

The women were sketchy about posing on my 12-inch-wide mylar-covered board, balanced on two end boxes. They were good once they saw the reinforced steel ridged bottom and that it didn’t bend with me on it.

I think Gina’s pose with her legs up was her favourite. The fire accent went on her belly and then up her legs. She looks so calm and peaceful in her image. I think she zened out on us a few times. 

Her sprite is most impressive in this image. You can see his eyes, and a shock of fire hair curls over his forehead. He is kneeling on her leg, just looking at her. 

When we posted her images, Gina wrote, “Thank you, Mark, for such an amazing and empowering experience.” Thank you, Gina!

We all felt the sprites were positive, from unicorns to other wildlife. It seemed each time we looked at an image, we saw more character in the flames. 

Angela was amazing her friends when she showed off her images. The reaction of people is always fun to watch. 

Only a few garments are safe around the flames. To make some images safe for social media, my assistant Fran dressed them digitally.

Does this appeal to you? Looking for something wicked to do?

We now offer Fire as an add-on to all our sessions, along with water, body painting, and Shibari. 

Kez and I are planning our next fun practice session with fire.