...You need several things:
- a proper location, with mood and character all its own, especially when shooting outdoors, like in quicksand/mud; in some situations, the location takes on a life of its own and is critical to a successful image;
- a story, which tells us a bit about the damsel and how she got into her current predicament; sometimes, this can be very difficult, because the situation would not be "natural" (e.g. a stuck/glue scene is particularly hard, for instance);
- attire, lighting, and other "mood-setting" aspects; the attire must compliment the actress/model, but not detract from the story; lighting can ruin an image if not done properly (I have thousands of ruined images because of poor lighting);
- most important is the model/actress: she must be able to get "into character" and express a wide range of emotions, ones we don't use on a regular basis (fear, worry, horror, terror, etc.). Without a talented model/actress, none of the above considerations are important. I am lucky to have met a large number of such women - and even luckier that they enjoy doing "darker" themes.