Lessons Learned

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This image was shot in 2003, the model and I had worked together for sometime, getting to this image. She was by no means a professional model, fresh off the farm literally. When we first met I remember a very determined young woman weaving her way over to where I was sitting. As I watched her approach I was thinking like a photographer, very tall (good), a little awkward, part of the fresh face appeal (good/bad), wanting her dream…, so very apparent. For me the training, investment in time, and not if, but how soon would she be able to do nude work.

We agreed to meet for coffee, she had an unfortunate incident that morning, and was stuck at home, could I meet her apartment? My book has my look, and the models are in various state of undress, I never hide who I am. She asked, “how do you get them nude)? I ask, is the simple answer. So we set our first shoot, what I wanted as a photographer was clear in her mind. We worked very well, any misgiving she might of had, vanished in the face of my professionalism. We became fast friends, I showed her every piece of film I shot, I treated her with respect, and her trust level grew. The odd misinformation about what I shot for me, and what I was doing for her. Had a newspaper piece in her hometown press about a parade that she had a part in as a Bird of Paradise. All novice miscommunication, and the trust grew.

 

Then came the shoot that changed everything. She was getting bored with what we were shooting, any fear of being nude had passed…, and she was ready for something more challenging. I suggested a far more intimate and personal pose. Her first answer was an emphatic no, but I could see the wheels turning in her head. This was the ultimate challenge fear/fact of life she was facing. That she had consider this type of image in her thinking both worried me, and pleased me that she was considering my suggestion. To my delight she said if she was going to do this, she had to be comfortable.

So I was privileged to photograph this special moment in this woman life, freely, and without question. Oh the questions she had, that flitted through her mind, overwhelmed by wave of pleasure, and alarm. Afterwards, small ripples of pleasure came across her, and I was thinking how special this moment was for me too. I had been privileged to photograph her doing something so intimate and special. That she was a “nice” girl, a “good” girl who could be so harmed if I was not to do the right thing by her. Say what you will, it was my responsibility to hold this lady, this girl from harm by exposing her.Now years after the fact we are great friends. She never posed for anyone this way after, we’ve had the time and distance to be able to put this shoot in perspective.  I have managed to assure her of confidentiality, and my respect for what she decided to share with me.

My work really is about a partnership, a working relationship that puts the model more in touch with what is happening to their images.  Each model works with me in a collaborative manner, and no one is paid for their time until I sell.  If they choose not to give me an email address, or choose to just ignore me, they have that right to privacy; all the rights and responsibility remain in place. I will do everything I promised getting them to pose for me in the first place.  I believe that it is the only way to work. Because of the special nature of the images I take of these women we have developed a special bond that endures to this day, as do the friendship we have developed.

Latina Angel

She was one of those “kids” that are at risk, newly eighteen, already trying out the sex trade.  I saw her portfolio which featured tight shot of her pubic region.  I knew I could do a much better job, and maybe show her photographs as art.  She came to the studio, and changed into a really cute short bathrobe.  She sat there, smoking a mile a minute, a haze of blue surrounded her head.  For what seemed like 5 minutes, she when on about what questions she would answer, and never ask personal questions.  She sat there, tight as a spring, and asked, “any questions?”  Yeah, I asked “do you get “nekked”?  She threw off the bathrobe, preening, she turn to me like “feast your eyes on this”!  I studied her saying, “naw, let’s get you in a dress”!

She burst out laughing, and we were friends.  That is an important skill I have, knowing what to say in the moment.  Respecting my models, and having fun at the same time.  And not backing down when they test the limits.

 

 

Summer’s Light

Not too bad considering my studio is in an old house, built on the patch of land that used to be a dairy.  I trust that the magic will find our shoot anywhere, just use your imagination  Also people ask me if I don’t get tired using the same backgrounds, and props?  No, each woman makes it her own outfit, location, pose.  It’s magical what two people can do for and by art.

I’d like to mention that I may have a lovely model with a very enticing look so stay tuned.

Latina Angel

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Easily my youngest and most vulnerable model ever.  After getting comfortable with each other, we settled to the business of art.  That small chip she carried on her shoulders fell off, and she began to trust me.  After the session when I showed her what I had gotten, she turned to me and said this like “real art”.  I told her there was a difference to working with me, I have your back still.

Young\Old

My Work LA No C

 

You know sometimes you meet an old soul trapped for now in a young body, and you must help them.  Came into my world with a portfolio of shots of her crotch, and an attitude.  Just 18 and living life in the fast lane, working at a strip club.  Over time I really wanted to help this girl to see there was another path that was better for her.  Now 30 with a husband and a sweet young girl of her own, life is made.  She says next time she is down she’ll get in front of my camera again.

The Lovely Ms. James

Ms. James

 

After the stroke in 2005, I found out quite quickly that I could not longer shoot the commercial grip & grins anymore. I just didn’t have the stamina to stand for two (2) hours plus. While reloading at a political shoot, I had to squat down, and if there hadn’t been a piano so I could pull myself up, I was in trouble. When it came to my art, I was very worried that I didn’t have the eye anymore, and I worried that the stamina was going to be an issues.

Late in the 2004 I met a model who was very interesting, she was marching to the beat of a different drummer only she could hear, so we became fast friend’s. She offer to pose for me, and in 2007 I took her up on her offer, to see what I could or couldn’t do. Though there were limitations to my shooting, things I should have remembered, but didn’t…, the session went really well and among others I got this lovely image.

Loreena

My friend Loreena Mc Kennett from long ago and far far away.  She must have been in her mid-twenty’s when this image was taken.  Both of us lived in the Beaches and met at the watering hole we both frequented.  She hadn’t hit on exploring her Celtic roots yet and like several other singers friends she was living her dream.  They’d invite me down when no one else was showing up because I loved my wine, I tipped well and I wouldn’t embarrass them.  After a forty (40) absence I’d going to go down and meet her after her show.

 

 

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