Contemplating Future, Past

Nude woman, Black Material, Past, Future, Contemplating.

Pulling out of the darkness, and
into the light is what me must learn as
as we grow older.
The light represent one’s future,
the dark the past…,
more than less successful attempts.

We should learn as we grow,
the attempt is the key…,
if we do not attempt we fail as a person.
The darkness has it strength,
it’s weight.
It has the capacity to draw us back in its grip,
its hold over us.

Breaking that tug…, to live in the light,
to succeed,
to flourish,
and attempt again not matter the hurt.

That is the goal we all should struggle to attend.

New Year, New Model

Looking back with hope.

Starting off the new year with a new model at last. Getting a model when you can’t afford to pay anything till you sell is a real pain, it really cut down on your options. I had to wait for this lady for months while her life played out. However the wait was more than worth it as I think you will agree.

We had our first shoot some weeks ago, and she surpassed all my expectations. After some initial jitters she warmed up, we got some great stuff. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for a young woman to go to some man’s apartment, and get completely naked. How vulnerable you must feel, we had only talked about the shoot, and now here she was no matter that I knew a good friend of hers that had posed for me.

Of course one of the selling points is that I shoot film. As she has an interest in photography I explained what I was doing, how the meter worked. What information the meter was telling me, and how I was interpreting it to get what I wanted from that information. We then started with her poses, what I wanted to accomplish with them. We started off with her completely nude, so we’d get that out of her system.

I love working with older models, they are much more relaxed, and being nude gives them no place to hide. It’s a jolt to the system, facing any fears they may have, and overcoming them. Explaining what I am doing, how I am working on a particular look or feel, and why. That takes their minds off being nude for no reason. Treating their bodies with respect, and at the same time working with them to make them look their best. They are here to do a job, not for entertainment…, soon as they realize that we are both on the same page they can relax any fear that they may have.

So some of the poses we had worked, and some did not. Some we can revisit another time, we have already done another session to test some ideas. I expect the next shoot to be even better as we know each other better now. We have formed a creative unit to collaborate on ideas I have with the reality of what is possible. We can now work on the creativity of our projects with none of the fears. We are now a team working on the same goals…, creating art.

Postponement.

The models had to put off the shoot to meet how their life went, nothing special just wait.  As another birthday rapidly adds to the count, how much that young man was to  grow.  As I have grown I knew more, as I knew more I added to my knowledge…, I did better.  I am still a work in progress.

My work has changed with the models I am getting to know.  One potential model told me that “your photography has different and respectful aspects”.  It feels so good to get the compliment.  I love my subjects and show them the respect that I hold for them it shows in my images.  Now with their help I hope to capture some great images in my little daylight studio.

What a wonderful way to celebrate my 71!

New Model

I have a lovely new model coming in a few weeks with whom I hope to take this shot again this time with pubic hair.  Models do have lives of their own, it may or may not workout.  Stay tuned to find out!  Also on tap are some loving shots of her and her gentleman, and the baby she is carrying.  Part of the joy I find in photography, that and the terror till I get film back and see what and if I got what I saw in the viewfinder.  Once again I have to thank my models for working with me, and sharing my vision.

Burr Oak and Nipple.., Oh My!

 

 

I’ve been lucky enough to have a very unique model to work out ideas with. I have known her for some 10 years now. She is a friend who comes over not nearly enough, something that gives us lots to talk about. I love having her drop by to just talk. I get the chance to talk about what I am working with, and why, and what kind on concepts that interest my creative mind now; enough that it would warrant a test shoot.

Then the real play gets started, the day I finally get to see my ideas. I have boxes and boxes of things that I’ve collected: all things connected to nature, with all their own complexities; the curves, the shapes that only nature can make, with it’s cracked seedpod. Or the simple leaf, attached or loose, picked in summer or winter. Or the ageless rock…, spied off city-trail, sitting in the dirt.

The rest is parked in this brain of mine, filed under: Imagination. That little rock sat on my desk for a long time before I understood what its purpose was. The Burr Oak cap told me very clearly what it was for. It was up to me to find, and pursuade a model to let me show her what my idea might look like. Enter friend and muse!

As I look at some of the really great work of people in my business, I feel a sense of immense pride to see such excellent work. However, the models are not getting enough credit, in most cases, no recognition at all. I tell all my models that I could not do what I do without them. Otherwise, I’d have the pretty props and gorgeous lighting that no one can see. I quickly follow with assurance that they do have the ability to stay anonymous if they so choose.

So a peek behind the curtain with the ever lovely and understanding Jean Dawson.

Mugs

Here is a quick snap of the mugs I got from the lab.  I told them after seeing the first one to think artistic.  These were not mugs of the kids playing baseball or soccer that you sent to aunt Harriett.  These were original work of art that I was selling.  Told them to reduce the image by a quarter inch, and increase the space between the images by that same quarter inch.  Much much better, except that I wanted the insides black to match the black in the image.  Stay tuned.

Long Ago, Far Far Away

 

From the series, “Long Ago, Far Far Away,  this image is from out adventure a little north of Toronto. A cement blockhouse way out in the middle of nowhere. One of my favorite spot to work, a small complex of building that in its heyday made cement products. I took a number of models out there, I say models, usually nurses I’d met at the hospital we work at. So remote that privacy was assured, bonding was sure to happen.

Some of the “models” work out, some did not, hard to tell how someone will work. Still we had a great time out in the wilderness.

I Love what I Do!

 

In this piece I wish to convey the absolutely respect, admiration, and love that I hold for these women who trust me with their image and reputation. Because I shoot film it is difficult to show them before hand what I am after in my work. Because I shoot film I have a much greater resolution at my disposal, I can choose to use that resolution for good or harm. These women, some of them quite young in the span of what we know of adulthood choose to trust me. For me to return that trust with anything less than is unfathomable.

In the matter of a Seurat, I begin with a high-speed film, in the darkroom or Photoshop I manipulate the image. I base those manipulation off the brightest point in the piece, just as I exposed the film. Then I craft the image, lighten here, darken there…, just a touch! I love the gestalt, where “the sum is greater than the whole”. The seeming magic I call upon in “seeing” the final piece in mind-eye, of exposing and finally crafting the piece to come as close as I can to what I envisioned.

It is all magical to me, from that first moment I meet the woman for the first time, opening my book and my mind so she can judge in intent of my work. That moment when she agrees to pose…., then the time I get to see her in the eyepiece of my camera. All is magical, the way it happens, the actual shoot, all that goes into to making it a magical experience.

I love what I do, I love and respect the model’s…, most of all I love the trust. These women trust me to do right by them at that moment, and for those moments to come. Film last forever, reputation does not. I choose to do the right thing, the magical thing. I choose to let me my work stand for an idea, and not a graphic representation of womanhood.

Ms Traci James

 

I watch as you move in an elegant way…,

unplanned, spontaneous…,

uncontrived movements

of you.

Unconsciously you move, hands just so

arms just so,

and your legs held…, just so, elegant.

Putting on makeup, unconcerned with the way you look,

but the way you are perceived, the way you relate to the world.

The footing for the foundation of you…,

who you are, and who you wish

to become in this moment in time.

Unconvinced of the gift of you, the treasure

of you…, the worth of you.

Taught, tortured from youth…,

the child inside of you disbelieving…,

basic value that I see shiny in your eyes.

The basics of your life, uncomplicated, easy in your skin,

mind and body; held just so…,

elegant in the beauty of you…,

Elegant in the you of you.

21 December 2010

Traci James (The You)