Oh, and the film I waited an hour for:
Oh, and the film I waited an hour for:
I’m a happy camper after yesterday’s full day and I have no complaints, I couldn’t sleep yesterday so up by 5:30, and then on the road to lunch with my favorite model, stop by the lab and finally get home…., all on the bus. I’ve reverted to the early adulthood mode of travel, taking the bus and then walking the last little bit, 3 or 4 blocks sometimes. We’ve got early prototype mass-transit where I live, at the best of times it’s a thirty (30) minute wait unless you are lucky to be on a rapid line then every fifteen (15) minutes and then rounding out an hour wait if you live on a little used line, I had a mixture of both.
First was the lovely lunch which I was only fifteen (15) minutes late for, my friend was all pretty in pink scrubs and she was looking over the menu when I arrived. I told her I was thinking of metal prints and they had four (4) different finish’s and I told her all about them from the little I know. Then I told her about the gallery I’m going to try and about the group show I’m going to trying to get. Laid out all the plans and daydreams I have in the works. Then a nice walk to the bus, a forty-five (45) wait and off to the lab. Another forty-five (45) minute wait and I was on the way home after another short wait for the final two buses.
So today was my day to recuperate, so after the usual morning start I did my yoga routine for an hour of stretching my sore body. I had about a twenty (20) minute wait under the trees, so I had plenty of time to do some “wander” photos with my phone. So I walked down to the bus stop which is in a side yard of a church. Mesquites come in lots of sizes and shapes, no two are the same like fingerprints.
Spring has sprung weeks ago and now things are bright with new growth, weeds are back with a vengeance as I continue to keep paths open in alley wanders. Some neighbor have gotten to know me and wave or talk about the weather. Others not so much, as they say, been in the same house for going on 11 years now. And walking the alley for the last three, all the dogs know of me anyway. Like the owners some bark and one coward goes berserk charging the gate, until the day I saw him trying to get passed the barrier holding it in. As I hurried back the dog ran back down its driveway and barked it’s frustration as I secured the gate. Obviously a crafty animal as the fence in place’s of pasted successful attempts has been reinforced leaving one to wonder if it has found a new sneaky way out. Intelligence at work and you have to admire the dedication and fear it a little as well.
One part of the adventure’s of the wander, encounters both pleasant and not. More about other adventures as we go along here. Spring has so many colors and some of the best are abloom.
Michael Vasquez: Profile
Modeling came as an afterthought to Jean Dawson, while enjoying a busy professional life and an even more demanding personal life. She enjoys singing and acting, and Jean has also found time to teach a couple of courses at a local college. In a recent chat we discussed her interest in modeling and the successes she has enjoyed. With that success has come more varied shoots, some in very out of the way locations and with some of the most interesting photographers.
M: Photographically you came sort of late in life to modeling. How old were you when your interest began?
J.D.: The first time I was ever photographed I was 28. It was late in the game. It wasn’t anything I set out to do. It was a chance occurrence. I started out doing nude for this photographer who thought my nudes were too “white-bread” (tame) for him. But it was through him that I met Tim Summa who took an interest in me and started promoting me to other photographers. Over the years Tim has taken I don’t know how many hundreds of photographs of me.
M.: When Tim started working with you (and myself for that matter), he seemed to be bringing you along to the erotica more from just the nude photography and helped improved your skill level. Would that be a fair statement?
J.D.: Right. I didn’t have that much experience and I had to get more comfortable with working with photographers and myself, too, before I could allow myself to branch out and do other things. I didn’t know that much about photography so I tended to rely on the photographer because I thought that they knew more about it than I did. Even in posing, I’d try something that I thought would be awesome, then I’d see the photographs and think whatever you thinking.
M.: Did you know that you were interested in the erotic genre then?
J.D.: I guess I never really thought about it before. So no, I guess I didn’t know that I’d be interested in it, but then it became apparent pretty quickly. I think I always knew that I like to be naked, and that I always like having my picture taken, so that was pretty natural, I think. I like sex and I like looking at sexy pictures, and it seemed natural to start making them.
M.: How did you find a photographer to work with and begin to explore that field, or did you have a genre in mind?
J.D.: I don’t think I pursue photographers who are into that, I think that it just happens because once you do something that is somewhat erotic and then people see those pictures, and they know that you do pictures like that, you get more requests to do more erotica in the future.
M.: Photographers are a lot like sexual predators in that they use the same sort of tools to gain your confidence and trust. But the predator has a much difference agenda in mind. Has that ever worried you?
J.D. Not really, because I’m too trusting of a person. It has occurred to me to be more cautious. But I’ve never really felt worried because every person that I’ve shot with, I’ve met or talked with extensively before, so I felt that I knew them and felt okay with them ahead of time. I’ve never really felt threatened or that I would be put in danger. Everybody I’ve worked with has really been pretty nice.
M.: In your professional life you seem to have a have a lot of responsibility, and in your free time you also have a lot of responsibility. People count on you to be here to be there, to do things. Do you think that the erotica is a way to take the pressure off?
J.D.: I think so, yeah, especially the bondage or submission/domination sort of thing. I think that it is sort of the appeal not only in photography but with those kind of fetishes. You are not under any kind of pressure. You’re just doing what you are told and there is some kind of weird freedom in that. In the photography, one of the other draws to it is like this make-believe world where you are allowed to do things and be things you can’t be in real life. It’s kind of appealing to take on a new identity I don’t have to take any responsibility for. And combine that with the sexually charged nature of someone taking pictures of you naked and taking pictures of you in exposed ways is a very tense state. And yes, I can see how it’s a way to remove responsibility from yourself and do things you wouldn’t do in a more inhibited environment.
M.: Speaking as a photographer, we all have out our scratch pad poses or models or situations where we work out ideas out. How do you work out your ideas?
J.D.: I think that most of the time I’m going along with what the photographer wants to do. My job as a model is to help someone achieve this vision that they have. I think that usually the photographer has the grand vision and I am helping them to achieve that vision. I have some small input as to the pose or what I wear or stuff like that. You know I don’t want to make it sound like these guys I work with are despots. With Tim I suggested wearing those red shoes and I’m really gad I did because they pop. As for shoot I’d like to do, I would love to be photographed on a railroad trestle. Now, how I’d accomplished that would be difficult.
M.: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years?
J.D.: I don’t know. I’m going to be pretty old for a model I mean in five years I’ll be forty. I’ve always thought of modeling as a young woman’s profession, Though if people are still interest in taking pictures of me, and want to see pictures of me, I like doing it. If you’d asked me seven years ago if I’d be doing this period I wouldn’t have thought so. I guess if people use soft focus filters or Photoshop, as far as what type of photography I’ll be doing I don’t know. I always thought I’d retire sort of, maybe not be in it as much anymore, but as long as people are still interested in taking pictures of me, yeah, I like doing it. Now as far as what type of photography I’ll be doing I don’t know. I like the variety a lot.
B&W Image of a girl in a white shirt by the family plot. Two (2) gelatin silver process made by hand with pre-stroke signature. 4 1/4″ x 6 5/8″ matte 101/4″ x 15″ shrink wrapped.
This girl was a difficult sell from the first, then she decided to pose. We had a couple of good shoots then I gave some fatherly advice, I have a father you know, then it went downhill from there. Still hasn’t forgiven me yet. But still I got some good shots of her. M
When it comes to photography my models are friends I look out for, especially the young ones. I try to treat them right, try to make sure that any images we do don’t come back to haunt them years later. I try my best not to be paternalistic, but remembering too these are young women who haven’t fully formed yet. A not so surprising number of models have flirted with pornography for quick, easy cash and most say they are getting paid to do something that their already doing anyway. Typical thinking for us all as we age to realize just what the impact maybe down the not too distant road. Some of these young models have portfolios that are filled with some trashy stuff or shots of there pubes for no other reason than they were getting something to drink maybe cash So I feel a certain responsibility is part of my job and part of my concern as being a fully formed adult long as I don’t get too out of line. Don’t get me wrong, I looked at porn all those shots of pubes and what not, feels like all of my life and I am not a prude, but now knowing something about the girls involved in the business of porn I feel a little different. Even the pro’s can suffer at the hands and lens of an unscrupulous person who gets well paid for a lot longer than the girls do. And it’s the girls who suffer for a longer time because they trusted someone.
So far I’ve had only one dissenting model out of a number of young women I’ve worked with over the years. This model got really upset with me pointing out that she had a dad already and to this day hasn’t forgiven me. I’d hate to see what she really would say if I were to cross her or if she started in on one of my many faults. I can live with this and still send her an email letting her know where her image is being posted now. I really feel that is the right thing to do, no name or contact information ever for all my models. I know I’d hate to be judged by some lark I did when I was in my teens or early twenty’s. Or letting an older nice guy take some creative license with me as he hadn’t been inappropriate in any way.
My models have responsible jobs now or are mothers, any number of things are beyond our control now, I feel we as mature photographers we have a duty to these models of ours to do the right thing by them. I will admit that I forget and sometimes post to my pages without thinking first that someone may see the images before the model does. What for me is a fine example of my creativity and artistry my not look the same to her boss or dad or husband. Just because I have a release for her image doesn’t mean I can post it anywhere I feel like. Too cautious, I don’t think so…, after all these girls who trust me with their image aren’t the same women today who have different lives than they’ve ever imagined. Even with the pro’s who I’ve worked with I like to give them a word on where the images are so they can check. So far I’ve had no problems or been asked to take down a image. Even that model who ignores my emails is secretly relieved that I haven’t exposed her to the net’s insatiable eye for nude female figures and names.
So remember when working with a young woman/man that they may agree to try to work with you to create your vision, but you owe them something in return. This world we live in now can be a very unforgiving place for anyone who trusts.
I’ve known this lady since she was twenty-one (21)and has been one of my favorite. Printed by hand, matted from the first printing and with pre-stroke signature $200
From a young age I realized that I was attracted not to necessarily the pretties girls, but the cooler ones who never fit a mold. I wanted to try and capture an image of them at this moment in time and to generate interest in who they were at this moment of their lives. Of course once they said yes I had to talk and listen to them so they’d relax, share with me part of their lives. Very hard to do as an eighteen year old male with raging hormones, but once I mastered this trick the knowledge I received was priceless.
That is the bases for my photography, my art if you will. I want you to know my girls, what it is that makes them tick, to carve out a space for them to be them. To invite you into their lives and minds at this particular time and place. The fact that they are unclothed should matter as a afterthought and not the primary emotion. A final word on the term “my girls”, its not meant in a paternal fashion nor does it imply any sort of ownership. These young women trust me to do right by them and I am very protective of their rights.
So we invite you to view these images and to make polite comments on the images you see. Thank you.