The Ephemeral Model …

June 13, 2017

For me, a session works best when there are no surprises – in terms of theme, location, preparation and expectations for the shoot.  That includes identifying any other people who will be around for the shoot.

I feel that I work best when it is just the model and myself joined in creation.  Yes, MUAs and stylists can help to make the details of a shoot go well, and take one dimension of attention away from me, letting me focus better on making photos.  However the atmosphere changes when other people are added.  It becomes more a “production”, less so a collaboration in art.  If the extra people are doing nothing, then I get no added value, and can suffer from the added attention / interruptions to myself and the model.

In Mexico, it is common, however, to have the entire family accompany models to a shoot.  It becomes an outing, as well as providing security for the young women.  For the most part, they don’t interfere, and I go about my work ignoring their presence (after the necessary social interactions).  Sometimes, however, models bring friends… and occasionally, they want to model too.

In the last session I had with Tahnee this winter in Baja, she, unannounced, brought along a friend Briseida – just that, no surname… She was passionate about modelling, and wanted photos on the beach and in town.  The session was based on dance for Tahnee, but I agreed we could try to add some photos to the main session.

You can form your own opinion of the photos, but for me, she had a mesmerizing impact, especially given her lack of modelling experience.  She was ecstatic over the photos, wanted to arrange another shoot soon.  And so we exchanged messages, for a while.  And then I was “ghosted”.  Zero response.  As quickly as she came into my life, she vanished, like a puff of headily perfumed air dissipating in the heat.

It’s not uncommon for young women to be, well, varied in their attention span.  But I certainly wish we could shoot more!  With more experience, I think we could make some remarkable and captivating images.


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