I had an opportunity of working with a favorite model last week. It was the first time I have been able to work in a pop-up studio in at least 2 years. I have a good friend that made it possible and we used his lights and a space at a local non-profit.
I usually begin a photo session with a good idea of what I want the concept to be. I visualize the clothing, the poses and the message I am attempting to create. I wasn't so sure this time so I grabbed a prop, a few clothing changes and my camera as I ran out the door. I thought that at the very least I could shoot some random stock images and see what could come from that. I guess you could say that I wasn't feeling very prepared but I was feeling desperate to add new images to my arsenal after such a long season of isolation.
Our model is a fabulous ballerina that makes everything easy. She has worked with my friend for several sessions and I had my first session with her last October outside in an alley. I knew right away, I wanted to work with her again.
We began with some ballet poses and she kept leaping and jumping until we managed to get the shots we wanted. I felt like this first part of the session was us getting warmed up. It gave us time to get comfortable with one another and the space while building that rapport that is essential whenever photographing people. The second part of the session was her in a slip and holding an antique mirror. (Images will be previewed soon.) That's when the energy shifted and began to spark. Sara instinctively knew what I needed from her. As I captured each image and we shifted our positions without any words, there was a synergy that was flowing between us. The creative, electric energy was palpable and a story began to unfold.
Sara then changed into the red dress that I had, as a whim, brought along. She sat on the floor as we fanned out the dress and the image in this blog was created. I chose this image because it speaks to me of the isolation we have endured. It also speaks to me of a reawakening.
This photo session has reawakened my love for photography, the simple, basic photography. It never really went away. It has been a part of my life for more than 40 years and that doesn't just disappear. It has been hibernating for a long time as I have been exploring the world of photo composites and surrealism. It reminded me of how much I missed using manual settings and having to work for an image and not having it handed to me. I was reminded of that instant when the shutter clicks and a jolt goes through my body letting me know that I just captured something special. It reminded me of that important connection between subject and photographer and the possibility of magic being created together. It gave me the excitement of artistic collaboration and anticipation of much more to come.
Creativity always begets more creativity. Sometimes we need a reminder of what first guided us to our creative paths to keep those senses and passions awakened and fired up.
I want to thank my good friend and fellow photographer, Don Gustavson, for finding Sara and for his exquisite lights and sense of humor. I also am very grateful for our beautiful and creative model, Sara, as well as the non-profit for the space. There will be much more to come.
"The Reawakening" is available in print. Send a message if interested.