May 01, 2000

Jennifer's First Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

There is always the risk at the initial setting with a new model that the first set of images will be a write-off, marred perhaps by the nervousness of the model or simply by the desire of both the model and I to get through the "adjusting to modeling" stage and get on with the work. With this session, however, there are successes in the images made in the first ten minutes. My favourite, to the right. is not technically a nude, but I doubt the image could have been made clothed - the delicacy and openness of the photo would have been less apparent without the vulnerability that the hidden nudity lends to the pose.
35mm infrared film
Working with a person new to modeling is always a challenge - it usually takes some time to develop a rapport, and often a first session is just the initial step towards a solid working relationship. Until a session is actually underway, it is really hard to tell if the model is as strong as I'd hoped, or will need some time to reach their full potential. In this case, I knew within the first fifteen minutes of the session that all I had hoped for with Jennifer, and more, could be achieved.
35mm transparency film
I had initially approached Jennifer about modeling in late March, but it wasn't until five weeks later that she had enough time to spare to work with me. Because the weather here is still poor, we arranged a time for the studio, and set to work. Jennifer had never modeled nude before, but quickly became comfortable, working well before the camera and displaying little evidence of nervousness or trepidation.

After working with the studio strobes for an hour or so, I switched to available light, using a window diffused by white sheers. While studio flash is much brighter than diffused window light, the large, even illumination of the covered window is hard to beat, and provides me with much more inspiration than the far more controllable studio flash.
4"x5" film
My favourite image of the session, above, was another of those "hold that pose, don't move" moments. Jennifer had been waiting for me to set something up, and had stretched her arm - at that moment I glanced and saw the light on her face, and her fingers flowing towards her breasts, and I knew the image had to be made. The exposure was made at a very wide aperture, f/8 on an f/5.6 lens, at 1/4 of a second, but is tack sharp, to the point that the room behind me is visible, reflected in her eyes. There is literally nothing I would do to change this image - it is exceeds everything I saw at the moment of creation.

As is often the case with new models, the images that Jennifer and I made during her first session focused predominantly upon her face - her personality providing a focus for a session with no real goals, beyond my beginning a relationship with a new model.

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