July 18, 2000

Claire First Session (Three Pools, Nova Scotia)

I'd first photographed Three Pools in the fall of 1999 when a friend showed me the location. Ever since, my mind had been swirling with the possibilities, as almost every space we came across called out to me for a figure to be incorporated.

Claire came to know my work though a mutual friend, Cheryl, who worked with me extensively in 1999. An experienced figure model for the drawing and painting, Claire wanted to try working as a photographic model, and encouraged by Cheryl's enthusiasm for my images, and a couple of prints she saw on Cheryl's walls, she contacted me and expressed her interest. After meeting, looking over my work and discussing the process, she was even keener.
4"x5" film
While I am more than happy to work with a model for even as little as an hour at one time, my preference is to work without time-restraints. There is something particularly enjoyable about being able to photograph without concern for the clock - the images that happen happen, and there is no fear of running out of time to make the next ones. This is how the first session with Claire was structured. Three Pools is about 90 minutes from Halifax, and all told, excluding the driving time, we worked together for about five hours. This was an incredible luxury, permitting me to let images come as they would, as opposed to trying to make them happen, as time was running out.
4"x5" film
It became quickly apparent how good a model Claire was - not just in terms of her ability to work with a pose, but because of her work ethic, and enthusiasm for the process. When she'd first seen my work, she commented on how much she liked the water nudes, so we began in the river, working in the shallow water as it flowed around the rocks and between the high banks of the small valley. Thought the water was cool, and a little shocking at first, Claire hung in, and the first set of images had a number of success - the biggest problem being the fast-moving clouds that changed the light levels from one moment to the next.
4"x5" film
The greatest pleasure of the first session with Claire was the strength and variety of work we produced. Including rock, tree and water nudes in a single session is challenging, not only for the model, in terms of adapting to different environments, but for myself as well, as all three require slightly different approached to the image creation; the lens and exposure selection for each subject affects them differently, but with few exceptions, the images form this first session with Claire show how strong a contribution she made to the work as a whole.

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