October 31, 2000

Randi's First Studio Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Randi's introduction to modeling in the studio was a real test of her mettle; for reasons well beyond my control, the heat had been turned off in the studio I have access to and, though the day was relatively mild, it took all of Randi's dedication and enthusiasm to carry her through the two hours we worked with only space-heaters for warmth.
35mm infrared film
The session, like much of my work in the studio, was only loosely directed. We went in with the dual intention of continuing Randi's familiarization with the studio environment (she'd assisted twice before, once with nudes), and my work with the mirror. Beyond that, there really were no ideas in mind when we began, and, as usually, I started the session producing some nude portraits of Randi, a method I use with pretty much every model when I begin working with them in the studio.
4"x5" film
The results were mixed; most of the portraits I made had an odd expression on Randi's face - this was a bit confounding, as the portraits we'd done outdoors have been quite successful to date. Oh the whole, I'll count the portraits as a starting point, and leave them be. In stark contrast to the portraits, however, were a series of infrared images I made of Randi's torso, working as she moved to the music in the studio. The strongest image of these I've posted here as strong example of the advantages of a small, hand-held camera for capturing a fleeting gesture.
4"x5" film
The close of the session was spent working on more mirror nudes; with my show being printed in the next couple of weeks, it was last session with the mirror (the REAL last session) before all the work for the show was selected. As Randi had been assisting me in the darkroom, she was already familiar with the series, but it was interesting how she brought her knowledge of the work to the studio, and let it influence her posing. While she had little sense of what my camera was framing, Randi propelled the work forward by working hard to strike poses that weren't represented in the earlier mirror images. On the whole, the mirror work was the highlight of the session, with several striking images being created; unlike earlier sessions, I concentrated on large format images, and just used 35mm as an after-thought.


  1. The top picture evokes thought of marble sculpture. Beautiful.

    1. When I enrolled at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, I had intended to go into sculpture, but got sidetracked for 7 years, so thank you for the compliment!


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