September 11, 2001

A Somber Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

A day that changed the world...remembered with haunting images of Ground Zero by Joel Meyerowitz.

One of the best skills I have learned as a photographer (and perhaps as a person) is not to plan too far ahead, or count on such plans coming to fruition. I seldom anticipate where a session will take place, and even when I do, I am usually willing to let go of such plans as necessary, without a second thought. So, on this particular day with both Krista and L_ were available and able to model in the early evening, plans were prepared, only to be swiftly swept aside.
35mm film
The original intent was to pick up the two models, and head out to York Redoubt to catch the best of the evening light, but with the last-minute cancellation of our drive, we had to replan the session. After some debate, we opted to return to my house to work with the two models in the dying light on the bed below my deck doors.
8"x10" film
I wasn't sure how the session would unfold, given that Krista and L_ were friends, not partners. I didn't want to assume they'd be comfortable modeling together, but I was hoping that the work would take this approach, as the interplay between bodies is so dynamic and rich. The only other time I'd worked with two models together who were friends as opposed to lovers was with Victoria and Ingrid, back in 1998. That session yielded some very strong images, but I didn't want to assume the same would happen this time.
8"x10" film
As it turned out, I didn't even have to ask if the two models would be comfortable working together. The light was already low and fading fast when we arrived at my house; I set up my camera as swiftly as I could and asked the models if they could disrobe and get comfortable on the bed. When I turned around from the camera, they'd arranged themselves spontaneously with Krista's head on L_'s hip. All that remained to be done was arrange Krista's hair, metre the light, and make the image. Everything else flowed from there, and forty-five minutes later, after 12 8"x10" negatives (all exposed for between one and eight seconds in length) and a roll of colour exposures the light-level dropped too low and we called an end to the session.
8"x10" film
The session was wonderful on several levels; first, I learned that exposures in the range of eight seconds are not unreasonable with the 8"x10" camera, and second, the interplay between the two friends produced some rich images, both as straight-forward images of bodies, and as photos of two friends, comfortable and relaxed. All in all, a rewarding, if short, session.

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