October 06, 2001

Miranda & R_ Model Together (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The evening after the bathtub candle session was R_'s first chance to work with another model; Miranda had been more than keen to try the project when I'd asked her about it earlier in the week, so the three of us met up at my house after I finished work for the day. The plan was to photograph until the light grew too dim, so we had a definitive end to the session, defined by the fading light. With this in mind (and in light of the fact that the day was drab and overcast) I worked with 400 speed film at the beginning, and them shifted to Ilford Delta 3200 for the second half of the session. The decision to use the high-speed film was wise, as by the end of the session the exposures had become a full second long at f/8, which was barely enough to guarantee the most minimal of depth of field, given how close I was working to the models.
6x7 cm film
The most unique aspect of the session with R_ and Miranda is that they are, in a sense, photos of actors. Unlike most of my images of couples, these images are of strangers, whose only reason to be in the same space together was to be photographed by me. As such, it was a more "directed" session then most of my previous work with couples; where with lovers I can rely upon the chemistry of the models to create the images, R_ and Miranda had to rely upon some guidance to create images that worked.
6x7 cm film
The session flowed back and forth between the more obvious "bodyscape" photos, which used the two models as aesthetic planes of light and shape, and the more imitate couple images, which implied, more then revealed, a relationship (after all, it was a visual creation, and not revelation). I am certainly pleased with the results of both approaches, but I do wonder how different the photos of the women would have been if the relationship had been different (I can't help but think back to the recent images of Krista and L_, and how they spoke of a friendship and the models' comfort with each other). I wonder how much more could have been achieved if the photos relied less on my skill to pose to models together, and more on my ability to take what is presented before me, and translate it onto film.
6x7 cm film
Overall, the session was certainly a success. As R_'s first time working with a second model, it yielded some good images, in two distinct styles. In the end, however, the session came to a close much as I had anticipated: with the sudden arrival of rain, the darkening of the sky, and the dropping off of the light. At pretty much the same time, both models began to complain of being cold, so letting go of the last rays of the day's light, I set the camera aside and let the models curl up and get warm under the covers.

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