September 16, 2002

Victoria on a Wet, Rainy Afternoon

Victoria and I had planned to work on this afternoon for more than a week, but when the day dawned with intermittent showers and thick fog, I pretty much figured the session was off. When she called to confirm the session, however, Victoria insisted that she was keen to model, rain or not, and by early afternoon we were heading for the coast, praying for the rain to hold off.
6x7 cm film
We arrived to find the entire beach deserted (as I had hoped), and began the session with Victoria testing the temperature of the ocean. As I suspected, it was too cold for her to consider as a location for working (in the car, Victoria had been keenly but naively speaking of doing water nudes), so we walked further down the beach to where the higher dunes were to see what could be done there.
6x7 cm film
In many ways, the session was similar to when Victoria and I worked in the Alberta Badlands in August of 1999; the landscape looked amazing, but turned out to be difficult to work with, and the weather made it even harder. In Alberta, the sandstone was hard and abrasive, and on the beach, the wet dunes were unyielding and cold. In Alberta, it was unbearably hot and dry, and on the beach, it was cool, wet, and increasingly rainy. It was during the work in Alberta that Victoria and I truly laid the foundation of the body of work we've produced together since the first photographs I made of her in 1998.
6x7 cm film
With the Mamiya RB protected by a plastic shopping bag, Victoria and I began to explore the possibilities of the day. The fog was slowly turning to rain, but Victoria insisted we pursue the muse, and we did what we could working with a line of low sand-dunes. The work flowed well, for as long as Victoria could deal with the rain. With every passing minute, however, the drizzle gradually increased in strength until it was undeniably raining. This swiftly called an end to the session, because while I could keep the camera relatively dry, there was no way to keep an already drenched Victoria warm.
6x7 cm film
My favourite image of the session was actually made as we were calling it to a close; Victoria had wrapped one towel around her waist, and was brushing sand off her shoulders when I asked her to pause - the wet hair set against the beautiful softness of her wet skin belies the chill that had set in by that point. A beautiful image of a thoroughly cold model.

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