December 17, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #3

The final session with Roberta was held at her bed and breakfast, taking advantage of a third location. There was some doubt if the session would actually take place, as the day dawned with the beginnings of a snow storm, but some careful driving got us to the Bed and Breakfast safely, and we began to work. One unexpected advantage of the snow storm was that it permitted Roberta and I to work right next to the window without any fear of people looking up and in - anyone silly enough to be outside was walking hunched over and head-down.
8"x10" film
The first thing that caught my eyes in Roberta's room was a beautiful mirrored dresser by the door. From just the right angle, you could see the reflections of the window in the mirror, and I knew this would be where I'd want to start the session. It took a bit of time to move extraneous furniture around, and clear the sight line between the mirror and the window, but within fifteen minutes, we were all set to being working. Outside the snow kept coming down.
Digital original
In the end, almost all the images in the bedroom revolved around the windows, either reflected in the mirror, or more straight-forward, with Roberta standing beside them and gazing out into the storm. This was both because of the light was so beautiful and even, and because it was quite dim; working further away from the windows dramatically increased the length of exposures necessary to make a given image.
8"x10" film
The whole session was spent keeping an open eye on the weather outside, and where there was nothing rushed, I was quite aware of the need to finish up in time to be able to return home safely. When we finished working with the possibilities that the bedroom in the Bed and Breakfast offered, Roberta received permission for us to explore the possibilities that the other rooms offered (Roberta and her husband were the only people staying at the bed and breakfast at the time). A quick walk through brought us up into the attic room, which had been elegantly renovated into a large suite with a particularly lovely half-moon window which was the perfect place for the final images of the session. Roberta and I worked with a couple of poses, and made four exposures, finishing up with a powerful image of Roberta framed below the half-moon window.

December 16, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #2

As soon as I knew that Roberta was coming, I began to look for additional locations to work with her. I was willing to settle for just the spaces offered by my new house, but given the distance she was traveling, I thought the ideal would be to have a different setting for each session. In Halifax, I have convenient access to a fully equipped lighting studio, but in Moncton, I have no such luxuries.
 8"x10" film
Ironically, the best place I came up with was the apartment of a co-worker. I visited the location several weeks before Roberta's arrival, and it was fabulous. It had the afternoon light, and even better, beautiful arched doorways that were perfect to work with. They were quite aesthetically pleasing, but even better, they repeated the curved elements of the pregnant Nude.

We started the session working with the archway; the light from the window gave beautiful description to Roberta's body, while the archway above her provided a perfect compositional element. With the 8x10 camera, I could keep the archway in the image by using a front-rise movement, while still maintaining the camera looking directly at Roberta. This prevented any distortion of the lines of the wall and archway. Standing poses are not the easiest to do, even with an experienced model, but with the doorway to work with, Roberta had no problems coming up with poses that worked exceptionally well.
Digital original, 3 frame stitch
After we finished working with the doorway, Roberta's husband moved into the frame, and we made a series of images with him embracing Roberta, with the focal point of the images being Roberta's belly. couple nudes have long been one of my favorite subjects, but the pregnancy adds an additional element of intimacy and beauty to the images. Most of my couple nudes are produced in the studio, so the chance to work with available light was an added bonus (though truth be told, if I had the chance, I would have produced studio nudes of Roberta as well).
 8"x10" film
The end of the session came as the sun began to set (working in December forced an early end to the sessions, as it was pitch black by 5pm). The lower the sun became, the more striking the light on the walls of the apartment and while working with another pose, I caught a glimpse of Roberta's shadow on the wall, and immediately changed what we were doing to focus on the window-light and shadow on the wall.

December 15, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #1

It was almost seven weeks from Roberta' initial contact with me about modeling, and her arrival in Moncton to work with me. The reason for the delay was that Roberta was pregnant with her first child and wanted to wait as long as possible before the session to insure her belly was as large as possible. Due to the reality of geography, however, this had be around the 7th month of her term, as she lives in the US and had to fly up to Moncton to model.
8"x10" film
When Roberta initially approach me about working together, I had questioned the sanity of flying to Moncton to model but she assured me there were no photographers in her area who did the kind of work she was looking for, or whom she wanted to work with. After a long and extensive e-mail conversation, we settled on the dates, and began setting things in motion. 

When she and her husband finally arrived, we spent a pleasant evening eating and talking, looking at work, and finalizing the plans for the coming sessions. With a three day visit, there was a finite amount of time available to work, so careful planning was necessary to make the most of what we had. The next morning, we started our first session, working in the corner of the kitchen by the deck doors.
8"x10" film
After spending so much time working with Aurora in the fall of 2002, I have grown quite comfortable working with the pregnant Nude; there is a beauty inherent in the changed lines of the body that is fabulous to work with, and while each model is different, there is a theme that flows between then, the creation that is growing within. With many models, modeling is part of a process of growing more comfortable within their own bodies, but with pregnant models, the images are very much about the mother-to-be's celebration of her changing body, and her love for the life growing inside.
Digital original
The session went very well, with Roberta quickly growing comfortable with the process, and the luminous space providing the perfect setting to begin in. I still find the kitchen corner a little small, compared to the spaces I worked with in Halifax (though I never thought I would have considered an 8'x10' bedroom large), but Roberta and I made do with what we had, and came away with images to be proud of.

December 07, 2003

The Evolving Beauty Patron Site is Launched

Due to ever increasing traffic, I have split the original Evolving Beauty into two sites; the Showcase site, and the Patron site. The showcase site features 100 images, while the patron’s site provides access to 1,300 images.

(The Patron site was discontinued in 2008)