March 27, 2004

Miranda and Monique in Moncton

It seemed oddly appropriate to spend the evening after a full day in Halifax spent teaching a Studio Lighting Workshop in a studio working working with models. The previous week, Miranda told me of a friend of hers, Monique, who was interested in working with me; I had met up with the two of them the night before to talk about working them and the only time both Miranda and Monique had available before I left to return to Moncton was on Saturday night, so after dinner, we met up, and by 9:30 pm, the session was under way.
8"x10" film
One interesting side effect of teaching is that it makes me far more conscious of my own working practice than I normally would be. After spending the day talking about a variety of lighting set ups for different situations, I was painfully away of how simple my own approach to lighting is - over the two hours of the session, I only worked with two lighting set-ups - one with two lights, and the second with one.

I think the simplicity of my approach to studio work is rooted in my innate frustration with the process - I'd rather work with the nuances of pose and camera position then obsess over lighting each and every image to the max. This works well for me, and certainly makes a studio session move along swiftly. Without an assistant, readjusting the lighting more then a couple of times a session would really slow down the process.
Digital original
For a model posing nude for the first time, the studio is a double edged sword - it is a small, secure space with no chance of interruption, a warm, draft-free environment to pose in. By the same token though, the entire focus of the studio is on the model - they stand in the light, and everything is centered upon them. For Monique, a first time model, this was tempered somewhat by the fact that she was working with Miranda, who is more then comfortable with the whole process. If there was any hesitation or nervousness on Monique's part, it was gone by the time we actually started working, with standing portraits of Miranda and Monique.
Digital original
The session went much as I had expected; Miranda and Monique working comfortably in both aesthetic and more personal images, though as the session evolved, I quickly let go of focusing on the abstract, and concentrated on the chemistry between the models. From previous sessions with Miranda and other models, I had guessed the session would focus on the interplay between the two models; Miranda has a knack for putting other people at ease, and this shows through in the images, even with a first-time model.

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