After water nudes, candle images are the most requested style of my work
by new models and Monique was no exception, specifically mentioning the
first time we met to talk about working together that she'd like to
work with candlelight. When she and Miranda came to Moncton, candle
images were still on her list and, at the end of the models' last day in
Moncton, Monique and Miranda spent more then an hour working with a
single candle. I had tried candle nudes in the past with two models
(both in Maine, and in Halifax) but never had as much success as I did
with Miranda and Monique. I suspect a big part of this comes from
concentrating on using one camera, as opposed to two, and also form more
then five years of intervening experience.
Usually, when I work
with candles, I have the model lie on the floor and then move the
candle around until the light looks best. With two models, I usually
take the same approach, but in the middle of this session, I caught a
glimpse of the candle between the models, and instantly stopped to look
again. The candlelight had caught in Miranda's hair, and looked almost
magical. I quickly changed the camera angle and pose until I could see
through the viewfinder what had caught my eye - a very different and
evocative image, compared to my earlier candle nudes.
From that point, the session flowed between more traditional images, where the models worked around the candles, and more exploratory images, where the models were between me and the candle, and the light wrapped around their figures. The end of the session came as the poses became harder to find. It was only then that a tragedy was discovered - during the download of one of the cards, a mistake had occurred, and more then half the session's images were lost. This was heart-breaking, as I knew some of the images were very strong, but given the number of images I'd lost over the years in the darkroom, it was nothing new (accidents happen), and most of the engaging images (with the candle shining through Miranda's hair) were in the images that were saved, so all was not lost.