Every session with Monique in the studio has been of her working with Miranda, so after a full day of photography, a good dinner and some relaxation, I set up my studio flash, and started a short studio session, making the most of the two days of Monique's visit.
I usually start studio sessions with standing portraits and this was no
exception; very quickly, I decided to take another approach, as the
standing images seemed a little stiff or posed. I asked Monique to stand
how a Monique stands. She experimented a bit, and then moved to working
on the floor - as Monique put it, "It is easier to be a Monique
naturally when you are hanging out and relaxing...a Monique standing
isn't really a Monique."
The difference between the earlier
images, and those made with Monique lying on the floor is like night and
day. When she'd first moved to the floor, I spread out the black
background, and changed the position of the light so it provided fairly
even illumination of the space Monique would be working in. Where the
standing images look poses and artificial, the images we made at floor
level were much more natural and spontaneous. For the rest of the
session, I responded to Monique's movements and poses, occasionally
giving suggestions for slight adjustments, but for the most part simply
responding to what unfolded before me.
One of my greatest objections to working in the studio is how empty the spaces are; usually studio photography is focused upon making an image, as opposed to discovering or revealing one. With Monique's spontaneity on the floor however, the session quickly shifted from the former, which frustrates me to no end, to the later, where I was simply responding to the model's movement within the space. The session moved at a much faster pace once this change occurred, and overall, I would hazard that the quality of the images also changed, moving from more predictable, posed images to ones which feel far more natural, and "real".