May 20, 2007

A Bathtub Session with Tanya

In over 20 years of photographing,  there are perhaps a handful of sessions that I would define as perfect; this isn't to say I haven't had some fabulous times photographing over the last two decades, but more to say that it is a rare day indeed when EVERYTHING lines up as it should. This session was one of those, without a doubt.
Digital infrared original, 20 frame stitch

I have always had a love of claw-footed bathtubs, so when I saw this one (I actually helped tile the floor it is on), I knew I’d have to work with a model in it. Fortunately, Tanya was more than keen at the idea, and we spent a couple of hours of a wintery afternoon working with her in the tub. I initially started working with colour, but after seeing how infrared darkened her body as it was submerged under the water, I quickly shifted to working in infrared for most of the session.
Digital original
The light in the bathroom was wonderful to work with - the window was positioned perfectly at the head of the tub, and the reflected light off the white tub provided perfect fill for Tanya's face and figure. While most of the images with the bath were made with her lying in it, from time to time, as she sat up between compositions, I made portraits.
Digital original
This is probably the happiest I have ever seen a model during a session; we'd just finished working in the tub, and as Tanya dried off, she was talking with her boyfriend, and laughing about how much fun modeling was. I caught a glimpse of her in the mirror, and managed to make a candid image of the glee on her face!
Digital original
The second half of the session was spent in another room, working with a beautiful window and a couple of chairs; by the window was a large elaborate armchair that must have been over 100 years old, and while the images made with Tanya curled up on it were great, it was when she shifted to sitting in a plainer chair, still orientated towards the window that the best portraits were made.

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