February 16, 2019

A Candle-lit First Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Lucie contacted me about modeling late last fall, but between her schedule and mine, it was only now that we managed to get together for a first session. As it is mid-winter, we coulnd't work outdoors, so instead Lucie opted to do a candle session. Much to my surprise, this was my first time working with candle-light in over a decade (the last time I worked with candles was in Fredericton in 2008).
Digital original, 2 frame focus blend
The primary reason for working with candles was to give Lucie as comfortable an environment as possible for a first session; by necessity, the room is pitch black, and the little light that candles put off is both intimate and comforting. Though it was Lucie's first time posing for photographs, she has experience as a life model for artists, so the usual nervousness around posing Nude for the first time was not a consideration. Within a couple of minutes of setting up,  Lucie was sitting comfortably on the floor, lit by the light of a single candle, and the session was underway.
Digital original
Over the 90 minutes of the session, I found myself both retreading familiar ground (making compositions very similar to those made during previous candle sessions), and trying both new compositions and new approaches. The most interesting thing to come put of the session was the potential of multiple candles (for the session, I bought a set of three candle holders from IKEA). Towards the end of the session, I made a number of images lit by two candles, and while the multiple shadows did present a challenge, with an appropriate pose (my favourite being above), the additional candle both provided more light, and some addition complexity to what is, by definition, a pretty minimalist way of working (one model, one candle, and a dark space).

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