July 12, 2021

A First Session with a New Model

One of the greatest challenges of focusing one's artwork on photographing the Nude (for me at least) is finding people to work with; I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of models over extended periods (the most obvious example of this is Ingrid, whom I've worked with since 1998). This is a long way to say that that sessions with new models tend to be rare, especially in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, this would be my second session of the year with a new model. Brittany came to my work after seeing it on Instagram, and after meeting up to discuss my ethos and process, we set a date for a first session, and crossed our fingers for good weather!

Digital infrared original

Luck was with us, and the day of the planned session had perfect weather - warm with high clouds to provide the occasional break from direct sunshine. While we'd planned to head to the Bay of Fundy, things changed at the last minute, and we headed to more familiar territory, along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Taking advantage of the warm evening, we began the session with Brittany working in the ocean. Though most of the poses were made of her emerging from the water, early on I made some standing portraits, one of which (above) was a favorite.

Digital infrared original
As the session progressed, the work in the water grew more focused; the reflections of the wispy clouds on the ocean where we were was just stunning, and I tried to make some images that took advantage of the still water. There were several spaces where the rocks below the surface blossomed with seaweed, and in one particular location, the rock was the perfect high for Brittany to lie back upon, leading to an image with the feeling that she is floating of a sea of white seaweed - yay infrared!

Digital infrared original
After we'd worked through the potential of the water, Brittany and I moved onto the rocks that abound on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. By this time, most of the sky to the north and east had clouded over, and it quickly became the focus of my compositions, as I sought for settings and poses that worked with the flow of the sky. After a couple of other images were made, Brittany tried a back-on pose, along the edge of a spine of bedrock. Directly above her, a gap in the clouds provided the perfect contrast to her luminous skin, and the above composition was born!

Digital original, 4 image exposure blend

The last images of the session also were my first sunset session of the year (not for lack of trying, but the weather has been incredibly challenging this summer, with warm, clear evenings never coinciding with my (and models) availability). We had some time before the sunset proper, so scouted out the location, and planned a series of poses and compositions to move through once the sun went below the sky, and whatever that delivered began to happen. The planning paid off, in and in a matter of minutes we moved through a handful of compositions of three separate poses, and were done and dusted before the light began to fade - a great end to a wonderful first session!

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