17 December 2008
The Mature Woman
"I cannot solve the problem of life by losing myself in the problem of art."
The non-traditional model is a genre of photography that I've come to specialize in. I've had the fortune of being able to shoot with some very interesting ladies who may not otherwise be on a magazine cover. Its been my perception that herein lies the real beauty in a person whereby a good photographer may discover and uncover such a rare find. Its one thing to shoot the glam girls who may be photoshoped or digitized in some way with enhancements that catch the eye and sell magazines. There are plenty of those images out there and competition for a spot can be fierce. I've shot women like that and have had fun doing so. Some models who could grace a centerfold or cover have some of the best attitudes and are a joy to work with, but then there are those rare finds who are overlooked because of some atypical flaw such as height, age, etcetera.
Well, I think I have mentioned before that I was doing a project with the mature woman. Susan is the first of this series of work that I hope to showcase on a regular basis. I'd like to make this project work with women who are over the age of 50. I've seen some women who are 50 plus whom could still make the cover of any magazine. Hello, Unbearable Lightness! I've also seen more who look every bit of their age, but wear it so elegantly. My mama is such a woman. She's been able to keep and maintain a youthful look every since I can remember, and now ages with grace. Her mother was the same way. My grandmother was such a beautiful woman. I'm not really sure how my grandaddy managed that one, but he was blessed to have my grandma for so many wonderful years. I still miss them both terribly though its been more than 10 years since I was able to see the two of them here on Earth.
Susan volunteered to be the first model for my project. I asked her to wear nothing including no make-up, or hair styling. I don't think this is as easy for the mature woman and its often harder for me to ask, but I do it anyway. It takes a little more courage to do this when you are over 50, I think. In fact, I am sure once a woman is over the age of 35, this becomes increasingly more difficult to do, but my preference has always been to work with women closer to 30 anyway. I was glad that Susan agreed to work with me and help me build this project. I plan to do the same with several more ladies for this project. Thank you, Susan.
Its proven a bit more difficult to stop shooting nudes. I hate to admit it especially after that interview I did on myself. This is in part because I'm still working on going projects and commissioned work. Its just taking longer to do and several of these have been multiple shoots. Melissa and I have shot twice and still seeking a third. I've shot a commissioned work in 3 shoots, but am now wrapping it up, but that led to another model whom I am interviewing with tomorrow and I've already stated that I am not passing up opportunities with black models in particular. I finally worked with the one model whom I initially over-slept on and am going through those edits (to be posted soon). I've just about finished all the edits for Sarah from the workshop a few weeks ago. But also, to my own fault, I've caught myself (after the fact) talking to someone I was interested in and scheduling interviews. Its more of a force of habit that's an unconscious action that is not recognized until its too late. I've already booked a date before I realize I'm not supposed to be scheduling any new nudes. So, I may have to regroup this idea til the first of the year. Its almost irritating because a few people who know me have predicted that I wouldn't stop. Garrett introduced me to a couple of Canon Reps recently as a artistic nude photographer. When I referenced suspending my nude work, he paused for a second, as if to say "Stop lying!", and then proceeded to discuss my nude work. When I tried to insist I was serious, he didn't believe me. Maybe I am kidding myself, but I do know that I have to get some new material in my portfolio and shooting/editing nudes isn't allowing for much of that.
Now also let me bring to introductions two more models who's work I've been following. One is Merrique who just started on dA a few months ago, but who's has a highly prolific portfolio. She's gorgeous with a very appealing look and style. I WILL be working with her at some point. (After I've come back to nude photography, of course). I came across her port not long ago and was blown away by her face, style, and grace.
Another model/photog whom I've been following for a little bit longer has been Bulgarian photog, Tanya Gramatikova. I've sincerely enjoyed the way she opens up her life to the camera. A very beautiful woman, Tanya has photographed herself in various aspects of her life, including her pregnancy. She's included her children in her work, as well as other people in her life and I tell you she produces some of the best emotive portraits I have ever seen. Her artistic style and expression lack not a thing to be desire with maybe the exception of more of it. This is no exaggeration or stretching of the truth in any sense. The woman is simply fabulous, gorgeous, and a great photographer. You can easily find yourself faving every image in her portfolio. She is definitely someone I would love to meet one day and simply talk with. I think I might be too intimidated to photograph her.