Domai.com and Chris St. James of Univers d'Artistes were among the first to spot me, advise me, and feature me on their own blogs. Along came Iris Dassault, model/photog, who came to notice me somehow and even scared the mess out of me when she later told me said she'd be in Vegas soon and would like to model for me. Iris is a world renown art model who has been shot by the best of the best and featured all over the place. The first thought that came to my mind, naturally, was "WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITH, IRIS DASSAULT!?!" I didn't see how I was going to do anything that would have compared with anything she'd done before. How was I going to produce a photo shoot that she'd deem as worth her while. I began to scramble and get some help from some locals. One guy understood my plight and offered me the use of his studio and his expertise.
Dave Rudin was another powerhouse that got to come my way. I saw his work and felt I could identify with his style. He's got my fave pic of all time...not just favorite nude, or favorite B&W...I'm talking favorite picture that has ever been photographically captured. It's his shot of Carlotta Champagne amongst some rocks shot out here near Vegas that I simply adore. Dave has come to Vegas often and we've gotten to visit on several occasions mainly having breakfast, a few dinners, and we've caught a few shows. He even made one of my workshops when I was running my Las Vegas Art Models Group and hung out with me at my favorite camera shop, B&C camera. I don't want to miss him when he comes to town. At the very least we always have breakfast at the Original Pancake house. I get the French Toast. We also talk often on the phone and I was surprised when he put me on a three way call with he and Dave Levingston...another icon in the business. DaveL would I guess be DaveR's mentor of sorts. I wish I could get around to visit DaveL sometime. I've only got to visit DaveR once in New York when I went there this time last year for my birthday. DaveR hung out my myself and my Malaysian/Grad-school friend, Shwu Huoy (who at 90 pounds is one of the smartest women I know who can still lead a managerial team like a drilll sergeant.)
I've had several other mentors who have kept tabs on me but none quite so much like Unbearable Lightness. Now THIS woman is a phenomenon. Yes, she's over 65 and is a model of hotness...pun intended. I noticed her for the first time when she became a co-blogger with Iris Dassault. To be honest, (and she doesn't know this so don't say anything), I was a little perturbed that she signed on with Iris. I didn't know who she was and I followed Iris' blog to read Iris, not anybody else. I didn't know why she was taking up space on a blog that was already a great one. The first time I read one of her posts was by accident. Up until this point, I'd skip over her postings to get to Iris'. (Damn, she's going to never talk to me again after this.) She had a point of discussion that I thought was from Iris and I read it with glee. (Did I just say "glee"?) It wasn't til I had finished it that I began to go back over some of her points to organize my own comment that I realized that it was a post by Unbearable Lightness.
To many of us, I think she's like that really good looking 3rd grade home room teacher, or your 9th grade Spanish teacher who's got the really big boobs. Yeah, they get your attention with the physical aspects, but they keep you with their ability to involve you and interest you in what comes out of their mouths. The fact that she is a teacher, professor actually, is a testament to that analogy. She has the gravitational energy to attract us into her orbit. I've watched her followers grow to over a hundred now. Hell, I've got 18 and I feel special. She collects followers like a hobby. But she is not only being followed. She's also a follower herself. I have no idea how she tracks so many artist's works the way she does. Nobody has commented on my blog more than she has, sometimes being the sole commentator on many of my posts. I can find some obscure artist with a blog post and U.L. has already noticed it and left a comment. I gotta say, its encouraging for anybody to get interest and blog participation from U.L. I constantly refer beginner models to her site who ask what an art model should be.
The pics you see are my top 5 pics that have received the most hits on my website, PhotoAnthems.com, for the year so far, in order.