Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Portraits with Rhiannon

Last week I was getting really bummed out because I'd scheduled a bunch of shoots and every single model cancelled on me last minute. :( It was particularly disappointing because I was so excited to start practicing modern glamour photography (I'd been inspired by watching Sue Bryce's course on's awesome!). Thankfully, I was invited along to a Mexican themed dinner party at my friend Jenni's house on Wednesday and my luck took a happy turn :D

It's so easy to barricade myself into my house and do the whole tortured artist thing; waiting for something great to happen. But it seems like every time I let myself out of the house and I socialise and interact with people, something good comes along, opportunities open up and I find new inspiration! At Jenni's dinner party (which can be more accurately described as a huddle of men watching football and huddle of girls chatting at the table and in the kitchen making quesodillas lol) I got-a-talkin' to three beautiful friends of mine who eagerly volunteered to model for me! Yiippeee!! Rhiannon came over to my house the following morning & we spent 3 hours shooting in my wee home studio. 

It goes without saying that I was beside myself with happiness at the chance to start practicing modern glamour a.k.a. contemporary portrait photography. I was concerned that Rhiannon, on the other hand, might get tired, bored, uncomfortable, cold, hungry, stiff, annoyed etc... Thank goodness she didn't! Turns out, the girl loved it :D I got a text from her the next day asking if we could do another shoot....that evening! Heck yes! She came over at 8pm that night and we shot in my studio until 2am! I'm not even going to bother hiding my excitement. I'd heard stories of Matthew Jordan Smith and Tyra Banks staying up until 2am practicing poses and I wanted that. I've been longing to find someone who wants to work as hard as I do; someone who will stay up all night with me practicing techniques and testing out ideas. I'm sure I'll have many opportunities for this in the future but for right now, I'm just thrilled that I got to experience that with Rhiannon for one night. 

I particularly love working with Rhiannon because she's an artist; she draws & paints portraits of people. She understands how when we're photographing a portrait, it's not just a matter of smiling & snapping the shutter. When she's drawing a portrait she take the time to erase and blend and redraw until she gets everything just right; we were doing the same thing but live. We were sculpting her body and the light until it looked just so and then afterwards, I searched through the images until I found the one that had all of the pieces just where I wanted them. We were creating a live portrait. :)

She said multiple times that it was so much more difficult than she thought it would be. She'd expected modelling to just be cheeky grins at the camera; not back-breaking contortionistic poses with me shouting "chin forward & down, chin forward & down, again! chin forward & down." hehe.

Thank you Rhia! Can't wait till our next shoot :P