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A Photo Shoot

Today Amy showed up with her husband for a photo shoot. The choreography was written on paper and the studio was ready so we did the photos.

Amy is a young woman who presents exceedingly well. A beauty with every visual advantage from can’t miss hair to flawless posture, she also has the perfect attitude for these shoots. She’s human, I know. As with others who model for me, it just isn’t obvious.

Whenever I get to do pictures, I realize that this person will go on to their own greatness and that only gets more apparent during the session as I feel their positive energy.

We went over the choreography (the sequence plan), which in this case was twelve situations. She’s a thinker, so we’d both benefit from the preview.

Tripling the value of the session was her husband. The best model photography has always included a beloved sidekick who the model connects with. The difference is stark. If the model is left with only me the outcome is almost somber, serious lad that I am. The exception of course is the case of models whose sidekick is me, the photographer. Then it’s guarenteed good start to finish!


We started the shoot  with the “map” sequence in which the owner of a classic vehicle gets her bearings the way she would have when the car was new: from a printed map.

Recently I decided to do a car calendar. At first, I just wanted to bring attention to the car I think I adore and build it up to those who aren’t so familiar with it. But I’ve never been happy with car + girl pictures. They’re beyond rediculous with no connection to real life or even to real people. Some lunkhead simply follows a formula that includes skankily clad females depreciating themselves in the vicinity of automobiles. Nothing about that formula appeals to me.

Why no one portrays women with cars the way I do is mystery. Maybe I’ve just never found their work.

My theory is that too many cultivators of automotive art simply go for the lowest denominator and satisfy the cave men. Maybe the cavemen pay more, I don’t know. But I’m betting that those who love great cars and appreciate women don’t consist only of those who see cars as status symbols and women as scamps.

There are gentlemen. There are ladies. They deserve better than what gets served up.

So Amy read a map. If my car wasn’t all apart, we’d use it in  the shoot, but I’ll have to substitute. We shot all the pictures indoors.

Last year or so I went to the hardware store and bought metal plate, rivets, and other supplies to make a traditional artifact associated with Sweden: a Lucia Crown. It cost me a bundle to make.

The next segment, we worked with the Crown.

A search of the internet turns up almost a cookie cutter assemblage of Lucia imagery. The girls are dressed in a long sleeved simple white dress, sometimes with a red sash. Very “Formula”. With Amy I orchestrated a sequence to humanize the Lucia just a bit. None of the traditional poses are represented in this shoot. And by ‘humanize’, I do not mean any disrespect. The Lucia is revered and I wouldn’t take away from that.

I just didn’t duplicate the well represented Lucia poses that show her in the gesture of prayer,  holding a tray, or walking with a candle.

Amy was beautiful for the role. She could pass for a Swede.

Then we grabbed easter baskets. Not finding an egg to use as a prop, I provided a glow ball. Her husband got involved in this sequence and made it all the more fun. She played the part of the egg hider. Then we did a series of ‘cute girl’ pictures using the basket. Easter brings out the beauty of innocents and Amy looks the part.

After that I described a scene where she could not do a certain thing that she loved to do because the season prevented it from happening (as setup for the next sequence). We did  a series of pictures where she was to look longingly out the window toward the place where drifts of snow stood in the way of her desire (remember, car calender).

And onward the photo shoot proceeded, often with the help of her guy. It amused me to see them happily interact : )

They’d just bought a car, so we went out to take some pictures around it and as Amy exited the cave that I paint from, the light played against her form so fetchingly that an unplanned sequence was born as we took some pictures at the door.

Outside, I gave them the choice to direct the photography. One never knows what might come of it, but for some models this sequence will yield treasures.

They were pretty proud of their car, and they should be. It’s quite a machine!

So now I have 150 photographs that didn’t exist this morning and with them, I have intellectual ingredients to mix with passion and imagination to form new art.

For the record, in real life the skirt appears opaque black. Lightroom reveals the fabric differently, as if transparent. Silly software!

Life is good!

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