Friday, November 17, 2017

Rachel in a Piece by Yudel, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2016


Two summers ago this was the spot on so many days. Getting out of the city and heading to the countryside gave the models the space in which to be creative, and to breathe freely. On this morning we were accompanied by the magnificent Rachel Hortensia Lopez Thompson in pieces provided by the most talented Yudel R. Contreras Garcia.

It is an incredible honor to be provided fabrics by one of the premiere designers on the island, and to have such a talent on whom such pieces could be placed. This is to me the reward of being engaged for a dozen years in Cuba, to have the trust of the community in these collaborations. There is something so magical about really knowing the people being photographed. All this of course was made possible thanks to the genius of Gysleda Virginia De La Barca Vega and her modeling school at ModaEgos.

We had worked together a few times before, making this session so natural. She was always on time and always in a good mood even though we usually left for our location an hour before sunrise. For this session we drove to a neighborhood familiar to us about half an hour out of the city. We located four spots and began just as the sun came up. 

The formula is by now familiar to all of us, starting with 400 ISO film and then moving on to 100 ISO. This allowed us to take advantage of the early light and let Rachel work with a more subdued sun. By the time we arrived to this house it was perhaps 7:45 a.m. and the sun had cleared the trees across the small path. Rachel was of course ready in her third outfit and we exposed a few rolls, both in black and white and in color.

This beautiful spirit has since moved to another country, yet remains in contact with me to this day. She has my appreciation for the beautiful images she more than helped us create, and I do hope that one day we can continue this collaboration!

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Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100 mm combination.