Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ebon, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Cleveland, Ohio, States, July, 2010

Ebon decides to come along with her sister for support, her sister being a model.
She ends up being photographed as well, as natural as the subjects from Asia and Africa.
In describing the people in my portfolio, a dear friend named Edith writes the following:

'A wonderful, exotic piece of wood, a hunk of wood from a tree that has not yet made my acquaintance, from a forest not yet discovered by man or woman, perhaps on a few colorful lizards, a slice of wood cut in an unusual way that exposes a grain pattern previously unseen except by a bolt of lightening that split it in that particular way back in 1837, a hunk of wood shaped around a burl produced by a temporary insect transplant...'

'Not just any piece of wonderful wood, you understand...'

Edith is describing someone else, yet her words come to mind in sharing my thoughts of Ebon.
It is my humble opinion that Edith would feel the same way.

By the way, Edith is a Certified Picture Framer and a link to her work is included here.

While of course my opinion is biased, her work nonetheless is exquisite.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Panda, Friend, Model, Student, Cleveland, Ohio, States, July, 2010

Her name is Panda, or at least this is how we meet through ModelMayhem.
Our initial contact is a response to my casting call. She informs me that she will be out of town during that time and hopes my work will be extended to allow her a chance to be included.

The words that she uses are precise, direct and honest.

Panda writes: 'I love when people call me Sir, then change to Miss, then blush and stutter. I laugh a lot, but reassure them it's okay because they genuinely seem embarrassed.'

She reads the entire description and provides a response that is relevant to my work and brings a fresh approach as well. So many glance over the meaning of my photography while Panda takes the time to understand how she will bring something new to the work while maintaining a flow to it as well.

When asked about a similarity between her and the subjects in my portfolio, she writes:

'I think a similarity is obviously human. I find it funny how race is so emphasized, when in all reality we are one species, and race is a social construct. It's one genome. We've all seen our fair share, you can see it in the eyes and fine lines and markings.'

My work is clear to her even before meeting.

She arrives to the studio on time regardless of difficulty. We proceed to the rooftop and, in the span of a few minutes, she is ready to be photographed. We begin with close portraits and she moves from one pose to another, from one composition to another and from one expression to another effortlessly.

There is something about her; she moves with great delicacy and intent. She knows when it is time to show another face, another facet of her personality. Even though the sun is striking her with sufficient strength, she calmly gives me half an hour before we make portraits in another style.

The three images above are from this initial series.

Even before this session, Panda kindly accepts the thought of being photographed over a span of a few times. She feels that perhaps we can produce a more complete body of work given the benefit of a few sessions. Her patience with me and my work is extraordinary.

Last night she received the images from six weeks ago with grace, regardless of the time taken to produce the work. When asked to use her words for this entry, she responds with the same humility and grace.