Monday, October 31, 2011

Kittie, Photographer, Model, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, October 8, 2011

We meet on Model Mayhem, she responds to my proposal as follows:

'We can talk and I may very well accept.'

In the weeks prior to our photographic collaboration, we exchange a number of messages detailing our thoughts. From wardrobe to location, she offers creative solutions when others simply freeze. She understands my work beautifully and wants to be a part of the family.

Instead of wanting this for herself, she offers to collaborate for the sake of the project. She goes out of her way to gather the clothes necessary, adhering to my request for simple and timeless pieces. She adores vintage clothing and has a closet filled with remarkable examples.

She invites me to her neighborhood for the session, and into her home as well. Her family is present along with her wonderful boyfriend. Before we walk in to review her selection of clothing, I talk to her father and boyfriend, sharing with them the reason for my interest in her. They wonder about my work, and have seen a bit of it through the internet. During our talk I show my portfolio to them, and tell stories regarding my work.

Quite naturally they are also curious about my interest on this day. They see faces in my portfolio from Ethiopia and Cuba and India, then look at the young girl across the table from them. To me she is priceless and this much is communicated to them. She is just as beautiful and kind as the people in my book. She trusts me in the same manner, and shows a respect that many others fail to share. 

She gives me the benefit of the doubt without having ever met me prior to this day.

We then walk into her home and up to her room, without hesitation and with the parents' permission of course. On our way through the house, her younger brother is present and is as confident as any young man from my experience. He greets me with a cool demeanor, and seems to be quite the presence in the kitchen. We spend some time looking at her photography, and then at some of her artwork. She is a creative spirit and this makes me very happy.

She is proud of her artistic expressions, and shares her work with kindness and humility. We then look through her selection of clothing and all of it according to my specifications. In addition to the simple black pieces, she shows me a piece from the Victorian Age as well as a few Mid-Century pieces. We are both very excited at the prospect of this collaboration and go back downstairs with our treasure.

The drive to find a wall is next, and we pile into her car for the search. It takes us less than ten minutes and, with the help of her boyfriend, we locate a wall of a warehouse next to a local hotel. The lot is spacious and empty, just perfect actually. The sun is still pretty high and we talk a bit before the photography begins. 

The portrait above is made with the first dress worn, and the afternoon flows as beautifully as any session in my experience. We communicate effortlessly and expose a dozen or so rolls before the sun goes down. I am beyond excited at the results and this past weekend have printed four negatives from the session. In my opinion I have found a young woman with whom to collaborate locally for a lifetime. She is once again priceless and promises to continue helping me make images as the one included above.

What else can one ask for? 

I can think of nothing else, and go to sleep tonight thinking of our next time together.
Halim Ina Photography

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