Friday, November 2, 2012

Magdalena, Dry Lake Bed, Lucerne Valley, Los Angeles, California, September 15, 2012

Two years ago I met Magdalena through a website for models and photographers, and since then we have collaborated four times. She has the uncanny ability to transform from session to session and most amazingly during a session.

My preference for darker clothing happens to be her preference, and she tries to present variety always. When asked to be photographed she never denies the request, and in her own way accepts most willingly. Two years ago we worked three times together over a span of a week. This year I photographed her in September during my Los Angeles trip and hope to document her moving spirit in less than two weeks during my upcoming trip to Santa Barbara.

While my schedule will be busy, I will make time to photograph Magdalena. Her place in my work is understood, and she has already accepted my invitation.

Our collaboration in September was most difficult for her, for she was feeling a bit under the weather leading up to the day of the photography. We arrived at her home in a suburb of Los Angeles, and parked on the street. While waiting we walked over to one of her neighbors to look over some clothing, since she was having a yard sale.

Bailey looked at some dresses and then walked over to check a pile of shoes in a box. I checked out a few shirts but found nothing. All the while the resident of the house walked in and out to check on her sauce, the sweet scent of which teased our hungry senses while we waited.

Magdalena walked towards us quickly and apologized for the wait, a sure sign of her respect for both us and our work. She has always been this way, quite sincere and genuine. We gathered ourselves and headed out to the dry lake bed almost two and a half hours away in Los Angeles traffic.

We could tell she was feeling a little ill and asked her about it. She told us that she would be fine and then asked our permission to fall asleep in the car. We drove to the area while she slept, waking up when we arrived at a local fast food restaurant in order to get some much needed food into her stomach. She was more than appreciative, ate the salad and felt much better as we drove the remaining half an hour to the site.

In contrast to El Mirage, the dry lake bed at Lucerne Valley was quite accessible, and split down the middle by a nicely paved road. We drove up and down this road for a little bit in order to find the perfect spot, with few houses in the background. We did so, got out and set up the cameras. A few minutes later Magdalena was ready with her first outfit, and so the photography began.

We worked for the next ninety minutes, now and then fetching a piece of our equipment as it flew over the road to the other side. The wind was wonderful and we managed to expose a dozen rolls before calling it quits for the day. Considering how this young woman was feeling, the session was more than a success. In the middle of the desert, under the sun and with the heat, she gave us what few could have.

I am honored to know Magdalena and look forward to a collaboration in two weeks.
Halim Ina Photography

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