Photography: Audrey Escalante

Inside: Regular people; The Hunger; A pro photoshoot; Craigslist is creepy as ****

To quote a sage:

“Everybody wan’ go heav’n. Nobody wan’ dead.” – Screwface

Let me put that in the context of photography:

Everybody wants great, memorable, high quality photos of themselves and their loved ones. Nobody wants to get their picture taken.

In theory, they do. In reality, it’s always something to do soon — in the immediate future. Yeh, let’s do that thing. No, yeh, absolutely. Let’s do it soon. Maybe when it’s warmer, dryer, after my skin clears up, when I cut my hair, when the kids are out of school, after I’m back from that trip, etc.

I understand, too. If I’m going to get “serious” photos taken I want them when I’m feeling my best. Relaxed, confident, happy, lean. Not when I’m feeling ground down and have a newly established constellation of blemishes.

But I am a photographer. I have the hunger. It’s an urge and putting it off makes me kind of crazy. I realized that I can’t wait until people are ready. Can’t manipulate them into being ready either.

With that said, the time is now. So I hired a model.

AUDREY

Where to begin. Audrey is amazing. Here’s a few:

Here’s the full set of photos:

http://garyarthuryoung.zenfolio.com/p616215038

Great to work with. Fun. And I learned a LOT about the photographer-model world in the region just by being around her for a few hours. Different concepts to think through and work on. Keep an eye out for some future collaboration.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

On Monday night I posted an ad on Craigslist for a “Golden Hour Photoshoot on the National Mall” on Wednesday. Short notice. I didn’t think I’d get any responses because I had looked around on Craigslist to get a sense of how to go about hiring a model and which section to post in.

I was totally creeped out by the posts in the Talent section. There was a guy who wanted to lick women’s boots. A few who wanted to masturbate during — whatever. Photoshoot? Personal stripper session? There’s a guy who wants to buy used panties. There were a lot of professionally worded but obviously porn posts. “College GIRL$”

Of course, there were also a lot of fine arts nude requests, but if you’re a model you quickly learn that you have to weed out the creepers who look good on paper until they ask if there’ll be touching during the photoshoot.

I mean … look. To each his own. If no one is being hurt or taken advantage of — no harm, no foul? I guess?

It was just obvious to me that, like, 85% of the posters are looking for escorts and 10% more want young women for porn.

On the other hand, Craigslist is amazing. If you have a legitimate transaction to make, you can post it and within a matter of minutes have a few options.

I was concerned that my naive and suspiciously innocent/clean post would be ignored. Hell. I wouldn’t trust it in that environment. But I got three responses in a few hours.

Audrey was first and the most professional. Her portfolio is mighty fine, too.

THE IDEA

I wasn’t looking for a particular look, ethnicity, or fashion. Just something that would work with the cherry blossoms.We discussed what fashion choices would work for the blossoms and the concept.

But you’ll notice in the photos that there’s not a whole lot of emphasis on the blossoms or the monuments. They’re there in the background as the scene for the “story” but I quickly realized that the magic wasn’t in the architecture.

It was her. And the light.

Models work hard to craft looks, poses, and personas. It’s a craft.

Plus Audrey’s tattoos tell a story on their own. We played with some smoky looks and more casual ones.

On the back side of the Lincoln Memorial we got there just before the sunset at the peak of the Golden Hour as planned. It was a photographer’s dream come true. (Some of the photos I wanted to do weren’t feasible since sunset is in a different place in April than it is in November.)

She was on point. Taking the photos I was like, “Wow. Whoa. Holy crap.”

I got Magnum full blast and it was disarming.

Now all I need is a budget for all of these photo concepts swimming around in my head. If anyone wants to buy me a winning Lotto ticket I’ll take you out to lunch.

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