I got a call the few weeks ago from an artist friend. At the time, Laura, a painter, was just finishing up a series of large canvases, self portraits. She had been working from photographs her husband took of her. 

Laura had been imagining her next project. Her idea was a woman floating (another woman, not herself this time), maybe like she was under water or in space. The background should be black, the woman's hair floating. The initial idea was to use a somewhat more (Laura's word...) "voluptuous" model. But the need for physical prowess outweighed and ruled out the voluptuous idea (at least for now). 

By his own admission, the photography requirements were a bit more than Mark, her musician husband, was comfortable attempting. She had seen some of my portraits online, my use of a black background was exactly what she had in mind and was curious how I created the effect. We sat down a few days later over a coffee to talk about her plan, her ideas and how I might be able to help. I quickly realized the easiest (and for me, the most fun) would be to do the photography for her myself.

The first order of business was to find a location to shoot in. Laura's own living room was ample big enough so we settled on that. Then, how to float? Laura had already been thinking a small trampoline might do the trick, so sourced a cheap one on kijiji. We did a test shoot with Laura as model and found everything was working to plan. 

Now to find a model. We searched Model Mayhem and we asked everyone we knew. I posted a query on my Farcebook page, Laura did the same. We got a couple of responses which looked promising. 

One of the people who contacted us was Alina. She heard about our project through another model I know. She was very keen to participate. At first, Alina's fine, dancer's physique seemed to be at odds with Laura's "voluptuous" requirements. Laura was not convinced Alina was right for the job but I was so taken by her look that I was eager to try her out. So I suggested an "experiment" with a fit model could be helpful to understanding how the photography was going to work. Then we could proceed to find us other models till we had what Laura was after. 

Well, as it turns out, Alina was so good at what we were trying to create, she just simply nailed it. There was no need to continue looking for other models. 

As an extra bonus for me, I was able to create some wonderful portraits for my own portfolio after we finished up with Laura's project. 

Isabelle SantiagoComment