Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amanda Jean - Pittsburgh, PA

I meet Amanda a street over from my boy's house - she is someone I am genuinely excited about shooting: she is tied with all of the shortest girls ive shot with, ( tiny at 4'11, but which ive learned to work)- and has a very classically pretty face with bright reddish pink hair that adds edge - and is the same color mine was for a little while in high school (woohoo, black light reflective little mermaid hair!)

Her one specific request is a picture for teen vogue magazine displaying personal style, so we have at that--as is I am loving not only her hair but her tats, and am ultimately jealous of the '412' under her ear - the area code for most Pittsburgh numbers, the city I have most fallen in love with in my travels.

I am also in love with all of her clothes, and as one of her interests was designing, I had her bring a ton of clotheshangers to rock a shot with them and the extra clothes she brought along - which her boyfriend dutifully carried to our set (boys ARE useful from time to time)
(-as we are shooting he gets the text at Michael Jackson died - and I am informed of this by my next two models and boy - news travels so fast!)

The heat is hardly bearable, so we ended up taking a break to find a gas station/drink machine. THe GPS, as is not uncommon, leads us astray, but we finally spot a drink machine on the corner of the ghetto, stocked, of course, with orange and grape soda--and a picture of blue mountain dew which I bought, but of course it was the red (that stuff is so sweet, how do you STAND it??)

As we resume shooting, a group of the typical middle-aged black men who have a tendancy of interrupting my shoots pass by and begin to holler at Amanda - then begin making remarks about the tattoo on her thigh, which is half covered by her dress since it goes almost to her waist; they begin interrogating her as to what it is, if they can see the whole thing, etc. etc. and dont let go - so she lifts her dress enough to show off the tattoo--
and they begin hollering, 'oh my LORD, WOW, oh, thank you so much you just made an OLD man see!" they finally begin dissapearing down the street, the echoes of 'AN OLD MAN SEE' following them and dying out -

I absolutely loved the pictures of Amanda, and my only critique to her is to be less self conscious about her face, because it is gorgeous! and it accept her flaws, because everyone has them and they only really make her stand out.
Lovely face, eyes, lips and cheekbones - don't doubt yourself girl!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dannie Fortwranger - Pittsburgh PA

My first shoot in Pittsburgh is with Danielle Fortwranger. I am excited because her pictures show her off as cute, and comfortable with her body - and she has has roles in a couple of movies (Zack and Miri make a porno + New Terminal Hotel).

We met off the side of the highway/route/whatever it is Pittsburgh has because I missed a turn and stopped the first place I could - but she knew where I was by the color scheme of a nearby building, and found me.

We begin shooting around the building (there are no other cars there but ours) and she dons a dress her friend lent to her that is decades old and G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.; a a women sticks her head out of a door we are using as a backdrop; "what are you doing?" she demands.

I am very much used to this question, so we explain that we are taking pictures since apparently she didn't see my camera, and, as I am also used to, she needs to know why we are doing it HERE, and why we can't find a better place, because, what is so exciting about her ugly building?

I tell her I like the grungy look and ask if she would like us to move. she says she doesnt care and dissappears back into the building.

Dannie and I shrug and continue shooting. We finished up in this location and drive to look for somewhere else--which is how we ended up at the Busy Beaver, and I still don't know what that is, besides a store. We decide to ask for permission this time, and pretty much have the same conversation with the manager inside, until one of the girls that works there jumps to our rescue explaining why on location shoots are necessary for a model's portfolio.

Well, Dannie and I are fast friends, paired by our lack of an attention span and appeal towards cancer-sticks - and so on... and our pictures are definitely different from her port before I hit it -

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sasha - Andover MA, RIck - North Reading, MA

Sasha is a photographer -

I meet Sasha after a shoot in North Reading (I finished one up on the street her boyfriend lives on and called her saying I wanted to come over slash I had to use the bathroom really bad).After a plethora of errands we return to his house—and I happen to know Sasha is dying to get some couple shots.
Her boyfriend seems a little less than enthusiastic but he complies, as the ones we 'satiate' often do, and she (like Ive been known to do) hijacks his actions for the next ten minutes, attempts to slick his hair back and reiterates all of the orders I bark out at him once I have them on set/in bed.
The light is harsh, the color worse (tungsten and window light, I’ve lately been mastering) but it’s amazing what some photoshop can do (I mean, do I even NEED models?!)
Well, all’s well that ends well and I am pleased with the first shot I got a chance to edit 

Mary - Methuen MA

On Thursday, June 4th, I have the pleasure of shooting with Mary. After we confirm that I am not an Andover yuppy , I have her break out the outfits; I love pretty much everything she’s brought – and her shoes are absolutely to die for (as with a good proportion of the models I shoot with, we are unanimous shoe whores, and thus off to a good start).
Mary is a beginning model like many of the girls I shoot with, but 5’8 and skinny with mile long legs that go all the way to the floor (as my friend Sasha puts it), and in other words, perfect for the industry.
She notes that she is a dancer, at which point I hear “I am good at changing quickly in public locations” and also, “I can rock some mean figure poses”.
She is also the only girl that has a killer location in mind already and we meet at a seminary (what the hell is a seminary?!) in her hometown of Methuen so that we can walk to castle grounds. Unlike probably any other girl I’ve shot with, she doesn’t mind the walk not only back and forthe about eight minutes each way between outfit changes AND in heels up and down rough foliage and dirt – and, a final difference, she isn’t afraid of spiders, which I happen to adore (hence the tattoo of one on my ankle).
The girl is great, to sum up, an artist as well who seems impressed that I have heard of complementary colors – and with total agreeance about some shots with her colored pencils, parasole, and car as a pin up model (a style she exclaims that she is in absolutely love with) the shoot is rockin.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Danielle Olsen - Arlington, MA

I would like to travel back in time and talk about my first shoot in MA - with Danielle Olsen, last Saturday May 30. I stepped off the bus from Rochester NY sometime around 9:30 (an 11 hour journey if you count the 3 hour layover in Syracuse), saw that my mother had parked exactly next to the same model of the car I had just droven for the last time in Rochester and still hated letting go of(pointed it out and she demanded, 'how come this one's still on the road?!') well, in other words, this left me to borrow my parents' car , a honda odyssey minivan. The pressure of the gas pedal was so different, I was initially afraid to travel to my shoots, thinking that driving the car made me nervous - but it turns out it's driving the car with MY MOTHER that makes me nervous.
Either way, I am definitely too small for a minivan.

more relevantly, I arrived about two hours later in Bedford (the town I lived as an infant) and met Danielle from Arlington MA. She had only casual images in her portfolio and looked like your average pretty high school girl - in person though, I have to say, she really did look like a model - and 5'8, too.

I couldn't have been more impressed with the manner in which the angles of her face photographed. I probably could have been a little more impressed with her ability to focus. Her boyfriend standing off to the side and not even making funny faces the way many of the escorts I've had the wonderful pleasure of encountering do made her laugh quite a few times in the beginning.

But, I'm just kidding, I mean, Danielle was mild mannered, easy going, didnt mind sitting on construction vehicles and crouching by puddles in heels and a dress. At one point I was going to use this large bird house at the edge of someone's lawn (had some really cool bird phobia ideas, duh) until I realized there was a camera just under the roof pointing towards the street; which sucked, because I really wanted to steal it, and maybe throw some eggs and toilet paper on the sidewalk first.

Well, I will just reitterate that Danielle was a dream to photograph and a sweet girl, probably one of the few if not only models I've worked with that could actually make it into the fashion business (since she's mostly got the height) and has a face that is reminscent of a particular model I can't recall the name of, I believe from a Ralph Lauren ad - but if not, she does look like she could be a Ralph Lauren model anyway.

And, that's a wrap!
....mmmmm... wrap...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sophia Pamela - Exeter NH

Sophia is exactly what her profile states - a blond bombshell. She has hair that is practically as long as she is tall (though at five foot flat, perhaps that isn't saying so much) and eyes that sear in the sun. I remark, as she is posing, that sheis lucky she can do some much with her hair;
"I can put it in a braid," she says proudly. "yeah, that's about it. I usually just mess it up and call it a day."

But I am skipping ahead; let's start at the meet-up; she is coming from around Manchester New Hampshire and im on the border between Andover, MA and Salem NH, so we decide to meet at the mall in the latter. She calls saying she will be slightly late and then gets lost (not atypical of myself so I really couldn't be angry) and thus I begin scouting the area for cool locations and mentally planning things out;
she arrives and prepares, and then because we are girls we of course both have to use the bathroom; so we scour the mall(a really big one if you havent been there) and come out at the entire opposite end. I point out a rock wall under the parking garage which I feel will be a good place to begin - and we begin preparing. Her outfit consists of fishnet leggings with booty shorts, and though she is tentative to dismantle into such in the middle of a somewhat public area, she does - and as I am light testing we notice the security guards, about 50 yards away and 20 yards up on a platform, demanding to know what we are doing. I hold up my camera, but we decide to relocate anyway --

until we are stopped short as a security guard appears in a car, and asks us to step aside and talk.

he explains that we are on private property and in legal violation in terms of tresspassing, "and," he adds, 'possibly bordering on 'indecent exposure'
i think both of our jaws dropped; we proceeded to explain that we were photography students working on our final portfolios (the usual conjured excuse for such situations), but he asked us to wait for his manager, and in the next half hour, they lectured us, then took sophias name, photo, and told her she was not allowed to return to the mall for a total of three months; then they escorted us to our vehicles.

the plan was for her to follow me out until i could find somewhere to pull over and we would talk; honestly, I thought shed do a Uie and speed back to wherever it was she came from never to be seen or heard from by me ever again -- but she follows me around several parking lots as I turn into places that do not lead to exits and loop several times, then finally scour my way out of the parking lot;

we found somewhere to stop, discussed our situation, were unanimously unable to register what had just happened at the mall (I have been in plenty of places I was not supposed to be for photoshoots and shot girls wearing far less in public, and never experienced anything as remotely dramatic) -- and then we headed out again--it took us a long long time to find somewhere private enough to shoot, but the rest, as they say, is history - dutifully recorded in the form of photographs