Model Mayhem is a great place to meet photographers, experiencing a wide rage of people also give you a good idea of what and who you like to work with and vice versa. My most recent shoot was with a person (I won't mention any names cause I don't want to be one of THOSE people) whom I felt had very different ideas then my own.
To be fair I saw his work ahead of time, and didn't find it exciting. He was into fetish modeling I'm not sure why he wanted to work with me really other then maybe he found me cute. But I told him that that just wasn't my thing and he said he respected that. One of his wishlist photos was for extreme makeup, and since I've been dabbling in that area I thought this would be agreeable for both of us. I'd been wanting to take some portrait photos to work on my expressions anyway and mentioned that to him and what I was thinking of doing.
He felt his home studio would be the best place to take photos and we agreed on the time. He lived in Salem so I had to wake up really early to start on my makeup, I also brought Gloria with me just in case things started to go south, and she drove while I glued rhinestones to my neck. Yes GLUED THEM!
I must admit I had a vision for the shoot, I was very, very pink so I was thinking a white background with white light on me so the only really visible points would be the pink. But when I arrived is was a back background, which was apparently all he had, I feel that's very limiting for a photographer. Then I eventually found out he wanted photos like this...
Me staring at the camera like a dead fish. I wasn't allowed tilt my head, do anything with my mouth, or tilt my eyes in another direction. He spent a lot of time messing with my wig because it was frizzy, something a black background picks up no problem. He also paid a lot of attention to my bangs, I don't know why he wanted them to be split like that in the middle but they are like that in every picture. He liked a yellow tone so of course I look less edgy and more drag queen-like, and when I mentioned again that I wanted to work on my expressions he said he didn't need any photos like that.
Now you might think I'm being a little picky here, I should be glad someone wanted to do a collaboration with me in the first place. But a collaboration should mean we both get something we wanted out of it. I did drive two hours out to work with you, and shelled out the money for the makeup, eyelashes, and rhinestones it's not just about what you want you know!
Eventually I managed to convince him to at least change the angle.
I've always preferred my face angled up anyway but I still had to keep the same expression and look directly at the camera. As soon as I received my pictures I got to work putting them through a photoshop program. In this picture I kept the color tone that he liked but used a glow filter so the wig would look less frizzy.
I turned this one black and white with a red tone filler (all reddish tones appear whiter than normal), It looks killer this way I think.
After about two of three hours he said he'd gotten the shots he wanted and asked if I'd like to do something different. I got kind of excited thinking now we could do expressions but he pulled out a cheap belly dancers sash (the kind with tin foil coins). I politely declined and decided to call Gloria (who had gone shopping) to pick me up. All the while thinking in my head that, 'this guy has seen my MM profile, he must know by now that I make really fantastic costumes and he thinks I'm going to put THAT thing on!' Maybe it's elitist but no, never gonna happen.
Here's a picture with a cool blue tone that I think fits the diamond rhinestone necklace and bright pink makeup much better in my opinion.
And here's the same picture as the first one but I photoshopped it with a bright light and a glow filter, kind of like how I wanted the lighting to be in the first place. I wish I had the skills to turn the background white but I'm not that talented.
I would also like to mention that I had a tube top on the entire time. He asked in a few different ways why I didn't do nudes and/or sexy type photos in bathing suits or the like.
The answer is I like high-fashion. There are lots of pictures of women in bikinis with the waves washing over them they are everywhere are easy to do. But I think a picture is more interesting if that woman is in a gauzy ball gown with the waves pulling parts of the dress out to sea as she lays serenely, or possibly even fighting the current.
I am glad that I gave it a try, I worked with a photographer and it's didn't work out, I still get an A for effort and photos, while not being among my favorites, are not too bad all things considered.
Teaching in a Chinese university
2 weeks ago