Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why I photograph beauty.

I guess I could just explained why I got into photography at all... But that's kind of a boring story. The more interesting one is why I started photographing beautiful women.

Years ago when I was just experimenting with photography I was shooting sunsets in Charleston SC and farm houses in Sumter. When... for no apparent reason it hit me to photograph a pretty girl. I wouldn't even think to call the person a "model" at this point. I hadn't processed the photographer / subject relationship that far.

I placed an add in the City Paper in Charleston and I got several responses. Surprising really. Two of note where Lindsey King (who later went on to appear on ABCs "the Bachelor") and Amy Frost (who later went on to be a life long friend and muse).

The shoot with Lindsey was a comedy of errors that I never showed or admitted to her. I miss loaded the first roll. It never existed. 30% of every roll was also out of focus because I hadn't figured out the diopter yet. And most embarrassing was the fact that I had her follow me a mile into the woods... alone to my parents river house to shoot. I never for a minute thought that might be uncomfortable for Lindsey. But... it seemed she didn't care. I did get a few NICE photos from that original shoot. My first pretty lady shoot. In fact one still hangs on my wall.

Most important however was the Amy Frost shoot. When I first met Amy she was living on Logan St in Charleston. She was a ballet dancer. She answered the door with wet hair and a pack of Parliament Light cigarettes. We chatted on her porch in the humid low country air for about 45 minutes. I don't recall what we discussed. I was immediately intimidated by her innocence and beauty. If it were not for the cigarettes and Bud Light bottles littering the porch from whatever event was held there the night before I might have had to ask her to PROVE to me she was 19.

Our shoot was over in about 2 hours. Amy was much more at ease than I was. I did manage to load all the film correctly this time. But I accidentally left a yellow B/W contrast filter on the lens when I switched to color. I never noticed the yellow hue.

As it turns out this mistake was a "happy accident" that created one of my favorite photos of all time.

This shoot turned out to be the first of many with Amy. Amy also became one of my dearest friends. Her beauty even today is only matched by her compassion and creativity. She was my muse. She was the reason I resolved to photography beautiful women. She exemplifies beauty and creativity in my eyes.

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