A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Colleen Hughes - My Helga
Friday, July 05, 2013








At about the time that the strange/wonderful/scandalous news broke about Andrew Wyeth’s artistic relationship with Helga Testorf that even produced a Time cover in August 1986 I had my own Helga. I just did not know.

In the mid 80s I experimented taking pictures of women attempting to disprove and shut up Vancouver Magazine editor, Mac Parry who kept telling everybody, “Alex makes beautiful women ugly and ugly women uglier.” I tried all types of techniques, with artificial light in a studio and in plein air. I tested Kodak b+w Infrared Film and Kodak’s SO115 and Technical Pan films with my 35s and all manner of medium format films with my Mamiya.



One of my best models was Colleen Hughes. Without a shirt there was no way I could even compare to Hughes without a shirt. But such was the personality of this woman who said little but looked at me with  her ambivalent smile, that I would have lost my shirt if we had played strip poker. There was no telling what Hughes was thinking about at any given moment.


Colleen was patient with my amateur technique but such was her poise and her changing moods that my pictures of her, at least 28 years old, seem to be fresh to me and I delight at looking at them and noticing her wonderful freckles.

Twenty eight years ago the task at hand for this photographer was to find out how quickly I could persuade my subjects to cast off their clothing. I took pictures of them clothed or semi clothed almost blindly as I awaited the moment when I would see all. It is only now that I appreciate those preliminary shots that I took in perfunctory action. I was an idiot.

It was exactly today that I came to realize well of what I write above. It came about because Hughes contacted me from her present home in Edmonton:

Hi Alex,
hoping all is well for you & yours. I was looking through some of my old...o.k. very old contact sheets, and came across a few that of course I loved. My question to you is, would it be alright if you sent me a few photos of the Lighthouse Park photos of me on the rocks with me wearing a long white cotton shirt dress?

As I scanned the pictures to send to Hughes I was delighted to note quite a few treasures, not only from the Lighthouse Park session but a previous one at her home. Here they are. And had I only known I would have taken many more pictures of my Helga.




     

Previous Posts
Recipes For Memories That Linger In The Heart

If You Forget What You Read I'll Remember The Wor...

Art Bergmann & Viper Juice At The Wise Hall

Ophelia La Séduisante

That Chandler Blonde

Nick Harrison, Deck Chairs, Golf Clubs & Rapiers

Air Guitar In Social Media

Art Bergmann - Yellow Pages

The Little Black Ribbon

Red, Green & A 20



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1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17