Rediscovering Tara RevisitedMonday, July 15, 2013
As age creeps into my life my memory fails ever more frequently. Thankfully the efficient search engine within my blog will find any subject I may have written about by the use of a couple of key words. This saves me from the embarrassment of repeating myself. But in this case I will still re-do the blog with slightly different words. As I write this my other essay is ready for insertion below this one and I just might pick a few more pictures, too! Originally published here on November 28,2011.
Some 12 or 13 years ago two photographic friends, Ian McGuffie, Patrice Bilawka and I worked on a joint personal project three times. It involved finding a beautiful young woman and making an appointment with her in my studio. I would then inform her that the three of us would photograph her separately and what each one of us did with her was to be kept a secret. After a month we would have a one night show in the studio and only then would all of us find out what the other had done. It was at this first meeting that I asked the important question, “If at any moment during a shoot any of us ask you to undrape you are not to object. If that will be an issue tell us now.” After this chat I would take a group shot of all of us which would mark the last time we would all be together until our one evening premiere.
We worked on three women and all the shows were a success. When we attempted a fourth, Patrice had moved to Los Angeles so a friend of Ian’s, Jessica Bushey stepped in.
For me it seems that all our energy had drained. We did manage to find a model and she did come to the studio. I did give her the speech and I did take the group shot. But the project died there. From my files I now see I did take her pictures in one session. The first session was always a feeler where I would get comfortable (a mutual situation) and from there I would proceed to ideas and themes.
The only theme I pursued in the first shoot was the “slow-entering-into-a-cold-swimming-pool” procedure. This meant that my model, Tara R. started off with clothes and ended up undraped. I wasn’t all that honest about the procedure as Tara R. did wear several outfits beginning with her first Seattle style grunge. What is interesting is that when I looked at my contacts it took me 8 exposures to get her from the grunge to a b+w underwear to nude. Then we went backwards and she dressed up. The pictures here are in chronological order. There were other pictures but these did follow a chronology. The very last one here was the very last one and I think I like it.
July 15, 2013
In the late 90s my photographer friends Ian McGuffie and Patrice Bilawka used to hang out in downtown coffee shops to discuss photography and figure out how to keep ourselves enthused in a place where enthusiasm seemed to wane day by day. One of our most successful joint projects worked beautifully three times. It involved finding a model, sort of randomly and asking her to show up at my nice studio on Robson and Granville. On the appointed date I would talk to our prospective model and tell her this, “We are going to photograph you individually in a separate location. We might do this more than once. You are not to hint in any way to one photographer what the other one is doing. In thirty days we are going to have a one night show in this studio. If any of us ask you to disrobe you are not to object. If you have a problem, tell us now.” After my little speech I would take a portrait of the four of us which would mark the last time all of us would be together until the opening. It worked like a charm.
Still the shows were well attended and I honed many techniques in experimental photography that served well at a later date. After our third session, my eyes opened up to the fact that one of my photo buddies was a glamorous and extraordinarily beautiful woman. I took her pictures and she went south to California.
In an effort to revive our series McGuffie and I recruited another female photographer Jessica Bushey but somehow the shine on our project somehow became warmed over toast. I picked a model, a very pleasant one called Tara Rimmer. I gave her the sermon and took the group shot. I then had her in my studio for preliminary photographs. And then, my memory fails as to why the project died and I never saw Rimmer again. One of my techniques to ease the possible strain for my subject who was to take all her clothes off in my studio was the five shot narrative method. Picture one was fully clothed and the last shot was with nothing on. I would lock my camera in position and not move it so that the only change was the clothing. Sometimes, I was more daring and did it in reverse manner.
Since the contents and visuals of my blog must pass my most correct sense of propriety I will not show you any of those fifth shots or even the fourth ones. But I will show you enough that you might surmise that further sessions with Miss Rimmer would have indeed been a visual delight.