Caitlin Legault - Art ModelFriday, May 30, 2014
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Cailtin Legault - Art Model
Nudes, Danishes & Roses
Once upon a time, I was contacted by photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward.
At first his name did not ring a bell. But once I saw his work, I realized I had already seen it many times before. To me, the depth and calibre of his photos represented everything I hoped to be a part of.
I am an art model. Most of my experience comes from posing for painters, sculptors and drawing groups. I am told I am photogenic, but I think I still have a lot to learn when it comes to photography.
Hearing from Alex was both encouraging and terrifying.
Alex told me I reminded him of Charlotte Corday, the assassin who stabbed Jean Paul Marat (one of the most outspoken leaders of the French Revolution) to death in his bath. It must be the wide set eyes I thought.
Fast forward to Thursday May 29th, and I am parked outside his house. The plan was to do a few simple shots for his Red Shawl project. I had just come from work, so I did my makeup the best I could in the rear view mirror. My hair was a lost cause, but I had a plan for that. The butterflies were in full parade.
As I opened the front gate I stood in awe at the beautiful heritage cottage Alex calls home. I found myself suddenly at peace. The quaint entrance and fragrant garden put my mind at ease.
I was greeted at the door by a very sweet little lady, whom I soon learned was Rosemary, Alex’s wife of over 47 years.
Alex was called to the door, and that is when I was able to finally meet him face to face. No more butterflies. After a quick chat about life, love and everything in between, I knew this would not be our last encounter. He was funny in the cynical kind of way, which I much prefer.
It was time to shoot, so Alex handed me the red shawl and off I went to the powder room to prepare myself. I quickly shed my clothes and donned my favourite blue velvet robe. The plan I had for my hair depended solely on this red shawl, I had to wrap it around my hair and make it stay. It was thicker and heavier than I expected so it took a few tries. Then last but not least I pulled out my beloved ‘aqua mystic’ topaz ring and squeezed it onto my middle finger. I am hopelessly sentimental, and this ring holds a lot of power for me. Therefore I have hopelessly been sneaking it into anything I can get away with.Marlene Dietrich (my favourite old Hollywood star) also had a beloved topaz ring.
Now here is the thing about assumptions, you should never make them. I had assumed that I was to do this shoot in the nude. As an art model I spend a large portion of my days being naked. The red shawl project showcases an array of personalities from all walks of life. The series often portrays the subjects wearing something that correlates with their chosen career. My job only requires me to wear my birthday suit. I just could not imagine portraying myself with the red shawl in any other way.
I was ready to disrobe, but I got the slightest feeling that I should double check. I asked Alex if he minded if I went nude, of course he was polite enough to grant my wish. Off went my robe, and I felt much better.
Alex took one shot and showed me the result right away, I loved it! He said we could have stopped right then and there. Since we were already there, we decided a few more for good measure might be best.
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I say good lighting is a woman’s best friend. Alex afforded me some very flattering lighting, and I will forever be in debt to him for making me look so beautiful.
After many more flashes and giggles, both photographer and model were feeling happy. So the shoot was called to an end.Lucky for me the fun wasn’t over yet.
Alex pulled out a large box of black and white photographs for me to admire while he went off to the kitchen to retrieve some refreshments. He returned with a tray that shouted “Welcome!” There was a pot of Earl grey tea unlike any I had ever tasted, complete with milk and sugar of course! The gracious host had even prepared a round of warm cream cheese Danishes. I was in heaven, surrounded by great art, good tea, fresh pastries and wonderful company.
I took deep breaths, trying to slow down time. I could smell the old books and old wood that made up his house. The late afternoon sun was still filling the room with light. I could see hints of his garden teasing me through every window. I wanted to see his garden so badly, but I did not want to be intrusive. Thankfully I think he got the hint, and after he let me gobble back to last Danish (because art models eat what they want) he invited me on a quick garden tour.
Alex’ garden boasts an impressive amount of rose varieties, so much in fact that he is hosting some kind of rose club soiree in his back yard this summer. Seriously, Alex is that guy.
I sniffed and smiled and smiled and sniffed. These are the kinds of moments one must file away under ‘Happy Places’.
It was time for me to go, so I sniffed my last rose, thanked Alex profusely and after getting beyond the awkward handshake I was able to lean in for a goodbye hug.
I cannot say enough about my experience that day with Alex, he really left an impression on me. His profound work, his beautiful home, garden and inspiring spirit, these are the things some can only dream of having. I am so very grateful of be a part of this dream.
Holly McRea Model - Poet - Creation Conduit.Lisa Ha Model - Volunteer - Friend
Carmen Alatorre Diseñadora de vestuario
Roberto Baschetti Sociólogo, Investigador Histórico - Amigo
Jennifer Froese Youth Worker
Rachel Cairns Actor
Jennifer Landels Espadachina
Judith Currelly Pilot- Artist
Jim Erickson Set Decorator
Alexandra Hill Soprano
Georgina Elizabeth Isles Figure Model
Emma Middleton Actor
Mark Pryor Author/Lawyer/Assistant DA Travis County TX
Brother Edwin Charles Reggio, CSC Mentor & Teacher
Veronica Vex Burlesque Dancer
George McWhirter Poet
Raúl Guerrero Montemayor Padre-Compadre
Alexandra Waterhouse-Hayward Maestra
Shirley Gnome Singer/Provocateur
Yeva & Thoenn Glover Dancers/Choreographers
JJ Lee Writer
Cathy Marsden Psychiatrist
André De Mondo Wanderer
Colin MacDonald Saxophonist/Composer
Nina Gouveia Yoga Instructor
Stacey Hutton Excercise Physiologist
Colleen Wheeler Actor
Sarah Rodgers Actor, Director,Mother
Tim Turner - Real Estate Agent
Kiera Hill Dancer
Johnna Wright & Sascha Director/Mother - Son/Dreamer
Decker & Nick Hunt Cat & 19th century amateur
George Bowering Poet
Celia Duthie Gallerist
Linda Lorenzo Mother
Katheryn Petersen Accordionist
Stefanie Denz Artist
Ivette Hernández Actress
Byron Chief-Moon Actor/Dancer
Colin Horricks Doctor
Ian Mulgrew Vancouver Sun Columnist
Jocelyn Morlock Composer
Corinne McConchie Librarian
Rachel Ditor Dramaturg
Patrick Reid Statesman, Flag Designer
Michael Varga CBC Cameraman
Bronwen Marsden Playwright/Actress/Director
David Baines Vancouver Sun Columnist
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward Photographer
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart Student
Sandrine Cassini Dancer/Choreographer
Meredith Kalaman Dancer/Choreographer
Juliya Kate Dominatrix