Linda Y La ParedThursday, May 07, 2015
They often say that those who can’t, teach. I would like to protest as I think I could and did and do. But I also taught. In the late 80s and early 90s I was an Artist Teacher (that’s what we were called) in the Outreach Program of Emily Carr. Printmakers, painters, sculptors and photographers were sent for weekend sessions in remote areas of our province.
For a few years I taught at Focal Point on 10th Avenue. My most popular class (I thought Vancouver was supposed to be terribly repressed) was called The Contemporary Portrait Nude.
The idea of the portrait nude came to me when in the very early 80s I obtained a good contract job for Air Canada Public Relations (also for Canadian Pacific Limited). The man in charge at Air Canada, Harry Atterton told me, “I don’t care if you photograph airplanes or other stuff for us as long as you always include the humanity of it – even if it is only a shoe.” I never forgot that advice. Even when I shoot nudes or teach my students how to go about this I stress the idea of the face and the humanity, even if the face is not in the shot. As long as you remember the face, the photograph will have content and depth.
In my classes I often told that the idea of a wall (or backdrop), a model (I prefer the term subject), a camera, lights and you ( much like those once popular layered Jell-O of many colours) were a recipe for a boring disaster. It was important to have some sort of concept or idea before shooting. Thinking about it at night, in bed, a night before could work well. And in the studio those moments when you told your subject to rest were the moments when you watched your subject’s movements for ideas.
When I would tell my students, “We are now going to do wall shots,” they were often surprised.
They soon found out as my Linda Lorenzo "pared" shot here attests, that a wall can be a lot less than boring.