A couple of my recent blogs re the astoundingly beautiful
Susan F. have led me to think about my life now that I am 78.
I took these photographs many years ago and luckily I was not tempted to use lights in my studio. I took advantage of the light coming from the window and reflecting back from the opposite white wall. Most of the pictures I took on my yet-to-be-refinished psychiatric couch. I have no memory on how I met Susan except that it was sometime at the end of the past century in the confines of the Exposure Gallery on Beatty Street. Those days were simpler, I believe, and I could go up to anybody and tell them my name. They would instantly connect me with many of the local magazines and there would be a level of trust there so that I could pass my business card and ask, “Would you pose for me in my studio?” This was then not deemed as sexual harassment.
Many now may look at the pictures of Susan and perhaps call them boudoir photographs. I would not in the least be insulted as I think that people now have lost that idea of photographic style.
There is a consistent look of melancholy in my photographs of Susan. I have no idea as to why this was something she wanted to project.
I look back at these photographs and I can confidently state here that somehow they have made me the person I am today. I also believe that I doubt that anybody has since been able to look into Susan’s soul with a camera. I may have had some small talent then, but the excellence of these portraits is all to do with the fact that Susan let me in for a glimpse.
I am a lucky man. My only regret is that this sort of photographic session is definitely now in my past and nobody would now step in for something like it. And would I be able to pass my business card at my age without some sort of feeling of repulsion from the person I would be attempting to hand my card?
I doubt it. Take the memory and run.