This is a blog re-post, and the photos were re-sorted and re-edited as well. Originally published here on June 11, 2010
I think pretty Jill deserves her own blog entry, two weeks late as it is from our photoshoot. There isn’t really much meat to this story, compared to what I wrote two years ago about how my first model photoshoot happened with her and Ayi (found here), but I think it deserves documentation.
My invite for another model shoot with Jill has been open and unrealized for two years, and though I wasn’t all too hopeful, I was still hoping. Call it a matter of personal significance, or it being obvious (as in Facebook photos obvious) that she was still intent on posing in front of cameras. I did make my own attempts at shooting other models, though most of the time, I was disheartened, since I wasn’t getting the output I wanted. There wasn’t any guarantee I’d do any better with Jill, but I had to try again.
Oh, and let me put this out of the way now: no, it was never a matter of attraction that transcended beyond what was necessary between a photographer-model/friends setup, ok?
It was raining on the day of the shoot, which was the same weather condition we were in before, except this time, we weren’t lugging around our things at my old university, clueless as to where we should shoot. I texted her this while I was on my way to fetch her at a mall, and she did say she remembered, and that she also noted how I was afraid to get my equipment wet. Me? Get all fussy about my gear? I didn’t recall that part, and denied saying that. Then I re-read my blog entry about that shoot, and yes, she was right. Eeep.
On previous conversations, we were always mulling over where to shoot, but since we didn’t have a lot of time to work with that afternoon -I was on night shift and still sleepy, she had a date right after- the studio would be the most sensible option. Of course it had to be at Fotofabrik again, same place as our previous shoot.
She was waiting at a bench near the taxi lane when I arrived, and though I still think of her as a kid, what I was seeing right then was a rather fetching young lady. When we got to the studio, first thing I asked of Jay was if anyone else was coming, since the studio is our photography group’s official hangout. No one has made known their intention to visit, he said. Good, shouldn’t be concerned about prodding eyes then.
See, I view model photography as something difficult to master, compared to the gig photography I do. You have the model to satisfy this time, too, and I already have an awfully hard time satisfying myself with the output I’m making. There’s the right pose to be mindful of, the light setup, the focal length to use on the camera. That damn focal length in model photography must always be normal (50mm) up to telephoto, and never wide-angled. Whenever possible, I shoot 90% of things in wide-angle. Consider it the street photography influence. So, for me, a studio shoot would always be a huge compromise. I’m already insecure about the entire thing, and another person making me conscious won’t help.
Oh alright, I’m a little selfish when it comes to shooting Jill, though I know I must realize it would be ultimately helpful for her if other photographers get to shoot her, if she does want to pursue modelling.
But then, I still had some shots of Jill violating that proper focal length rule, which was a pity because there were a handful of shots I had to ignore, since the proportion of the limbs to the body was distorted. Jill had two dresses to wear: a summer outfit, and a black one-piece. The colorful print of the first dress, the headband, this was all age-appropriate, the sort of getup you’d see at those magazines targetted at the younger female set. The second outfit, however, was almost the polar opposite: this was surprisingly quite a sexy garb, and Jill pulled it off elegantly, though the full realization of this only came when I was already viewing the photos on my computer. Seems like I wasn’t shooting some skinny, leggy kid anymore.
Another point of clarification: I asked Jill to invite her best friend Ayi to the shoot, not exactly to model if she doesn’t want to, expecting her powers of conviction to be more powerful than mine. Ayi, sadly, begged off.
The shoot lasted for something like 3-4 hours, and though it felt like we hurried, I think I got what I wanted. Jill was asking if I think the shoot went well, and if I was satisfied with it. It was an odd, unexpected question. Of course, I gave her a quick affirmation. On second thought, was she just being a girl fishing for a compliment? Wasn’t my hounding her for this shoot all this time, and an apparent expectation that this won’t be the last one, enough manifestation that I genuinely believe she’s awesomeat what she does? Oh, and this blog entry!