Many know her as Model T. I have the pleasure of calling her Teresa. She is beautiful and smart — experienced yet gentle. Teresa was the first…
…the first professional model that I had ever worked with (with, with, with, with…)
Our story begins back in 2003. I had just bought a camera and was taking pictures of a lot of groovy things: plants, rocks, railroad tracks, dead birds, etc. Like most GWC’s (Guy With Camera), I wanted to expand my skills and start photographing beautiful women. I joined the One Model Place (OMP) website. OMP is a site where models, photographers, makeup artists, and stylists can network and exchange services.
There was a class of model who had taken their skills to the next level and traveled around the country gracing studios of photographers everywhere. Teresa was in that class and she was coming to Maryland. She had everything in her portfolio — fashion, commercial, pin-up, fine art nude, glamour, fetish. She did her own makeup and hair, traveled with a suitcase full of clothes, and demonstrate talent to depict a variety of characters. She was a legend in the industry, and I was still just a mere GWC.
This was not me being pessimistic or falsely hard on myself. I knew that it was best to continue to hone my skills, practice my lighting, how to direct models, and, most importantly, how to see without the camera. At that time in my development, I put the camera up to my face and just started clicking. I would then review my 1000-2000 session images and say (almost out of total shock), “Oooh, that looks nice.”
As years progressed, I learned to visualize the image without the camera. I now develop an idea and fine tune it in my mind, sometimes for days. I see how the light will fall on my subject, how they will stand, and the emotion that should be portrayed to the viewer. Now, with a concept firmly ingrained in my mind, I setup my lights, place the model, check the techy-stuff, and click. If I nail it on the first try, I’m pretty much done.
But I digress.
It took me 3-years to muster up the testicular fortitude to contact Model T. The year was 2006, and I was finally in my studio. I was still nervous, and parroted the inadequacies of an adolescent boy fumbling with the bra of a hundred hooks. Model T was gentle, kind, patient. A consummate professional who allowed me to focus on my photography while she skillfully morphed into the objects of my imagination.That’s what working with a skilled professional model allows you to do. She knows how to pose, facial expressions, where to place hands, etc. This affords the photographer the bandwidth to juggle lights, lenses, reflectors, cords, fans, and temperamental camera equipment in addition to figuring out how to translate what’s in a photographer’s mind to an actual image.
My patience paid off. Below is one of the images we created, and we won an OMP Showcase. That means that the image was identified as one of the best images by the site administrators. As of this date, this image has been viewed over 18,000 times. Hurray!!
Fast forward 7 years, and I once again had the pleasure of creating with the now 50 year old Model T. She looks great and bought a lot of energy to the studio. It was a great session. I had an idea for a particular lighting style, Model T created a look.
I had a crazy idea of achieving a quieter household, Model T obliged.
Model T showed me an electrifying outfit (or lack thereof), and I endeavored to execute a complementary high-energy photography style.
It was a very rewarding collaborative effort, and I’m looking forward to at least one more Showcase image for the road.