Monday, September 20, 2010

Houston Photographers and Models Photoshoot at Tranquility Park

What a weekend. Did the trip to the Air Terminal Museum Saturday and then out to dinner with Janet that evening. Didn’t stay but a couple of hours at the Houston Photographers and Models photoshoot at Tranquility Park but enjoyed it very much. I have needed a group like this that concentrates on photographing people for a very long time. I have a lot to learn about shooting models because the work that I am doing is not the type of “in” stuff that they are wanting for their portfolios, but it is still possible that I will learn.

I spent a good deal of time last week working on the idea of using diffusion techniques for this shoot and then left all the material at home. It rained pretty heavily on my way into town and it drizzles for the first hour of the shoot. I tried to limit myself to a single lens the 50mm in case it came a downpour I didn’t want to have all the equipment to try to protect. First set up and I realized that I was going to need more flexibility so I dug the case out of the trunk. Most of what I shot was done with the 70-200mm. I think our group started out with about six models and others came drifting in. I probably only shot maybe six different models tops.

The models are trained to make eye contact with the camera but I much prefer to shoot them when they are engaged with another photographer and not looking directly at me and I am still giving preference to head shots and close ups rather than full body. Unfortunately most of the young guys are going for the T&A pose that looks like some spinal disformity, but thankfully the young ladies so far are able to look more normal.

One new model, Edward Bryant, was a lot of fun to shoot. He is a dancer and bends in ways no body is supposed to. Besides that he is movement personified. I shot a series of him jumping in the tunnel that are mostly blured but I got two or three that I really like. He was wearing an outlandish pair of knee-high sneakers.

One of the more exciting things that happened at the photoshoot was getting an addition for my 100 Strangers Project. That has been languishing on the vine for several months. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a person approach one of the photographers and there was a brief exchange which I heard the photographer say, "No I don't." I didn't look directly toward the person because I figured he was a panhandler. I usually have a pocket full of one dollar bills when I go down town but I had not prepared. I got out my wallet and took out four dollars, folded them into pairs of two and stuck them in my pocket. I figured if the panhandler approached me I would explain my $2 project and see if I could get a photograph. I doubled back so that I came fairly close to what turned out to be a fairly cleanly attired young man and not what I had expected. He did approach me but instead of asking for money he asked if I had a business card. Fortunately I had printed cards just before I left the house. I told him that I did and inquired why he asked. It turns out that he had done some modeling and was interested in joining the group. We talked a minute or so, I gave him a card and explained how to make contact then asked if he would sit for a photo. He agreed. It turns out that Glen is a political activist, a preacher, a model, a rapper--now I can't speak to all of that but he does make one good model. I'm not doing all that well on my 100 Stranger project because I think that Glen is only number nine or so. I hope that he contacts me and becomes active in the Photographers and Models group.


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