“Honeysuckle in the morning…” “Le chèvrefeuille le matin…”

I glanced over at the Honeysuckle today while walking and it reminded me of when I was a boy…I would spend an hour, in “childs time” about ten minutes, plucking Honeysuckle blossoms, one by one, then carefully pulling the stamen through the end for that one small droplet of sweet nectar. It, of course, reminded me of photography, of those fine images that you might capture, those moments that disappear in a fraction of a second. I shoot fast, I shoot a lot of images and I shoot fast. When I worked in the field there were a variety of reasons why I worked quickly. There were many instances in the field or the street where I was not welcome with a camera, or as a foreign journalist, many images I captured I had to work quickly and move on. I found that doing photojournalism or documentary work I would close myself off, I was stoic, I framed quickly and was always looking for those images with pathos and yet I didn’t let the significance of the scene or image affect me emotionally, if you did you couldn’t do the job, at that moment it was a “picture” to me, a good picture, but still just that. The images touched me later, in post, and that is when I reflected on what each one meant or had shown, an issue I have dealt with in past blog posts.
In contrast to working in the field, when I have worked in the studio with my model, I have opened myself up. I viewed her as a lover would, I saw only beauty and grace, I saw no flaws. And I think that is significant, although it is not something I expected, it is something I realized quickly and embraced. I would shoot just under a thousand images an hour in a two hour shoot, I was consumed with capturing everything about her, each nuance, each glance, it is an exhilarating kind of intimacy, and I realized that my style of portrait photography is just that, it is intimate, it is a kind of abandon, desire, and surrender, of sensuous joy, that is why the work with her fits so many narratives I have placed it in, from “L’amour L’après-midi”, “Love In The Afternoon”, to “Le Bain de Minuit”, “The Midnight Swim”, to “Bronte dans le miroir”, “Bronte In The Mirror”, and I am still finding inspiration in the work I have done with her. RG