No, I am not redefining arithmetic.'Two in one makes three' means I am merging two separate posts which I wrote this weekend for my deviantArt journal into one post here. But of course as I do that, I cant help adding, so that what we have is a third, distinct post.
I had the privilege of shooting with Charles yesterday at Mariann Fercsik studio. She is a young photographer with immense talent who opened the studio with the idea of providing young artists with a space to be creative.
Charles and I used the studio yesterday afternoon. Charles approached me via Art Limited - models if you are not on it get there quick, plenty of classy photographers there!
I love Mariann's work, have a look for yourself.
I particularly love the series taken in Hungary, but this woman oozes talent and can make any place look beautiful and anyone look interesting. She only shoots film and her favourite camera is a Hasselblad. Watch out for her, I am sure we will hear more about her.
The shoot with Charles was great fun. I was cheeky and took along my camera with the idea of using it during breaks. I was not sure how Charles would react, but I need not have worried. He welcomed the idea, was interested in my 'baby' and was incredibly generous, insisting I should use one of his films for my portraits. He had brought along his digital camera, his Mamiya and a large format Walker I absolutely adored. And he used them all.
I used to do this quite a lot even before I took up photography, always was very inquisitive, but now I am the kind of model who bombards the photographer with questions on photographic technique. Not everyone's cup of tea, I freely admit. Some like it, some put up with it, some hate it. Charles liked it. He was amazing, I truly enjoyed the shoot. When we moved on to using my camera - I wanted to do self portraits, which I had never tried with this camera, though I did self portraits twice already at DG's studio, with his digital Canon - I still remember the abrasive comment my effort received "Most photographers are interested in other people but self centred and narcissistic as you are you take up photography to take pictures of yourself" I guess this person would never appreciate Cindy Sherman's work!
I realised, after setting the camera up on a tripod, that I did not have a self timer - why did I think I had it? I was convinced my camera had that facility. Nor did I have a cable release. So I had two options: give up or ask Charles to act as my assistant, stand in for me as I focused, then move over and press the shutter release button - without doing anything to the settings - while I posed. He was wonderful and did it! I have not developed the film yet, I hope to do so tomorrow. My first self portrait shot was funny and I cant wait to see it. I had been modelling until then for Charles as I usually do, with confidence and panache. Then as we switched to my camera, after everything was in place, I said to Charles "Now", meaning he could press the shutter release, and as I said so I went very stiff, a flashback on when my father used to take photos of the family and we were all in our places "being photographed" or when in school the photographer came round and took pictures of the class - I still have those photos, all of us positioned by height, with the taller girls at the back, all looking exactly the same, wide eyed, no smiles, and very, very uncomfortable.
We both laughed at that - I am a model, I am used to the camera, but at that moment I slipped into a different persona altogether.
Then as we packed up after finishing the shoot, Mariann burst in and we lingered on to look at her amazing work. As I got ready to leave, she took a cable release from a bag and gave it to me, a small gift to encourage me to continue to take self portraits. I certainly will continue, narcissistic though it may be. Who knows by the time I am seventy I might be as good and as famous as Cindy.
My second dA journal was about a photographic exhibition I chanced on, which is about to close (30th November). Bill Wyman, better known as a Stones band member, has been taking photographs since the 1960s and is well versed in the art and craft of photography.
The exhibition, his first in London, shows a mixture of early work, with images of fellow Stones and other famous rockers and later work , which focuses on nature, with lots of macro images, beautiful and tender.
You can view the photos online, though the watermark somewhat detracts from them, so if you are not in London, and cant make it to the gallery you can still take a peep.
It seems that many musicians take up photography as a hobby, some with greater success than others. By success here I simply mean that some are better than others at mastering the technique, though in some cases it does bring further success, as in 'further limelight'.
Bryan Ferry for example is currently being celebrated as a photographer, with his stunning images of Kate Moss, who he has declared 'an icon of our times, on a par with Marylin' being exhibited at the Michael Kohn Gallery in LA. Ferry does have a personal history with supermodels. Once upon a time it was Jerry Hall who posed for him - he always did dabble in photography and the visual arts, having done a degree in fine arts before founding Roxy Music. Ferry and Hall were an item for a while but she soon dumped him for Mick Jagger, in a notorious split which angered Brian so much he allegedly refused to return Jerry her things for some two years and never spoke to her again. Some people are better at forgiving than others.
So, everyone is/can be a photographer - including me - but not everyone is a famous photographer, nor is everyone famous and a photographer...
(All photos taken by Charles Fennell and modelled by Alex B)