Alfread Stieglitz was once asked: “how does a photographer learn?” He answered without even a second’s hesitation: “By looking”. – Alfred Stieglitz

I want you to stop for a second and just take a look at that face. Look into her eyes and take a deep breath. Maybe now, you can understand what it is to photograph Sarah. More on her in a minute. First, let me set the stage. For one of the best workshops I’ve put together, this was truly the most exhaustive one. When this one was finished, I could swear off any more of them forever, but I would imagine its kind of like that hangover after a hard night at the club. You make all kinds of promises to never do it again… til the next time.

This one was particularly gruesome simply because of the time constraints which put everything else in a bind. Initially, there was to be no December Art Nude Workshop at all. But then a few guys got together and said they wanted to do it. I polled the group and got several positive responses for participation. I knew this one would be challenging because it needed to be an indoor venue which costs more money. Along with paying the model, that can add up to a nice sum if you don’t have enough participants to offset those expenses. I wanted this last, year end workshop to be a great one. Had I stuck to just keeping it simple, probably less headache. But if you don’t know me by now, let me just say I am headache prone. I then made it more challenging by announcing an event date that was a little more than a week away. Nice, huh.

Well the first stress wave hit the shores of my brain when 4 days before the event, I’ve only got like 3 or 4 participants. I know that’s not going to cut it. This is the day where I decide to cancel or go through with it. I choose to go for it. I also have yet to book a model and have no idea where my venue is. But lets secure a model first. The respondants to my casting call at this point are good, but not the glamorous look I am searching for. Normally glamor is not my thing, but I figure I’ll give the group something different. I am scouring Model Mayhem looking for ideas. As I am browsing, I think about this one pretty face of a model that I remember seeing. I’ve never shot her before, but I know friends who have. If only she did nudes, I’d be gold. After another hour of searching, this pretty face comes back to mind. So I click over to her port. BAM! She’s gorgeous…that much I already know. What surprised me was when I clicked on her port and saw her standing naked as a jaybird with one of the most elegant figures I’ve seen. Everything stops at this point. Am I getting melodramatic? Well, deal with it, cuz this is how it went down.

I’m blown away by what I am seeing, so I figure I’ll at least ask. Its another day before she responds but while I am waiting, I notice her OMP Link and click on that as well. It was kind of like a shift in gears, or better yet, it was like a burst of nitrousoxide when you are already going 100mph. The girl is just fabulous and all I can think of now is that I hope she’s available for Sunday and that her response is positive. Needless to say, it was. I am not editing some of her shots and aside from minor white balance corrections, I do not find myself desiring to enhance her in any way. Its really not necessary. Her natural self is as wonderful as any artificial enhancement be. This is clearly a case where less is more. If there is a mark on her, I am keeping it. In a sense, her imperfections are perfect.

But I still needed a venue and up til that point, I had planned on just renting a hotel room. I had recently done that with one model, but that was just one on one. Room for more than 3 photogs was just not there and it didn’t allow for creative settings. After much deliberation, I settled on the Erotic Heritage Museum. The Art Director, Dr. Laura Henkel and I had been in talks before, but inadvertantly lost contact. By 10pm on Friday night, I had my venue. Well, get more into the EHM later in another post, but let me just say for the moment, the place will blow you away. It was an odd thing to do a photoshoot in this museum while patrons still wandered around. At times, they would come over to watch us shoot and at other times, they were surprised to see that she was not a manaquin! Two women jumped as they walked by suddenly noticing Sarah. Well anyway, we had a great time and everyone left with great images and smiles on their faces. Starting next month, I am sure to begin doing my figure drawing sessions again. See… headache prone.

On another note, I’d appreciate it if you all could go by to visit Chris St. James’ blog to wish him well. He had to make another hospital visit and no one really knows the extent of it or how serious it may be. This was also a great weekend as it is always a pleasure to get to see my good friend Dave Rudin who was in town.