I was surprised to open Facebook this morning and face that message. This was far from being the goal of the shoot. I spent a few hours on Saturday working with to amazing models pretty much the same way I worked with all other models before. It was the 1st time I was being thanked for a shoot by someone who had no part in it but somehow got reached by the results.
I did the shoot because I wanted to work with Yael. I wanted to do something and seeing she was looking for a photographer to shoot more casual than lingerie and burlesque she typically has in her book, I thought I should step up.
We met at her place on Saturday. In no time, the apartment turned into a crowded dressing room as Nel was styling the outfits, Marie-Lynn working on hair and Gabrielle on Yael and Rosanna’s makeups while Sylvain, Yael’s husband, worked hard on figuring ways to keep the apartment cool. Forecast for the day: somewhere around 33 Celsius. Our shooting location was the backyard. Yael made sure the neighbors would know we were shooting and everyone was nice enough to park all the cars on the street. We ended up with a vacant space surrounded by concrete and vegetation.
We worked for about 3 hours under the burning sun, going through a total of 7 outfits. The lighting conditions limited a little the spots were we could shoot. Everyone seemed ok with the heat but it was a matter of minutes before we could start seeing the sweat making through the skin and reflecting the light. This was the cue to indicate the model rotation was near. For the last rotation, we walked out of the backyard and hit the street. The neighbors’ front porch was awesome in the way that it did not look as new and manufactured as the rest of the street. Without really asking, we took possession of it.
Seeing that message this morning hit a cord for me. I never taught I would be thanked to shoot plus-size women. I never taught I might be impacting anyone (I never taught I would be impacting anyone with my photography for all that matters). It was not the purpose of the shoot; it wasn’t to make a statement. I will break one of my photographer’s rules here as I never refer to my subjects as a sexy, beautiful or smoking hot girls but this weekend, I got to shoot a couple of drop dead gorgeous chicks because sexiness is not defined by whether you weight 100 or 200 pounds, but by how much confident you are about you being sexy.
Nel, Marie-Lynn, Rosanna, Yael, Gabrielle, The Dude