and in e-book form: store.blurb.com/ebooks/363532-…
Also published :
1. STREET NUDES
(available also through i-tunes, the Apple bookstore .. itunes.apple.com/us/book/id591…
2. "P R I V A T E - R E C O L L EC T IO N S of the girl next door
NB. .. new edition now available .... www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/2…
3. GABI's BOOK
4. "REBECCA's BOOK
" .. www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1…
5. "A N A P A R T M E N T I N N E W Y O R K
6. "C ON V ER S A T I O N P I E C E S
, my friend Gaia" www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail…
.. the personal life of a fashion model ..
You can browse through selected pages of all the books by pressing on the "PREVIEW" button.
My INTERVIEW: by Chris St James on "Univers d'Artistes"universdartistes.blogspot.com/…
Photography for me is largely about moments, moments that we seize and attempt to hold on to. I have no special aim otherwise, other than to try and produce some attractive pictures of my models. What I frequently enjoy doing is to photograph the girl next door, real persons that we can identify with and imagine that we know, in fact that we so often do. I like to show how they move around and behave when they are alone and natural. Many of the photographs are posed of course, but often when a girl is staying with me, I will follow her around and take pictures of her at various intervals during the day. They soon get used to it and do not seem to be hindered by the intrusion.
Inevitably, some will always claim that to show a woman in her intimacy is demeaning, but in that case I think that they have little understanding of the female personality. When a woman reveals herself in this manner, she expresses her self confidence and her power, not just over herself but over others too. It goes beyond defiance, it is a means of asserting her right to believe in who she is. The more sensual and feminine the photo, the more meaningful the result.
As for the models, I guess we choose them in accordance with the result we want. An elegant girl will look elegant in a photo too!
I suppose one also needs a minimum understanding of the camera, but possibly less than some may claim. I never felt that any of the "greats" of photography were above all technically proficient, other than in terms of lighting and composition. The more I visit galleries, museums and exhibitions, the more convinced I become of this. It's annoying to those that spend hours fine tuning and perfecting their technique, but that is not what art is all about. When an artist such as Pollock splashes paint on a canvas with a bucket and steps on it or Yoko Ono throws tomatoes on the wall, there is no special methodology involved, yet these are at the forefront of what the world considers art and creativity today. Of course these are extreme examples chosen so as to underline the point, but I think that art has more to do with impact and what feelings are evoked than with any special methods or technique used.
NB. Please do not ask me for the models' names or to send them messages. I am a photographer and neither a model agency nor a matrimonial service .. : -).
The "cigarettes", the "wine" ..
I am surprised how often people comment on this in my photos. It is astonishing how puritanical and intrusive society has become.
A model will look more natural when she is doing something, holding a book, a wine glass, a cigarette, whatever. A cigarette is of particular interest to me in that it helps to emulate the cinematographic style of the 50's that I like so much (HumphreyBogart/Lauren Bacall). I don't think that any figure in a book by Alan Edgar Poe would feel at ease without one either .. surely that too is understandable.
I have often wondered what it is that drives some people to measure up to others by provoking them anonymously on the net. Is it a search for identity, recognition or self assertion? I cannot help feeling that some form of inadequacy drives them to behave in this manner. After all, there are so many "real" challenges to be faced in life by those willing and able to confront them.
As a photographer of young ladies, I occasionally find myself the target of such attention. I will humour them once, rarely twice, but then thankfully DA offers us the option to block them and they can go and express their frustrations somewhere else .. : -)
"Underaged Models" and "body weight"
Needless to say, all my models without exception are above 18 years old and have signed appropriate "release forms". Any messages to this end are a waste of everybody's time, mine in particular. Please stop fantasizing in this respect.
As for their "weight", another frequent aberration in the comments, all the models in my portfolio (other than one that has a metabolic disorder and deplores people being so ill mannered as to mention it), have a perfectly normal BMI (Body Mass Index). This is a measureable unit that responds to medical criteria and has nothing to do with people's opinion on the matter. Sometimes the models may seem a little too "perfect" which appears to irritate some people. But this is photography and we tend to idealize the world.
Repeatedly, I receive messages from young ladies on DA who feel threatened by the models on our pages. It is strange how politically correct it is considered to speak out against the pressures brought upon young people by the cosmetic industry, but strangely not by that of the food and beverage companies that encourage people to eat junk food. Apart from some cases, the greatest cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world today is not underweight, but OBESITY. Even moderate obesity leads to hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, not to mention obstructive sleep apnea and infertility in women. The Journal of Pediatrics also reported recently that Obese women have 67% more chance of giving birth to autistic children.
In July 2013, thankfully, the American Medical Association finally designated Obesity a "disease".
Now these are the lessons that should be communicated to young people today, not this hysteria about women appearing to look too thin in magazines, making others feel threatened in comparison.
Not related to Photography:
A. CONSPIRACY THEORIES
I have been reading up on "conspiracy":
Whenever things go wrong politically or people are unable to cope, they resort to conspiracy theories of varying content and degree. Plato described conspiracy as the impossibility to manage, the standard excuse for failure and inability to overcome weakness. This is particularly true at present in various countries of the Mediterranean, where extraordinary theories are brought forward to compensate for the incompetence and corruption that local governments have produced.
However, as Francois de La Rochefoucauld rightly said, the greatest evil comes from within and what we do to ourselves. No one is out to destroy us as some claim. We do everything necessary in order to destroy ourselves, and then we blame others for the outcome.
B. POLITICAL DEMAGOGUES
Political demagogues, such as those that always surface in difficult times, feed on people's ignorance, weakness and stupidity. They express grandiose ideas about what should be done but are never able to suggest realistically how to do it. When confronted with the facts, they ignore reality and hide the truth, extolling surrealistic theories based on lies.
Equally influential to the extreme left are the right wing mavericks which, alike what happened during the build up to the third Reich, point the finger at the immigrants and other minority groups. They enforce security in the streets under the umbrella of national interest and bring support to the enfeebled with the purpose of gaining power, prestige (and votes) with the general population.
This is how "totalitarianism" begins, by feeding on the stupidity of the masses .. though astonishingly enough, even some educated people get drawn in, not least some I have communicated with on these pages.
Extremism ... left or right, same thing.