Monday, January 30, 2012


Photography by Aero, January 2012

The last photoshoot I had went well. It was gorgeous outside, and after Aero and I met up somewhere in the Oakland hills, we drove along a windy road and stopped near a fire road (no trespassing). We gathered our things and went there. We ended up doing quite a bit of hiking, maybe a little too much for my still-healing leg and foot, because it was definitely hurting by the time we were on the walk back to the car. Aero and I talked openly about family relations, intimate relationships, personality types, art, travel, school, and many other things, some of which I was surprised two strangers could talk about upon first meeting, which I think is awesome.

I wish I knew exactly where we went because it was a beautiful place, quiet and remote (and I'm sure we would have been totally f*cked if we were caught). There was a lake, pristine, untouched, gorgeous old trees, strange calling birds and deer. The road was flat, easy to walk on (thankfully for my foot!) and it was sunny and warm unless you were standing naked in the shade or by the water, as I was, of course.

I think I tend to be a little stiff when it comes to modeling with someone new for the first time. I wish I knew how to get past this, but I haven't quite gotten it down yet. I think I was also a bit confused because it seemed like he wanted to do a sort of casual-fashiony shoot but then he also wanted nudes, so I wasn't quite sure how to be posing. Luckily for me he was comfortable directing me...I just hope (as always) that I wasn't a disappointment. I'm guessing not, because he wants to work with me again soon, which is great because I really like how his work turns out. Maybe he just wants to help me pose better :P

Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo by Eric Hiss, November 2011

I had another fun shoot with Eric today. I was supposed to be working with another photographer but she couldn't make it for some reason. Luckily it was lovely weather today so I wasn't freezing in the studio. I received a large print of the above photo from Eric today. It makes me happy :] I'd put it up on my wall here in my bedroom, but, I'd feel strange if my parents saw it.

My hands are still sore from hanging around in a huge metal ring suspended from a huge metal hook on a huge metal stand. I have wanted to model in this thing since I first spotted it in Eric's studio, back when we first shot in November last year. And yes! We finally got around to it. 

We also played with some lasers and shiny fabrics. It'll be interesting to see how those turned out. 
I enjoy working with Eric. He's a good guy. 

Tomorrow I work with someone new, and, we'll see how that goes. Shooting in a forest, yay!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Who is that?

Sometimes I receive photos and don't know who the woman is in them. Then I remember that it's ME. And I am so filled with a sense of wonder that feels really awesome. Do other models feel this way?

Monday, January 16, 2012 vs. drawing modeling

I had three modeling sessions today. Two photoshoots back to back, then figure modeling. I also got the chance to draw a live figure after. I am also wired on of the perks of modeling in a cafe ;]

I am still learning as a model, and figure (no pun intended) that I will always be, even when I feel more experienced. My photoshoots earlier made me think about how different modeling for photography is from figure drawing. Even in just photography, there's different kinds of poses and looks you use from studio work to outdoor nudes, to casual/lifestyle type shoots, etc. I don't know if I am able to fully describe how it is different it yet...but I'm going to try. One thing that comes to mind is my stress level.

I enjoy both photography modeling and figure drawing modeling equally, though I think I might find figure modeling less stressful than photography modeling. I don't have to interact with the camera with my face, for one. I started out modeling as a nude model (for a friend of mine, who never really asked me to look at the camera) so that is where I feel the most comfortable. I do like learning from photographers, though, about how to move, what lighting can do to enhance my form or where to position myself in the light. I like that with photography there can be instant feedback about how I'm doing. Sometimes I think I am pretty aware of my body and how to pose, but I am still learning, and realizing that there is room for growth in my facial expressions and charging my body with more emotion. What is stressful for me about photoshoots is worrying..worrying that I'll get lost, and be late, that I won't offer the energy they seek, fearing that I will be a disappointment, or that I won't succeed in helping the photographer capture his/her vision. But that is my low-self confidence speaking. I do have a bit of that, which I do my best to put aside when modeling, so that my best self comes through. It's easy to do if I'm comfortable, and it's getting easier to do. That's one small reason why I wanted to model; to get past my insecurities and fears about my body and disappointing others, or feeling that I wasn't good enough, ultimately. I tell myself that it's not that I'm not good enough (or, I hope not), but that sometimes people just don't quite click, communicate well, or work well together, and that's okay. There are others out there that I have and will mesh well with, creatively, in the art modeling world, and even working with those who don't seem to work as well with me teaches me a thing or two about communication styles or expectations. I like to think of my worrying as a tool that is also helping me strive to improve...I don't know if other models feel this way, but I imagine that maybe they once did when they started out.

With figure drawing modeling, there is less stress for me because I can kind of meditate. I feel amazingly calm modeling for artists. I enjoy the time to clear my mind of everything and just be for a while. I am aware of my body in a way that I am not for photoshoots, because I'm holding longer poses, trying to stay still. Unfortunately I was too cold tonight, and was shivering the entire time. The heat in that building just does not seem to want to work, no matter how much I tell the instructor to turn it up. I need a portable heater, badly. I often feel like I am wobbly, which can stress me out some, but am told after that I was very still. Well good! But I can definitely tell - and so can everyone else - when I'm shivering. It made my meditation tonight falter. I also love seeing everyone's drawings during my breaks. Most of the people who are drawing me are new at figure drawing, so their work may not be very technically developed, but it's fascinating to see what others 'see' of me, and how they execute it. Now that I think of it, just thinking of poses still stresses me out a little at times. I wonder if I would be free of this if I were more confident as a model.

As I mentioned before, I drew tonight also, the first time in maybe a year? is a crappy cell phone photo.

Charcoal on newsprint (I hate newsprint), about 50 minutes. Yes, I'm a slow drawer. I also never seem to be able to fit an entire figure on a page >.<

End ramble! Continue caffeine rush! :P
Edit (1.16.2012): a photo from one of my photoshoots, a test shot the photographer sent me.

                                                 Photography courtesy of Ken Westermann.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First duo modeling sesh

Last Saturday, I believe it was, I had the joy of trying out my first duo modeling with another model and a photographer I have worked with once before. I was initially a little nervous as I'd never worked with another model before. I was mostly nervous about how my body might respond to the situation, regardless of my mindset. But it was a comfort for me to know that the other model, "Flash" had never done a duo nude shoot before, either. We had never met before this shoot. I had a very positive experience, and feel more confident about modeling with other models in general, and know I could/would work with Flash again.

It was freezing in the studio when I arrived. We sat in front of the portable heaters and could still see our breaths in the heat coming from them.  After Flash arrived, we waited to see if the studio would warm up enough for us to continue our shoot. In the meantime, we discussed ideas and looked at images of poses we thought might be interesting to try. Luckily the studio warmed up and we could shoot.

Flash was calm and gentle in person. I felt at ease posing with him, even if some of the poses we held were a bit strenuous, and a bit intimate. I thought we worked well together. There was a sense of  peace, and a bit of excitement. My injured foot also held up well (as you can see in the last photo, ahhahaa).

I'm still waiting on all the finished photos from Eric, who I also enjoyed working with again. He's funny and chill. I felt comfortable working with him the first time I met him, also. It's a nice feeling...just knowing that the people you are with are safe, and that you can just be yourself in their presence. That's how I feel modeling should, comfortable, fun, and rewarding.

What I was going for in this shoot, the concept of couple modeling in general, was more of comparative anatomy, in this case, of a male and female form. I was inspired by other couple photos I'd seen on the web, and thought it'd be an interesting challenge for a new model such as myself. I think we got some successful images. What I didn't think would appear in the images was the sense of beauty and strength and even a sense of something almost romantic that I see in our photos. But that's one of the cool things about just shooting an idea without a very specific image in mind that is being recreated - something else interesting appears, unplanned for, that may be even better than what you were expecting.

Photos taken by Eric Hiss

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