Thursday, December 20, 2007


At at around 4pm I left work to do this photo shoot. Like the JM Neethling shoot, it seemed like far from ideal conditions. Chilly, overcast and just bleh. But it turned out to be a lot of fun, and despite a pretty limited environment (ie my loft apartment and the pool) we got creative and into a nice place to shoot some really exquisite stuff.

What's compelling about her is that unusual combination of sweetness and sheer strength. Those muscles, the sexy lines, that's not from eating salads and dieting. I met her at a pool (not where she usually swims) and while I intended to swim 1.5 or 2km, she swam 6km, so I ended up doing about 3. Usually she does 14km a day, in 2 x 7km sessions. There are few people around who run that far. And, I think, she has a quality in her smile - a geniuneness maybe? - that immediately makes you feel special, which is quite rare and special in itself.

She's also got all her lights on. Can't remember exactly what they were, but she aced the likes of Chemistry and Physics in matric, she did something insane like getting distinctions in everything except one of the languages. And then she has a very fun, showbizzy, actress persona, despite all that hard work.

She's done a little bit of modelling, and won some sort of acting accolade. I found she posed well, but being predisposed to genuine artistic photography, I tried to get the in-between non-posed stuff, and ended up with a nice mix. Yesterday's pictures are for her portfolio, but I think we need to do another one in the sun. Pity there isn't a tropical beach nearby.

Interestingly she observed that JM has used some of the stuff I took of her on Facebook. She recognised them when I showed her some of the stock on my computer. A bit of a surprise as I sort of lost touch with JM after the exhibition and although her mom oohed and aahed about the pictures, I was under the impression (falsely it turns out) that they didn't actually like them. Apparently JM is already in the States.

The strategy for Roxanne will probably be a wholesome start like Shape magazine. JM was a bit of a difficult study because she was quite young when I photographed her (15 or something), and although it may seem like having a famous boet would help her chances, I'm not sure it does. I think in a way it puts more pressure on her. Roxanne is 19, but the shoot reminded me a lot of the JM one.

The picture editor at Shape says:

In terms of exposure we could feature her as a Women of the month, if she could send through a bio of herself. Or if she is going towards a year-long goal we have a page called Challenge where a reader tracks a goal for a year which we feature each month, if she can send that motivation we are busy short-listing applicants for 2008. It sounds like she might have an interesting goal which would photograph well (and then I could justify buying some of your pics!)

The picture editor here has also had a look and chosen half a dozen or so pictures for the Back Page possibly.
He's getting back to me later today.

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