I don't think anything I write about this shoot can do it justice. Never have I felt so good about a shoot the success of which I had so little to do with.
Like most shoots, I had my little list of themes or shots I wanted to try. Ironically, the beginning shots were based around the concept of voyeurism. Little did I know I would be feeling very much the voyeur by the end of it. The shoot started pretty much as planned. But then, sometime around the time we were doing the shots with the mannequins, it took on a direction of its own, pretty much becoming the models' shoot after Noah suggested getting the mannequin out of the shot.
From that time on, I was pretty much along for the ride. What intrigued me during the shoot itself was this give and take between Noah and Maria and the related sweeping range of emotional reactions by Maria. Never have I seen so many conflicting emotions sweep a person during the course of one shoot. From passive acceptance to engagement and joy to frustration to outright anger. And often within the space of a couple of seconds her expression would change from one to the other. So, to a great degree the result became a story of a shoot as told through her facial expressions. There were power struggles, subtle, but unmistakable when you read the pictures. And, the sexual tension was greater - and weirder - than any I'd ever experienced while shooting two people. And considering I've often shot people actually engaged in sex, that's saying something.
I had toyed with the idea of separating shots out, putting them in standard categories like I normally do, but, the longer I looked at the result of this shoot the more I realized that the shoot itself was the story, and the individual shots were merely parts of that story.
I realized how easy it would be to manipulate the viewer's picture of the shoot by selective editing. I have enough shots that had I wanted to I could have put up one gallery that would make it seem like Maria was utterly passive during the entire shoot. I could have put up a different gallery that would reflect only anger or frustration. Or, just as easily, I could have selected shots, cropped them suitably, and arranged them in an order that would make it appear as if not only was Maria fully engaged in the shoot with a joyous abandon but that the two of them had actually engaged in sex.
In the long run, all of those approaches would have been lies. The truth is, as best as pictures can show, here for you to try to find. This is a shoot that, as I've said, I feel quite proud of. And I really had nothing to do with the reason it worked. And in the long run, that feels okay, too.
So, the shots in the three pages that comprise this gallery are in the sequence in which they were taken. And while these are not ALL the shots, it represents the shoot's ups and downs as accurately as would displaying the entire set. As much as possible I've avoided cropping or manipulating the shots in order to try to keep everything as real as the shoot itself felt. So what if snippets of a shoot captured in snapshots isn't necessarily "art". Sometimes it makes a better story.
© Terry Donovan 2003-2007