One of my favorite people to work with is my friend Dan Minicucci. It’s unfortunate but with our differing schedules, it can be months before we have an opportunity to work together.
This past week was one of those moments where our schedules aligned! Our goal was to shoot some European-inspired street fashion. But our original location in North Boston quickly flew off the table when we learned that the Boston Marathon and a Red Sox game were happening on that same day. I remembered an area Zachary Stone had shown me in Portsmouth, and we opted for a more modern location.
Surprisingly, I think this may have been the first shoot I’ve had with Dan where all of the outfits we shot were from my own closet! Typically we do a combination of things I bring, and things he brings. My styling must have been just right for our theme because everything I brought worked perfectly.
We had ideal weather for our shoot as well, even when shooting at a less than ideal time – high noon. Even with a breeze, I wasn’t too cold to wear any of the outfits I brought. After we shot the wardrobe I brought, we had a chance to grab a bite to eat at a small bakery/cafe and catch up for a while before heading our separate ways.
All that being said, no experience is without its lessons, and I learned quite a few that day.
Flexibility is your best friend when it comes to posing (and changing locations on the fly). This is especially true when experimenting with interesting angles for a shot. I got a serious work out when trying to show off my heels on a metal boot scraper. Trying to lean back and twist my torso to create a dynamic shape had me wishing I’d stretched beforehand.
Running back and forth in traffic to get a “casually strolling across the street while swinging a purse” while trying to do a jump/walk/purse-swing in 4 inch heels with no hint of “oh God I’m gonna break my ankle, fall flat on my face, or let go of my purse and watch it hit another pedestrian” in your expression is much harder than I thought it would be. Hats off to all you neutral faced models elegantly jumping in your photos with no fear in your eyes!
If you’re doing a photo shoot on location, expect people other than your photographer to snap a shot. I watched three separate people pull out their phones to take pictures of us working. Two of them were driving while they did this. One of those drivers actually went around the block again and came back with his phone already pointed at us. Two other people came up and asked what we were doing, and numerous stopped to watch.
This was more a lesson about myself, and how I’ve changed personally. When the occasional cat-caller made an idiot of himself while I’ve been at previous shoots, I did my best to ignore the situation. Recently, however, I’ve decided I’m tired of pretending like nothing is happening. A) It’s rude to speak to anyone in such a way, and B) You deserve to know my feelings for you if you’re going to take the time to express to a stranger your fleeting feelings for them.
To set the scene: we were shooting on the sidewalk in front of a stone church. It had a busy intersection on one side, and a small one-way road on the other. I was wearing a sleeveless button up shirt, and a floor length skirt. However, because I am of the female variety, the male of our species assumes it gives him reason to express an explanation of his desired mating ritual.
Our story begins with their sad excuse for a vehicle pulling up about 10 feet away from us, stopping suddenly while the passenger leans out the window to get my attention.
“HEY! HEY, YOU’RE GORGEOUS!” – I am currently posing with small clutch purse held in both hands over my head as I lean against a steel fence. I continue modeling for the camera… “You want to go for a ride??….ON MY DICK! BAHAHWAHWAHAHAA!!!” -They elbow each other between guffaws as they look back at me expectantly. I look in their direction, adjust my feet for a slightly different pose, shift my purse to one hand, elegantly raise my arm away from my head, and extend my middle finger. We lock eyes and I stare them down. Their smiles fade as they make disapproving noises and speed off down the one-way street. I adjust my gaze back to the camera, lower my finger, and give a sweet smile to my companion who asks, “Did you just flip those guys off?” looks back through the shots he just took and laughs “Oh ya, look at that! You did flip them off!”, and we continue working.
So it may not have been the most professional response, but if you’re going to interrupt my work, you’re lucky that’s all you get.
Gotta love a model with skills to not break character while flipping off a passing car that shouts lewd comments at her. A direct quote from Dan Minicucci
Aside from that moment of annoyance, we had a great shoot. I’m pleased to have had a chance both catch up and work with someone I’ve known since I first entered into the modeling industry.
Meanwhile, I’ll be out enjoying the wonderful Spring weather while we have it!