Do you consider yourself a model?
I don’t go around telling people I model but when it comes down to booking gigs, talking to directors, photographers and scheduling studio time I do considered myself a model. I started modelling when I was still in High School and really started appreciating the art of it when I was helping a friend out that was a few years older in photography at a local college. I then went on and did shoot with a variety of photographers and other models, it has truly been an experience on its own. Modeling is not a career, right now I only do it on the side simply because I enjoy it.
There are few words (other than a plethora of foods) that trigger my interest the same way that “boxer”, “karateka”, or “jiu-jitsu player” do. It’s doubly true with girls. Now I’m not the kind of neanderthal that dismissively says “girls can’t fight”, but at the same time, I’d like to see it. Luckily, Ashley was more than willing to bring her wraps and her gloves in to show me a thing or two. I brought my thai pads, and in addition to snapping a few photos of her in her training her, we worked a little technique. I gotta say, she’s a mean right hook.
Sometimes I like making my blog titles sound like the names of franchise movies.
This year, it came surprisingly early. Not that Ottawa is anything like Toronto where it is not unusual to not have snow by the time Christmas rolls around but November 9th is, nevertheless, quite early. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t gone out and just shot in a long time. And the first snowfall of the season seemed like a good time to bust out the tripod, freeze my ass off in the blistering cold, and take some nice long exposure night shots. This is Britannia Beach, around 5pm on the night of November 9th, 2013.
Adventurer, boxer, sometimes waitress, and stunning beauty; there are a thousand and one words to describe Ashley. Luckily, since this is a photoblog and we can let the pictures do the talking. A vagabond in the truest sense of the word, Ashley took time off school to go backpacking through South America, alone… Yeah, South America, not Europe, where the sight of AK-47’s and unsavoury characters are not at all uncommon. From a seaside village, to dusty inland roads, often without shoes and without a guarantee of safety passage, this soft spoken, 110 pound (I’m guessing) girl, as seen more of the world than most people will ever see in a lifetime. I’m sure she’s got a few stories to tell.
If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning (last month), you might surmise the pattern of posts with the monthly models follows a pattern. In that pattern, the last shoot is always the most intimate. Always save the best for last right? So we come to the end of October and it has been such a pleasure, so without further ado, Chloé…
It may have been one of the last truly bearable nights in Ottawa you could spend outside without a jacket so I was pretty glad we had the opportunity to shoot before, you know… Winter is coming. We went to all the tourist hotspots, the ByWard Market, Parliament Hill, MacKenzie Avenue, as well as some of the quieter locations in and around the area like the Ottawa River Path. And while my D7000 wasn’t up to the task in some darker areas, it would seem that street lights agree with its modest APS-C sized sensor for the most part. To do it again, I may consider bringing a flash unit but no amount of lightspheres or puffer diffusers could possibly emulate the quality of the light that originates its journey from an old incandescent lamp that ricochets off the black iron bars that encloses Parliament, gliding off of the dew covered foliage, highlighting the shimmer in Chloé’s hair. That’s nature’s way of playing with light and there’s nothing quite like it.
If photography is a story, then digital photography is the story of all of us, then social media photography is the story of all of us told at the exact same time, everywhere. In the past, the domain of stories belonged to a select few, the shamans and priests, the kings and politicians, the philosopher and the poet, the historians and the aristocrats, the painter and the photographer. This is now changing, in a world where the technology to produce unique images at an instant, not only exists, but is widely available, and in a post-Enlightenment era where the narrative of Western ascension is waning, where post-modernism gives a home to every narrative, our conceptions of history, nationality, religion, peace, and war are changing with it. Powered by every new smartphone, and told by the voice of wifi, the Campbellian structure of narrative has given way to something far more convoluted, delicate, dangerous, and compelling.
How did you get into modelling?
My mom always did believe that I should do it and push me, wasn’t ready at that moment, not strong character and not enough confidence, at 20 I send my pictures to agencies and got contact by one of the main in Ottawa and then I start!
What is your ethnic ancestry?
Mostly french from France, but I’m bit mix with Bretonne, Italian, Spanish, Tunisian.
How has formal training impacted your view of modelling as a job and as an industry?
Using a passion as a career make you enjoy it and have fun to get time to do it! Do you see yourself doing this in the long run? Yes, I believe I have the personality and skills necessary to maintain that second career for a lifetime (modelling lifetime).
With the advent of digital photography came the proliferation of photographers, from competent hobbyists to technophile perfectionists alike (much to the chagrin of the old school film-converts, I’m sure). So too has the world of modelling changed with such technological innovations. Model can mean anything from an avid Instagram user to a cosplayer (and often both). And while all of this, in my mind, is a boon to the overall image culture, there is something admirable about the old school way of doing things. Getting discovered, going to modelling school, learning the walk, learning to pose, building a portfolio, getting signed to a talent agency, and so forth and so forth. Meet Chloé; she’s one of those old school types.
So apparently the last set of wedding photos was a rousing success (according to Google Analytics anyways) so I decided to process a few more than I had originally planned for this post. It’s not particularly hard to make people in wedding attire look good and it makes it even easier when they are posing for you. There was quite a bit of rain the day of, but you wouldn’t know it from these outside shots that we did. And, because of its popularity, I’ve decided that I will post some of the more candid pictures from the dinner party afterwards in a third part (coming soon).