I always consider it a real treat to work with people who don’t carry themselves as “models”. Random folks who go to random jobs and live random lives who just got it in their head one day that it might be fun to pose for an art project just once to see what it is like.
When Anastasia contacted me through my website and told me she was interested in giving modeling a try for the first time I absolutely could not bring myself to say no. We met at a coffee shop on a cloudy afternoon and she was filled with questions. How does this work? Where would we go? What if we get caught? Did it matter if she didn’t know how to pose? I did my best to make it all sound like no big deal, because quite frankly to me it isn’t. It is completely fascinating to me to watch the fear an excitement in the eyes of someone who has never done anything like this before.
We traveled up to Sauvie Island, just about an hour north of Portland. It wasn’t hard to find a spot without anyone around and we got to work. Despite a few early giggles, Anastasia was pure professionalism and you could tell she reveled in the newfound feeling of fresh air on bare skin and she thrived under the pressure of having a camera pointed in her direction.
Now don’t get me wrong, working with a professional model is a great experience too. I’ve worked with plenty of people who make their living sitting in front of the camera and some of them I consider my closest friends. I don’t mean to imply that being a professional model is a bad thing nor is it something I purposely try to avoid. However, guiding someone through this unique experience for the first, and perhaps only time in their life helps to remind me that this isn’t something everyone does on a daily basis and that there is a world outside of the one I tend to live in every day.