Something about Naomi reminds me of Elizabeth. Part of it is her natural beauty and the quirky face. Part is the lack of inhibition in front of the camera, something so difficult to find 30 years later in this age of the internet and Facebook.
I first met Naomi at a model audition I held for a Baltogs Dancewear shoot. Right away I knew Naomi was special so I scheduled a separate test shoot with her to make sure I got photographs good enough to convince the client to use her for the job. We shot on my rooftop and I got some beautiful portraits. Naomi did get hired as one of the models for the catalog. Somehow it didn’t work out as well as I had hoped and I dismissed the connection I felt with her.
Two years later, while updating my portfolio, I stumbled upon Naomi’s photos from the rooftop shoot. Once again I was mesmerized by her natural beauty and couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t kept in touch. Sometimes if I don’t connect with a model right away I let them disappear from my life and this is what happened.
I found Naomi on Facebook and we set up another shoot. This time it was so different. I still didn’t feel the quite the connection I always do with a potential muse but I knew it was there and only needed a little more time and nurturing. I think Naomi’s openness and lack of inhibition surprised me at first and I needed to bring myself to her level. I think partially it was the degree of her intelligence, something she doesn’t reveal until you’ve spent some time alone with her. Naomi was always so relaxed I think it made me feel a little nervous.
I had my breakthrough when Naomi was touching up her makeup in front of my bedroom mirror. The way the room light bounced off the mirror on to her face and breasts was wonderful. No set up of lights. No preparation. The light and setting was as natural as Naomi. While shooting at the mirror, working with Naomi reminded me of muses past; Elizabeth and Sara Jean in particular. I almost always photographed both of them in the light that happened to be there at the time. I saw it. I shot it. This photograph of Naomi changed my philosophy about how a picture should be taken and was the first in an ongoing series of photographs using the available light through my apartment’s windows.
Naomi photographed on December 1, 2010