madison mcdonough: magical muse

self-portrait with madison

I can’t figure out why, but photographing Madison feels the same as shooting my own self-portrait. It’s an odd sense, especially after the shoot is finished and I’ve walked Madison home. I talk a lot during our walk. It makes me realize how little I say while we’re shooting.

the very first picture i took of madison

I often feel comfortable with my models. Sometimes during the first shoot they already feel like a friend, sister, daughter, lover… someone I’ve known and become close to for a long time. I tend to study my models before the first shoot and obviously I’m looking for personalities I can bond with. I try to put Madison into one of those categories but it doesn’t work. The best way to describe how I see her during our shoots is as the apparition of all the models I’ve seen in my daydreams. When she walks into my apartment, my spirit and the energy of the 35 years of the photography filling my home somehow seep into her mind and she becomes a tangible, breathing live version of my thoughts. She seems more comfortable in my home than anyone I’ve ever photographed.

madison at my bedroom mirror

Time stands still when I photograph Madison. Three or four hours pass like an instant. Hours later my memory of the shoot is like a dream. Bits and pieces are remembered through a layer of fog.

madison in my garden

I love the pictures I’m taking of Madison. Seeing them on the screen or as a print, I know that they are honest and real. Madison makes me see the light better. There’s something special inside her I still need to capture. I’m looking forward to it.

madison on my rooftop at twilight

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