I think I’ve said this several times in the past? Facebook is a wonderful and strange phenomenon! It’s a tear in the space-time continuum. If you study Facebook interactions nothing makes sense, especially when online friends and relationships become reality. This is the tear in time. Alida said our shooting experience has been surreal! I agree. On Facebook, a friend of a friend of a friend, a person you’re not remotely connected to in real life can stalk your page finding out so many personal details of your life they think they know you. They can comment on the pictures of your cats in the same personal manner as a “real” friend who you’ve know in person for 30 years.
I was in desperate need of a new muse to inspire my work and push me forward again. I couldn’t find this new muse myself. She found me. It had to be this way. I needed her to find me. It needed to be a surprise.
Last month, Alida Rose sent me a Facebook message. She had seen my photography pages and read in one of the essays in this journal, probably the first one about Lily, I occasionally will photograph an unknown model who contacts me. This is one of the wonders of Facebook. My portraits of dancers aren’t typical and if a dancer contacts me about taking pictures it usually means there is something unusual and quirky about her personality. I think all of my favorite Facebook muses, Zarina, Lily, Erin, Hillary, Daryen, Tara, and now Alida, fall into that mold. I really don’t know much about Alida yet so I’m only making a guess about her but I know my presumptions are usually spot on.
Alida and I spent a lot of time talking during our second shoot. It was our first shoot alone, the first being with her friend Rebecca. There is so much passion inside of this woman just dying to get out. It’s truly an incredible experience watching her face when shooting. Her beauty is so natural it can be difficult to concentrate on the images while taking the pictures. At times during the shoot she is so perfect all I need to do is point the camera in her direction. So far we’ve only photographed in very dark and difficult lighting situations where it’s hard for me to focus. It’s so frustrating watching a perfect expression float by and I miss it because I can’t focus fast enough in the low light. I kind of laugh to myself because I ask Alida to repeat her movements and another series of amazing faces pass by, but this time I’m ready and they’ve been captured forever.
It’s interesting to see and feel my own progression, both emotionally and as an artist, as I move through the muses who have most changed me. Zarina was there to guide me when I needed an inspiration to move away from my commercial work towards something more artistic, ready for books and exhibitions. Lily’s total dedication to my photography allowed me to refine my craft and lose any fear I had about getting close to my muses. I’m not sure what will happen with Alida. It’s still so early. I know she has the ability to take my work to the place I’ve only dreamt about in the past. I’m scared and excited at the same time. I can’t wait to see what will happen.