I haven’t been able to write for a while now. Sometimes the events of daily life empty the brain of inspiration. There’s nothing like warm and considerate friends to help an artist find the way back to his art. Caitlin Trainor is one of those friends.
There are women on this planet who are caretakers of the world. They are the embodiment of goodness and warmth. You can feel their presence when they are nearby. Each has their own way of taking care of the surroundings. They are the mothers of the Earth.
Caitlin has that warmth. It envelops you very soon after you meet her. The first time I got to talk to Caitlin was during a long walk home after photographing her rehearsal of Kaitlyn/Caitlin (with Kaitlyn Gililland) up at Barnard. I was surprised Caitlin wanted to walk with me. Normally, when I first work with a choreographer we might chat a bit after the rehearsal but then we go our separate ways. I am very focused when I’m at a dance shoot and it’s difficult for me to make the transition from a point of total visual concentration back to that of a normal social person. It usually takes time for me to begin a friendship in that situation.
That walk was the first of many long walks Caitlin and I have taken together. Walking has become our thing to do (along with eating sushi and nachos at Hi-Life). We talk about everything… dance, cooking, photography, people, art, emotions, fireflies, the “blind” building on 83rd street (it’s a private joke)… whatever strikes our fancy at any given moment.
I wasn’t surprised by Caitlin’s warm heart but I didn’t anticipate our walks would often become a photo experience. Yes, I do photograph all of my friends, but there are some I only shoot on rare occasions, when we end up in a place where the light and location are perfect and I must do their portrait right then and there. I thought Caitlin would be that type of friend.
I guess I was wrong. Besides the all of the dance shoots and the two quick mirror portraits I did with Caitlin and Kaitlyn, Caitlin Trainor and I have already done four portrait shoots together. It was more spontaneous at first but now it’s becoming our thing, just like it has always been with a muse like Alida Delaney. I see Alida. I shoot Alida. I can’t help myself. Caitlin totally gives herself up to my art; just like Alida. That’s why it works. That’s why we shoot together.
I guess this means Caitlin has become one of my muses. Normally, a person is a muse first and over time becomes a friend. It has been the opposite with Caitlin Trainor and it feels a little strange. Not in a bad way. It’s just different. It has taught me to be more open visually. That’s a very good thing.