I took the photo below in early August 2009. The models are Candle Boxx on the left and Kimberly Marvel on the right with a light bulb in her mouth. The two had driven up from Atlanta for the shoot. It was the last photo of the day, the end of a final comic theme around the two playing at trying (badly) to fix a problem of a blown light bulb. We ended with this Uncle Fester inspired solution. Not a great concept, but fun and they did it well. I enjoyed shooting with them on it and do like the humor in the final photo here.
I wouldn’t take another photo of a model for about seven months.
Right after this shoot a lot happened. A long term, and often tempestuous, relationship came to a final and unpleasant end. As that fell apart, two people I’d put a lot of trust in screwed me over to their own benefit. All three were involved in my photography. Some people leave a mark on your life when they leave it. Others leave a scar. After those moments, I just didn’t want anything to do with photography for a while.
I started trying to come back toward the end of the year, but shoots kept falling though (a few legitimately, but mostly just flaking models). The trend and my frustration built early in 2010. I reached the point I begun to consider if the frustration was worth it. I got as far as gathering my gear and considering putting it onto eBay and stopping completely. How close I came to that is hard to say. At the time it felt like a close thing, a near decision. Looking back I have trouble believing I would have done it, but time changes perception. Photography wasn’t as much a part of my life then as it’s become today. I don’t really know. Even if I had quite then, I think I’d likely taken up a camera again at some point. Probably I came closer to quitting model photography than I did giving up on photography completely. I do think I was close to giving it up.
As 2012 moved into mid February I’d seen little other than frustration in my attempts at scheduling shoots. Probably a few more negative experiences would have pushed me over the edge. As the end of February arrived I had set up shoots for March with three models. One I’d not worked with before, one I’d worked with early in my photographic career, and the third had been one I’d spoken with a few times, but shoots never worked out. Three shoots in March, and all three worked out well. I do wonder if they had fallen through if that might have been the push to
As part of it I also decided to look at something different and work on shooting outdoors. I’d started hiking the year before, the first step in the long road to getting into good shape. I’d even done one swimsuit shoot outside in 2009 and had found a couple of locations I thought it would be interesting to work with a model. One at a waterfall and the other with some great rock formations around. To those shoots, and why I think they kept me from quitting, I’ll speak more tomorrow.
Closing with another photo from that shoot with Kimberly and Candle. I’d worked with each model individually once before this shoot. I worked with Kimberly again in the spring of 2011 in a nice outdoor shoot. I believe she’s semi-retired now. Candle is still a very active working model and still as talented. Why I’ve not worked with her since this shoot given she lives only a few hours away I can’t really answer and need to try to remedy sometime soon.