|on someone who is never going to arrive and who will
not call to let me know she is never going to arrive. The total
disregard for what goes into my preparation for a session is something I
have never been able to comprehend in such people. But it happens, and
it happens frequently. Sometimes I have built a set specifically
for that session and then will have to break it down to make room for a
portrait sitting or a publicity shoot that does not involve that set at
all. Hence, all of my effort and time with that particular
potential model was in vain. Other times I could have definitely
photographed another available model but instead I planned on
photographing the unreliable model whom I did not know was unreliable
until her behavior proved her to be merely a "no-show". Thus there
is no creation of new work that day, only wasted time expended waiting
on a person who lacks regard for simple courtesy and common civility.
And I have to keep waiting past the appointed time on the possibility
she is simply running late. My first "no-show" of a model occurred in 1972 with a woman I had scheduled
for portraits only. This was several years before I began
photographing nudes other than my girlfriend, and as such the topic of nudity never even entered
the discussion for her posing for me. She was a college classmate.
My girlfriend and I had shown her some examples
of my photography and asked if she would sit for some portraits to be
done outdoors in exchange for her choice of photographs from all that I shot of her. We agreed to meet at a certain time on a
Saturday afternoon and she never showed up. Later she gave us the excuse that
she had been sick. That type of rude behavior has never stopped to the present day.
In the past I have occasionally used classified ads in local publications to look for women who wish to pose for my fine-art photography. In addition to the cost of advertising, which is expensive, I then have to endure the numerous crank calls, the purely inquisitive calls, the morally outraged calls from persons who have never even viewed my work, and the people who are intrigued by the idea of modeling for me but who ultimately only really want to claim later to their friends that they almost posed and had actually spoken to me about it. In terms of the crank calls, that is more or less to be expected from some immature kids who stumble upon the ads. But what is most disappointing is that I get them from adults too. They seem to often come from people at a workplace who are doing it with their friends around or who are trying to somehow set someone up so that I will call her back when she in reality has no knowledge whatsoever about why I am calling her to "return" her telephone call. Obviously, these are pathetic people who must have rather sad, dreary lives to need to try to amuse themselves in this puerile way. But, again, it is my time that is being used up by such imbecility.
When pleasant people are found and sessions are completed there are hours devoted to the actual photography. If shooting on location there is the travel time to get there and return. Sometimes in advance preparation I have driven for hours searching for locations that might be used. Gasoline is not free. Location work is seldom simple. I have to contend with weather, insects, reptiles, stray people who do not approve of what we are doing and in some instances may have the authority to curtail my session, and there can always be the uncertainty of encountering some maladjusted moron or even a gang of troublemakers who could stumble upon us in seemingly the proverbial middle of nowhere. I pride myself on being extremely cautious and have to date avoided any serious problems, but uncertainty, if not actual danger, always looms when leaving the confines of my secure studio to photograph models in the vast outdoors. My experience and expertise with location photography was not acquired overnight. There is considerable preparation time that goes into each location session which leads to an enjoyable, pleasant, often fun experience for my models.
There is equipment to be bought and maintained and eventually replaced. Cameras, lenses, tripods, filters, studio lighting and light stands and backdrops and props. There is film, photographic paper, chemicals for processing film and paper, oil paints. Utility bills for water and electricity. The darkroom equipment such as enlargers, lenses for the enlargers, easels, timer, sinks, developing tanks, reels, refrigerator to store film and paper, paper trimmers, dry mounting press, mounting materials, sheets of rag board, mat cutter. And the space (real estate) to contain these items. There are taxes, accountants, insurance, and attorneys. There is record-keeping and website construction and maintenance which takes enormous time. There is the scanning of photographs and the uploading to my site. There is replying to e-mails, some of which are from non-serious people but which seem plausible. There is the cost for web hosting. There is the cost of purchasing my domain name. Not the least among these expenses is the compensation to my models.
Somewhere in this entire mix lies personal creativity. I
strongly feel it is worth something. I think my
Before a print can be produced the film has to be processed. I
do that by hand usually one or two rolls