vrijdag 26 april 2013
This beautiful portrait of Grazyna in vintage Cobra glasses concludes her photo shoot which was the first in a series of four shoots done during my stay in the Dublin area. Grazyna is the 40th Lady behind Crystal Veil.
Viewers may wonder how long it takes to produce a series of portraits like this so here's a view behind the screens. I met Grazyna at Bray Station at 18.45 - always a happy moment seeing that a model really turns up, especially abroad - and we took the ten minute walk to my B&B where some sixty glasses were waiting for a quick selection. This took us about 25 minutes and then we walked to the beach of Bray which was only 150 yards away, carrying two chairs, my tripod and two boxes filled with glasses. The actual shoot at the beach took us exactly one hour which yielded 270 photos (mind you, Grazyna changed glasses some twenty times during that hour). At 20.30 we walked back to the B&B and took a break. Shortly after 21.00 we started shooting again and this lasted a little over 20 minutes, yielding another 115 photos. Then I brought the equipment and the glasses back to my room and walked Grazyna back to the station where we arrived around 21.45, exactly three hours after we caught the first glimpse of each other. Less than half of the three hours was used for the actual photo shoot. This is more or less the normal procedure. It may be added that Grazyna was very cooperative and highly effective with her own time.
I wish to thank Grazyna for her dedication and good posing during what is not exactly the average photo shoot for a freelance model. Technically it seems fairly easy because a photo shoot in glasses is rather static portrait photography. However, there are difficulties as well, not encountered by the model in her "normal" photo shoots. These have to do with the fact that a "Lady behind crystal Veil" does not pose in empty frames or glasses with plano lenses but in prescription glasses. My photo shoots usually start with glasses near the model's own prescription. This is an easy way for the model to get used to the routine. The second part of my photo shoots is all about glasses with a prescription way beyond the model's own prescription so all the model sees through the glasses is a massive blur. Of course there are several tricks that help the model to feel at ease and help her to produce natural, credible portraits. When needed, I explain these tricks at the start of the second part of the photo shoot but many models simply rely on their own imagination and some models even said afterwards that the second part was easier than the first part.
Dear Grazyna, thank you so much for the pleasant hours in your company and for the fine results! My life partner Nel (the entire project started with her in 2009) saw the slide show of your photo shoot and she said, "this is a lovely girl who gradually transformed herself into a beautiful young woman during her photo shoot". What Nel meant is something I witnessed many times before, without finding the right words for the phenomenon. I suppose that it has to do with growing self confidence in a previously unknown setting. What I especially liked about your posing is the switch from beautiful introverted melancholy into bold posing and back. These are good qualities for a freelance model at the start of her career and they will come handy in the future. I wish you all the success you deserve. Thank you so much!
donderdag 25 april 2013
These Cobra glasses were bought at the "Waterlooplein" flea market in my native Amsterdam during the late 1980's. In 2011 I did two photo shoots with an extremely narrow faced lady and these glasses suited her exceptionally well. Always handy to know. In my opinion the blend with Grazyna's features is a perfect match but this may also have to do with the model's fine posing.
Confident posing by Grazyna in tortoise glasses by Zenni with a touch of the cat eye look. The contrast with the previous portrait is striking. Both ways of posing are great and it speaks for the model's abilities that she is able to present two aspects within a matter of seconds. Well done, Grazyna!
Grazyna in soft focus, wearing one of her favorite glasses from my Zenni collection. Just as she was testing them on the beach (photos 076 and 077) we decided that the cold was too much so we headed for the shelter of the B&B. It's good that there was a second chance for these glasses. Again, excellent posing!
Grazyna and I decided to give some of her favorite glasses from the beach another go, just to make sure that they would be well documented. These vintage cat eye glasses by SBF were among her favorites and here she gives them a heavenly look in appreciation.
The thumb rue in the selection of glasses frames is: seek for compensation towards the average facial shape. This means that a lady with a narrow face should never wear an extremely high, narrow frame like these crazy vintage Saphira glasses. But photo shoots are there to toy with these thumb rules and see what comes out. Judge for yourself....
From one extreme - posing in tiny antique glasses - to the other: extreme glasses from the 1970's. The high, narrow shape of the frame is something I never saw before. The glasses were a find at the famous flea market "Waterlooplein" (Amsterdam) in the 1980's. Judging by the wear and tear of the glasses, their first owner must have used them full time for a good few years.
The first model who posed in these striking glasses was Lucy, on a dark November day in the streets of Amsterdam. After seeing her portraits we baptized these glasses "I won't get lost in the dark". Grazyna did not pose in these glasses on the beach so there was no chance to put her to the test :).
Here Grazyna is showing how good posing in strong glasses is done. Sliding the glasses down the nose, looking over it to get a good impression of the surroundings, then put the glasses back on and trying to concentrate on the clear image seen just a few seconds before. That's how it works!
Christian Dior glasses first caught my attention when I was working in Switzerland in 1976. Their first frames were in basic colors: red or green or blue. The frames had a consistent design with a "signature stamp" all of its own. You could recognize a pair of Dior glasses even from the far side of the street. Dior was also the first who put his logo on the arms of the glasses. Compact discs had not been invented so the abbreviation "CD" stood for Christian Dior. Two years after their breakthrough, Dior changed the colors of the frames to suit brunettes even better. This narrow frame 1200 was made around 1978.
Grazyna checking the beach of Bray through vintage Neostyle glasses that gave her perfect eyesight. The beach was very quiet when we started the photo shoot at 19.30. This portrait was made around 21.00 and we were the only people on the beach. Aside from the cold, conditions were perfect for the photo shoot. The same goes for the location which was only a stone throw away from my warm and comfortable B&B.
Orange frames first appeared in the shops around 1964 and the color remained quite popular until the early 1970's. Meanwhile, frames became bigger and these "Vela" glasses belong to the final years of the orange wave. in eyewear fashion. Here Grazyna shows that the old thumb rule was too strict. Orange frames do suit at least some brunettes. I really like the model's posing in these portraits.
These beautiful imitation tortoise shell glasses by Francois Pintin were acquired in Dublin a decade back. They were featured in my photo shoots with Irma, Nanda, Karen and Jolien in Holland and they can also be seen in the video documentary of the opening of my exhibition in Enschede (September 2010) where Mirjam was the catwalk model who posed in them. Here Grazyna joins their ranks in her own distinguished way. The glasses made their journey back to Holland with me but it was nice to give them an "almost at home" feeling during the week in the Dublin area. Once more, hat off for Grazyna!