This great portrait of Sohaila in contemporary myodisc glasses (Rx -16) concludes her photo shoot which brought marvelous posing from the very start till the very end. Sohaila is the 43th Lady behind Crystal Veil.
Looking back at the history of this and the previous weblog, there were two occasions where a model really raised the standard of the project. Carla did this in 2009 and Melissa set a new standard in 2011. Now Sohaila manages to "raise the roof" once again. What the photo shoots with these three models had in common was my awareness of an overwhelming presence in front of my camera.
In a newspaper interview (2009) Sohaila was asked to describe herself in three words. Her answer was: "independent, eccentric and passionate". Then she added, "I'm one for making and obeying my own rules, so it really annoys me when I'm told what to do". These qualities come forward in her video clips as well. Having said this, it's only fair to say that Sohaila took directions quite well during her photo shoot. Eventually, it was team work between a highly professional model and her driven amateur photographer with his giant collection of vintage glasses. The same goes for the selection of the glasses. I did the first selection, then Sohaila chose the glasses, but she also kindly agreed to pose in half a dozen myodisc glasses upon my request.
Sohaila. Total control. Each portrait felt like an authoritative statement at the moment it was taken. At times, I felt a witness rather than a participant. All seemed to go by itself. Only the third party involved in the Sohaila photo shoot - my tripod - had problems when trying to catch up with the speed.
What struck me during the photo shoot with Sohaila was the combination of the apparent ease in the posing and the very speed of it. Sohaila posed in 27 pairs of glasses. In other words, she changed glasses 26 times. Her photo shoot yielded 165 portraits. My camera revealed that the final portrait was taken 33 minutes after the very first portrait.
My average is between 150 and 200 photos per hour. I reckoned that this was fast. This is done on purpose. Most is done by instinct. Go with the flow. Don't think twice, it's alright. Looking back, there was one photo shoot done at double speed. Last winter, with Marieke in her gala dress in the frost and snow. The experience came handy for the photo shoot with Sohaila.
Her professionalism was there during the arrangements for the photo shoot as well. When Sohaila received my message with the time, date and meeting place, she simply wrote, "Yes, agreed. See you there". No last minute phone calls or anything. After seeing Sohaila's exciting video made in Fleet Street, London, some friends were highly septic about the chance that it would actually come to a photo shoot. But she was there, right time, right place.
A word of thanks goes to Colm and Deirdre, owners of the hospitable "Ulysses" B&B in Bray where this photo shoot took place. And Deirdre, thanks for the drinks!
Sohaila, in my dictionary it was an epoch making event to work with you! I also enjoyed our talks in the restaurant afterwards. You said this was your last regular photo shoot for a while. Your plan was to focus on pregnancy shoots for the next five months. You also talked about maybe getting too old (at age 25) for the modeling and about all the self discipline needed to stay in condition and shape to do the jobs. Being four months pregnant, doing a photo shoot in prescription glasses was not a bad idea. Call it an "unplugged and seated" concert by a hard rock band.
You gave me a glimpse of a world that was never in my mind when I started my project. This was the acquaintance with a different league. I hope the two vintage frames are to your liking. But above all, I wish you a happy pregnancy and a beautiful, healthy baby. After all, that's more important than a thousand photo shoots.