The behind-the-scenes shot of one of my shootings here the US. I am grateful to her and her lovely family that accompanied us during the session. I’ve always loved making this shootings within a family-friendly environment. Many have requested her for modeling, but she decided to try it with me. Professionalism goes beyond gadgets or the know-how, but encompass the human touch one imprints.
And well when two crazies meet supported by both their families, wonders are born. My wife accompanies to every shoot I do too. Not only for safety, but because it is something I like to share with those close to me. It is not a hobby or just work, it is me.
One of my students learning how to write Ancient Maya glyphs.
First I taught them how to transliterate their name phonetically into Maya glyphs. This in order to grasp the concept of constructing Maya cartouches.
A Maya cartouche is composed by one or several glyphs.
Once they knew how to write their name in Mayan, we began building sentences in order to comprehend structure. One easy task was to begin writing using the TZOLKIN-HAAB’ DATE + NAME + “WAS BORN” sentence that was used a lot by the ancient indigenous Mayas. This formula was written like that in glyphs while read: In the year X of the month Y so and so was born.
I wanted to mimic Renoir’s vision of women changing or bathing. Of course one of the great masters of painting did it in a time so different from our own. Today the idea of seeing a women in a private place seems more apt for a sexy webcam chat. Perhaps we need to go back to the basics.
Something that always struck me about the work of Renoir is the pastel rose tones that inundate his cadres (paintings). There are some of his oevres (artwork) here in Mexico City at the Soumaya Museum. They are my favorites to go and see. I see those rosy brush strokes bring innocence and peeping tom curiosity intertwined into one. No man can say, “Oh right, a nude women bathing” and carry on. There is an element of voyeurism in Renoir’s paintings, but more realistic, almost as if seen by a honest-to-God curious boy. And maybe, just maybe, this is why women are able to see his paintings without overtly censoring ideas.
His arrangement of innocence and voyeurism always defined the way I wanted to portray my work of portrait photography. After all, in case you haven’t noticed, I tend to paint, draw, photograph, and write poetry about women.
I love to do portraitures with everyday girls and women I meet out there. From the most elaborate to the simplest (like in this case) I ask if they’ll like to model. Usually many don’t know consider themselves as models — you’d be surprised the huge low self-esteem that roams amongst women.
People I know are fascinated by how I approach them — I’m not. So here’s how I do it, I simply approach a totally strange female and ask them if they would like being photographed (either on the spot or by appointment, depends of the kind of girl). Sometimes this takes place at public places, i.e. movie theaters, parks, grocery stores, malls, museums, and even at kid’s parties (yeah, I’m a dad, so I don’t frequent actual parties, lol).
And actually people do get excited, especially if there’s a husband or boyfriend involved since they encourage them. But I don’t do it massively, or randomly. First of all they have to be a girl I see myself photographing. Second, they need to have an air of je ne sais quoi that tells me she may be willing to do so. After all, a camera lens can be intimidating and even invasive.
So even though I state they are MY models, they’re actually ordinary people, moms, or college students. Tricky part is they have to be of legal age, and sometimes when they’re underage (search for my teen model Adriana) I must have her parent’s/guardian’s permission.