JD in Black and White
His hair stylist was entering a competition and needed a hair model. At first reluctant—JD had no say in the cut or style—he relented when his stylist said he was looking for a photographer. JD and his stylist decided that Thursday would be the best day for the haircut, as long as I was able to take my camera.
I didn’t know what exactly Eddie wanted from me, but when he finished cutting JD’s hair, he said, Go ahead and take the picture. Puzzled, I snapped a few shots. When I asked Eddie for samples of pictures from previous winners, he showed me the magazine the winner would be published in. Whoa. The shots were taken in studios with professional lighting…and models…and reflectors…and make-up artists. There was no way taking a haphazard picture under fluorescent lights could ever compete. Period.
Listen, Eddie, I said, would you mind if I got the pictures to you a little later than discussed? He silently tossed the idea back and forth. To make the decision easier I told him that if I had a little extra time, I’d be able to take more complimentary pictures. He agreed, but stressed the importance of getting the pictures back to him soon because the deadline was in a few days.
JD and I discussed the ways we could take best possible pictures. We had only one night. Over sushi, we talked about lighting and places in our home we could make a ‘studio’. No, I said while sucking on my edamame, I don’t think it’ll work. After blowing on his miso soup, he convinced me we could at least try to work with what we had. When we made our way home, it was almost midnight.
After gathering every flashlight, lamp, and lighting fixture in our place, we set up my studio to epic proportions. Okay, maybe not epic (it was more like vagabond-ish), but we did what we could.
When two a.m. rolled around, JD’s blinks lasted more than a couple seconds. After I convinced him to put on a suit and tie, moved him from every room in our home, and constantly asked him to change his pose, he was tired. And I was too.
Yesterday morning, I chose my favorite photos and constrained them to competition guidelines—8x10, black and white, room for salon logo. I gave Eddie 15 images to choose from and he compensated me for my services, but I should have thanked him rather than accepting a payment. Yes, JD and I were fatigued and grumpy when we wrapped shooting…and, yes, we made a lot more work for ourselves…and, yes, I didn’t have a proper studio…but at the end of the day, JD and I had so much fun! We learned a lot about each other and what buttons not to push, but we made priceless memories.
Thus far, JD has been my favorite model. Somehow I think that this will forever remain the case ☺