In the past month or so I’ve had several dreams about photography. This is a fairly recent thing. I never used to dream about photography.
In my first photography dream I had found a bunch of pictures and some video I had taken several years ago (when I wasn’t, in reality, taking pictures) but had totally forgotten about. A few were of some models who I didn’t actually know, but most were of my ex-girlfriend. Other dreams were just about taking pictures of various people. I don’t recall the details.
Well, I had one of these dreams last night. I was taking part in some sort of photography workshop or maybe a contest or both. I was one of several photographers who had gathered for this thing, and whoever had organized it provided a bunch of models for us to photograph in a couple of locations. The models weren’t professional models, just people who were posing for us. One of these “models” was someone I know, from the local theatre world.
I go annoyed with these models, because they weren’t all that great. In fact, they almost seemed to not want to be photographed. Every time I would point my camera at them, they would move, often turning away or even moving away from me. They didn’t seem to want to be still enough that I could get a decent, in focus picture. (It’s a lot like the experience I’ve had when trying to photograph animals. I haven’t done much of that, because they’re generally not co-operative models.)
This one “model” who I knew approached me after I finished shooting her to try to get the negatives. Of course, there were no negatives, no film. It’s all digital. I think maybe she wanted to destroy any that she didn’t like. In real life, chances are I would delete any that she wouldn’t like before I really even start editing. Also, in real life, I’ve always let the model see the edited “final” pictures for their approval before I ever post anything online. I don’t want the model to be unhappy with the pictures I’ve taken.
Toward the end of the dream, I was trying to take some casual, non-posed pictures—sort of like “behind the scenes” or something. And there was a cool shot I tried to take of 3 girls sitting on a couch. But the moment I pointed my camera at them, one of them moved and got into “I posing now” mode. That pissed me off. I didn’t take the picture, and I yelled, “No!” then tried to explain a little more calmly that if I’d wanted her to move, I would’ve given her some direction.
I’ve never yelled at a model in real life. But a couple of times recently, in rehearsals, I have decided to not take a picture because the subject shifted into “I’m posing now” mode. What I wanted was to capture what I saw, which was really nice, instead of somebody trying to look cool or pretty or whatever.
If I’m working one-on-one with a model, I’m fine with “posing” mode. That’s sort of what the whole shoot is. And I’m fine with trying to look cool or pretty or whatever. In fact, I’ll make suggestions and give directions to try to help a model look cooler and prettier or whatever-er.