Having a text conversation yesterday with a fellow photographer talking about models, Muses and relationships I got to thinking about how things have changed but also remain the same.
The Internet, the digital camera and a bazillion images online have had quite an impact on modeling and photography no question, places like PureStorm, Model Mayhem and Model Insider have made shopping for a model or photographer as simple as clicking a 'search' button. And if you're just starting out, looking for something different, or just bored, there are quite literally dozens of people representing every genre of art & culture looking to collaborate.
This is a good thing in many ways, it makes it easier for people to meet, get together and explore their creativity, find someone you'd like to work with, send a message, set a date, it's happening all the time every day, everywhere.
I'm really not surprised however to often see the same models and same photographers in gallery shows, it seems, as far as my experience goes that there is a smaller circle inside the huge ring of people working that are making the current iconic images. It's my feeling, in the art nude genre at least, the more well known photographers submit work they create with a small number of models. The reasons can vary widely but what is interesting is it seems apparent there is some kind of connection, either in style, in aesthetics or possibly in their working relationship.
Life In The Day
Going back in time a bit and I find some of the most famous combinations came from discovery rather then search engine, Mario Testino and Kate Moss, Paolo Roversi and Guinevere Van Seenus, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton to name a few. These combinations launched careers and created some of the most iconic images of thier time, what brought them together and what did they see in each other?
Going back even further to names such as Man Ray, Edward Weston, William Mortenson, Alfred Stieglitz or Harry Callahan and they didn't search for models, they found a woman who became their vision. By chance, by luck or simply by will they created their images in collaboration with their Muse, who in most cases never aspired to be a model and in some, never thought of themselves as such. These could not have been the only ones, I would think they likely represent the inner circle of a larger group, so what was the magic these people found, was it in their skill or their passion, or was it the collaboration and vision? For whatever reason these people believed in each other and they truly left us with amazing images.
"...the goal of art was the vital expression of self." ~Alfred Stieglitz