This is the first photographic studio work I’d done in years. While a grad student I had run the darkroom and was assistant photographer at the Charles Eames studio in Venice, CA. Like other photo students I made small change taking head shots of aspiring young actors or photographing young artists’ work for their portfolios. Now, I was again setting up lights, baffles, strobes, backdrops, pedestals for each of the sessions.
One aspect of being behind the camera that appealed to me in the past also allowed me to approach this current, intimate work more easily: the camera is a physical object and I concentrate on what I am seeing through it – it is an intermediary between my eye and what is being photographed. This objectifies the subject being photographed and allows me the critical distance I need to mentally compose the images I seek.
I first called on dancers to model because of their athletic bodies and skill at posing and interacting with one another. Then female and male nudes, then older women and then, why not, infants. This portfolio of work defined itself as it grew. The images, especially when printed exhibition sizes, became landscape-like, where shadows and light define the surface and the topography of the skin implies the structure within.