mercoledì 20 giugno 2012


STAND4LOVE, originally uploaded by arialee miles.
Each one of us has the right to liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has the right to love and be loved in return. GAY, LESBIAN, STRAIGHT, TRANSGENDERED or BISEXUAL…..Sexual Orientation or Race shouldn’t Matter. The FREEDOM to LOVE is fundamental as the FREEDOM to BREATHE. Two adults should have the right to love without discrimination and intolerance. Marriage should be available to any loving couple. Let’s end hatred and discrimination now. Stand UP and be counted!!!

STAND 4 LOVE is an awareness charity project to promote the visibility and rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Straight loving couples to have the right to marry and be recognized by the law across the world. It will be a picture campaign in Second Life to spread awareness and promote equality and tolerance. Each participant will take a picture of themselves in a plain white or black background then add the Stand4Love Logo. They will then put their message of support as well as their SL name and/or Title/Business (Optional) in the picture.

venerdì 15 giugno 2012

Working with a photographer

Photographers, the good ones at least, are artists, so usually they don’t live on the same  planet of us mortals, they live floating in a third dimension and, if we are lucky,  they land on earth  just the time to make our shots, if we are not so lucky they will take our photos from the sidereal space where their busy minds reside. In that last case some problem of communication could arise.

Then as models, and well trained ones, is our duty to pull their jacket  (or their skirt)  to bring them on planet earth from their artistic vision  located on Mars  or its immediate surroundings.

Our duty is to be full of good sense  and try to build a good relation with the photographers we are working with.

That because an attentive, expert and well  trained  eye  can immediately sense by the result of the image if there was a good relation between the two professionals working together.

And that has nothing to do with the skills of the photographer or the skills of the model. It is an hint of attitude and  pure chemistry.

In fact the agencies, the jury of a contest and  the chief editor of a magazine can tell you  at first sight  if a photo came out  “well” or came out  “not-so-good”. If the two were able to build a good  professional relation aimed to the success of the picture  or if they simple packed a decent artisanal product.

And that not because the pose or the light or the styling, but because of that “thing” that “special speciality” which nobody-can-exactly-define  but  everyone (agencies, magazines, designers, photographers, fellow models, public of a show, reader of a magazine)  is looking for .

 So be ready to the surreal !!

We models when work with a photographer have the professional duty  to give definition and life to something which has no name and body and that none, not even the most experienced photographer, will be ever able to explain you. But everyone will expect from you to express.

Moreover the artistic outcome can easily translate  in the overall judgement about  you and your attitude,  if you are a  model easy to work with, an expressive one, one who can be called again. In few words a good print  model.

I know it is not fair but, without any doubt,  life is not fair at all !

Because, and none of us dares to think something different, unless the photographer has really a bad character and so lacking of communicative abilities or he  is really a bad professional alas poorly technically skilled,  usually the responsibility of the good result of the teamwork is on the model.

First, because good photographers are really rare and far more precious, for designers, agencies and magazines  than average  and even than  top models, secondly,  because if the photographer has a good relation with a “N“ number of models and not with you,  usually is not the photographer’s fault,  it is yours.

To build a good relation with the photographer you work with is something different that to have an average good relation with someone you occasionally work with,  because he/she will be the one who will bring your image from  your own private to the public.

The photographer is the one that with his work will translate your inner world into a public image aimed to give emotion.

The photographer is the mean to realize successfully your public printed  image, is the bridge between your individual sphere to the collective eye.

And I don’t mean only the display of the dress you are wearing, the right angle for the right pose, because that is in the professional luggage of every good artisan of the camera.

I mean the patience and the will  to wait that particular light of your eyes, that glimpse, that moving of your head, that particular floating of your dress, that line of your hair,  that move of eyelashes  which can  transform a portrait or a  simple commercial for a shop  in a little “work of art”.

Of course, a part some general rule which pertains  more to the good training of a model, the overall  good education and the right attitude,  the case in which you work with a photographer “working for yourself “ is different from the case in which you work with a photographer “for a designer, a magazine,  or for the photographer itself ”.

Meaning the first, the case when you booked a photo session with a photographer you usually picked among the others  to have one or more photos  for yourself (portfolio, contest , portrait  and similar), and the second case when you work with a photographer (that usually you didn’t choose) aimed to make vendors for a store,  photo for a magazine  or for the photographer’s use  and other aims that are not your exclusive personal use.

Anyway there are common rules that pertain to both the cases and make the difference between a professional model and a simply good looking  girl with some poses and a few decent dresses in her inventory.

So try to always arrive there with the outfits selected and styled exactly like for a fashion show so  to allow yourself  to  change quickly when required.  If the photo session is outdoor or you wear a particular difficult dress, jewels or hair try to select in advance some appropriate poses and  have  them ready in a HUD.

Photographers don’t read your mind and don’t know how your dress, your jewels  and your hair  will interact with a certain pose, so it is your job to present yourself in the best way and not compel both to spend hours after the search of a suitable pose.

Make of punctuality your honour point and be always there on time  to not delay the photographer’s agenda. 

Leave out the door any diva attitude and be ready to politely explain or even  discuss, if necessary, what you are able to discuss, alas things that are in your professional and experience luggage.   But please avoid to discuss his technical choices and  accept instead to be guided with humbleness.  You will gain from it.

You can be the most flattered and competent  of the top models, a styling proficient, the icon of the crowds and the queen of the runways in all known and unknown grids, but if the skin/hair /dress/whatever  you chose for the  shot doesn’t match with the item to advertise or with that  background you like a lot  or with  the light  required for that shot  (and I sure you  a bad styling moment can happen to everyone in every moment ) .....  it doesn’t match .....full stop !! There is very little to say more. It is not professional and utterly useless to further discuss.

We model have so much to learn by good photographers,  so instead to waste energies making useless polemic about the tone of a skin, the colour of the hair  or the allure  of an impossible fashion accessory we should stay cool, attentive  and silent  and  “ steal “ some professional secret about  photography  while we are there. At least that has always been my attitude. I try to be a sponge while I work with really good professionals.

And mind you if you are stubborn about one of the above issues  and the photographer, in the case the photo is for your exclusive use, at last (often exhausted) stops to discuss and does as you want, it doesn’t mean you have won but just that you are not worth any further loss of time.

Be ready to tweak your shape to meet the exigency of particular garments , or edit your accessories in unexpected ways  when required,  because  to edit  prim attachments for photos is very different than edit for runway, it depends by the angle of the photo and the eye of the photographer.
Do  not leave your gracious puppet  there on the pose stand   going browsing elsewhere, furiously sending IMs around  or worse going dinner or making something else. Stay there and cooperate. Never forget it is a team work.

 If you have to leave for a moment, excuse yourself as you would do (I hope that you would do !) in every other social situation and try to be right back.

Of course when we book  a photo session for ourselves ( and we pay for it) we are the “product to sell” so  to be the star of the photo we must be able to clearly explain, if we like or need to do so,  what we are looking for, what must be the overall feeling of the photo, what is the photo aimed for (contest, casting , portfolio etc.).

We have the right and the duty  to be clear, and more explicative and competent we are, easier will be for the photographer to follow us, to channel his creativity towards our needs and better will be the outcome.

We have the right to suggest a pose, or refuse another if we don’t feel it is suitable or worse we find it not  appropriate, we have the right to choose, suggest or refuse a background or the setting if it is not what we are looking for  and , if we have the competence (but only in that case),  we can even spend a word about the lights and the angle.

But I must say in my experience usually good photographers always like to discuss and cooperate with the model they are working with, and if the model is really a good one and the photographer is a smart one  the work  can even become an occasion of professional growth for both . As should be in all teams.

So the matter after all is only to make the right choice of photographer, and a choice is good when it is aware. So try to look their works around, take detailed infos about their availability, their reliability and the time and  effort they can/want  put in the work before to book one.

Another complete, different issue is when for a chance, a not controllable event ,  a mistake of evaluation we work with a-not-so-good photographer and we are not happy with the work.

Now the concept of good and bad is usually very relative, so to be more precise let  say a photographer we don’t share the vision  or that we are not in syntony with.

That is a very delicate moment because not only the work but even the whole relation can take a bad turn or even unpleasant consequences.

The dissent must be always polite, polemic must be avoided in any case,  and bear in mind none can go beyond their limits,  so specially if you chose the photographer by yourself maybe  the mistake  was yours, maybe you were not accurate about the understanding of his style  and your expectations maybe too high or divergent  compared to his actual  possibilities, tastes and skills.

There is a basic principle borrowed from  the Ancient Roman Law and it is “ad impossibilia nemo tenetur”  (none can be compelled to do not possible things)  and that is even more true when we think  to things even vaguely related to the concept of creativity and  art.

In short if a photographer is basically a  not –so- good- one, or one with a style completely different from your desiderata,  it is impossible he will become suddenly good or compatible  just for us and our photos !

So relax and make a better choice the next time, experience is precious even in that . J


venerdì 8 giugno 2012

farewell smile

Will you regret the time we had
while you drive along your dreams?
Will I regret the words I didn't tell you?
So many questions left unresolved
lost in a gesture pale in background.

I walk  along the desert shoreline,
folding our past story like an origami bird
that  flies off singing its end
a lonely voice in this last blast of wind.

And I look a gust  twirling the sand,
a plastic bag attempting a  flight
stubborn continues its useless journey
moving its wings from nothing to nowhere,
gliding and falling down just near my hopes .

This leaden daybreak  embraces my thoughts
transporting them with the rhythm of the tides.
I lose my glance behind the horizon line
when I remember  your farewell smile,
and I understand that I won’t follow you.