Thunderous showers predicted for the next week here in otherwise sunny California.
Stormy waters predicted indeterminately within me.
I’ve lately been obsessed with water. Everyone I’ve shot recently, me or a model, has felt the wrath of my water bottle being unceremoniously dumped on their head. Perhaps I’m merely reflecting real-time weather reports in my work. I’d like to think there’s a deeper reason than that though. Isn’t being wet, cold, and a little miserable more intimate? The model has more to give me, more for me to capture and translate for the viewer. Let’s call it liquid intimacy.
Last weekend I helped my old friend and one of my first models, Amna, move into her new apartment. After building her bed (3 times because we used the wrong screws in the wrong places) and learning that one’s ego is not above reading the manual, we took to the empty walls of her apartment. I poured water on her, unwrapped the most gorgeous peacock earrings—silver and diamonds inlaid with colored spherical stones—and began storytelling. The way we photograph is to personify a character and construct a backstory, so each expression and emotion we create feels grounded in reason. We played with sadness, fear, disgust, and exposure. Then we transferred into playful poses: glamour, sex, coy trophy wife.