This is part six in a series of blogs on my recent artistic adventures in Mexico.
I dropped Ella Rose back at the Hotelito and returned to Todos Santos Inn where I had arranged to meet the lovely Carlotta for our mid-day photo shoot that was scheduled to begin in just a few minutes. I was happily exhausted from Ella’s shoot and I only had time to quickly shower the sand off of me and grab some fresh clothes so I wouldn’t be quite so beach-y for Carlotta.
We had decided to stay close to home, so to speak, for this shoot. For a few days, I had been thinking about how to use the grounds of the Todos Santos Inn for interesting shooting ideas. I have to admit it was a bit of a challenge to wrap my head around. It was a beautiful place, but you know how sometimes you walk into a room and it just hits you? You know instantly how it’s all going to come together? Well, for some reason, the Inn and I instead seemed to be dancing around a few ideas, but the Inn was waltzing and I was doing some kind of Hammer-Time thing.
Carlotta Champagne in Pool
It’s actually an interesting creative challenge to find myself in. You know there is something there, but for some reason you can’t quite put your finger on it. I knew Carlotta would be incredible. We had been table mates at the Hotel California dinner and talked quite a bit at the welcoming party at Casa Dracula on our first night in Mexico. I knew the work we created would be excellent, I just needed to figure it out.
Sometimes when you have a block, it’s best to just start shooting and not over think it. If you let the, “Oh no… I have this amazing model and the ideas aren’t coming,” voice get the better of you, it actually is going to be less than you had hoped.
I’ve learned to respect the block. Don’t panic.
Carlotta Champagne in Pool
We found a nice leafy area off of one of the garden paths and we began to work. She was beautiful and working the most lovely curvy poses. Carlotta has one of those strikingly gorgeous hour glass silhouettes. I still hadn’t quite found it on my end yet, but after a few minutes, I could feel the block beginning to give way. She was very good as I knew she would be.
Now that the shooting was underway, we began to discuss the large elephant leaves that were everywhere in the garden and pool area. I had her move to the edge of the rear of the pool and among the giant lush leaves.
There it was.
Her shape completely complimented the nature around her. Now we had something really good happening.
I had this idea to photographer her in the pool more or less from the water level. The mid-day heat was fairly intense and as Carlotta got into the water, I kicked off my shoes and much to her surprise, I walked down the steps into the pool with all my clothes on. I was in the zone by then and I didn’t want to waste any time.
That, and the cool water felt so good.
She posed and I bobbed, making sure to keep my camera as close to the waterline as possible without dunking it. It worked.
The water was refreshing for me, but a bit chilly for her, so after about 20 minutes, Carlotta got out of the water and I continued to photograph her perched on a nearby crumbling wall and then the pool’s edge, all while I continued to bob in the water.
Note to self: Shooting from in the water is incredibly relaxing.
Carlotta Champagne and the Palm Leaves
Eventually we ran out of places for her to pose in close proximity to the pool and we both ventured back out into the sunlit garden.
Carlotta carefully made her way into the middle of a particularly leafy area, the palm leaves framing her wonderfully. She backed out to the other side and I followed her into the center using the leaves in front of my lens to diffuse the composition.
Finally we were ready to wrap the shoot for the day. I was very happy with our journey from my early bit of a block, breaking through to make some truly lovely photographs of her. Sometimes when you’re a bit lost, the best thing to do is keep moving forward. More often than not, you eventually get there.
I would try to do it all over again in an hour with the exuberant Sara Liz.
More to come.