Tagged: stephanie

There was a time when I was a fashion model when perfection was forced and instilled into every one of my brain cells that I was unable to appreciate flaws. Especially when it came to photography, because body image was so important back then, the camera had to perfect perfection even more. You could have been a perfectly poised woman with flawless skin and a perfect figure, but the camera had to make you even more flawless and perfect. A hyper sense of perfection. And that was when all photographers shot film. Fast forward to today and the hyper-perfection is on some other trip. I look at photos now and the models look like plastic dolls. They have no hips. No breasts. They are androgynous drones chiseled with photoshop to be made into unreal versions of humanity. I find myself searching for imperfection because of it. Even if I’m photographing someone with a perfect body.

It really doesn’t matter how perfect someone’s body is in the world of art, but I see fashion influencing artists. I see photographic artists utilizing the hyperreal tools of the fashion industry in order to perfect their images. While I would never publish a photograph of a woman in a compromising view to make her seem less ideal, I want her to look good, I’m also not going to do something to compromise my vision for my own art to satisfy the status quo. I love the imperfections in film. I adore freaking out my Polaroid negatives, scratches, solarization, funky borders… they allow me to understand LIGHT what it does, how it feels. The luxury of shadows and the mystery it emboldens.

I can thank the fashion industry for shunning my eyes from their unrealistic version of woman. When I see plastic faces with no pores, I can look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m beautiful for not being a plastic doll. And I can view the art I create and be refreshed that it looks nothing like anything I see in a fashion magazine. I left fashion for a reason.

Enjoy some Polaroids and some Rollei photos I shot of model, Stephanie Anne last month.

On February 18, 2010 I’m having a solo showing of my work at A&I Photographic in Hollywood. I think I’ve picked out a few “THESE ABSOLUTELY MUST BE ON THE WALL” images. I’m also thinking of making little series of 5×7’s in boxes to sell at the opening reception for very reasonable prices. I’ll post some of those series here as the time draws nearer. But, these are absolutes.

Before arriving to Australia I found this amazing park online during my searches for locations. I fell in love with it 6 months before our arrival. It’s basically dilapidated ruins of a Spanish estate. Jose Paronella started building this for the public in 1929 and it is a magical feast for the eyes.

The day we arrived, the major paper in the area, The Cairns Post, did a little fluff piece on all of the photographers and models who were there in the area. They interviewed me and my friends, Candace and Cameron – Cameron took the picture for the paper. It was fun. I had picked the paper up at the local news stand on the drive out to the park and read the article and smiled about it.

Whilst in the park there was a particular park ranger who kept eyeing us, especially me, looking me in they eyes and asking what we could possibly be doing standing in one spot for so long, as he was taking a tour group to the bat cave (literally). We just smiled and said we were admiring the sound of the water. And as the tour group passed – Ivory Flame and Stephanie Anne would disrobe as one kept look out for passersby while I photographed the other. (You definitely need more than one person in a place like this.) Our code word was Spider. If people were coming, Ivory Flame or Stephanie would yell “SPIDER.” And then the other would quickly get dressed. It makes for excitement! haha.

We went round with this through the park photographing in various spots as you can see in the photographs. When I took the last frame of Ivory Flame and said that was a roll and started to wind the film… I was crushed. I had gone through the entire park making pictures (so I thought) with no film in the camera. I almost cried. Ivory Flame was so sweet and said… “Oh Zoe, it’s OK… we can just do it again. Don’t worry.” Sincerely concerned and amazingly reassuring to me. So we went round the park again (haha) yelling “Spider” and setting up and such very quickly and made the pictures you see here.

We ran into this park ranger on several more stops he made. Once in the big trees where I photographed Stephanie (with only 2 frames left on the roll, not bad Stephanie!). Ivory Flame yelled “Spider” and Stephanie barely got her dress back on as the tour group with the ranger walked up. She was putting on her blouse over her dress and the ranger said, “Nearly busted.” And Stephanie said, “But not quite!” And with three girls giggling and smiling, what could he do but smile back?

The park has a little restaurant with a beautiful porch where you can sit and overlook the grounds. We grabbed some pies and coffee and sat to rest and eat a bit before driving on back to our spot at the beach. As we were eating the park ranger came up to us with the newspaper I had my picture in and asked, “Is this you?” And I smiled giggled and said yes that it was. So he asked for all our autographs and we all signed the newspaper for him.

And that’s the backstory.

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