Friday, March 30, 2012

... "If you haven't cried ...

 .. your eyes can't be beautiful." - Sophia Loren

I haven't posted in a very long, long time. I'm sorry. Life gets in the way sometimes..
I've been told countless times how "striking" my eyes are.. how "beautiful" or how much "depth" they have. In all my modeling, through countless shoots, of the thousands of images .. the comment I think I've heard the most is of my "ability to stare through the camera and into the soul of the viewer."

It's amusing to me, sometimes, to point out that I am, effectively, blind during almost all of my shoots. I wear glasses.. a very, very strong prescription. To be entirely honest, I can't actually "see" what I'm looking at when I stare into the black, blurry round thing that is the camera lens. I've no depth perception whatsoever without my "eyes" (as I've dubbed my glasses over the years), and can only see detail about 3 inches from the end of my nose.

At some point, I wonder if perhaps my lack of ability to focus on what's physically in front of me does, in fact, give the illusion that I'm staring "through" someone/thing in an image. Would I have been as good a model if I could actually see what I was doing? It wasn't until recently that I actually realized just how often my posing, positioning, etc. was a result of "feeling" what was right.. a modeling "instinct", if you will. Holding an image in my mind of where my hair is, the degree my neck is tilted, the lift of a hip or ankle.. memorizing the lighting setup before I took my glasses off.. all something that had to become a habit, rather then a visual check.

The other comments I've noticed are always "What was on your mind?" during a shoot/image. Honestly? Usually some variations of:

- "Fingers relaxed, leg up, inhale .. hold it .. hold it.. hold it .. and.. done."

 I never really noticed, until a photographer pointed it out to me once, that I generally hold my breath when I'm posing. Fear of losing the moment .. a realization that breathing is almost like a clock ticking .. sometimes causes me to just .. not .. for a while.

- "Aggh! this is killing my back and my hip, please take the picture.. take the picture now.. take it .. oh thank God."

I have chronic, mild to severe, joint & back pain. Always. Modeling was one of the most incredibly painful things I've done in my life, without fail. A good portion of why I had to stop traveling was due to the increasing level of pain that being on an airplane or in a car would cause me... still causes me. I am forced to seek steady, "real world" employment in the hopes of finding something with insurance that will allow me to have these issues diagnosed and treated on a regular basis.

Though.. sometimes I think giving up the "traveling model" identity .. might almost be more painful then the reason I had to let it go.

I deeply miss modeling. I miss the creativity.. the connection.. the flow of movement. I adored being the "chameleon", and the pleasure of seeing new images I helped create. It's an addiction.. a craving.. a need. There's an old superstition that cameras consume your soul. Every photo takes a piece of it until, eventually, there's nothing left of you except what's in the camera.

I suddenly understand why the story came about.

Modeling is a consuming, hungry, gluttonous thing. You give to it because it needs to take, and because you need to give. You feed the camera what you have inside of you, so that you might become the image .. the art.. the wonder of what it will give birth to. You become the blank canvas .. the hand, the eyes, the body .. you are no longer the name on your birth certificate. You are "Model".. and it will ravenously feast at the banquet of you until you become undeniably altered.

Am I better for this? I don't know.

I occasionally catch myself pining for it, like a lost love .. a heartache that throbs just enough to remind you some deeply engrained piece of you is missing.

Eyes are beautiful because they cry. Models are beautiful because they give, change, grow, become.


  1. Good piece of writing and very insightful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    MM #2722

  2. I am about to begin a tour of the 48 States.
    It will be a multi-purpose tour and will be meeting with models, photographers, a variety of stars, talking heads and politicians. Traveling was first on your list and I loved your work, but then I read you can't travel... color me sad and confused