vrijdag 28 februari 2014
Photo shoot: December 16th, 2013
Location: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Glasses prescription Daughter Juliana:
[L: 0; c-0.50 h / R: +0.25; c-0.50 h]
Glasses prescription Mother Juliana:
[L: +3.00; c-3.50 o / R: +2.75; c-2.25 v]
Glasses Daughter Juliana (left): Gan Aimh, early 1990's
[L: +1.25 / R: +2.50]
Glasses Mother Juliana (right): Silhouette 1058, made circa 1981
[L: +0.75; c+2.00 h / R: +1.50 / var add 2.75]
maandag 3 februari 2014
This portrait of Simona in 1970's style Zenni glasses was taken during the series 150 - 158. Here we are allowed a look behind the curtains. Sometimes a brief moment of real eye contact between model and photographer is needed. This is how it's often done during the posing in the section with strong glasses. The amazing thing is that such occasions were quite rare during the photo shoot with Simona and this moment of lifting the glasses was a spontaneous moment from the model's side.
This portrait marks the end of this memorable photo shoot. Simona is the 54th Lady behind Crystal Veil.
My camera recorded the phenomenal speed at which the photo shoot with Simona on Bray beach was done. The very first portrait was taken at 19.49. We took only one short break (five minutes) at the end of the series in the 1970's style Zenni glasses shown here, resuming the photo shoot at 20.38. The final portrait was taken at 20.56. All in all, 324 photos were made within just a little over an hour, changing glasses (forty times) included. Phenomenal speed indeed, yet there was no rush feeling about it. This and the fact that 60% of the 324 photos was posted here gives a good indication of the unusual standard achieved by this exceptional model.
When Simona reacted to my casting call, my schedule was already full to I appointed her "super sub" because of her impressive portfolio and amazing look. Eventually it turned out that an early evening shoot suited both of us best. When Simona arrived at the station, I recognized her from a distance, thinking "She has all the hallmarks of a great model. This is going to be good, really good". During the walk from the station to my B&B, new impressions were added. Although a real cosmopolitan by now, Simona comes from the Czech Republic and I recognized some similarities with other models from what was formerly called "Eastern Europe". Modest, polite and civilized were the key words that sprang to mind.
When Simona saw the glasses lying in readiness for selection, it was clear that she was really fascinated by glasses. Part of this may be that she only got her first pair of glasses during the preceding year. During the selection it was a real pleasure to watch her and hear her reactions.
When we started the actual photo shoot, Simona got into her stride almost straightaway, taking directions when given, but also adding great ideas of her own. Very soon it dawned to me that the superb posing by this gorgeous model was not a role played but rather an extension of her own character.
Simona describes her unique look, eyes and smile as her best assets. She was absolutely right but the list was far from complete. A beautiful bone structure. Full lips - very important, especially during the section in strong glasses. A strong contrast between her long blonde hair and the black leather jacket.
It's often said that well-chosen glasses make the eyes of their wearer speak but in Simona's case, this was clearly an understatement. Her beautiful eyes became even more eloquent behind prescription glasses. And her captivating smile could easily make an iceberg melt.
After the switch to strong glasses, it was amazing how fast she adjusted herself by using the power of imagination. The result was a natural, credible look, just as if all these strong glasses were her own. The eye contact with her appreciative photographer was no less than formidable.
Another amazing thing about Simona and her marvelous posing was the transformation after nightfall. It was just as if she revealed another side of her personality. Strong, powerful posing indeed, especially in the black and white photography. In most photo shoots, there is just a nuance difference in general feel when a colour portrait is changed into a black and white version. I never saw photos in which the black and white version had so much impact. Simona clearly saved the best for the last.
Simona, it's safe to say that you added yet another standard to my project. Can it get any better? Is it time for me to finish the project? In the words of Ray Davies in his song Shangri-La:
"Put on your slippers and sit by the fire
You reached your top and you just can't get any higher
You're in your place and you know where you are
in your Shangri-La"
The only pity is that the most beautiful blended myodisc glasses in my collection did not make the journey to Ireland. I'm convinced that you would have raised the standard to an even higher level in the pink Flair glasses. So perhaps it can get even better in the future after all :).
Thank you so much for a pleasant evening with marvelous results! Simona, I wish you a brilliant continuation of your career as a model and actress in Australia. And drop me a line if ever you are back in Europe.... The Flair pair and many other fantastic glasses are patiently waiting for you!
zondag 2 februari 2014
A unique look, marvelous posing, mysteriously beautiful eyes, a perfect blend with the strong but chic glasses, an element of will power, all combined in one - and her name is Simona. I could have snapped on forever to make these moments last! But alas, Simona had to catch the train back to Dublin and to be honest, my eyes were exhausted from the experience. All good things must come to an end....
When this unique series of Simona posing in the Christian Olivier myodisc glasses rolled out on my PC, there were goose pickles on my arms.
"Can it get any better?" is a question I asked myself several times over the past four years. It happened when Carla posed for me in the early days of the project. It happened again when Melissa ("the glasses face ever") posed for me in 2011. I had tears in my eyes when first seeing the warmth in the portraits of my first black model, beauty queen Osi. There were goose pickles again when I first saw the breathtaking portraits of the great Sohaila. And then there was Simona, in pitch dark, on Bray beach....
Myodisc lenses were - and are - used when the Rx is too high for ordinary or even high index lenses. The rims become too thick and the glasses can't be folded up. Traditional myodisc lenses consist of a central "bowl" with a diameter of 25 or 30 millimeters and the Rx needed by the wearer, surrounded by a plano or magnifying carrier lens. Formlenti were invented in the early 1970's to obtain a more satisfying aesthetic look. Here the carrier lens follows the shape of the frame. This can be seen clearly in this fine portrait of Simona.
zaterdag 1 februari 2014
Working with Simona was an experience never to be forgotten. It was fascinating to witness and capture the gradual change in the feel and atmosphere after nightfall - as if she revealed another side of her personality.
During the first part of her photo shoot, many people and their dogs passed us and some waited to see us at work from a small distance. When night had fallen, there was nobody on the beach except Simona and me - at least I thought so.
The next day, I took a short walk to the beach and when passing the spot where Simona and I did the photo shoot, I heard a voice calling me.
"Hey Mister, I saw you last night. Beautiful girl.... You must have taken at least a hundred pictures of her. I saw your flashlight non stop, all the time"
I looked up and sure enough, it was the tramp who sleeps every night in the open construction where my photo shoots with Leah and Katie took place when his bedroom was vacant. Long hair, a wild beard and incredibly clear blue eyes - the eyes of a man who leads a nomadic outdoor life. He introduced himself as John Cumming.
"Do you have a cigarette for me?"
"Sure. Be my guest"
"That girl.... beautiful bone structure, beautiful all the way"
I explained that she was a model and that I had used his bedroom at daytime to do some photo shoots with other models during the preceding days. He then told me that he had been in the music business, working in the Abbey Tavern, then moved to Canada. We shared some more cigarettes and he treated me with his synopsis of how Ireland had acquired its status as an independent nation.
This narrative would not be complete without this account by the man who witnessed the final phase of the extraordinary photo shoot with Simona.
Simona showing the relatively modest power rings in these beautiful, lady-like glasses by Zenni. The standard Rx of the Zenni glasses in my collection is minus eight - photogenic but not extreme - but somehow this pair seems less strong than its many sisters. This may have to do with the size but also with the shape of the frame.
Another pair of Zenni glasses with a touch of the cat eye style but mellowed by the slightly oval rounded shape of the frame. The glasses really seem to suit all models and as a result, they are often included in my photo shoots. In my opinion, Simona looks absolutely splendid in this pair so I kept this series back to post it in the final part of her photo shoot.