donderdag 14 juli 2016
"Time is up....". All good things must come to an end and so did this remarkable photo shoot in the Pavilion Gardens. Miliswa is the 75th Lady behind Crystal Veil.
Posting a casting call for models abroad is always a special moment. As the photo shoots were to take place in either Worthing or Brighton, I expected most reactions to come from Brighton where lots of models are active. To my surprise, only one application arrived from Brighton. Six applications came from London and even further afield. One of these was sent by Miliswa and it was interesting to see her portfolio. The posing style could best be described in the following key words: concentrated, serious, dignified but with a sensual touch.
The email exchange with models is sometimes a bit confusing. This has to do with the fact that I need to know their PD and prescription well in advance to select the glasses in time. Miliswa obligingly measured her PD but she did not have a glasses receipt. Instead, she mentioned that things started getting foggy from about two feet distance. With this in mind, I selected mainly glasses around -1.50 for the first part of her photo shoot. This eventually turned out to be wrong. She only had some + astigmatism but it did not affect the quality of her posing. There was another misunderstanding from my side. Silly me, it never crossed my mind that the common language in many parts of her native Cameroon is not English but French. This only became clear to me during our conversation on our way back to the station after the photo shoot.
The Pavilion Gardens were crowded with school classes on the day of our photo shoot. But Miliswa somehow managed to keep posing undisturbed. Not every model is given to that.
All the qualities shown in her portfolio came out during the photo shoot, but Miliswa had a surprise in store. It was something I never witnessed during any of the 100 preceding photo shoots. Quite a fascinating sighting. She bowed her hear and body down and then rose in a fast, elegantly flowing style right into the pose she had in mind. Almost impossible to capture in a photo although I tried it several times. It would take a video to do justice to this surprise.
Miliswa managed a great, direct eye contact in many photos and she lost none of that quality when we switched to strong glasses. She obligingly posed in myodisc glasses without much visible effort. Her consistent patience and discipline throughout the photo shoot attributed greatly to the outcome.
Miliswa, I wish you a brilliant career, both as an academic and a model. Thank you!
Unplugged and seated.... During the second part of her photo shoot, lovely Miliswa posed in a sitting position as all the glasses only produced a massive blur. We did the second part as fast as possible so it would not become monotonous. Miliswa displayed a lot of patience and discipline so it really all went by itself. The contrast with the lively free style posing in the first part really adds another fine dimension to her photo shoot.
The burgundy glasses are another fine match - smaller and less chunky than the previous glasses but nicely contrasting.
These trapezoid burgundy glasses were among my first orders from Zenni when I started the project in 2009. The black hipster style was just about to put an end to twenty years of dull. tiny retro frames and my early models really liked this striking burgundy frame. A dozen models posed in them, Carla being the very first. The glasses were fitted with -8.00 lenses but I also ordered a pair with the highest bifocal prescription that Zenni could supply. My life partner Nel once used these progressives at a lively 1970's swinging party. A special occasion was when identical twins Nathalie and Kimberley posed in the two identical burgundy pairs. More recently, Ghana born model Emma posed in these progressives during her second photo shoot in Germany and her classic "Bed of Roses" series made me select the burgundy glasses for the journey to Brighton, with Miliswa in mind.
Each photo shoot starts with a selection of glasses close to the model's own prescription so she can assess her looks in each pair with a hand mirror that always accompanies me in my travels. By contrast, the second part of a photo shoot is about stronger glasses and the model often has to rely on my opinion or the feedback given to her by a friend. The real assessment takes place when the model sees the photos.
The greenish glasses shown here by Miliswa are - in my opinion - a perfect match. The size is right, the unusual frame color works great and the shape of the frame neatly follows the shape of the model's eyebrows. This is why I felt on safe ground asking Miliswa to pose in a surprised way first, followed by a smile of recognition.
Miliswa had to handle these glasses with great care as the brittle frame has developed a crack. Travelling to six countries can be a bit much, even for Zenni glasses....
Frame choice is a highly individual process. Every optician can testify to that. Frame selection for a new photo shoot is a bit different as the model is not sitting next to me, unless she lives around the corner. A good preparation for a photo shoot abroad includes correspondence with the model about her PD, her prescription and also about her preference in frame styles. Many models are happy to try a large variety in frame styles but some models (especially when they wear glasses in daily life) are quite outspoken in their preferences. Nefeli in Athens and Cat in Paris went for the cat eye style. The great Sohaila in Dublin described what she wanted in the following terms: "Frames in the shops here are dull and boring. I want big, chunky frames. The chunkier, the better". And that's what she got.... It's always a rewarding moment when a model first sees the selection brought along to her photo shoot. And of course it's even more rewarding when most of the selected glasses really suit the model's face. The chunky greenish glasses shown here by beautiful Miliswa are an excellent example of such a moment of discovery and surprise. The better a model likes a particular pair of glasses, the better the results.
woensdag 13 juli 2016
These nameless pink glasses are another pair suitable to models with a large PD. They were featured in five photo shoots done in 2010 and 2011 (Margriet 073, Marleen 258, Nel 323, Christien 084, Douce 141) and then kind of forgotten. Again, these are traditional myodisc glasses, albeit in a modern frame. The lenses are in better condition than the preceding pair, producing less glare.
Glasses: Gan Aimh, traditional myodisc glasses
For comparison with the blended myodisc glasses shown by Miliswa in the two previous portraits, I requested her to pose in a pair of traditional myodisc glasses as well. After all, my project is not just about frames but also about lenses. The position of bowl and carrier lens are quite clear. Minus twenty-five is an extremely strong prescription so it was comfortable for Miliswa that this part of the photo shoot was done in a seated position. The glasses were used in four previous photo shoots (with Lettie, Nanda, Nel and Sohaila) but the extreme strong curve in the lenses tends to produce more glare than can be edited out. I took half a dozen photos of Miliswa but only managed to edit one of them in a satisfactory manner.
These Italian glasses were sent to me by Martin from Cologne and subsequently shown by my life partner Nel during the catwalk at the opening of my second photography exhibition (Germany, 2011). The glasses were also featured in several photo shoots (e.g. Leonne 146, Juliette 107). During the selection of the glasses for the photo shoot with Miliswa, it dawned to me that the dimensions of the frame match her PD.
Blended myodisc lenses are now extremely rare. They were invented during the early 1980's as a more aesthetic alternative for the traditional myodisc lenses with their clearly visible demarcation between the central "bowl" with its extremely strong prescription and the surrounding carrier lens. Aside from the tiny image of the eyes, there is no way of telling that these are very strong glasses indeed.
The beautiful frame has a touch of the cat eye look and it was available in white, in tortoise shell and in this dark red version. The lenses are Zenni's standard 1.57. This choice was made with the cost in mind but of course also because of the effect of the lenses. Again, this is quite credible posing by lovely Miliswa.
These makeup glasses were a surprise present to my life partner Nel on the day we celebrated the first anniversary of our relation in 2009. Her optician replaced the standard +2.50 lenses by Nel's prescription for reading. Nel tried them out straightaway but she somehow could not get used to them. The pattern of a lifetime - nose against the mirror when applying makeup - was hard to change so she gave the glasses back to my collection.
These solid black glasses first appeared in the Zenni catalog six years ago and they were featured in at least fifteen photo shoots (Gita, Lettie, Sohaila, Lydia, Iris, Nadya and Emma spring to mind). The striking frame follows Miliswa's eyebrow lines neatly.
Some three years ago, Zenni launched a remarkable series of great cat eye glasses in their catalog. They may have expected a new rise to popularity for the cat eye style, but this has not happened on a large scale in the streets. Many revival attempts were made since the cat eye glasses became unfashionable in the mid 1960's but all in vain. Full credit goes to Zenni for their attempt. Their frame design was great and unlike the cat eye glasses from the classic era (1955 - 1963), Zenni produced frames for large PD's as well. The pair shown here by Miliswa is an excellent example. Really a perfect match!
This check with the hand mirror did not give Miliswa perfect eyesight. It's a compromise with the composition of the photo. The real distance for good eyesight would have been seven inches but Miliswa got a fair impression of her looks anyway. Needless to say, the hand mirror was of no practical use during the posing in strong minus glasses.
These Zenni glasses are reminiscent of their popular pair 274018 and they may be regarded its version for clients with a large PD. An amazing quality of these large glasses is that they don't look all that strong. Miliswa greatly contributed to the effect by keeping her eyes wide open without getting an effect that would have been over the top. Thank you, Miliswa!
One of my absolute favorites from the first part of this photo shoot. The posing by Miliswa is great and the direct eye contact is second to none. Be it reminded that the model has almost perfect eyesight without glasses. Contrary as it may sound, posing in glasses with minus eight is easier for models with 20 / 20 vision than posing in glasses with minus four.
Encore.... The Luxottica glasses look as if they were designed with Miliswa in mind. But the reality is that she was not even born when the glasses were made. Many models find it a fascinating experience to pose in glasses they only saw in pictures. In my view, the 1970's and 1980's were the Golden Era of frame design. Feel free to disagree....