The Model Vs. Photographer series was created during a period of modest desperation. I had nobody available who was willing to model, but I wanted to keep moving ahead with cranking out images. While sitting around pondering this, I was struck by the idea that it would be hilarious if I would mimic the poses of models I had previously shot. This idea caught hold because of three things.
First, I really thought that the shots would be funny. Second, it was about the only truly creative idea I had ever had. While I've often seen photographers do nude self portraits, I had never seen a male photographer try to adopt the same poses as his female models. Third, what better way to blunt the criticism that most nude art degrades women? I'm saying that I'm perfectly willing to do anything that I ask my models to do. And I really think that the more feminine the pose, the funnier the shots become.
In a serious light, that begs the viewer to ask "why?" But, forget the "why", these are meant to be fun. Have a laugh at my expense. Throw up. Do something!
The early shots were done months, even years after the original shot had been taken. Most of the recent ones are taken at the same time as I'm shooting the model. Both approaches offer challenges which I rarely overcome completely. The biggest challenge is trying to match the pose when I'm not using a mirror, and now, when I have to rely on my memory of the model's pose as my only guide. As you can see, I miss more often than hit. But, as far as I'm concerned, that makes them even funnier.
One of the most accurate criticisms of this particular series (besides the fact that quite a few of the shots are just plain bad examples of photography) is the fact that I really still had control over the shoot - in other words I never actually made myself as vulnerable as the model. The gallery, Model's Revenge, is meant to overcome that objection because she had no limits as to what she could ask me to do. And I, much to my eternal embarrassment, agreed to do whatever shots she asked.
© Terry Donovan 2003-2007