“Jillian shouldn’t let anyone else photograph her,” said David Gilmour, a few years ago while looking at some photographs I had made of Jillian Ann over the years. Yes. That David Gilmour. Yes. The legendary guitarist. From Pink Floyd.
Probably one of the most random and amazing things I have ever heard in all my adventures. There’s a good Prince story too, involving Jillian and I, but I’ll save that for another time.
David was having a discussion with one of Pink Floyd’s past audio engineers, who just happened to be working with Jillian on a few of her music tracks. And out came my photographs.
Of course, Jillian has worked with some incredible photographers in her career, many of whom have and continue to make beautiful photographs of her. I’m simply one of many. But still. When David Gilmour makes a statement like that. You can’t help but feel pretty damn good about it.
Jillian and I have been making photographs, films and a music video for more than a decade. We’ve both grown immensely as artists through our collaborations. An incredibly rewarding body of work.
And as most artists who have worked together for long periods of time, specially stubborn ones like we both are, there are times when one of us has to push the other. Always in the spirit of creating something wonderful, certainly. But it’s an important give and take that sometimes is necessary.
During the shoot when I made this lovely photograph of Jillian, I was in an uncharacteristically foul place. I wasn’t at all in the mood to shoot. But Jillian would have none of that. We were going to shoot and that was that. She practically had to put the camera in my hands as she walked onto my studio set.
And I’m so glad she did. It was a struggle at the beginning of the shoot to find my happy-happy-joy-joy place that I usually do when I spend time with her (Thank you Ren and Stimpy!). But regardless, here we were. Jillian looking spectacular in a beautiful black corset and wonderful tulle crinoline. And me, being more than a little mopey about the whole thing. So I just took a deep breath, and began to do what I do, all the while Jillian pushing, pulling it out of me, encouraging, daring me to follow her. Being creatively provocative. As you can imagine, it’s hard to resist.
And it worked. Like crazy. She pulled me out of my hole and by the end, we had created some wonderful images.
Sometimes, one artist has to out-stubborn the other! Thank you Jillian!