Ah, Tara. My lovely model friend Tara. It’s been more than three years since we’ve seen each other in person, around the time we made this tranquil photograph of her on the Pacific Ocean shores of Baja, Mexico. But because we live in the future, Tara and I have managed to remain in very close contact in the years since. A wonderful thing.
Tara and I spent a great deal of time talking while we were making these photographs. We probably didn’t return from the shoot with as many photographs as I usually do, but it didn’t matter. It’s not uncommon for me to “waste” time having discussions when I might otherwise be shooting. But I think when I make my art, it’s really part of the experience of the whole thing to take a little time and simply be. The quality of the photos usually makes up for the lack of quantity.
So it wasn’t surprising at all that we have managed to stay connected years later, even though we’re an ocean apart. Tara has an uncanny way of popping up when I need a lift. Via a brief message or a wonderfully long email or Skype. She’s good at checking in when she hasn’t seen me as frequently as I usually am on social media.
“Everything okay with you?”
It’s a kind sensitivity that I noticed during our first meetings. Tara is one of the most empathetic people I know. You can see it in her face in this image. When she looks at you, you can feel her really seeing you. The truth inside you. It’s a warm feeling.
The day we made this photo, it was late in the afternoon on a secluded ocean cove called Playa Las Palmas. A completely serene surrounding. One of those places that makes you just stand there and take stock of how lucky you are to find yourself in such a place.
Tara and I found many beautiful natural shapes of sand and water for her to blend into. It was truly the two of us at play, finding the natural curves and me trying to not leave any footprints in places we were framing her.
It’s times like these when the work of making art seems anything but that.