Ivory Flame – Wistful Enigma~
My series of recent blogs about my favorite photographs I’ve made since arriving in LA last year continues today, Gentle Readers, with another collaboration with Ivory Flame. During a break in shooting, this was an image, in the course of our back of the camera review, that she and I were both immediately drawn to. One of those, Yes!, moments.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the wonderful things about working with Ivory, are the characters she inhabits that make creating images with her so much more than a photograph of a beautiful woman. Her face tells stories. And that’s something I’ve been looking for more and more in my work. Almost as if I want the photograph to ask the viewer a question, What do you imagine she’s thinking about?
Because that’s what often happens to me when I look at our work together. There’s an extra layer of something. Is it sadness? Is it mindfulness? Is it determination?
For me, it’s something wistful, which is why I called this photograph what I did, Wistful Enigma. Titling photos is always a challenge to me, but I’ve gotten more comfortable with the process of looking at a moment of our creation and unraveling what I see after the fact, which may have nothing to do with what we were feeling at the time the photo was made. Trying to look at something with fresh eyes.
For a long time, I simply called all of my nude work, “Untitled,” because very often giving something a name may influence how the viewer perceives any given photograph. And that’s not necessarily what I want. I believe art is a mirror anyway, and I think what anyone sees in an image often is more about them than anything my subject or I may express. However, it’s more difficult when trying to refer to different photographs when everything has the same name. So I began the process of attempting to come up with reasonable titles for everything.
On this occasion, I did tell Ivory that I was looking for something from her that evoked a story. And it’s very interesting to look at the images we made just before and after this particular one. They all say something slightly different to me. Small subtle differences perhaps, but I find if I give my collaborator some room to work, give her an idea and get out-of-the-way, the results can be quite compelling. The variety of what she was expressing was wonderful.
It’s one of the joys of working with someone like Ivory, who really knows what she’s doing. Her body of work features so many characters, styles and stories, that I knew working with her would be special. And that we’d create something that resonated with me on a deeper level.
Thank you Ivory, and thank you again Zoe Wiseman for assisting with our location.