'As has happened with increasing frequency, my favorite shot from the studio’s last session was neither planned nor from my camera.'
We all know the key to a great story lies in the ending, especially if it's unexpected. Over the course of the last week or so, Wes told me the story of his Valentines shoot. But Wes was coy, he started out sticking to the facts, describing the concept, the body painting, the camera assistants on the shoot. He sent on a few sample images telling me a little bit about Mike and Jay and the process of bringing everyone together. Just when I thought the story had come to a close, and I had my Valentine's piece ready to go, Wes slyly slid in a coda. I leave it to him explain what happened at the end of the shoot.
'I had agreed, at Tye's request, to add a few shots of model-in-residence, Alex, who serves as the stylist and second camera on most of our shoots. Alex has been featured on FH several times we had planned to spend five minutes at the end of the body-painting session to capture a couple of shots of him posing with only our trusty red heart, object of Valentines past.'
'As a matter of style, I have grown accustomed to including work from a second camera in most of the studio’s edited work. To a large extent this is a reflection of the impact of Alex Corso’s shooting style on the studio’s work. As he captures the room as well as the models, increasingly I am seeing contextual elements as part of the studio’s esthetic. Light stands that might once have been Photoshopped out of my own work are being left in. So when it was Alex’s rare turn to step onto the paper, I had him give his camera to Jonathan, our guest. I was pleased to hear that Jon was familiar with the make and model of the camera and ask Alex to spend a couple of minutes with him before the hand-off of the second camera.'
'I was finishing the last of the work with Jay and Mike as Alex returned. Both Jay and Mike knew that Alex would be posing next and Jay motioned for him to come onto the paper. Standing in front of him, Jay announced that now he and Mike got to be the stylists and with that, and they proceeded to pull his clothes off. Alex was confused as to what was going on and what was supposed to happen next, but put up little resistance to their efforts to strip him.'
'I’d been looking for a possible way to integrate Alex’s picture with the rest of the shoot. What I had not been expecting (novice that I am at such sessions) was the opportunity to capture the models as they started to remove (or smear) the paint at the end of the session. Alex got integrated into the ritual. Before ending there, however, we managed to work Alex into a few of the art shots, including a couple that may be paying tribute to posters for The Supremes. We got Alex alone with the red heart as we’d planned. But by that point, the heart wasn’t the only thing that was red.'