Monday, March 15, 2010

Re-creational photos...Diego Rivera edition

I cannot say that I know how other people come by their "creative motivation". I've definitely read others' accounts about how an idea was/is borne. I will venture to say that most, if not all accounts, can be summarized as epiphanies--the coincident occurrence of at least 2 ideas simultaneously within one brain (occurrences which are/were usually improved upon through a series of collaborative "sharings" with another brain). And since the concepts of epiphanies/creative visions are nebulous concepts (at best)...I thought I would share a recent epiphany...but--I suppose the purpose for doing these blogs is to present the mental process (epiphanies) as well as the product. So...this recipe begins with a Diego Rivera lovin Mexican, some fermented pineapple, and a spirited little girl.

(side-note/PC disclaimer: for anyone whose sensibilities might be razed by the usage of "Mexican" should first talk to a native-Mexican about being called Hispanic.)

Up on Beacon Hill (Seattle), there is a fantastic Mexican restaurant: El Quetzal (map).
The food is exceptional. The specialty juices are TO DIE For. AND, it's a great place to practice broken-spanish with a bunch of mexicanos authenticos that love to goad the gringos! (It's really the people that make the food so exceptional---it's no wonder "Like Water for Chocolate" is a Mexican tale.)

Anyway, El Quetzal is owned and operated by Juan Montiel and his wife Elaina (whose name I am most likely misspelling)...and when you visit, you cannot help but notice several prominent Diego Rivera prints (front and center).

Needless to say, I have been conjuring images and concepts with children as the center-piece...and, on saturday afternoons, one will (most likely) see Juan and Elaina's 3 kids around the restaurant... So, one saturday I'm sipping on a glass of (one of) Juan's finest confections (Tepache)...and over to-our-table comes his daughter, Laisha. --jabbering away in Spanglish, HAPPY-AS-CAN be. ...and--WHAM!--I look at Juan, and tell him, "it would be fun to "recreate" a Diego print with Laisha."

Doing conceptional shots, I am finding, with children is TOUGH. Why? Because, one puts a child into a situation where a "stranger" is pointing a camera at them, and the child is expected to "act"..and for the current discussion, the photog isn't fluent in the "native tongue". ....somewhat fortuitously, the awkwardness helped to capture the "diego-ness".

having a gringo try to direct her in english...poorly conceived and unconjugated spanish verbs...helped to create a stern and pensive on the face of this light-hearted and beautiful girl (the "diego-ness").

and while I could not obtain a bushel of calla lilies "open" enough to really SCREAM "Diego"...I think the daisies worked out nicely.. (perhaps, when the lilies are in season--I might be able to bribe Laisha into another session.....but it will be a tough sell.)

All-in-all, I think Laisha did an excellent job being a Diego model....stern in her childish beauty, complimenting the soft white of the daisies...and finished off with a beautiful dress.

...within a bed of ivy.

A great modeling debut...Laisha let me take shots for 15-20 min. ..and then it was time to switch back into "play clothes"....enough with the "gringo loco".

stay tuned!

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