I apologize for the delay in new blogs lately….been enjoying Summer and staying inspired, and next week will enjoy a beach trip with friends, for additional refuge and artistic inspiration…..not to mention a refreshing renewal of the soul. Today I will discuss the role of a muse. In definition a creative partner, a model / photographic subject that I, as a photographer have access to when feeling inspired to carry out a specific vision or test a different technical approach. And in turn, she grows as a model and gets portfolio material….and also calls on me when she wants to do something new or different. I am fortunate enough to have enjoyed many excellent ones over the years of me doing artistic nude photography and conceptual photography.
Here is the deal. Whether the muse is a model, or just someone who likes posing and being photographed, and whether the photographer is a professional or hobbyist, respect and boundaries have to be in place. Similar to how I would work with a client, the accountability has to be there. I make them feel comfortable, respect their boundaries, build their confidence, and I value their time. The same way, if I get last minute cancellation or no showed, I don’t make another appointment for them without pre payment. Even for a muse situation, no money changes hands, but that relationship and arrangement has a lot of a value, apart from financial. Therefore, high standards should be in place, and there has to be mutual respect, not only for one another and their creative needs, but time as well.
Like a friendship. It’s like a bank account. Being unreliable, or dishonest, wasting my time, all major withdrawals, and soon I will close the account. Of course life happens, but things like being very late for a shoot, partying the night before and looking like crap or cancelling because of that, or not being able to keep commitments because they can’t manage their personal life…all deal breakers when it comes to a muse relationship. If they don’t respect my time and value it, they aren’t the person I want to invest in. My point is, financial arrangement shouldn’t change work ethic or standards. And if it’s not a mutual benefit, then it’s not worth doing. One of my long time muses…she is 250 miles away but when we do get together, great art is created. I value that very much.