Thursday, 2 February 2017


“For me, the subject of the picture is always
more important than the picture.”
- Diane Arbus, Photographer

“Modelling, it’s being an artist as well. It’s just being a silent artist.
It takes a lot of self-control and discipline.”
- Jessica White, Model

Today’s blog post features my images of Susan, the professional model who posed for the fourth and final class of the photography course I’ve been taking at the Art Gallery of Toronto. I have never photographed a model before, so I was worried about making an idiot of myself. Once I got into the rhythm of the session, however, I soon recognized that working with a model is all about mutuality and reciprocity. I loved how the energy in the room was determined by both the photographers and the model, with our instructor, Janieta, watching and guiding from the sidelines. It was a powerfully intimate experience, and I hope that these unedited images are visually engaging and technically proficient.

I am sad that the course has now finished. I enjoyed it immensely and felt my technical skills leap ahead significantly. It was also a treat to arrive in Toronto early enough each Tuesday to wander around downtown with my camera. I miss Toronto – its energy, dynamism, and visual treasures. However, I don’t miss it enough to want to move back. Interestingly, I’m appreciating the city more from a distance than I did when I actually lived there.

There are people to thank for the photography course: Janieta, our gifted teacher who kept encouraging us to “make friends with your cameras”; Susan, the expressive model who kindly gave me permission to post these images; and my fellow students, whose humour and energy helped make the four sessions speed by so quickly. And a special thanks to the Art Gallery of Ontario for offering the course. I look forward to taking more photography courses there in the future.

I hope you enjoy these images.

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