Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stepping the other side of the lens

As a photographer, I get to hide behind the non-scary side of the lens, giving a constant feed of directions and instructions to my subject on how to pose. Today the tables were turned on me. Talented Munich-based painter, Julie Galante* is working on a series of large-scale paintings of women in dirndls** and I offered to sit for one. Julie paints mostly from photographs, so we spent some 20 minutes or so with me posing in my new dirndl while Julie took pictures.
I’ve taken self portraits before as I’m a big believer that they are a really useful exercise in understanding how it feels to be the other side of the lens, but I must admit it had been a while.
I felt a bit self-conscious to start with, but we soon got into the swing of things, moving through subtle variations of different poses and expressions, using hands (I love hands in portraits) and before we knew it, Julie had taken over 500 shots and I certainly had a better appreciation of what it’s like being in front of the camera. Hopefully Julie will find something of inspiration and I’ll be able to report back with the end result in a few weeks!

*You can see Julie’s work at
**A dirndl is the traditional Bavarian dress for women. For more info, see this great article:

P.S. Isn't Julie's studio space fab? That light! Oh, so envious!

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