SUMMER MAY: She wasn't technically the first person I shot for SESSIONS. The first was actually Cary Manion. But I wanted a female model as my first lead of the series, so a week after shooting, Mr. Manion, I shot Summer May for the first time, and felt her set should be the first cover I created. I mentioned briefly to her what the concept was and we spent the next 3 and a half hours shooting. Her set stands as the longest, and the most image filled for the entire series. Her shots incorporate who she is. She's a woman who is an all American woman, and a proud Harley rider. So her ideas of the American flag bikini along with her riding chaps are the real Summer May. We worked so well together that she eventually became my Muse. Her portfolio in over one year is huge. And to think when she came to me she was pretty much an amateur. She is what I refer to as a versatile model. She can take on and model for a variety of looks and concepts that's thrown at her. Our collaboration in working together has been very successful with a huge volumne of work that can be seen all over the internet.
CARY MANION: Not technically a model. In 2014, I needed a male model for SESSIONS. I wanted a model with character, who could follow the directions I gave of him. Cary fit the bill, although he at times seemed confused by my strange posing request. The first three models I shot drew attention to the whole series. After posting images of Summer, then posting the cover of Cary's issue, I began to get request from models wanting to be part of it. This included other male models and non models. The question I give to all volunteers who want to pose for SESSIONS, is what do you want the cover to say about you? At the time of my shooting his cover, Cary was a local Dj.
The Original 8, began in the fall of 2014. I was on a huge low in my personal life. Marriage went belly up and my elderly Mother had to be put into a home. My work had hit a slump. Most of what I was producing was older work and even that I kept editing and re-editing. My plan at first was to hang it all up and quit. But then I read about a story about the first series of Rolling Stone covers. And it hit me to create a series based around models posing for a magaziine cover. Thus, SESSIONS was born. The Original 8 were shot between September and December of 2014.
Taylor Jo Haehn: One of my favorite models to work with who isn't your average model. She doesn't daily act like a model. She doesn't hold herself to being any woman of superior beauty. Doesn't travel with a backpack full of makeup and clothes, in fact I dont think she owns one. She's a laid back woman, wo comes to a shoot, cracks a few jokes, is nice as hell. A modern hippie, and I mean that in a very complimentary sense. Then you put her in makeup and in front of a camera and her alter ego comes out. A whole other person. It's like this young woman has modeled for years. She channels a level fo model that would blow you away. Then as soon as you put down the camera her regular self pops back out. It's a joy to shoot her. Her SESSIONS set went great and was a blast to do. Enough that I continued to work with her and I list her as 1 of my top five models to work with.
Bliss Van Allen: Bliss came to my studio at the age of 18. At first very unsure of herself, her want to learn, proved to be her plus. After her second full photo shoot, I realized that her skills at modeling was in the area of pin up. Her short curvy stature and ability to put herself into any pose asked, made her perfect for pin up. Over the course of 3 yearsshe excelled at a variety of pin up images that I produced. Hence my naming her the Pin Up Queen. For SESSIONS, our ideas was simple, red lingerie. Since 2014, Bliss has moved on from working with me.
Ally Lyn: Is one of the few professional models that I included in the Original *. Her work was known all over the midwest. Ally's portfolio is huge, having shot with a variety of photographers. She was top on my list as I mapped out who would be the models for the first 8. For her set, I wanted something entirely different then I had ever seen her do. "Simple" came to mind. Not a lot of makeup. Not outside on location or inside doing a cutesy old time pin up. I envisioned her were shirt cuffs and a colla with tie. That was it! We topped it off with feathers floating down around her. Her look was straight on, serious and into the camera.......simple. Ally is every photographers dream. She wants to please so she isnt just a model she works with you to get the shot you need. Strangely, least with me, she seemed to show a shy side. This cover of SESSIONS, so far has been my most popular. Everyone loved it and it's seen all over. In editing I wanted a drained look, and in doing so, began a popular way I edit to this day. Ally is a popular model to this day and is expecting her first child.
Diana Silkwood Bergstrom: Diana was the very first model I invited to be part of SESSIONS that actually made the effort to do her home work on Rolling Stone cover art. In just a very short time she came up with idea of re-doing Britney Spears lil panties/topless cover. She came to the shoot to have fun. I was impressed that she listened and understood what I was trying to create. She even brought props for additional ideas she had. It was a blast working with her and the cover did great when I displayed it on Facebook.
Beth "Manion" Newman: Beth claimed she was retired from modeling, but you couldn't tell. Once a House of Style model, her talents hadn't diminished. She knew exactly what I needed from her. She was willing to have fun with the shoot. All in allher set was one of my fave. The checkerboard I created just for her and we had fun with it. Then she went from being topless and sexy to covered in paint. The fun part of SESSIONS are the sets where we get to go outside the norm. It's even better when you find a model willing to just let it all go and Beth was one of those models.
RandiMAXX: I wanted to work with Randi way before SESSIONS. Saw her on Model Mayhem the year before I began the series. I even contacted her and wanted to work with her but she was pregnant. So the next year when I negan planning for SESSIONS, her name was one of the first two or three I thought of. In contacting her she was willing to be part of it, but didnt have a sitter. Easy fix!! My daughter who was my assistant and MUA, also volunteered to babysit. Randi is tops in modeling. . It's in the way she moves. Through a series of shots she exudes sexuality, sensuality, and beauty. I simply just let her move as I shot. Another her comes a live in front of the camera, and I love that. Her shots even with just having a baby were fantastic. Love working with her!!! Shes one of my top 5 favorite models.