Photo Withdrawal

It’s been back to normal for me after spending four days going to the AIPAD photography show last weekend. I also took the time on Sunday to see the preview of the photo auction at Sotheby’s, so between that and the show I saw a tremendous amount of great photo work, and for the past few days I’ve been suffering a bit from photography withdrawal.

Still, I’ve been busy doing things like getting my apartment back into shape. I also went to see L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) at the Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday night – my last opera at the Met this season. This is one of the best comic operas and I had never seen it before. It was good fun with a lot of beautiful music, the best known being the gorgeous, slow tenor aria “Una furtiva lagrima.”

After the opera ended I spoke with an elderly couple who were sitting behind me. They said they’ve been going to the Met for decades, and we talked as we walked out to the street.

After I bid them a good evening, I went down into the subway station for my ride home. A fellow standing on the platform with a saxophone asked if I had just seen L’Elisir d’Amore. I said yes, and he said that he’d been playing music from that opera that evening. I told him that I’d never heard “Una furtive lagrima” played on a saxophone. His reply: “You will now,” and he proceeded to play it on his sax – and quite well, too!

I reached into my back pocket and pulled out a couple of quarters that I tossed into his open case, but unfortunately the train arrived right away so I couldn’t hear him finish the piece. Usually I want the train to arrive right away as waits can be long late at night, but in this case, I wouldn’t have minded waiting another couple of minutes.

(For those of you interested in hearing this bel canto gem of an aria, you can hear it and see it performed by Luciano Pavarotti by clicking here.)

I was thinking today about the Seinfeld episode in which George’s doctor charges patients when they don’t show up for appointments, but then the doctor cancels an appointment George had just so she can go skiing, and George wonders why the doctor doesn’t pay him in this case.

Yesterday, I looked over the Model Mayhem page of a model I’ve worked with and I see that she now charges photographers a deposit against cancellations. She wrote that she has to do this as she models full-time and depends upon her modeling fees for all of her income. I guess I can understand this from her point of view, but as much as I’d like to work with her again, this is something I’m not willing to submit to.

Still, let’s consider the reverse. You may remember that I booked a model a few weeks ago for one last photo shoot before the new 2257A regulations went into effect. She never showed up and didn’t call to cancel in advance (though she did write and apologize later). So, just as George wondered why his doctor shouldn’t pay him for canceling, should photographers expect models to be responsible when they cancel?

I wrote before that one reason I don’t like to rent studio space is that I’m stuck with a rental bill even if the model’s a no-show and with nothing to show for it. Suppose I had rented a studio for this occasion. Should the model be responsible for part of that cost? Even without a studio rental fee, there was the set up time involved. It took me a while to set up my studio at home and it took me a while to put it all away – time that was ultimately wasted – not to mention the time I spent waiting for her to show up.

This particular model doesn’t ask for a deposit, but I was just using it as an example of a model not showing up in wondering who bears what responsibility in certain cases. I guess I know what George would say.

Finally, today was a beautiful, sunny, warm early spring day here in New York. I spent several hours in the afternoon walking around inspecting buildings as part of my job. It got me to thinking about springtime and a video I came across recently. It’s an old one from the BBC about the spring harvest in Il Ticino, the Italian section of Switzerland. See it by clicking here. It’s amusing and worth watching for its few minutes – especially if you like Italian food!
The photo at the top is one of Kat, photographed at Joshua Tree National Park in 2004.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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