I returned home Monday night following a trip of nearly two weeks to California and Nevada. I spent most of the time in the Monterey/Carmel area, where I attended a workshop with Kim Weston for a couple of days (at the house where his grandfather, Edward Weston, used to live) and then photographed a local model plus the local landscape. I also visited some galleries.
From there, I made the long drive to Las Vegas to visit family for a couple of nights, and then drove to the Los Angeles area, where I met some friends and went to some galleries.
I had to drive from L.A. back to Monterey on Sunday, but before I did that I photographed Odette in the studio of pro photographer Brooks Ayola. I knew Brooks from and online forum, and when I told him I was coming to the area he graciously volunteered the use of his studio, so I thank Brooks for his hospitality and for helping me to set up the lighting. (Come to think of it, he asked me what I wanted and he set it all up himself – much better than I could have done, I’m sure.)
Odette, as it turned out, didn’t come to the studio alone. She brought along her five foot long pet python, Azuka. Sure, photographing a naked chick with a snake is nothing new. Avedon did it most famously with Nastassja Kinski, and Mapplethorpe did it with Lisa Lyon. That didn’t stop me, as 1) I’d never done it before, and 2) as Azuka belongs to Odette, it reflected part of her personality and was not simply a prop.
The Ecstasy of St. Odette ???
Most of the photos I took with Odette did not include the snake, but those that did are perhaps the most unique. I don’t know when I’ll develop the film from the day (especially as I’ve got visitors coming soon who’ll be staying with me for a while), so here are a few color snaps I made of Odette and Azuka with my pocket digital camera. I think they’re okay, considering that it’s hard to tell a snake how to pose (and have it obey, that is).