But first we had to get ready....
Model #1 - Melanie, blogger, expert in creative posing and notorious farker of all things fabric, putting finishing touches on her own makeup after wielding her colour magic on model #2 (see below)
Model #2 - yours truly, blogger "of a certain age", decided that blue brows and lips were the way to go (go blue or go home) and my makeup artist was only too happy to oblige.
We found this public art installation - "Alien Terrarium" by artists Elisa Yon and Amanda Arcuri in Queen Elizabeth Plaza, next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, which wasn't far from where I was staying. The work features some of the invasive plant species that have moved into the Vancouver region, and despite the fact I knew nothing about the work or what it represented when we chose the location, I think it was an apt choice, given that bloggers could be considered an invasive species...
We are both wearing thrifted outfits - Mel's is a multi-layered confection of faux fur, lace and polyester, while I chose to keep it simple in stretchy, slinky, big-shouldered black.
I borrowed Mel's bug-eyed blue sunnies for part of the shoot as they complemented my lips and brows sooo nicely, and helped me feel like I was incognito.
This was the first time I had worn this dress, and I was delighted to see that the silver pattern on the dress gave the illusion of curves where I don't actually have any.
I think this is the only shot I got of Mel looking all dreamy and reflective - isn't she gorgeous? The shades of green in the background set off the colours of her outfit wonderfully.
The rest were more like the above, in which Mel demonstrates the "Fuck, Yeah" method of posing
The pink robe/coat had excellent swish-a-bility
Modelling is exhausting, and sometimes you have to sit down on the job
The approach each of us took to our posing was very indicative of our personalities. While I readily admit to not caring what people thought of us as they passed by, I was conscious of the fact that I pretty much have the same facial expression in every photo. I've been very self-conscious of my teeth my entire life, and have trained myself to smile without showing them, and I was keenly aware that Melanie is much more "expressive", to put it mildly, with her face. The two collages below show what I mean....
A young man walked by us carrying this beautiful guitar and Mel asked if she could borrow if for a photo. She has no problem getting into character at a moment's notice.
At a certain point we both became rather giddy and decided that was the perfect time to move to the other side of the installation and take some shots together.
Apparently that was all it took to loosen me up
We had no inhibitions left by this point, and I'm sure the guys sitting on the benches not far from where we were posing wondered what the heck was going on.
You can find the "serious" version of this photo on Mel's blog here
Melanie has already put two posts up on her blog about my visit, so if you want to see more of what we got up to, head over to Bag and a Beret. She has included a little video I choreographed of us meeting for the first time.
And in a delightful turn of events, one of the photos of me that Mel put on her blog was incorporated into a post on the blog Warning: Curves Ahead. You can see the post here. I am in fantastic, and very humbling, company.
It was such a treat to meet Melanie in person after a couple of years' worth of emails and phone calls. More of my West Coast report coming soon!