I had been shooting nudes in the landscape for a number of years when I became fascinated by the personalities of the diverse models I photographed. Many of them travelled around the world making a living posing for photographers. They all had stories about their experiences, some good, some bad. I decided I wanted to create some strong and beautiful portraits of these wonderfully independent people.

At the same time, I felt that I was missing something in digital photography and wanted to return to analogue for my personal work. Digital left me sitting in front of a computer for too long and I simply didn’t enjoy this. I preferred working with my hands and feeling active. At around this time, I came across some work in the Wet Plate Collodion technique and absolutely loved the look of it. I thought that this would be a wonderful medium to shoot some beautiful, intimate and different portraits of my models. This process also became a passion for me.

Wet Plate can be difficult, unreliable, unpredictable and smelly but it can produce the most beautiful results when it works well. The models usually enjoy the slow approach to making images, which is so different to what they often experience with digital photography. I also feel that working with the models in this slow, deliberate way, brings out their true personality and character as they have to work with me carefully to get the final result. This is what I search for in this ongoing project.

Many of these photographs are not “of” the models but made in collaboration with them. They often interpreted my ideas with additions of their own. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed making them.

photos by Mike Brown / check out his book for sale here!

Category: ART

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