Brendan Gara Photography

Saudade

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A model tagged an image I had taken of her when she uploaded it to her portfolio on a modelling website.   This doesn’t happen that often as I’m not the most productive of photographers in that area, and contrary to what people may think I don’t have a big network of model contacts who ping or text me.  To be fair, I don’t have any!

Anyway I thought, “that’s nice” took a look at the image, and thought, “yeah, that is nice”.   Something bothered me about it though; it was better, better than I thought I had taken it, and I got to thinking that it wasn’t one of mine.  I woke up the next day and quickly emailed her and untagged my name from it, just in case the wrath of the internet modelling website judges (they can be vicious) thought I was misappropriating an image that wasn’t mine.

I got another mail from her saying she was 100% sure it was one I had taken, especially considering she had the email from 2 years ago that had it attached along with others and with the right file names, but would take it down until I was sure.  Confused, I dug out an old hard drive and did a search, and lo and behold it was there, just as she said.   In the end we both uploaded it to our portfolios on the site and tagged her.

The series was called Saudade, which is a Portuguese saying that roughly translates as “the absence of a desirable experience and pleasure once lived”.  I think it worked well because we made images that were dripping with a feeling of lost desire and emotion.

It also helped that I had “made” a couple of lenses especially for the shoot.  I hacked an old Mamiya TLR lens into two bits and then glued and taped them onto a lens cap and a toilet roll.  What do you get; super shallow depth of field and lots of distortion, with a super sweet spot right in the middle.

The real “moral” of this story though is that editing yourself is really hard, I’d effectively binned the photograph, and after 18 months couldn’t remember that I had taken it.  I still struggle to do this and as the quantity of images I produce increases, the easier it is too lose track.   If you’re interested there are more pictures on my flickr feed and I keep meaning to put this and other shoots together in a book.

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