By Kevin Casha
Wracking my brains, I decided to talk to a friend of mine who owns a 'gentleman's club ' on the island, (actually a lot of these have sprouted up during these last years - the success of these also points towards a changing scene on the island - but few of the 'patrons ' will admit to going there at all - particularly with their girlfriends and wives!)
Armed with a portfolio of my work and various examples of the type of photographs I wanted, saved on my iPhone, I started haunting these clubs for the sake of art! To be honest, it was quite an exciting time and I got quite friendly with some of the owners and girls at the clubs. The strategy worked. In no time at all I managed to source enough models to start off the project. It was still not easy, as, at times, I was looked upon with suspicion by some of the girls I tentatively approached, but my year's of experience in handling people paid off, and I managed to convince most of those I wanted to model for me. Naturally, some payment helped as well as giving the girls a set of images for their portfolios.
Georges managed to get me all the 'wine ' related props I needed and I set off to shoot the photographs. Actually, it took me less time to do the images than to find the models! I really enjoyed the challenge and after about a month, the job was concluded. I took all the images in my studio so that I had total control over lighting and the girls did not have to face the onlookers and hangers on if I were to shoot on location. Malta being so small and populated, it is not easy to do this type of work outdoors.
I also permitted the models to bring a friend to the studio so that they did not feel alone with a 'stranger ' while taking the pictures. This added to their comfort zone. I kept it in mind that most of these models were posing nude in a studio for the first time, so I made sure I made them feel safe and at ease. Nothing will ensure failure more than a nervous model
When the photography was finally concluded, Georges and I got together with the designers, Daniel and Reuben, of Kuluri Limited, to discuss the layout, fonts and details of the final publication.
Georges also used the new 'publish by order ' online system. In this way, we did not have to finance and offset print a number of copies of the book, not knowing if it will sell or not. The book was put up on various 'print on demand ' websites and clients can order their book online, and this is printed and dispatched to them. We will not make a lot of money, but we were all overjoyed to see the fruition of this project. The fact that our initial embryonic idea had blossomed into a final publication, titled Cleanskin, gave us all the fantastic satisfaction that we had surmounted our obstacles and went through with meeting the challenge.
I think the final product was successful mainly due to a concerted and planned team effort from all those who participated in the project. Finally, I sincerely dedicate the book to the models.
What next Georges??
Kevin Casha Master FSWPP, FMIPP, AMPA AMPS
There are 0 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 22nd January 2020