I imagine that one of the most difficult hurdles for a model/subject to overcome is shyness. Or perhaps wanting to be photographed goes alongside an exhibitionistic character already. For Elska, where we try to shoot “regular” guys rather than professional models, the guys aren’t always so used to getting undressed in public. But it’s something you need to get over. Even if it’s not a fashion shoot, changing looks is important so that each editorial doesn’t become too monotonous. And there’s no time to find a restaurant with a public toilet to swap an outfit. You’ve got to just do it there and then.
Ramiro Lozano, pictured, is however a jobbing model (he’s also an architect if I remember correctly). And he certainly had no issue stripping off to his underwear to change outfits, even on a busy Mexico City avenue. He’d done it all before. It’s all just part of the job. He’s a total professional.
Like in this particular image of Ramiro, the original idea was to tie the bundle of flowers to his body using a thin green string. I tried my best to rig it up to his chest without the stems going every which way, but it was more difficult than I expected. Then this lady in her late 50s started calling at him from across the street. I don’t know what she was saying exactly cos I don’t speak Spanish, but I could make out a few flattering words that I knew like ‘guapo’, ‘bueno’, etc. And I could also see our model’s face starting to blush.
She wasn’t going away. She just kept on chattering so I asked him to translate for me. He said she was comparing him to some actor from a Mexican soap opera and was asking if she could help us tie the flowers around his body. “No thank you, we’re alright”, he told her, but she stayed watching until we were done and ready for the next look. I have to say that usually people take little notice of photoshoots, even of models undressing in public. It’s like seeing a camera makes anything abnormal seem legitimate. But this lady was ready to pull up a chair for the show. Even I was embarrassed.
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