Meet the Models: Sheena

In my Old School Friday post I had said Sheena was a game changer for me. She wasn’t as personal as it were with some of my clients today, but a game changer in the fact that I had wanted to explore digital more and sh was a willing subject.

I posted an ad at the local college looking for people to shoot. I was armed with my trusty Nikon Coolpix 5700 and was giving people photography a real try. I had the Olympus Camedia C-700 “DSLR Type” camera but found it wasn’t good enough. With my Coolpix 5700 “DSLR Type” I was ready to take on the world! Sheena was going to help me and we agreed to shoot. She had sent me some photos and right away I liked her look. She had a look that was very common for Minnesota; Blonde hair, blue eyes, girl next door look. I met up with her at a public place as I had zero idea what to do with studio strobes. She was shy, pleasant and fun to hang around. I had no experience shooting people but she had experience being shot (senior portraits) so I let her take lead. Sadly, I can’t find the images from the first shoot but know they are of the same quality as the rest.

After the first shoot was complete we both had fun and wanted to shoot again. Being this was my first ever people shoot, I was paying her 20.00/hr for casual. Our shoots were more time spent looking for places to shoot than shooting, but it was ok with me. We met at a place called Enger Tower and shot there. As the images show, lots of the poses were senior portrait style posing and for this shoot again I let her take lead.

She was making money and I was getting images that I thought was EXCELLENT! I was really doing well with “People shooting” and wanted to continue. Soon after the above shoot took place, Canon announced it’s flagship camera, the EOS Digital Rebel 300D! Being I was so amazing-or so I thought-with a camera, I decided to give this new digital single lens camera a try. It wouldn’t compare to my Hassy, but the ability to see instant review without using Polaroid backs was a good thing. Being that I was getting a better camera I asked Sheena if she would be willing to open to more styles. She said no and ignored any other questions I had for it. I had tried to ask and ask in different ways but she ignored them and although dejected, I moved on. We booked another shoot for outdoors and I decided that I was going to use the new camera and it’s cool pop up flash. There was a HUGE image quality difference and I loved the images the new cam produced! Showing Sheena on the back of the cam was my hopes she’d open up to a bit more but she just looked at me and smiled.

After these images and looking at them compared to the first and second session, I KNEW I could become a better photographer and Sheena was going to help me! During the above shoot I would show her the back of the cam after every image we took and she’d say something like “Wow! I wish I would have known you when I did my senior pics!” And it made me feel good! Today, that’s kind of an insult being I was going for model-esque photos, but back then to hear compliments on my work was amazing! We had agreed to shoot again but ran into a problem; she told me her little brother was a senior this year and wanted to know if I’d shoot him AND pay him since I was paying her. I was bewildered by this because I was double paying her (paid her 40.00 per shoot AND burned her a cd of full sized RAW images) and didn’t want to pay a guy to model for me. I couldn’t get a guy into Playboy or Penthouse!  So I turned that offer down. She asked why and I told her I had no desire to shoot men. She distanced herself from me. About a week before our next shoot she emailed me and asked if I’d shoot her roommates Christmas card photos. She offered me the option of doing a reduced or maybe free shoot if I shot and provided the images on dvd. I agreed to this and shot them.

Needless to say she disappeared after that and I never heard from her again. I’m sure there was other reasons why she disappeared…? but I found it funny that it was after I refused to pay her brother to shoot his high school senior portraits AND give him images to print. Sheena was very important in my photographic career because she reinforced my going digital. I honestly believe had it not been for the fact I thought her pretty, I’d not continued with digital. I’m sure I would have came around but it would have been much later in the game. The last time I spoke or saw Sheena was October 2005. I’m sure she’s happy as a teacher and living life to the fullest. I wish her continued success in all she does!


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