The Planets Align…

A blog in three parts

A prominent photographer once told me that he never looked through his old takes. He “only moved forward”. Never went back to look at work he previously made. It didn’t really make sense to me. I always look at my old photos. It helps me remember what I like to do and what I want to do better. These photos are from a year old session with my good friend. We lived together for several months and it was only until the end of her stay that we took these pictures. I don’t think they would have been any better had we done them earlier in our friendship. I think you can sense a certain comfort level in these that is really REALLY hard to find in most models. I usually have a much easier time getting this look with kids, but this time the planets aligned.

These were all shot on one roll of film the first time I used a med format camera outside of a studio. I was so lucky. Everything that day lead up to us creating these beautiful photos. I think most photos are luck. The sun was in the perfect spot to create beautiful flat light against the side of our house, I had one roll of film, my friend and I were both home, and the wind was my favorite kind of wind… Perfect, gentle, hair sweeping. Ever since this day I try to emulate this photo. Try to position the model so that her hair blows just the same way, and I wait patiently to try to get just the same look. That day I was lucky.

Sometimes I get asked why I use film. Digital is cheaper, more cost efficient, etc. But I say, why not? It doesn’t matter if it’s film or digital. I use what I like. If I wanted to shoot all daguerreotypes and I had them at my disposal, I would. (Chuck Close???) But whenever someone asks me this question, what I really want to do is show them these photos. When I look at them, they look so special. And for me, it is the medium that gives them the special quality…


©Heather Curiel
All photos ©Heather Curiel

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