So last year, photographer extraordinaire and friend, Meg Schutz, invited me to go to an annual gathering  of photographers and models called the Meet & Greet. For whatever reason, couldn’t make it last year, probably due to something academically related or some other ball and chain…so this year I came to check it out.

To start, I was already digging the scene because the venue they chose was one of my favorite bars, Ember, in downtown Orlando. I’ve spent many birthdays there as well as many laughter filled nights out with friends. But wow, did that place look different during the day! I arrived right on time, parked in a parking deck directly across from Ember and walked in. I was greeted by a couple different photographers, some I had recognized from just in passing. I introduced myself, made a little sticky name tag for my shirt and took a seat. I ordered a flat bread and took in the atmosphere, it was pretty cool. The photographers were playing show and tell with their portfolios, explaining their camera equipment. I flipped through some of them…some photographers very talented and some, not so much. But of course it’s polite to just smile and take a business card.

Meg walked in and I gravitated toward her. I love Meg. Not only is she an amazing photographer, but her personality is just so infectious to be around. She’s full of giggles and unassuming grins. Just a joy to be around and to work with. I’ve always enjoyed working with Meg because her and I both share a mutual appreciation for the unconventional, the abstract, the different, ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts for photo shoots. You’ll never see Meg do a shoot on railroad tracks or do some otherwise boring head shots- she’s way ahead of her time. She has a knack for the different, and has the ability to capture the mood in a lot of her photography, which is killer. Good stuff.

With Meg...

Meg and I mingled with some of the other models, exchanging ideas, concepts, and flipping through each other’s work. It was indeed interesting. I met a male models, female models, skinny models, curvy models, a nude model, a fetish model, a squeaky clean model. I didn’t know where I fell in when it came to the categorization of models. I don’t do nudes, and definitely not fetish.  But I don’t lack in creativity, that’s evident in some of the work I’ve done with Meg. It’s not that I’m a prude, but those things just don’t interest me, so why would I model a theme of that nature? I could care less if someone poses with bondage and sadomasochistic props, but that’s just not me. Of course with modeling, it’s about being moldable, the ability to transform yourself and immerse yourself into the moment. But, it also enables you to be your own canvas, you can be whatever you want to be or not be. To make a beautiful photograph, you really have to feel or identify with what you’re shooting, and if you can succeed in that mission, you’ve accomplished the task of being a great model. I liked the mix of people, there was about 50 people there, Meg said that’s small group compared to last year, but nevertheless, it was about networking; I got some good feedback, shared ideas, left with a purse full of business cards and met some photographers to put on my ‘To shoot with’ list.

Model meet & Greet