Up By The Bootstraps

Up By the Bootstraps

I posted that I was looking for a model, preferably to shoot at sunrise. Given my recent luck finding a subject on relatively short notice, I wasn’t holding my breath. In summer, with such an early start time, to say this is a long shot is an understatement. I expected no response. Then, less than twenty-four hours from when I hoped to shoot, someone reached out. One of the last images we created together spoke volumes. Time to pull myself up by the bootstraps.

The Sunrise Shoot

Show up at this time and place. One outfit. We will aim for an hour, definitely not more than two. No real plan beyond that because, let’s face it, I usually shoot from the hip. The model, Honeys_Fantasy, was as professional as any model about showing up ready to go. The usual niceties quickly gave way to our march around a favorite downtown area. The clouds were not as dramatic as I like, but in an urban environ, the reflected light on glass buildings works just fine.

It was my kind of shoot, moving from place to place, seeking light, texture, forms, and dreams. A model who was self-aware and knew her best angles. A fluid session that kept me focused on creativity and not on the fact that I’d forgotten to grab a bite of breakfast.

My Bootstraps or Yours?

I can not understate how important sessions like this are for my mental health. I do not want for much, but my mind is rarely at peace. Silence is a foreign concept to my gray matter. I calm it through creative activities like photography, miniature painting, and a variety of games. All of these keep my brain quiet, focused, and doing something other than attacking my self-esteem.

The photograph included here was one of the last we took. It was not an intentional composition. The model was rocking her poses as we hit shot after shot against this marvelous urban backdrop. We hit one frame and she started to move. I asked for one more pulling on the boot because, at the time, it just looked perfect.

This is why creativity is so important to me. My brain has stories to tell that I only hear when I set it to a task. That camera I hold is a significant tool that it uses to show me what it wants, what it needs, and how it wants me to get it there. The right location, good light, and the perfect pose. Those are the bootstraps I needed to help me see a bit more clearly.


My brain would love a chance to speak through you. If you’re a model in need of a photographer, check my work at Mark Gunter Photography and QuestionMark Photography. If you like what you see, reach out and let me know how I can help.

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