提示2， 这一点我花了很长时间才明白: 让模特散发出她自己的光芒，自然自在。抓拍住她的美丽是摄影师的工作。
接下来，一个叫做公园马戏团的地方，它骄傲地坐落在凯文格罗夫公园(Kelvingrove Park)顶端的一座小山上，建于1855年，它们是人们可能见过的最美丽的建筑之一。他们是我孩提时代脑海中欧洲的形象和梦想。我们在那里进行了拍摄; 或者更具体地说，Ophelia在公园的大台阶上跳了舞。
I was having coffee with my friend Ophelia and we got onto the topic of childhood dreams. Do many have them, I asked – ‘I never really had a goal when I was young.’
‘I think so,’ she replied. ‘Like, I still want to be a ballerina.’
She took me by surprise, my friend, twenty-seven, a master’s student in International Business, … ‘You want to be a ballerina?’
‘Of course – wouldn’t it be good? I’ve wanted to since I was little.’
Now, that conversation took place a couple months ago (last autumn). And she’s still far from making the Bolshoi. But Ophelia dusted off her leotard for me – for a photoshoot around Glasgow’s city centre.
A most important tip: Be open to chance. Take every opportunity when it comes to working a photoshoot. Inspiration is all around.
I live with my boyfriend now, who could go for days without stepping outside. Sometimes he needs a nudge out the door. And that’s especially true when I need some quiet to think – some space to dream up photos.
Well, the ballerina project was giving me trouble. I wanted to do something original, to not just find a mirrored room and ask Ophelia to dance. I wanted to bring out the feelings inside her – the ones she holds on to when it comes to ballet – those I heard in her voice and saw in her eyes at the café.
So my boyfriend was shoved out into the cold.
No, no, not really. In reality, he went without a fuss… A fan of architecture, he’s never bored with this city and its Victorian builds and Greek Revival columns – with its ‘Glasgow-style’. And it just so happened on that day, he came back with some pictures of his own: ones of impressive stone steps and a high-up view, which he found on his walk.
It was a spark of inspiration, just by chance: I knew straight away, upon seeing them, that these would backdrop the ballet.
The first location was up the back of Charing Cross Mansions. You might not have heard of it, but walking into town from university, you must surely have seen it: darkening red stone and strange glass doorways; a grey-green crown of towers and windows.
These A listed ‘mansions’ take up a whole corner of Sauchiehall Street. And it’s been that way since Victorian times. (At one point, part of the building served as a bank – and today all the infrastructure remains. Picture Tinderbox storing paper cups in vaults built for gold.)
Shaped in a crescent, the mansions form somewhat of a border to a very steep hill – and at the top, up an incline of poorly lit steps, a magnificent, open viewpoint lies waiting. From this vantage is the west of the city – the park, the university, and rows of terraced houses.
On the day of the shoot, the light was dim, and the sky was bleak and beautiful in its way. There were a few people around – a family, a couple, a delivery man resting on a ledge – but none seemed that interested in us. Not even when Ophelia climbed up to the railing, her tutu in the wind, and began posing in elegant ways.
I tried to keep her still at first, to hold her steady. I wanted to find the perfect angle for the perfect composition – so to incorporate the scenery behind. But all her poses looked unnatural and stern on my camera’s little screen. It’s my inexperience as a photographer that made me unsure on what to do next.
Yet while wracking my brain, I happened to look up and see Ophelia jump from pillar to stone pillar –bollards dotted around the viewpoint courtyard. She was fighting her tutu as she played, and a smile was on her face. And all it took was to pull up my camera and capture the moment.
I think she looks so dynamic here:
Tip no. 2, a lesson that took me a while: Allow the model to shine in her very own light, to be natural and at ease. It’s the photographer’s job to capture her beauty.
Next was a place called Park Circus, which sits proudly on a hill at the head of Kelvingrove Park. Built in 1855, the place has some of the most beautiful buildings one might ever see – they are the image, the dream, of Europe that I had in my head as a child. That is where we shot, while Ophelia danced on the grand Park Steps.
You might not find the steps if you do know where to look. Standing at the highest part of Kelvingrove Park, take the path that heads down south-west. Stay on the path, along the treeline, and head through a very small gate to a residential road. The pale stone terrace houses, which at night still glow with what sun they manage to store, curve off from view. And to your left are a mountain of stairs.
Here, I just asked her to dance. The whirling ballerina, the cloud-filled sky, and a young couple huddled behind on the steps. This was the first time I’ve taken photos of a dancer. And it was a first time for Ophelia, too. Midway through the shoot, she shared a memory: years ago, as a kid, every girl in her ballet class had their portraits professionally done. But Ophelia hadn’t even a photo as a keepsake – her parents were too busy to mind.
Despite the lapse of years, then, this shoot made a small wrong right. I was touched to be involved, and so glad we made art from her dream. Which leads me to my final tip (or ‘takeaway’ at least), and it applies whether you’re a photographer, a painter, a dancer, or whomever you feel driven to be:
A dream is a dream is a dream. Treasure and share it, too.
[Mengqi Zou – she/her – @acityshehad]