Years ago I visited the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, a sister museum to Paris’s version. But it wasn’t Rodin’s art that I was truly inspired by, it was the model and the poses and positions they put themselves in to allow Rodin to create. I left that museum thinking more about the model/s than I did about the art.
Rodin’s main model was Camille Claudel. Claudel was an incredible sculptor in her own right and it was when she apprenticed for Rodin that he began to predominantly use her as a model. There’s a lot more to that story and I encourage you (if interested) to spend some time reading about it. I’m not an expert on either of them, but you don’t have to be one to realize how much Claudel inspired Rodin’s work. As a photographer who works mainly with models, usually one per series, I fully understand the importance of collaboration. Without the model, I don’t have a photograph. And while I am in charge of directing and working the camera, they are still a massive part of each session. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many outstanding people, mainly regular people lending their body to model, that have contributed greatly to a photograph and subsequent series. Whether it’s a suggestion on their part, the way they moved or stood, or placed themselves over a rock, many of them played a large role. It’s hard not to imagine Claudel contributed greatly to Rodin’s work and after seeing so many unique and odd poses in Rodin’s pieces, I was inspired to create a small series around those poses.