To have a muse…

Muse – the source of an artist’s inspiration
This is my muse as photographed when I first met her.   That date on the photograph is April 29, 2008; a little over 3 years ago.  She was 19 at the time.  Old enough to serve it, but not even old enough to drink it (in TX).Her name is Briana Barela,but I call her Bri, or BriBri; sometimes Breezy, or on the rare occasion Briva.   Babe, Hon, Sweetie if we’re talking informally.  She’s not my girlfriend: she is my muse.Actually this photo was probably created less than a week after meeting her for the first time when some workmates and I decided to go to Hooters.    One of my first times ever in a Hooters.   Boy am I glad I went.Working as a computer consultant at the time, I was explaining to my workmates how I used to be a photographer and had photographed numerous beautiful women over the years.  They didn’t really believe me.   And why should they?  I hadn’t really photographed any women in almost 10 yrs.

But a few beers in me and I was telling that I knew how to photograph women, and could talk any of the waitresses into ‘getting some pix done’.  So they said, ‘How about her?’, referring to our waitress, Briana.

Challenge accepted!

Truth is, I had bought some studio lighting using a bonus I had gotten from work.   I didn’t really know how to use it….just practiced on family and stuff.   And the first time I photographed Bri using it I royally messed up by having one critical setting wrong.  I was so nervous.   The photos were salvagable, but I wasn’t happy with myself.   I vowed to make myself better.  This girl really inspired me to pursue my photography of women again.   I took workshops, read, bought more lighting, etc etc.

Now it’s 3 short years later.   And I’m grateful to have a muse.  We don’t always see eye-to-eye on the same poses, the same outfits, which photos are better, or just life in general.  But we make a good team.  We feed off each others creative energy.   And we come out of the studio with some bangin’ photos.   Maybe not always what we went into with planned, but that is part of the creative process.

Briana has a certain je ne sais quoi mixed with a joie de vie!   I think anyone who has met her will agree.  And that is the reason I still photograph her as much as possible.   Like a Buddhist who has not yet reached Nirvana,  I have failed to capture Briana’s true essence in a photograph.   Until that day, I’ll be inspired to become a better photographer.