Of course, there are photos that we "take", sometimes on the sly. But when we evoke the photographer's relationship with their model, whether portraiture, fashion, or press, we'll talk of what the model is "willing to give".
Between the taking and the giving, therefore, lies the alchemy of a very special relationship.
A picture-building partnership where, though the photographer is the architect, a lot depends on what the model understands of their own role.
The photographer can "direct" (as one directs an actor) or follow. And, depending on the case, they can also coax, reassure, negotiate, suggest, put an arm around... or sometimes destabilize to bring out the picture.
As in all human relationships, there's a chemistry that either works or it doesn't. Each has their method, their way of working together, which has little to do with the technique and the framing, which then sublimate the intensity of an emotion.
This circuit brings together films where the photographers evoke this unique link to one another.
This film will lead you to the studio of Bettina Rheims and – rare indeed – you will witness a photo shoot that is part of her Héroïnes series. A series for which she asked women of "unconventional beauty” to sit upon a stone and said “This is your stone. This is all you have left in the world..."
From the model's makeup to the arrival on set, Bettina supports and reassures. She gives warning of what she's looking for, that it won't necessarily be easy. She keeps in vocal contact with her model.