Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name

Rosa Brandt

It's been a busy day for photography, and clothes and props are strewn across the studio floor in between empty glasses of wine and bottles of "cheerleader beer". Laughter and giggling can be heard ringing through the garden and the house beyond as my friends and I chatter between shots.

"I love this jacket," Rosa announces as she slips it on over her dress and poses for a shot or two in it. It's one of my favourites - the black leather one from my days in Korea - and it suits her perfectly. But the jacket is just the beginning, and before long the studio has turned into an extended wardrobe for outfits to be tried and tested and fun to be had. It's like going clothing shopping with your best friend, and knowing that you won't end up spending any money - you just get to look great in an outfit for a few minutes before moving on to the next one. It's like the fashion shoot that I have been dreaming of, and Rosa makes a wonderful model for it with her slim frame and her outgoing personality.

It's not just the clothes that get the Rosa treatment, but the props as well as she picks them up and transports us into her imagination. She jumps from socialite to entertainer, from naughtiness to innocence with an ease that brings out the actress in her, and it's wonderful to witness and capture. It's easy to remember while I watch her why it is that we are friends - her easy going nature makes her a pleasure to be around and brings out the fun side of me that often gets ignored and lies dormant for months at a time.

It's the last shoot that I have a chance to get with her, her Grahamstown visit a short one this time around, but it's one that will linger in my memory, bringing a smile to my face for a long time to come - tiding me over until the next time I get to see her.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Amy Goodenough

I'd never noticed the tattoo before - the font that twirls around itself to tell a story just like its namesake. Though it's not loud or bold, it speaks volumes about its owner. "Scheherazade" it reads. The storyteller.

As she pivots herself on the edge of the chair, as her hair sways back and forth and as she lies on the warm white rug, Amy Goodenough tells me her story through the way that she moves and the ring of her laughter. I have known her for years, but it feels as though this hour spent in the studio has granted me some kind of insight into her person that I didn't have before.

She reads through her favourite book, selecting passages to read aloud to me. They are passages that I have heard before, but hearing them in her voice makes all the difference, and the words ring through the studio leaving their echoes in my memory so that each time I think of Lemony Snicket, my mind will immediately jump to this afternoon spent together.

As she writes in her journal, I watch her hand fall across the page, her concentration, her word weaving, and I am left in awe. I cannot think of a tattoo more apt for her than Scheherazade, and I will think of her ever more as the story teller.