My body aches, my shoulders, nose, ears and neck are sunburned. I’m sitting in seat 3C, legs tired, lower-back in slight pain and a few bug bites, as I enjoy another plane ride home from the Virgin Islands-thanks, Alex, Kevin, Pedro, Mark, Becky, Steve, Joe, Heidi, Jimmy and all the rest of the residents in the Virgin Islands, you help make things happen-like magazine covers and book covers!

Also a special thanks to Louis, owner of one of the most popular jewelry store chains and hotels in the “VI,” you were a great host for lunch, but letting us use your thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings was very kind and I look forward in working with you again. These great accessories, from diamonds to gold, accentuated the photographs and gave us an opportunity to sway away from the traditional photos typical of the Virgin Islands-it challenged us to think about the proper way to pose a model while showcasing precious diamonds, not an easy feat if you’re used to glamour photography only.

Posing a model is similar to diamonds however, it starts rough then ends up polished to perfection, especially when a photographer understands the fundamentals of posing (as well as, of course, lighting, exposure, rapport, etc.), and realizes that models sometimes have problems getting the required pose and look. When this happens, it’s time to switch hats and work with the subject as both a coach (giving them the psychological boost in confidence they may need) and instructor (drawing on your knowledge of posing to guide them in a professional manner).

For example, during the creation of my upcoming book, Rolando Gomez’s Posing Techniques for Glamour Photography, I began working with a new model who lacked confidence in her posing abilities for the camera. A very gorgeous, vivacious, photogenic person with a true model’s figure, but during several shoots she’d grown so frustrated that she had literally decided to give up on modeling completely. I grew somewhat frustrated, too, knowing that she was loaded with talent. In fact, I’d often let her model at my workshops and every one loved her (not to mention that anywhere we’d go, men would miraculously become photographers and want to exchange phone numbers with her).

Then, on one of our shoots where she’d given up, I took a break. I went to the store and purchased an old wooden mask. When I returned to the shoot, I walked in with it on my face, looked at the model, and spoke through it in a deep, slow voice, saying, “I am the I Can Model God.” She broke out laughing-and from that point on became such a great model that she’s featured many times in my new book. She’s even on the cover!

The mask, incidentally, became her good luck charm. Tess, the model I speak of, still carries “The I Can Model God” with her to every shoot. Call it a lucky charm.

Sometimes it just takes something for a model to believe in, or someone to believe in them. A little positive reinforcement can really go a long way. Throw a diamond into the mix, then it becomes something we can cherish forever, not a memory, not a moment, not a mystery, but a commitment of faith that it can be done-and when it synergizes, then the aches, pain, sunburn and bug bites of the Virgin Islands just become the honeymoon of reality. Thanks and God Bless to everyone, rg sends!

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