Monday, April 17, 2006

Notes from the Amanda shoot, Part 1

In January, we shot 18 new AMANDA cards at the home of Australian photographer Greg Bartley. To keep the budget as tight as possible, our model Amanda Dow and myself stayed at the guest house which served as the studio. "The compound" as I thought of it, was originally conceived as a spiritual retreat by the Reverend who owned the land. It consisted of the main house, guest house, caretaker's house, and a chapel.

The compound is situated on several acres of bushland near Dural, New South Wales. As the only non-Australian in the group, I found that I was particularly aware of the various insect (and arachnid) life that surrounded us. My nightly ritual was hunting and trapping the beetles and cockroaches in my room, and carefully depositing them in a glass of water. Being a city girl, I foolishly imagined that this would kill them. Inevitably, one night as I got up for a wee, I knocked the glass over, sending water and (still very lively) bugs spraying everywhere. It was like a nightmare, and I shrieked like, well...a girl. Apparently, the roaches and beetles had just been paddling around having a lovely summer's night swim.

My tales of insect horror at breakfast were met with blank expressions by my hosts and companions. Nothing less than a crocodile under my bed was going to merit any show of concern.

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