It has been adventurous, funny, uncertain, strange, witty and even hysterical with Kim. The times I’ve spent doing photography and design these many years have been my most enjoyable. Despite the setbacks and aches and pains, overall I’ve never felt more free than I have when creating something unique; shaping a moment and capturing it. Naturally you meet so many different people. A few you’d rather forget. Some you can’t get enough of and if you’re lucky many of which you’ll love to photograph again and again. Kim would be one of the latter.
But as it is often said, “all good things must come to an end.” That is not to say there aren’t several more shoots to be with Kim - but you have to first understand that I take on creative or personal projects for vastly different reasons than I do paid assignments. Sometimes it’s exploratory, creative expressiveness, enraptured by a new talent or for submissions to periodicals and magazines as I often do. Occasionally I'll come across someone so profoundly unique that for a time it becomes nearly intoxicating to chase after that one image; that single shot that would define my shooting style with that person; a single image that encompasses all the hours, days, months and years of getting to know them, joking about, chasing them around the studio, adjusting their clothing, perfecting the light across their plush lips and chiseled cheekbones. That is the haunt. It is the golden cage - the allure and the obsession; that single evasive image that would say everything of our journey, of our relationship and our creative odyssey. It’s not always a technically perfect image. Sometimes the lighting is flawed. Sometimes it’s out of focus or the edit isn’t quite perfected. Yet, a really good photographer… a great photographer knows it when he or she sees it. It’s about personality, and tension, passion and mood. It’s calm and inviting but yet passionate and fiery. It’s atmospheric. In essence, it’s poetic. But until it’s done - until I have my image, I'll have that lingering feeling that I never quite achieved what I could have achieved with that person. Without it I would have failed them. More importantly, I would have failed myself. Somewhere deep down I have to justify the effort; a strange thing to say for an artist. But to my defense I was an engineering student before so until that image comes to be - with Kim, I keep going after it. I keep shooting and pushing myself harder creatively and technically until I get there. That is, until now.
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Model: Kim Jonet
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Yet, undeniably there is depth here - a sense of infinite space, time, effort, friendship, love, purity, personality and just downright sultriness that evaded me for years. Hasn’t that been our photographic journey in it’s entirety? It tells the tale of all of our laughter, our blunders, her sexy quirkiness and my obsessiveness with style, light and composition. She says I’m too serious at times and I often jokingly say she’s too casual. I think she can be overly concerned about technical things when she should think only about modeling and perfecting that and she says I’m too square. There can only be one photographer in the room after all. We joke, laugh and fun our way thru nearly everything until I put on my super serious hat and she instantly knows I’m all business and I have to get "THE ONE" I’ve been after with her forever. Of course, she doesn’t know that’s how I refer to it. She doesn’t know that is the singular thing that pushes me. She has no idea that it is the one thing I want above all others. What she interprets as being "square" is my drive to finish this thing; this chapter you might say. I just want that one shot that makes me pack up all my gear and say with a glad heart that “I’m finished, finished with it all. We’ve got it."
In some strange way I feel justified in all that we have done. It all feels complete now and that is more than I can say of several professional creative relationships. The moment I brought this image up on my computer is the moment that I felt the creative tension subside. I knew that we’d reached a pinnacle. It is done I thought. We’ve done it; certainly not all we can do or will do. It means that should I never take another photo of her I’ll be fine. I mean that in the most positive way I could never express in words. Kim is a remarkable woman and an even more extraordinary model. I would be blissed for the honor of continuing our photographic relationship. But just as we as photographers take each and every look on a photoshoot and go after that one shot for each change, the same could be said of all images we take over the lifetime of our relationships with people. We all want THE ONE image. Not a thousand - not even dozens. We want THE ONE. The one that echoes throughout all of time. If someone were to think of Helios and Kim, we want them to think that’s the image with the photographer and model with the scarlet cascading rose petals drifting from aloft - from a celestial temple falling upon an Earth Goddess with raven hair of deep sultry insatiable darkness. Okay, so maybe not in those exact words but we want everyone to know us by that singular definable thing we did with each person we photograph - the unmatched, irreplaceable all time greatest collaborative effort between the two possible.
Perhaps we're at the end of a chapter and ready to begin a new one. That is more likely the case with Kim. Should this be our last, I can honestly say that I am endlessly pleased with all that we have achieved. Each person will have a different reaction and various feelings on their favorite image with Helios and Kim Jonet. But for this guy, I believe this is it for me. This is “THE ONE” for me. That one I’ve been after for hours, days, months and years. By many measures, it’s not perfect. It has so many obvious flaws. I could have spent more time doing this or that. But isn’t that the story of life and relationships? We feel accomplished and fallen all in the same thought. An artists’ work is never complete after all. But what this image does have for me above all others is a sense of personality, communion, trust and friendship.
Thank you Kim. Thanks to everyone who continues to follow and support our journey.