Last night I posted an old photo of me when I first moved to NYC from Connecticut. I don’t remember which agency I was with at the time but they sent me to Mark Fisher to do a test shoot. I wasn’t new to modeling and had already been doing small stuff in New York and Stamford, CT for a few years. Back then you had to call the photographer, set up a time to meet them to see if they wanted to shoot you and then plan and schedule the shoot. At that time (as with now) there are TFP’s and Paid Tests. I remember Mark wasn’t doing much TFP’s, if any because he was on all of the agencies “Model Testing” sheets, meaning that if the agency wanted you to test with a photographer, they would give you a print out of a list of agency “approved” photographers, retouchers, and printing services around the city. Of course, you had to tell the photographer which agency sent you and then they would give you a rate, etc. Nonetheless, Mark agreed to shoot me and it might have been $50/per roll (did I mention that this was very, very early in the digital days so 35mm was still the norm) or something which was almost nothing considering a lot of models were forking out major dough to build their books (portfolios).
One of the problems Mark really helped me overcome was my left eye. I had an upper eyelid coloboma, which basically meant I had a cleft eyelid). A piece of my eyelid was missing and although in some ways it was very cool, it wasn’t always photogenic. I remember Mark thought I had a really unique look but wanted to help me capture images where my eye wasn’t at the forefront of my face. So when we met he got this idea to use this broken mirror he had and to do a reverse shot where his reflection is on one side of the mirror and my profile reflection is on the other. Real clever. All of the shots from that day were mainly profile shots.