JM Darling often refers to alt.girls as “wildflowers.” He says he likes to make them timelessly beautiful, so that other people might see how transcendent their beauty is…and he’s a ceaselessly inspired individual.
He can’t look at a beautiful woman without stopping to appreciate her, to think about how she might best look, to ponder how he would present her to the world. Some people might call this oggling (which is what it is when I do it), but they would be wrong.
Every model he’s photographed means something to him.
“She was a real diamond in the rough,” he might say, “You could tell she’d taken some knocks, but she was just gorgeous. I tried to honor that.”
He says things like “Where does the heater live? Where do the keys stay?” “This pose wants to be…” “This smile wants to say…” He’s very concerned with things having the “right energy” and he tries to “honor” a lot of things, to “do them justice.” As though the whole world is a conscious entity out there that he’s constantly plugging into.
He’s also a peacock. He wears bracelets and necklaces and likes to look good. He knows more about hair, fashion, and makeup than I do. And the first thing he did when he met me was try to school me.
“I know what I’m talking about, kid. You need a bit of a tan.”
He’s also a crazy guerilla shooter.
You talk about a science fiction love story set, and a few months later there are six actors in an apartment with a mock set and hair and makeup standing by.
He wanted to shoot something with a corset and a reedy marsh, and you bet your ass we were in a flimsy canoe on the St. Lucie River avoiding thirteen foot alligators and coral snakes to make it happen.
You get used to speeches like “Just act like you belong there,” or “Always plead ignorance.” Chances are he’s going to be sneaking you into somewhere if you’re shooting together…so you get used to being kicked out of places or looked at funny.
Once he had me running around naked in a National Park, dodging Boy Scouts and black snakes to sit naked in a reconstructed Timucua hut. The shots looked great though.
He’s inspired by anything and everything and managed to build what might one day become one of the most epic Marilyn Monroe tributes ever around a fancy Italian champagne bottle.
He’s also a world class sailor, and RADA trained actor who speaks six languages, AND, is tall. He refers to me as his best friend and muse, though that might just be so I’ll scale whatever fences we encounter without too much hesitation.
Sometimes life hands you exceptional people, and you just go with it.