Showcases are a unique feature of One Model Place, and every model and member has at one point coveted one of the special tags on their photos to signify exceptional artistry, creativity, or technical prowess.
While it still remains a mystery how exactly OMP Showcases are awarded, one photographer seems to have cracked the code — George OMP Member #4921
George has shot images over 20 years on a casual basis, but got more involved in photography a decade ago. Since joining the site in 2001, George has consistently uploaded incredible imagery and has been rewarded for it. As of this week, he has reached a plateau that few if any have attained – George has 501 Showcases out of 501 images. Looking at the Showcase section on his page is like visiting an art gallery filled with provocative, evocative nude portraits and compelling close-ups.
His interest in the photographic arts came from an unlikely source. “Many years ago, I was chatting with my girlfriend’s father, and we discussed his passion for photography. He noticed I had an interest, so he proceeded to retrieve his favorite camera, a Nikon F. He showed me all the settings, told me what to consider when shooting, and provided sample images. He then gave me an old rangefinder camera — I think it was a 35mm Petri — and I was forever hooked! I started to shoot everything: friends, buildings, sports events. My girlfriend was my first female shoot – I hope she never reads this!”
Subsequently, school and varies jobs occupied his time, but George continued to shoot, and effortlessly making the transition from shooting friends to professional models.”
He first discovered and signed up for One Model Place back in 2001. “I had just completed a shoot and while looking through the images, I was told I should consider posting some of my photos on some of the popular model websites. She thought my images looked good, and said it would be fun and that I would receive some valuable comments. When I asked which site to join, she recommended One Model Place. Initially, I was hesitant, but I decided to post some shots, and ever since I stayed with OMP. “
While George still considers photography more of a hobby than a career, he feels that OMP has given him the opportunity to meet some wonderful models and photographers. “The models, in particular, have helped me improve my photo skills and shape my image style. Actually, my image success is due solely to their creative talents and supportive efforts.”
He recalls getting his first Showcase image and his record-breaking 501st. “In the beginning, I just posted some basis fine art photos on One Model Place, and one day I noticed the Showcase designation next to one of my images. I really paid no attention to it until, while surfing the site, a photographer or model commented on the Showcase concept. So I again checked out my page and saw the designation. I was pleased, and thought it was real cool! In fact, it was a shot of the model who had suggested I post on OMP.
George wanted to full circle when selecting which image to upload for his potential portfolio-topping 501st photo. “Regarding my last Showcase image, I posted another image of the same model. I thought I would be nice to start and close with her images, but the OMP folks did not go for it. I then decided to do something a little different (I usually shoot fine art nudes/glamour) using available light in a shower. I was lucky because the model I wanted to shoot was available. She was perfect. I really had nothing to do with the shot, she did it all — the pose, movement, emotion. I just stood there, pointed the camera, and shot. The result was Showcase number 501.”
Choosing which OMP models he has enjoyed working with the most proves to be difficult for George, who has had so many amazing muses over the years. “Answering this question is difficult. Each model contributes something different and meaningful, and I try to enhance the effect by showing the beauty/mood/emotion the model projects. Probably my OMP profile speaks for itself. There are many images posted for just a handful of models. Obviously, those images tell the story. If you view the profile you can readily see which models have impacted my image style the most. In fact, I have enjoyed working with all of the OMP models posted in my profile.
“But I will mention one, Dorothy OMP Model #2720 . I have been shooting with her continually over 7 years, and every time the results are outstanding — mainly due to her efforts. Not only is she a great model, she is also a wonderful person who brings something very special to the process. She has also introduced me to several other wonderful models who have contributed immensely to my imagery. Honestly, I could not have reached the 501 mark without her assistance.”
He offers some insightful words of advice for photographers who are just starting out. “Carefully study the beauty surrounding us all. Examine various lighting situations. Listen to what your models have to say — I find letting them express themselves works best. Try not to compromise your objectives. Listen to constructive criticism and adjust accordingly. Practice, practice, practice. And most importantly be professional…or else you will never work with quality models.”
The Staten Island-based photographer admits that even he does not know the secret formula to getting a Showcase image on OMP. “I haven’t a clue! I guess, it is the one image which, when viewed, causes nearly everyone to reflect and think ‘Damn, I wish I took that shot!’”
George wants to express his gratitude to the staff and administrators of One Model Place for supporting and encouraging both him and his work over the years. But now that his portfolio is completely filled, he is trying to figure out what his next step is. “I would like to thank OMP for giving me the forum to display my images and enabling me to interact with some really great photographers/models. However, I am not sure as to what to do now!”
Image by George of A Images OMP Member #4921