Last week I posted about Fanny Vermont’s exhibition currently ongoing at the Lollylagger sim and said I’d be trying to make contact with her to find out what she drew interest from in producing such an interesting array of photos (many of which are undertaken nude, which is always something that interests us here at SL Naturist). I’m pleased to say that Fanny and I were able to sit down this week and, over coffee and a plate of gingerbread men (it’s that time of year, even in Second Life cafes) I asked her about her work, beginning by asking if adopting a purposeful avatar, one who doesn’t just flit around different sims dancing, chatting or buying clothes gave her a framework and purpose?
‘Oh yes, it certainly does’, Fanny explained. ‘Though not necessarily “only” as photographer or for art related projects. Fanny started homeless, always on search for a shower, and because the public showers are mostly at adult places, my first experiences often were of the slippery sort. Later I settled down. Photography has always been part of my SL like it is for most of us by taking snapshots.
I then asked Fanny, about her high calibre photographic work, and the ‘jumping on’ point for a photograph. ‘Do you begin with a sense of location, or pose, or clothes (or lack of clothes in some instances)? What’s the most important element, do you think, in your work? Or does the focus shift according to location or pose?’
‘Thank you for the compliment. she replied. ‘ Well, it is very different depending if I am taking a snapshot or creating a scene myself. In the case of the snapshots it mostly is a matter of the location and the poses/animations that are already there (if not then it’s the AO). For my actual work the location is not the trigger anymore. The common thread of “It Might Get Nude” is a hollowed primitive object and therefore the location is fixed. This is, both limiting and challenging for the use of lights, for the poses as I could not stand upright, and last but not least for the camera position and focal distance. Beside of those points the biggest difference in my opinion is that the series is my first conceptual work. Hm … most important element … I guess that is details; Hand poses, feet’s heels height, eyes, shape- and physics-variations especially for the breasts – this sort of things.’
It’s obvious that Fanny’s work is of a high standard because of this attention to detail, something I wouldn’t have considered in respect of the ‘snapshot’ photos I take, and it’s certainly interesting to learn that the photographer’s art is not so much in just knowing where to stand in respect of photographic composition, but also much more detail that will define the finished photograph. It’s also interesting and exciting to discover that other avatars do like to realise their Second Lives with detail.
I then asked if Fanny had any favourite sims for photographic work or if there were any pose stores who helped to define her work.
‘No, I don’t have favourite sims … but also I did not take many photos on location in 2015. Regarding the poses the answer is No as well. I am picky and always felt frustrated about poses that only half-achieved the look I wanted. Not because the creators did a bad job but because of the fact that a pose or an animation only fits perfect for the shape it was made for. So, the only way to get my hands and feet exactly where I want them is to create poses myself.’
Again, an example of a bright and alert mind, learning new skills in order to create a satisfying Second Life. Too often avatars buy ‘off the shelf’ and are limited in what they achieve accordingly. For me, poses are becoming increasingly important to create a unique feel, but it’s not something I’ve tried before. I hope to take inspiration from Fanny’s lead in order to learn that as a Second Life skill in the New Year.
I continued by asking Fanny if she had any advice for avatars who might like to follow her lead, and produce your own exhibition?
‘I think it would go beyond the scope (of this article/blog post) if I would count the lots of circumstances that lead to the exhibit at the end. Fact is that it was not a plan I followed but much more the effort of Chrissy from Lollygaggers. We met at the exhibit of a friend there in spring, and she asked me if I would be interested but that it could last a while until it would be so far. Half a year later she contacted me and said “Ok, let us do it.”. The only advice that I may have on mind is to avoid thinking of an exhibit while still working on a project’.
In my role as SL Naturist editor I’ve been learning that a project doesn’t come together overnight, and often a great deal of planning is required. Ella, SL Naturist’s former editor, seemed to do this effortlessly, and in the early weeks of my editorship it was one of the things I found difficult to grasp. Now, I seem to have plans that may take some weeks to reach fruition, and it was encouraging, to me as a blogger, that others are also taking weeks and months to bring part of Second Life cultural life to the Second Life public.
I then asked Fanny what hopes and aspirations she had for her future in SL?
‘Since I have my own shower now, it’s only “More light and shadow!” 😉 ‘
I went on to ask her , given obvious photographic expertise, if the experience of holding her own exhibition had inspired her to repeat the experience? And if so, how quickly might we expect to see another exhibition?
‘Thanks again for your kind words. Actually I am working on a new series which may be presented some time in spring 2016 at Lollygagger again. I do not know the details yet but it will be for Lollygagger’s contribution for Relay For Life. One thing I am doing different is not posting any results on Flickr before they’ve been exhibited inworld. Maybe this will make it more interesting to log on and see them in Second Life … just one of those ideas I’m thinking of right now’
Yes, good news indeed, and something we’d be keen to write about when the time comes. Our best wishes for the remainder of your exhibition at Lollylagger, and hopefully there will be more terrific photography from Fanny Vermont in 2016!