Anna Swihart

One of the aspects of being a pho­tog­ra­ph­er that has been, frankly, a dou­ble-edged sword has been the sheer vol­ume of peo­ple that I have encoun­tered and worked with over the years. Just like any oth­er indus­try, you have amaz­ing peo­ple and peo­ple who prob­a­bly shouldn’t be with­out con­stant psy­cho­log­i­cal mon­i­tor­ing. I have made some fan­tas­tic friends and some very twist­ed ene­mies.

Some­times I want to kick myself for pick­ing up a cam­era because by doing so I invit­ed insan­i­ty into my life, there isn’t any oth­er rea­son why I would have ever encoun­tered these peo­ple — I did this to myself! But then there’s the oth­er edge — some of my favorite peo­ple in the world are part of my life because I picked up a cam­era, I wouldn’t have met them any oth­er way.AE6252F7-7030-49C1-A9D9-D67370EA2444

One of those peo­ple is Anna Swi­hart, and it only seems fit­ting that she is my first fea­tured mod­el because she has been with me since the begin­ning. We actu­al­ly met indi­rect­ly through a very creepy pho­tog­ra­ph­er whom I had done some mod­el­ing for. Our ini­tial encounter was awe­some. Anna was con­sid­er­ing shoot­ing for the same pho­tog­ra­ph­er and was check­ing his ref­er­ences and by a stroke of luck hap­pened to con­tact me (no, that’s not the awe­some part). I had to strong­ly advise against work­ing with this guy but I let her know that I was a new pho­tog­ra­ph­er and would love to work with her if she was inter­est­ed. At the time I was dab­bling a bit into under­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phy, and even though she didn’t know how to swim Anna want­ed to do some under­wa­ter mod­el­ing (I’ve actu­al­ly worked with her in water more than I have with any oth­er mod­el to this day). That seemed absolute­ly insane to me, but if there’s one thing that I love it’s artis­ti­cal­ly dri­ven insan­i­ty, so we set it up.

I should have known we would be friends for life when she didn’t roll her eyes at me for sug­gest­ing that she pose with a bunch of 5-gal­lon water cool­er bot­tles that I had col­lect­ed in my apart­ment (she rocked it, by the way). Nine years lat­er, she’s one of my best friends, our kids also love each oth­er and I sim­ply can­not imag­ine my life with­out her.

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