Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - I've known my friend Brad Wollman for 13 years, and during that time he has done a lot of different jobs: YMCA director, real estate agent, concierge, tour company operator, blogger, musician, honorary yogi and photographer.
So I'm never surprised when his life takes another "right turn, Clyde." With his usual ability to tune into a subject's core energy, Brad has landed himself smack in the middle of some of the most interesting model photography happening in Mexico.
Welcome to the wild and wacky world of Modo Foto, a loose collective of model photographers, amateur and professional, who clicked powerfully when they met at Ujena Jam events.
After this year's Jam some of the photographers wanted to continue working together, so they decided to gather at various locations around Mexico, invite local models and photograph them. The energy and enthusiasm their efforts generated attracted the focus of one of the best photographers in the country, David Eisenberg.
David Eisenberg, one of three Canon-sponsored photographers in Mexico, with numerous Playboy and Rolling Stone covers to his credit, is now directly involved with the group. For the last two years in a row David won the Cosmic Award for Best Editorial Photographer in Mexico. He has photographed presidents and celebrities, written books on the art of model photography, and is regularly featured in such magazines as Lideres Mexicanos, Día Siete, and Mexico Desconocido, among others.
The concept and format of Modo Foto is creating opportunities for several photographers to shoot all at once, in their various styles, which not only gives the models an instant and diverse portfolio in a single day, but also creates community among photographers who rarely have the opportunity to shoot together. Additionally, these events focus a spotlight on the models, the designers' creations, and shooting venues, giving all involved a chance to be part of the nightlife and glamour associated with going out with a group of models.
The enthusiasm and generosity inherent in this format has provided the Modo Foto gang with a first class technical learning environment as well as remarkable trips through Mexico during which the whole group has more fun than perhaps should be allowed.
So where has this mad circus of photo hotshots clicked lately? They have shot in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa, Pizota, Cabo Corrientes and Guadalajara. Recently, group member Alex Picazo, from Vera Cruz, invited them to come to his home town and shoot, so they rendezvoused in Mexico City - staging another impromptu shoot there - then headed off to Vera Cruz to enjoy Alex's hospitality and valuable input. A master photographer himself, Alex has created some backstage videos of the Modo Foto group for Canon Mexico which can now be seen on YouTube and will soon be on the Canon Mexico website.
Future Modo Foto events in the planning stages include Miami in 2011 and Las Vegas in 2012. They will also hold impromptu events in other locations, including the Bay of Banderas.
Modo Foto Vallarta, Brad's newest project, is a collective of local photographers and models of varying levels of experience that offers photo shoots, classes, events, a model database and fantastic networking opportunities.So, if you are a photographer or model who wants to have fun creating amazing images in exotic locations, these events are going to thrill you. For more information check out the Modo Foto Vallarta website.