Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2023
The apartment that I rented in Amsterdam at the turn of the 2000’s was a perfect location for me to work from at that point in time. I had become friends with local businesswoman, Danny Linden who owned a fetish shop on the famous Oudezijds Achterburgwal in the Red Light district. Danny and I became friends and worked on a number of shoots together for her shop. She realized that I was going back and forth to the states on a regular basis between 1999 and 2005 so she offered me to stay at an apartment that she managed just around the corner from her shop on a tiny little street that looked on to rows and rows of prostitute windows. I was such a frequent visitor that they always said hello to me as if I was their neighbor or something. Yes. There was the something too.
In this part of the apartment where I made the photographs of Mel there was natural light entering the living area windows. The warm red walls bathed my models in beautiful afternoon light as we worked through a series of test pictures for the latest body of work.
Mel was one those visitors on a go see. I remember her most as a makeup artist. However, when I saw how exotic she looked I asked to photograph her right there on the spot. No conversation before , it was very spontaneous. I never saw or had the opportunity to work with Mel as a makeup artist this occasion but I do cherish the brief time that we met. It was fun to have bathed her in such beautiful light.
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