Early in 2014 I moved to Tijuana to enjoy fantastic weather, wonderful people, delicious food, tasty margaritas, and a relaxed lifestyle. After being here for about a month a couple more highlights caught my attention, the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) and Utopia Models.

The CECUT has amazing lines and is a work of art in and of itself. Popularly known as “La Bola” (the ball) because of its spherical shape. It was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Manuel Rosen Morrison.

Utopia Models was in the center of town and one of my first stops. The owner, Alejandro Caravajal let me review a list of his models and I made note of a few. Nayely Reyes was one.

Nayely has a slender figure with long arms and legs, and a natural beauty and presence. Immediately I started thinking of using her to create interesting lines and shapes.

After several months of working with Alejandro, an idea formulated in my mind. I loved the Cultural Center of Tijuana. It is a wonderful building that is ball shaped with opposing staircases that wrap around its sides. It has wonderful lines and I knew those lines would be a good stage for Nayely’s figure.

My goal was to keep the images simple, classic, timeless and all about lines. Using a black bodysuit would keep the viewer’s eyes focused on the lines without distraction and would remove most elements that would tie the images to a period in the fashion industry. Securing Alejandro’s and Nayely’s cooperation I was ready. I purchased a bodysuit for Nayely, studied the position of the sun in relation to the CECUT at different times of day, and scheduled the shoot so the light would be where I wanted it on the building.

Communication was difficult at first. Nayely, her mom and I showed up early to the shoot. They spoke almost no English and I speak very little Spanish. I had arranged a translator but she was not scheduled to arrive for another half hour, so it was me posing in front of the CECUT looking like a crazy guy and pantomiming what I wanted Nayely to do. She had a great attitude and humored her silly photographer.

I like the results. As always, I wonder if I did it again, if I could improve, but Nayely was a fantastic model.

Photos by Andrew
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