Through an odd series of events, recently I made a new friend. I wont go into the details of how this acquaintanceship occured, but it's quite the interesting story. This new friend and I email back and forth almost daily about the area where we live (we're neighbors apparently) and some of the oddities of the internet, like Craig's List.
Today an email was sent to me by my new friend that they thought would alarm me, but instead actually managed to flatter me beyond belief. I don't know if that would have been the same, had my blog not been mentioned, but the fact remains that I was flattered.
This friend googled my name, saw a picture of me with a name badge on, zoomed in on the name badge, discovered my twitter name, found me on twitter and then clicked the link leading them to my blog. This long and twisted series of events is about as twisted (though several hours shorter) as how we met in the first place.
It started me thinking.... and you know what happens when I start to think. I start to blog! So, here I am.
Back when I used to model, I was splashed on every Google image search for pages with nothing but my first and last name, sometimes just my first name. I had photos that were in the San Diego Tribune, pictures on ModelOne.com that came up under different photographers, modeling photos for costumes that Lorianne made (think Ren-Faire) and photos people posted once they received my Harley Davidson catalog with my 'autograph' in it (see photo above). They would snap pictures and put them on Flickr. Others had projections of my face from the Queen Mary shoot on walls behind them durring a presentation on Photography. I was everywhere. I wasn't always ok with that, but I was everywhere. That's mostly the reason I'm so cautious with my personal information. I know how easy it is to find me on the internet. The city I'm listed as living in in Los Angeles - Yeah, I've had stalkers.
These days if you type in Amanda Blackwood, you're lucky to come up with two pictures. The first one would be of me dressed as Mary Jane from the 1st Spiderman movie with my ex-husband as spiderman. This is the photo that remains on the San Diego Tribune website from more than 4 years ago now. Yes, that's really me. And yes, it's really on their site. My face actually made a thumbnail on the front page of that news paper.
The other picture is one from last summer when I went to Twestival and worked as a volunteer. I have a reputation for being well dressed at all the events I go to. This event was no exception, as you can see while going through all of the photos this particular photographer has taken of me. He is, hands down, my most favorite photographer I have ever worked with, and will always be a very dear friend of mine. One of these days he's going to bring his Fiance down to Los Angeles so I can finally meet her in person (Michael).
Michael is easily the greatest photographer I've ever worked with, but that isn't built on sheer talent alone. We are friends and have a deep connection, like that of family. That makes me far more at ease with him than I am with most photographers. With Michael, I wasn't afraid to laugh or be silly and goofy - and was actually expected to be that way sometimes. It was ok for me to laugh out loud and I didn't care if he snapped a shot, where most other photographers didn't want to see my teeth because they weren't straight. The picture to the left here is one that Michael took on one of our many adventures.
I've worked with people like Bravo Magic Imaging for several shoots, though a few photos in particular have lived on in the minds of those who followed my modeling career. (to the left - a shoe ad shot by Richie Bravo)
I shot with Jack Fleming when I first started out. He was still getting his "sea legs" in the world of photography when I first met him, but with raw talent and a lot of people who believed in him, he rocketed into the world of celebrity photography and now gets invited to events like Christina Aguillera's baby shower and Tiger Woods at the PGA a couple years ago. He's been able to shoot Jack Nicholson as well - something I understand isn't easy to accomplish. The picture to the left is from the first shoot I ever did with Jack and remains one of my favorites.
I once dated a guy that had an eye for photography. He hadn't been an actual photographer for many years, but he still loved to do it and I was his favorite subject. We shot THOUSANDS of photos over a couple of weeks time. We never ran out of creative ideas and locations to shoot at, and eventually even shot at the Queen Mary. Though it was some time ago now, the memories made while beeing 'spooked out' on the Queen Mary live on.
I've had a lot of fun over the years. From Bravo Magic Image, Jack Fleming, D'Jef Photography, Michael O'Donnell and several other photographers, I had a good run when I decided to be a model. People ask (not that often anymore) why I don't continue to model. They laugh or scoff when I explain that I'm too old. I'm not bitter over the age thing... I proved that I could be a model. In fact, the age cut off is at 24 years old and I didn't do the Harley Davidson catalog until I was 26 years old.
I have nothing left to prove to the Modeling world. I've done it. I've been there, I've seen it.
But I'll admit - I didn't realize until today - I miss getting Googled.