Artistic collaborators: Charlie Engman and Kathleen McCain Engman

The dynamic between model and photographer has been analyzed and romanticized many times over the years. The exchange takes place in the simplest sense in such a way that the photographer leads the model, the model interprets these instructions and together tries to solve the given order. In addition to the skills and experience of both parties, it is also about the connection and chemistry between model and photographer, in order to turn a simple photo into an image that is connected to people.

What can help this relationship flourish is familiarity, but also the willingness of the model and the photographer to fully commit themselves to the cause. For the US photographer Charlie Engman, he found this willingness in his mother Kathleen McCain Engman. For the past decade, Charlie Kathleen has worked closely with photography, and as they grew into full blown fashion shoots, magazine editorials, and even runways, the collaboration began naturally.

“When I first discovered photography, I had an insatiable appetite for subjects. I took pictures of mom because she was available and approachable, ”says Charlie. "As with most relationships, doing this work with her was a slow, accumulative process, punctuated by sporadic bursts of energy."

All pictures from mom from Charlie Engman

It felt organic to Kathleen when Charlie just asked for help. "I'm not sure if Charlie ever asked me to pose for him per se, ”says Kathleen. "My earliest memory of being on this side of the lens is that I do everything I do in my office or around the house and I hear Charlie shout," Hey, are you busy right now? Could you come here for a minute? "

"Ten minutes later, I'm crouching in a hallway or on the living room floor, and the sunlight comes in just like that, and he puts scraps of cloth and flowers around my face. Or maybe I pull myself off after a shower, when he's from his work place and I step right into my winter coat and a pair of boots while he throws me a wig so we can run outside and catch a crazy snowfall in the pine grove behind the split level we briefly rented. "