Best of the Best reality TV show image of woman in ocean surf, photographed by Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography studio.

Yes, I know, a reality show. Wow. What am I thinking?

Last year I was a contestant. This year I’m a judge, by invitation.

Okay, it’s not the normal Reality Show, with manufactured drama, alliances, and votes off the island, so to speak.  Although drama happens naturally as photographers and models work to create the best image of the group. All with big money on the line, and even bigger is the title to win: “Best of the Best”.

So how does a reality show with models relate to Inner Spirit Photography values?

First, let me tell you about the show. It’s really about risking; to be your best, to create your best. For the models, it’s to dig deep, match the photographer’s vision, and lift it even higher. All under a tight timeframe creative box, done in a place they don’t see until the last moment.

So stuff does happen and the camera captures it. Which gives the series tension and excitement.

But here is the thing, for us in the middle of it – it’s about the experience, the self-discovery, and the rush of creative revelations.

It’s cool to watch, as photographers help and advise each other, while the models are often swapping clothes to help out, doing each other’s makeup, and so on. No alliances, scheming or evil planning is designed, although personalities do rub at times.

Last year when I was competing, most of the models and photographers were there for the experience, for the challenge. The bonus was that they all – winners and runner-ups – came home with amazing images and fantastic stories. They did what most models in their area did not have the nerve to do: enter.

And that is how it fits into our philosophy.  We are all about the positive life-changing experience. Even if it’s just a little life changing and more enriching. In the end, it’s the photographs that anchor the memory of the experience and mark the moment.

It is thrilling to be part of it!

So how do you feel? Do you look for experiences that are rare and challenging too? What are they?

Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.