Monday, December 8, 2008

So, a funny thing happened on the way to the studio ...

[Reposted from my personal blog because people there found it a hilarious look into my photography life.]

Little Red BowsOk, some back story first. If you've been following my photography, you know that I've recently started shooting art nudes. No big deal. A good friend was up for shooting, so we did. I've posted a few here and there and on various websites. Photos are a raving success. She likes them. People like them. I get a Pulitzer prize for them. Ok, maybe not the last part. yet.

A few weeks back, a friend from the community, we'll call him Zack, sees the photo, shows it to one of his friends. She falls in lust with it (or something). Zack pulls me aside at a party and says, "Hey, I know this girl ... she saw one of your photos and wants to shoot with you."

"Oh? Which one did she see?"

"One of the nudes you just did."

"Oh, great. Send me her info and I'll get ahold of her."

Two-ish weeks ago, I get the bits I need and we start playing email tag. It goes something like this. Oh, we'll call her HeidiF.

Me:: Hi! Zack gave me your info. Said you wanted to shoot?
HeidiF: Yes! My best friend might need some too. Call me so we can set something up. Oh, I'm in the adult business so I'll need some good quality pics.
Me: (thinking: huh. adult business. that means a lot.)
Me: What style of photos are you looking for?
HeidiF: Zack sent me a link of a picture of a girl that's lying on a hardwood floor and the shot is of her legs. that's pretty much exactly what i'd be looking for. also some topless shots and stuff but without my face in them. my bestfriend is also looking for the same thing.
Me: (thinking: Ok, I can do that. Kinda strange that she's in the adult business and wants faceless photos ... but ok. whatever)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the entire family is sick. I get sick. I look like death warmed over. Somewhere, I lose four days.

HeidiF: Hey, haven't heard from you. I'd like to do this. I need the pics soon.
Me: Whoops! Sorry, I've been mostly dead. Zombie infection, you see. I got bettah! How about Tuesday?
HeidiF: Sure! give me a call so we can set this up.
Me: (thinking: why are people so keen on phone calls? Sigh.)

Last night, I call her up and manage to get ahold of her right as she walked in from the gym. We talk briefly.

HeidiF: So, uh, err, yeah, that adult business thing? I'manescort,Ihopethat'sokcauseifit'snotIunderstand!
Me: Eh? I don't care.
Me: (thinking: fuck, it's late, I'm tired, I already have the studio scheduled, I just want to shoot)
HeidiF: Oh, cool. So, uh, do you do trade and if not, how much to shoot?
Me: (thinking: trade? Sure, I do TFP ... time for pictures)
Me: Well, I can either charge you $X and you get some number of photos. Or we can do trade, I get you to sign a model release, and I use your photos for my portfolio or whatever.
HeidiF: Oh, trade is fine with me.
Me: Fine, see you at the studio.

Hindsight being 20/20, I just should not have given the trade option. But I digress.

Hindsight being 20/10, I should have paid attention to what she said she did. But I digress. again.

So, where was I. Oh, yes. Tuesday begins with a bang. I manage to forget to set the alarm so I wake up already running late, trying to gather all my equipment, get dressed, find the missing battery chargers, look for socks when ... fuck. I just spilled something nasty on myself. Necessitating a jump in the shower to clean up.
Restart the dressing stage, FINALLY pack my shit and get out the door. Off to work I go.

James calls me just as I leave work for the day and asks what I'm up to. Mentions he has one of the studio lights still so I go over to pick it up from his place. We talk abit about my upcoming shoot and I'm describing the conversation.

He just looks at me.

"So, she's a call girl?"

Huh. Fuck me. I guess that's what she meant. Yes, this is one of my rare gullible moments. I told you I was tired when I talked to her.

"And you told her HOW much to shoot? Fuck, man, you need to be charging at least two or three times that for any person that comes in."

Whoops. Point noted.

It's clearly too late to bail on her and ... well, I really just wanted to shoot. So, once more into the breech my good fellow!

Later that evening, I wander over to the studio and get things set up. Lights. Check. Computer. Check. Hot naked chick. No check. She gets a little lost so I have to guide her in. She arrives about 10-15 minutes after our start time, which is fine. I have the studio blocked out from 8 to midnight to shoot with her.

We do the standard "show me your outfits" and "what do you want" dance. She's not sure. Just wants STUFF! THINGS! You know, like in those porn mags! You know, those sorts of shots.

"Heh. Yeah, well ... ever since I became a photographer, I've been ruined for porn mags. Just doesn't interest me anymore. I keep getting distracted by figuring out how they did the photo instead of what's IN the photo. So we'll just have to wing it."

We spend some time chitchatting about what she does and how she got into it while I get some things set up and while she gets dressed in the first outfit. Hasn't been doing it long. Found it on craigslist. The person running it is nice. HeidiF talks a bit about how they the woman has a set of photogs they normally use. "We usually just trade for the photos."

We also talk about what sort of photos she really needs. So, two problems. She wants them to be hot photos, but doesn't want to show that she's overweight because it'd "kill her business." Yeah. I'll do my best. You get what you get when I'm doing this for free. And no, I don't know how to photoshop liquify your extra-ness away, sorry.

But, second problem? Well, the clothes she has are fine, but they're not going to hide the fact that she's got some extra weight on. Which means they aren't entirely flattering any way I'd normally pose her.

The no-face thing is just killing me because ... well, I like photographing faces, but whatever. I let her know I'm not going to NOT photograph her face. We'll just crop out where necessary.

She puts on the first outfit, some long, black dress, that laces all the way up the sides.

"Hey, is there some place close to smoke?"

"Yeah, if you go out the door and to your left, you'll find a fenced in alley."

"Good, because if a cop saw me walking around in this, I'd be arrested for prostitution. Crap, I can't find my cigarettes."

"Just go out to your car and get them. If someone asks, tell them you're doing a photo shoot."

"I parked two blocks away."

"I guess you're not smoking."

We walk through her list: legs from the waist down. tits. more legs. different clothes. bent over the couch. more clothes. and finally her "Greek Queen" pose.

"You know what a Greek Queen is, right?"

"uh, no? Should I?"

"It means I like to take it in the ass."

"Ah ha."

So, we do that pose and wrap up. We quickly go through the photos and weed it down to 10 or so that she really liked. She gets dressed and I start cleaning up the studio, putting equipment away.

"Oh, just so you know, the first hit was free."

She looks at me curiously.

"Next time, I'm charging."

"Ok, how much?"

The wheels start spinning. I've been thinking about this all night. I'm not sure I want to deal with shit like this again.

"$2X is about right for how much time we spent."


I walk her out to the car. We'll see if she wants more photos.

I give James a call and we chat for a moment.

"Well, you were right. Near as I can tell, she's a call girl."

"You did this for trade?"

"Yeah. Her time for photos."

"That's not what she meant when she said she'd trade."


I can be so blonde some times.

In the Dawn I wake up to find her gone and a note says Only After DarkLessons learned? 1) If I don't know you and you're approaching me to shoot, you're likely going to get charged now. 2) I need to smack Zack for not being a bit more forthright about his friend because, yes, he apparently knows.

The top photo and this one were two of the shots from the evening. And no, this wasn't the "Greek Queen" pose, you pervert. A fun and entertaining night indeed.


nicole said...


Travis said...

Yeah. The crazy shit that is my life.