My Hard Candy Photo Shoot
The initial shoot was scheduled for Sunday, 7 pm to be exact and everything on my end was set. Despite being a major procrastinator and waiting until the last minute to get my outfit together, I pulled it off the morning of. I spent a little under an hour picking out some threads before settling on the recommended basic black. As I was leaving the mall I got a call from Jen, hard candy calendar’s very own creator and photographer saying the model I was too pose with cancelled last minute. We had to reschedule so I told her to hit me up with the new time and date when she had it. She called a couple of days later and set it up for the following week. She also indicated that she procured a new model as the original had some scheduling conflicts. Enter Kuni.
That morning I showered, carefully dressed and packed my model-for-a-day bag contianing a hairbrush, hair pick, lotion, cologne, black dress shoes, extra shirt and additional carry ons. You know, any extra shit I needed to get through the day long. I plugged the address to the studio into my GPS and was on way. It was around 20 minutes to be exact before I arrived, late, but I was met with a beautiful smile — swept the butterflies away.
Kuni was taking forever and a day to get ready so I stood around waiting, reading, twitting and doing all manner of distracting things. Meet my ADD. I overheard Kuni ask Jen if it she was going to be topless for the shoot. My ears immediately perked up. I knew the feminine models would be less clothed, but I was taken back by the fact that I’d have to be subjected to any manner of female nudity. Siiiiiike! It would be just my luck that babygirl would flip at the prospect of me having another womans half naked body in my arms. I figured my biggest annoyance would be **drum roll please** sweaty palms and making sure I didn’t have too too much fun.
The idea behind the poses was for me to cover her breasts whenever they were directly exposed to the camera’s lens. While standing in very close proximity, trying to keep my calm and come up with all sorts of awesomely awkard poses, while doing my best to avoid sliding my fingers across her body jewelry while attaining good hand positioning, I reflected and tried my best to relax. The truth of the matter is I had no reason to be on edge anyway. Even still, it was getting warm and tiny sweat beads were forming on my forehead. I was worrying whether or not they would show in the pictures and my mind was going a mile a minute. At one point, I was feeling kind of like when you go into a store and can’t find what you need, walk out empty handed and have a slight twinge of guilt that someone just might think you stole something even though you hadn’t. Yeah, it was like that for some reason. Odd. As many situations I’d willingly placed myself into with other women over the years, this was new.It was 12:30 noon or so, mid-day, and the sun was shining so bright, its rays straining to reach around the closed curtains and saturate us in its warmth. The studio was dark inside and dimly lit with cameras in position, blue screen hanging securely and everyone ready to start shooting again. We took a break. That’s when Jen’s girlfriend got back from the store with wine in which we indulged and the spirits took flight. I chugged mine; straight to the dome. Then I sipped another glass because I needed it and it was fucking delicious, mild and sweet and perfect for the occasion. Funny thing is, I didn’t start to really feel it until the shoot was over. In fact, that liquidy goodness would go on to carry me comfortably into the evening hours and being soothed by its effects was a nice way to end the day.
But, for now, Kuni got in position in front of the camera and I stepped in behind her and could feel her reach back and help me settle into place. I had to be careful of the jewelry affixed to either side of her body, which was annoying as hell because after a while I didn’t quite know what the hell to do with my hands in between poses. The area we were standing in was small, a little too close for comfort, but it didn’t really matter since they were both so patient with choreographing the poses and setting a nice series of shots in motion. I have so much respect for professional photographers and more importantly for their creative vision. A photographer with a skillful, sharp eye must be keen and aware of structure, shape, curvature, lighting, flash and all the wonders that make getting the perfect shot a wonderfully attainable feat. I volunteered to model for the calender because it’s one thing to complain about lesbian masculine invisibility and its quite another thing to go out there and do something about it. This is another way for me to contribute to butch visibility. The biggest bonus for me is that the proceeds from sales go to support breast cancer research. I’m proud to be apart of the calendar.
What took weeks of planning and hours of getting ready took less than 2 hours to complete. I didn’t want to see any of the pictures. “Surprise me!” I said, but she couldn’t even fathom that I didn’t want to see any of the proofs, but alas, my curiousity got the best of me and I ended up scrolling through a few.
Later in the week as I was walking home from the store I spotted Kuni walking on the sidewalk opposite of me with a group of girl friends. At first I wasn’t sure if it was her considering we were on the opposite side of town, but it’s hard for me to forget a face. Just as quickly as I had that thought, we made eye contact and I was certain. That was pretty cool. I made my way across the street and we shared pleasantries, introduced significant others, exchanged numbers and that was that.
Thanks for the good times Jen and Kuni. Can’t wait until next year!