Saturday, July 6, 2013

Playboy Bunny Shoot?

I have not written for my blog in some time.  I recently spent a few days with a new friend who mentioned some things she'd read in my blog, and it pleased me to hear that she'd read that.  My main purpose in writing here is to express what's going on with my thinking and emotions as I consider, prepare for, execute, and post process a shoot.  It has pretty much been my assumption that people, if they read my blog, were mostly coming here to see if I had any more titillating images to view.  Heck, I admittedly pepper a few images in here, in part, for that purpose (of course, everything is rated PG).

Today I feel like sharing some recent experiences, so I think about where to write them down.  I open up by blog, and I am happy to see that quite a few people have been viewing my pages, even though I haven't put any new entries in here for months.  The fact is, I love to create images.  It could be images through the lens of a camera, or through my words.  If there is an audience, that is really appreciated, but in fact it is secondary to the creation itself.

Onto the topic of the day.  Shooting a Playboy model.  That's what you all tuned in for, after all.

I was out for a bit of dinner a couple weeks ago with a model and friend, and we bumped into a mutual friend (and fellow photographer), Steve Tolevski.  He asked me if I knew (name withheld), a model that was with him.  I didn't know her, but I thought she was pretty so I introduced myself.  I showed her some of my photos through the tiny pictures on my phone, and she seemed mildly interested.  At first she told me she's not living in the area, and then she mentioned that she's booked solid for the next few months (huh?), so wouldn't likely have time.

I hadn't met too many models that were booked solid for two or three months - in fact, never.  So, what's so special about her?  I didn't give it much more thought, but later when they were leaving they stopped by our table to say goodbye.  While Steve was talking to Juliette (my friend), I asked this gal how she could be so be so booked up.  She kind of let the cat out of the bag, and told me she's going to be the Playboy Model of the Month for (month withheld).

Wow!  Huh?!?  Oh, okay, now I can see that her breasts are kind of large for her small frame.  That's the attraction (frankly, I don't really notice that so much as other guys tend to).

So the wheels start turning.  Maybe I should try harder to get a shoot with her; if she's famous (or somewhat famous in whatever way Playboy Bunnies become famous), that can help my level of exposure if I shoot with her.  So I delve a little deeper with her, and she submits that yeah, there is a two hour slot that she can shoot with me next week, if I really want.  So I express my interest, even as she lays down a laundry list of contractual limitations she's presently under.  At the moment, I'm blinded by the seeming opportunity and my ambition, so we exchange contact information and plan a 2 hour shoot.

But later, I think about this some more.  I check her online portfolio, and I start to think about what I can do with this model that hasn't already been done.  Soon, I do come up with an idea, and the idea really starts to take root with me.  I start to purchase some suitable wardrobe to go with the feeling needed for the theme, and start mentally ramping up for it.  Then I realize that in a two hour shoot, I will be really rushed to change over to a second theme, and she informed me I'd be paying from the minute she walked into my studio until the minute she left.  Her rate was pretty darned steep for me (many models shoot with me just because they like my work; I don't have to pay), so I had a "rethink". I don't like the feeling of having to rush.

I asked her if we can do just one hour.  I set up for the single theme I have in mind, we do the shoot - bang-bang - and she's out the door.  She replied that she didn't want to do that, I'd have a two hour minimum, etc.  So I decided to pass.

As she enters into her moment of fame and stardom, there will be an endless stream of guys with cameras (GWC?) ready to pay the price of admission, and anything related to creativity or artistic content would be a secondary concern - if a concern at all.  Yeah, she was  not the kind of model I would normally be looking for.  As soon as I let it go, I felt a wave of relief wash over me.

It's strange how life can be that way.  Often we get pulled into a belief that something dangled in front of us is the thing we want, even the thing we need.  It's incredible how easily we can lose our bearings, our compass by which we've chosen to live by.  For anyone having a desire to pursue art, this can be disastrous.  If we forget about what it is we want to say from our souls, and become distracted by what will play to the masses, we'll soon become divorced from our fountain of creativity.  It's a dead end, and when the crowd leaves, we're gonna be empty handed (and empty headed).

I'm glad I let go this time.  I don't need a famous model to express the emotion and images in my mind; in fact that would probably get in the way.  As it turned out, another model (Jessica Ko, shown in this post) contacted me within a day or two and asked if I have time to shoot.  Of course I had time, and I had just the theme in mind, wardrobe already on hand, and everything but the girl.  :)  She did a great job, even though it was only her thirs shoot ever.  I'm not sure if it was the kind of shoot she had in mind or not, but you can see the results here.  You be the judge.

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