Many of you are aware of the fact that I am a photographer. Not just in the sense that I own a camera (which seems to be the most common definition these days). I’m a photographer in the sense that I have professional training, professional equipment, and I make money doing it. I started my photographic pursuits in high school, and then in college I ramped up to studio work.
Well, that brings me to today’s true story.
One day when I was in college (and mind you very innocent and naive), I showed up to the studio for a class assignment. We walked into the studio, and there was Rebekah, a girl from my church. And it wasn’t just some of Rebekah. Rebekah was standing in front of the studio lights wearing nothing but what the good lord gave her. Because of the lights, I saw her before she saw me. But after a minute, she noticed that I was standing there and she turned white as a sheet. Thankfully, I was still wearing my clothes.
It became immediately clear from her expression that one of us needed to leave, and since she was getting paid to be there, that meant me. I told the professor I had to leave because I knew the girl and it was awkward. I went and sat outside the studio for 3 hours and finally, Rebekah came out… meekly I might add.
Just to be mean, I said “I feel like I should buy you dinner now” to which she heartily agreed. We went across the street and got some food while she begged me not to tell her parents or the people at the church. If you’d attended that particular church, you’d understand why. I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but I am almost certain that I’m the only person from that church that WOULDN’T have ratted her out. She really lucked out.
The professor later told me I could make up the assignment with (yikes) someone from the class. Fortunately he took pity on the weirdness that would have ensued from ME making that request by finding a volunteer from the class on my behalf. It was still a tad awkward but she was cool and we were somewhat in the same boat so it ended up being OK. It was definitely less weird than shooting nudes of a church friend who was supposed to be little Ms. Perfect.
Of course, this was 15 years ago and I’m fairly confident if faced with the same situation today, I wouldn’t even notice… let alone feel weird. It’s amazing what some experience can do for you. I’ve been shooting models regularly since 1997, and a good chunk of them choose to show skin. It’s the nature of the industry. You can’t make money modeling if you’re under 5’8″ unless you’re willing to “show the goods.” Sad but true.
I never ratted Rebekah out to anyone. Even here, I’m not using her real name. I didn’t even blackmail her, although I’m sure she would have paid. 🙂
I’m not sure if I really learned anything from that experience, but I think there is a lesson. If you want to be a nude model, you should present yourself with confidence. If you are nervous or unsure, it will make everyone else feel the same. And remember, even Megan Fox gets Photoshopped.