Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Turning the Tables

I prefer to be behind the lens of a camera taking the shots. Therefore, you all may find it surprising that I was once a highly sought after bike model. Yes, I made a commercial for a local bike shop in the early nineties, and have even been photographed by Nathan Bilow for the 1996 Olympics. Eventually the fame and fortune became overwhelming, and we made the decision to disappear back into a normal quiet life away from the paparazzi. hehehe.

Lately I've been having a hankerin' to get back into it. Raja and I discussed it, and decided to give it a go. We made a call to my agent, and within hours he already had a photo shoot lined up for me.

It was for a bike tire company, but I would also be working alongside other models.
Models of lesser experience and abilities. Could I handle it? Sure, I'll do my best. How inexperienced could they be?

Oh, no! Not these guys! Immediately, I sprung into action. Okay, first off, Captain, we have to get the approved tires on your bike. You don't show up for a Victoria's Secret Catalog shoot wearing your flannel pjs.
The casting director was beginning to have his doubts about this crew. I reassured him that I would take these newbies under my wing and nurture them on the right path. Now, will you change my tires for me, please?

You're supposed to wear baggies, not lycra.
Have to appeal to the next generation, I guess.
Now, remember, never look at the camera. No laughing. Good, good, that's it RedModel.

Nice! Relaxed, natural look. Obviously a veteran.

Nooooooooo, ModelSmith! Geez, this is going to be a long day.

Even though they were green behind the ears, they were eager to please. Eventually they got the hang of it.

Imagine my relief when Jeana showed up on the set. Our paths have not crossed in over 2 years, but it's easy to pick up right where you left off last.

Great to see you, Jeana!

It didn't take too long for the new models to relax and get comfortable with being in front of the camera.

They looked like naturals in no time. LoneModel has a bright future ahead.

And RedModel too. Definite potential.

In all seriousness though, I felt like a fish out of water when it came to shooting time. With my bike beneath me it wasn't so bad. I feel right at home with 2 wheels close by, but it's just that camera that makes me feel uneasy. What do I do? Where do I look? Don't look at the camera! That's like saying, "Don't eat the chocolate!" I can't help it!

How can you act like that's not there? From a photographer's standpoint, I understand the concept fully, but I was shocked at how challenging it was for me NOT to look.

Inside, I found myself being torn in a thousand directions. On the one hand, I was here for a specific reason. Not to ride, not to take pictures, but to have my picture taken. Ah, I don't like being put in a box! Let me out! I want to know what's going on in this guy's head. Why is he choosing the angles he does? What setting has he selected? Can I see what it looks like?
I have to document this. It's what I do. We're on bikes, on a trail, how can I not take a picture or two, or three?

I know what I want to be when I grow up; a photographer's photographer. Is there a need for that? I doubt it.

I did not envy Scott's position one bit today. It was practically pitch black dark, and what little pockets of light that shone through would disappear behind thick clouds. I tried to take notes of what he was doing.

I also tried not to get myself fired. Surely Trey would get irritated at my incessant photo snapping, jerk my camera out of my hands, and throw it, me and my bike off the trail. He never did, shew.

I could never be a real photographer. Look at all the crap you have to lug around on the trail. Well, maybe I could carry this on my back. It probably does not weigh much over 25 lbs.

What would I do about this though?

Guess I could hire a sherpaman to follow along behind me. How much do they charge? I could see me taking out a couple riders with the tripod. Oops, sorry 'bout that!

Yes, no new revelation here. I definitely prefer being behind the camera.

The life of a model is not for me. You do alot of standing around.
I do not like to sit around. Always gotta be moving.

I'm too curious, too mischievous. And there's that whole thing of not liking someone telling ME what to do.

Obviously, none of those issues had to be dealt with today. We had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I certainly appreciated the opportunity, and would probably jump at the chance to do it again! It just reinforced what I already knew. I don't make a very good model, and I don't like to be in the spotlight.

However, I love to clown around. I'm good at that. Which picture do you think will be chosen for the catalog cover. This one?

Or this one?

Yea, that's when I got fired. Sent me packing. As I made my way up the gravel road back to the car, I saw something to lift my spirits.

As she darted off into the brush, she looked back at me one more time. She stared at me as if to say, "yea, honey. Turn those tables back around, and stay behind the camera away from the limelight. You'll have more fun hiding in the bushes capturing the action as it passes you by."


jmilliron said...

Oh my goddness! The photograph so needs a Pocket Wizard. Speaking of which, come to BigC Tuesday and I'll try and remember to bring my Nikon SB-800.

Becky said...

Cool! Would love to see the printed result. I knew I should've gotten your autograph while it was still affordable :)