Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hey hot stuff.. no, the other girl

Photo from today's shoot
This morning I woke up a nervous wreck. With my newfound confidence in my body and my curvaceous hips I took a gig as a model for a boudoir class. I bought a great new piece of lingerie- something clingy which is something I've always stayed away from. I always erred on the side of flowing babydolls. Red and black with fishnet stockings I was ready to do serious business. Of course having a dozen people staring at you in the middle of a room is a little nerve wracking. So I got up early, carefully got ready and arrived an hour early as always.

The first few people who arrived for the class didn't realize I was one of the model despite the fact that I was the only person without a camera. Nor did they question that the other two girls were models since they didn't have any camera. The teacher pointed me out along with the other girls when making introductions and I could see some wariness on a few faces.

I was first on the beautiful red fainting couch with a slightly deeper red backdrop. The teacher spent a few minutes talking about technical stuff, took a few photos to show the students and then instructed each one to come up and take a turn. Not a lot of creativity- no one telling me how to pose or to give them this look or turn that way. I didn't think anything of it until.... The next model took her turn prefaced with, again, technical talk about lighting and F-stops and the photographers went to town. They couldn't get enough. It wasn't the obligatory turn taking but rather crowding, instruction giving, posing, and creativity. Well I didn't think much of that either actually.. just that perhaps they were warming up- as any artist will tell you sometimes it takes a while before the ideas start racing.The third model had just as much clamoring for edgy gothy photos. The only thing I think I was good for was doing her makeup.

Then came the food- I suppose boudoir automatically means eating phallic shaped foods and this was no different. The first girl, a beautiful girl with auburn brown hair, dipped a long jalapeƱo pepper in honey and did all of the poses you might expect. The shots were just gorgeous! I even wished I'd had my camera! The edgy girl didn't want to do any food shots- she was edgy after all, so it was my turn.. I got the banana (Freud would be proud). Out of a dozen photographers only two wanted to shoot me. That was it. At this point it was starting to set in. I had vaguely noticed (perhaps I'm wrong.. we'll see when I get the photos back) that no one was taking full body shots of me like they were the other two girls. Next the auburn hair girl took another turn- adorable full body shots of her jumping, pouting, twirling her hair. Then shots of the edgy girl being, well, edgy. Then the teacher announces I'm next and everyone leaves. I'm not kidding you.

Everyone. Left.

A few other things made me feel pretty shitty or angered me. The teacher was giving advice on dealing with certain personalities.. one being the girl who was just completely full of herself whom you could never get natural poses from. He suggested insulting her- "have you gained weight?" he said in his best mocking tone. My first thought was "why should she care if she gained weight?! There's nothing wrong with that!". But of course we all know how bad it is to be fat or, hell, even 10lbs heavier than a size 6. There were some sexist, degrading comments about both men and women (men are just poor simple creatures and women are overly emotional).

Another thing that bothered me is that the other girls were stripped down to their undies (including edgy girl being topless) while I spent $40 on this great new outfit and was asked to keep my skirt on the whole time. I kept asking if the teacher wanted me to strip down like the other girls and got "umm.. no no, you're fine". I wish I'd worn the ugliest pair of jeans I had just so I didn't have to deal with that. In order to get shot in my entire outfit I had to specifically ask for a couple photos after everyone else had left.

This experience definitely didn't boost my confidence even though I'm trying, very hard, to focus on the two people who actually did really want to shoot me. Will it keep me from modeling in other classes or in other gigs with other thinner models? No, but I'm certainly disappointed that what I expected is what happened. It shows me just how hard the road ahead is.

4 comments:

  1. That really sucks. The instructor should have handled the class properly.

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  2. That's the difference between real artists and photographer wannabes. Bleh.

    -Larry

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  3. I am new to photography, have only been doing it a few months, but, my wife was once a BBW, and I have women who are BBW's who want the courage to do Boudoir photo's too. Kudo's to you for doing it despite the shallow wannabe's in the class. I would have spent all the time I had shooting you if I was in the class! Would have had a few words for the instructor too!

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  4. I am a photographer, but also "plus size." I have only recently become OK with myself in FRONT of the camera... even so, not in any "risque" poses. Dealing with real people all the time, I do not understand how people can not WANT to learn MORE about "real" people with curves and fun things that "plastic-molded-people" do not have. "We" are so much more interesting... at least to me. Maybe that's just because I am bigger too. But to learn what flatters, what does not... in any manner that is different, be it size, color, shape, personality, whatever... if you are just learning, why WOULDN'T you want the most challenging? I would have chosen you over the skinnies any day ;) Besides, even being straight, I think you're beautiful!!!! And I am so not afraid to say so

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