It's a beautiful, crisp Saturday afternoon by the ocean. As always, I show up over-prepared and properly energetic with a slight attitude. I'm a bit of a diva during a photoshoot, I tend to get prickly when things are missing or the process is taking too long or someone isn't prepared. This day was looking promising tho. With the combination of blue skies and my blue eyes...What could go wrong?
It was decided that the next shoot would be of an intense nature, no stereotypical gym scene or loner shots staring stupidly off into nothing like last time. It was time to tear shit up on the boardwalk and in the seaside hotel room. The goal of the shoot was simple, start off by the water in evening wear, then make our way into the city for some nighttime evening gown gorgeousness (not on me), then when we return to the hotel, we would seemingly tear the place to pieces in a champagne fueled, sweat dripping shit-show that would make Vanity Fair look like a children's book. Well at least this Diva was ready to own the camera, the other arrived late...with a headache...which I later contracted.
Rule number one, show up on time.
Rule number two, show up practiced and prepared.
Rule number three, don't go back on your word.
Failure of Rule One: Cinderella was supposed to show up around 3pm; which gave us substantial time in daylight before transitioning towards the evening wear in the city. Well Snow White showed up around quarter of five as the September sun quickly deteriorated into the ether. Now the feeling of being rushed during a shoot is a total mojo killer. The photographer has to adjust their position faster now that the light is starting to dissipate. We still had to travel another twenty minutes to our evening destination, so we were losing precious light during our travels, costing us potential quality shots. I was a pro though, ready to change clothes and hop in the car at a moments notice.
Failure of Rule Two: Sleeping Beauty has some health issues where she gets chronic migraines if she doesn't eat or is overtired. I, of course, showed up like a true Physique Competitor, pre-prepped meals, plenty of caffeine and a little booze to take the edge off, if needed. All my clothes fit perfectly and my shoes were recently polished, plus a fresh shave to top off my readiness. Sadly, Alice was truly in Wonderland when she chose several beautiful evening dresses...that she hadn't worn since prom. So leaning over on the beach or doing anything photoshoot friendly was essentially nullified. You would also think she'd at least throw a burger down her throat before showing up to disappoint us, but her ever-growing headache combined with my rapidly decreasing patience was pretty evident in the photographer's photos.
Failure of Rule Three: After feeding two weeks worth of bullshit to our photographer who had already paid for the oceanfront hotel, Rapunzel laid down the Gauntlet the minute she walked into the room after arriving late, announcing that she didn't feel comfortable doing the underwear portion of the shoot, because she didn't want to disrespect her boyfriend...yeah, because that always stops them. Pocahontas was fully aware of the terms of the shoot and the effort that was put forward to make this shoot a delicious three-layered cake for the eyes to feast on, but instead we were left with a giant pile of shit that exploded in the oven. It would have been amazing for everyone's portfolios and now the photos look less appealing than evidence from a murder scene. Someone call CSI: New England, cus this Little Fucking Mermaid just shot this whole photoshoot to shreds, finally climaxing with our photographer dumping all her camera gear on the ground, signifying an uncomfortable walk back to my Saab...the only reliable thing that whole damn evening.
My take on mastering this collection of photoshoots was to mix reality and plausible fantasy instead of the same old processed cheese that gets easy attention, easy likes, and sympathetic publicity. I wanted to push some boundaries and not leave any ideas on the table, unless the plan was to break or burn the table. Shock is important to an extent, but without back story and attention to detail, your left with just a grainy dick pic. After this disaster had passed, I might as well have gone into the bathroom and pointed my camera phone towards the inside of my boxer briefs.
Your on social media and you see all these perfect photoshoots, with perfect makeup, perfect clothing, perfect editing, perfect posing and perfect emotion. This entire day almost went unused. As I drove back to the hotel fuming, I was desperately thinking about how to salvage this waste of time and resources. Well here you are...
I present to you...a photoshoot from Hell.