I was 23 when Don, my hubby, asked me to pose for the cover of a student’s magazine. The photographer, an odd over 40 virgin fellow, looked quite professional, for the 1980s at least. He took us to the early 18th century built downtown square. Edged by Baroque decorated shadows, the sunshine was generously warming the grayed cubicle stones I was supposed to do the walking on. Among domestic doves roaming around the square’s tall fountain, in an interesting dress, my own creation, I had to pose. I had no idea about how to stay. How to move? Never done that and had no inspirational examples. It wasn’t like nowadays when Heidi Klum keeps lecturing us on TV about the catwalk, when every little girl’s dream is to become a model.
Long time now since my first photo shooting. Can’t remember what I was feeling or thinking then. I was only posing in a public square. Nothing interesting. But for me it still was an emotional moment. I was impatient. Wishing the session to end up as soon as possible. Seems that each photo was shot in haste. That’s why only two or three positions have been chosen for publishing. Finally I made it to the cover of that magazine and, even with my dress partially blurred by open wings of flying doves, I was proud being on that cover!
Twenty years later, when Michelle Pfeiffer says that “life begins at this age,” I arrived back to photo shooting. Indeed!
My hubby, with more time at hand, spared of the frequent business travels, got hit by the passion of photo shooting. Needing a model, he chose me. Or maybe no, not this way. Having me as a model, he decided to exercise his camera on capturing the shapes of my body. And so the new photo shooting seasons began. On certain occasions. On certain themes. More and more qualitative with every year, as I am daring in with ever greater ease, accepting his proposed positions.
To begin with, I posed convinced that I’m doing it for his eyes alone. To appease his fantasies and to give me peace in return. Was not interested about the way I was looking, what I was wearing. Then, watching the photos, I realized that most of them were not on my taste. Didn’t like them. Be it a wrinkle here, be it the unordered hair, the wrong background or the lack of accessories. Shortly I saw myself preparing before sessions, paying more attention to the looks. A trace of eye contour here, a touch of lipstick there and… that’s about all.
Buying a new dress, or a new purse, new shoes, most often turned into a new photo shooting pretext. A holiday, a marvelous flower opening in our garden or just the simple desire to relax. All followed by one urge: “Let me take some photos of you!”
I like having a critic eye over myself in these pictures. Not very content about most of them. Still having some not to be ashamed of. Of course, all merits go to the photographer. His patience, the way he’s guiding me while posing, the cuts and edits and so on.
And by the way, why am I allowing being photographed? First of all, I do this for him. Earlier on, low on finances, we considered commercializing the photos. That was a dead thought to begin with. First: the web is overloaded with free nudity and second: is this all worth selling out? Don says all the money in the world cannot buy my natural beauty. Maybe he’s right, don’t know, but at least he’s making a point.
You’re allowing being photographed for him but also for yourself. Because a good picture will always please you! Women like to think they’re beautiful. Knowing they’re admired. That they can hide age under the dye in their hair. Even that some photo edits will make tiny time traces go away.
As long as these photos remained only for his eyes, everything was alright with me. But then, same as the artist is creating a work to be admired, same as the painter is opening exhibitions, the writer launching his book, the director releasing his movie at the theater, the same way my photographer felt the desire to jump out of our improvised studio’s anonymity. And he stepped up to the world, to my desperation.
Now, when I pose, conscious that other people can watch the pictures, I don’t just accept any kind of position anymore. I don’t manifest the same indifference about what I show and how do I look. More than once I felt a blitz in my heart, realizing that someone else saw a photo of me sitting in a position that was meant to remain intimate between me and my husband. And if the logic succession should be… but I got used, or I began liking it, or I just cannot care less… unfortunately this is not the case.
In this world where many women are posing, some for money, some searching for a mate, some for proving something to themselves, one model plus or minus makes no difference.
I’m told that I’m pleased to pose. Probably this is true, yet I have to realize it. The intimacy with the photographer, knowing the fact that only he is watching me in those moments, that I am posing just for him, all these are a great help in staying natural, lovingly and sometimes exquisite in my photos.