Thursday, March 8, 2012

23 of 30: Modeling - My Failed Attempt to be ANTM

Let me just say off the bat that I have a new found respect for models.
I used to think they all had it easy, posing and being pretty all the time and getting paid loads of money for it. But man, because of my little stint – I realized there’s a lot more to it than that.

But then again, I don’t have a model’s face or figure… So those skinny mini’s still have that advantage.

OK. Let’s backtrack a little.

I asked a friend of mine, B, who is starting out as a photographer if she could take some nice professional photos of me. I get em cheap, and she gets to build her portfolio. Win-win.

I’ve always wanted my photo taken, basically topless with my hair covering my breasts. I dunno… it’s my long hair. I always thought it would be kinda cute and fun to do something like that… Kind of a tease? Sexy – but tasteful?
But the problem is that I can’t do serious sexy. I can do funny sexy, and maybe even cute sexy… but not serious sultry sexy. Does that make sense?

Anyway, the plan and logistics all worked out. I had my make up done at the MAC cosmetics counter (if you purchase 50 dollars worth of make up, you get the makeover for free) and did my hair myself. I curled it for more volume, and, er, “coverage”.

B doesn’t have a studio of her own yet so we had to improvise. My old neighbor’s apartment is still vacant (he just moved out) and I have his spare key (I’m not a stalker. We’re actually friends). The size is perfect, it’s empty, and when I asked my landlord’s permission to use it, he gave me his blessing. PERFECT!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about it at first. I wanted the photos to turn out well, but like I said – I don’t have a model’s chiseled features, nor do I have a slim hard rock body.  I can be photogenic, but only in the right angles. My profile is horrible, and I cannot – by the hammer of Thor – smile properly without showing my teeth… all of them! Oh – and did I mention this was a topless shoot? Gaaaah!

I had one of those skintone nipple cover things that made it look like I didn’t have an arreola, so THAT took the edge off at least. And B is a friend and I was comfortable around her--- which was good too!
I gotta hand it to her… she was really good at making me feel at ease. We had some music, she showed no amount of bashfulness when I emerged from the bathroom topless and hairy, and she occasionally yelled out encouraging words like – “That’s nice!” or “Hahaha!”

After the first 20 minutes, the nerves have subsided and I was fine. But as I had predicted, I had SUCH a difficult time doing a sexy smile. I just couldn’t do it. WHY would anyone want to smile without showing teeth anyway???
I think out of 20 shots, I’d managed ONE smile that didn’t look constipated. And I DON’T even want to discuss the difficulties in angling myself, arching my body so as not to show any belly, rib or back fat in the photos. It was a lost cause. I had to rely heavily on B’s photoshopping skills.

We shot for about 2 hours, and all in all, I have to say I had a fantastic time! Don’t mind the bitching and moaning above… That’s just me being a girl. We’ve all got our insecurities, right?
B made it fun… we were basically cracking up the whole time. My face is really elastic and I unknowingly make really weird (and apparently funny) expressions on my face, and I think it had B in stitches.
All the LOL’s eased my tension and we just ended up having a blast! It was so much fun! Difficult, exhausting, but fun! :)

After we finished packing up, she said she’d like to do it again with me for free. She knew I had a trip coming up, and she said if I wanted to, we could shoot again no charge. I didn’t even think twice – heck yeah I’ll do it again! Why not? I was actually touched, even flattered! Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought! Maybe she had so much fun with me, she just wanted to put more photos of me in her portfolio!

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Last night, she sent me some sample photos from the shoot.

OH. EM. Gee.

I was mortified!

I thought I looked HORRIBLE!

And this isn’t a criticism to B’s photography skills --- it’s my FACE! Just as I had suspected! It’s the smiling without teeth thing! Or even the funny faces I made. I thought they’d come out cute – but they literally did come out FUNNY! As in pointing straight at you, laughing my ass off FUNNY! AND – I looked like a freaking AMAZON! I had no idea I was (or am) that HUGE! Seriously! I look in the mirror and I think – yeah, I’m buff… But not AMAZONIAN!

And then it all made sense! This is why she wanted a re-shoot! She was doing it for my benefit! She didn’t want me to come out of the whole experience empty handed… Aww, B, Bless your heart!

Oh well… It wasn’t all bad though. I DID manage to pull off a few nice shots. And those are the only ones I’m sharing here. These, are pretty decent… Cute even! At least I think so!! :)

YES. Pulled a no-teeth smile one off!
Then it turned into this.

No Teeth Again! YAY!
I was trying to be cheeky, not petrified. Sigh.

This one might be my fave -- but my no teeth thing needs a lotta work!

I’m looking forward to the reshoot. I’m definitely gonna bring my A game next time! Oh, and I’ll be bringing a big mirror! That way I can see my face when I do my poses, to make sure I don’t look as constipated as I did the last time. 

I don’t think I’ll ever be in the running for America’s Next Top Model, unfortunately. I’m in a weird awkward position between an average built and a plus size, and I don’t think they’re in the market for laxative ads much these days…

But the next time I come across a skinny latte model, instead of rolling my eyes out of spite, I will run up to them and give them a round of applause and say “You… It’s YOU already… Brava…”