A Photographer Friend Of Mine Essay

A Photographer Friend Of Mine Essay

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When I was 20-years-old, I posed nude for a photographer friend of mine. He needed a model for an assignment in his advanced photography class. It was an assignment in working outside your comfort zone and they were required to shoot a nude model. My boyfriend at the time and I were best friends with the photographer and his girlfriend. The photographer felt too uncomfortable to ask me and so his girlfriend was the one that texted me asking if I would do it. She was nervous about him using a model (they’d had trust issues for a long time and their relationship had dwindled over the last 4 years). She knew that he was already familiar with me and said that she would feel more comfortable if she knew the model he would be shooting. I immediately said yes. I had always wanted to do a nude shoot or pose for an art class. I was very comfortable with my body at that time. My boyfriend and I had had sex together for the first time only a month ago and I feeling extra sexy and wanted to express it.
Both the photographer and his girlfriend were privy to the fact that it took me 10 months to finally sleep with my boyfriend. I had an extreme fear of pregnancy and had always felt a lot of guilt about sex. It took a very long time to get over this fear and stigma. For those 10 months, I was treated as the token “virgin” in our group conversations. We would play Cards Against Humanity and they would make little quips here and there about sex and try to make me feel uncomfortable. I wasn’t uncomfortable with sex. I just hadn’t “truly” experienced it yet and was therefore not included. I felt like I had something to prove by doing this photoshoot. By shooting for the photographer (whose approval I always felt I needed to receive) I wanted to sho...

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...s seemed accentuated and I looked tired. I looked very tired. This was not me. This was what he thought of me. I kept the files on my computer for a year before throwing them out.
It was awful.
Everything seemed to go downhill after the shoot. The photographer’s girlfriend broke up with him the week before Christmas that year and my boyfriend and I had to navigate our relationship with them. Four months later, I broke up with my boyfriend the night of the photographer’s birthday party. It seemed oddly symbolic. I got to screw the photographer over too by having my boyfriend call him extremely early the next morning to tell him what happened.
That photo-shoot was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life. It made me realize that you can’t trust others to see you as you see you. You are not their perceptions. Fuck em if they ever think you are less than you are.

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