If you're anything like me,
you've totally watched the first 11 seasons of America's Next Top Model. I personally stopped watching because it got a little bit tired, and I read some BTS tell all info about the show not being the most accepting of trans women, and that alone is enough to make me hit pause on my love of anything or anyone.
That being said, ANTM is kind of invaluable in helping clients understand how a shoot should be going. I am not the kind of photographer that wants to do posed shoots. My husband is the photographer for you when it comes to senior shoots, family shoots, and headshots. I want to do portraits that look more like fantastical modeling. Give me an interesting concept and I'm all over it. That can make shooting with me a little hard when you're not an actual model, which 99.9999% of us are not. Glam and gorg? Absolutely! But being good looking doesn't mean you're able to pull off modeling. That's what I'm for! To help my clients do that, because that's the look I'm going for and I presume that's the look they want. Why else would you book someone who does zero shoots where people are smiling directly at the camera and posing in an obvious way? I would hope that you wouldn't.
I ask clients all the time if they're familiar with ANTM, so I can say things like, ok, just keep yourself busy with micro movements. Strike a pose, hold for five, strike another pose, hold for five. Keep moving until I tell you to hold it, then we're in business, and we start the process all over again. I haven't had many clients that didn't catch at least a few episodes of ANTM, enough to get the gist of what I was trying to explain to them.
Kaylee knew ANTM, and she was all in on working that tail within an inch of all of our lives. I asked Kaylee what kind of vibe she was going for...did she want to do something "typically" mermaid? Was she after something soft and luscious and overtly feminine, or was she feeling a bit andro? Was she feeling some masculine ferocity, some fluid bad assedness, or some feminine boss bitch realness? She said she wanted to have a wide range, so we played around with presentation.
You know. As much as you can when your legs are bundled up in a skin tight tail and you can reall yonly work with your arms, torso, and face.
We reached a moment where I asked Kaylee to give me a siren yell. To scream with her face. I didn't expect her to actually scream, but when she asked if she could, I absolutely told her to go in hard as she could. So she let loose. We have a bunch of photos where she is UNLEASHING and they look fantastic.
Hadley had taken a behind the scenes shot f me coaching Kaylee, where my arm is up in the air, I'm squatting down in the weirdest position, my fingers are curled, and my face is mid-snarl while Kaylee mimcs and looks INCREDIBLE. It's a really fun shot, and it makes me sad that there aren't more behind the scenes photos of me coaching my merclients, because I get really into what I do.
Kaylee was an absolute dream to work with (everyone thus far has been, honestly. How have I gotten so lucky??). She was a great cheerleader as she waited her turn, boosing Hadley up the way all women should support each other, she was quick to change it up and take heed when I gave her a note or direction, and she was totally willing to wave and indulge the kiddos when the crowd showed up at about 8:30. I LOVE when there are kids around and we're doing mermaid shoots, because kids lose their shit every single time they see a mermaid. It is absolutely magical to see how excited they get, and it's even better when clients engage that excitedness. Kaylee waved and smiled and hammed it up for a few minutes until I told her we were set to wrap, and that was it. That finished out our busy weekend of shooting six mermaids, changing locations, dealing with massive crowds, and grappling with weather.
We have another busy weekend coming up, with four mershoots (even one on my birthday, which is next Sunday!), and then we have a mershoot the week after that, and I'm hoping to squeeze in another couple of shoots before we leave island sometime in the next four to five weeks (who even knows, with army?).
Our days here are running so low, so fast, but I am so pleased that I get to wrap up our time on island doing exactly what I love with extremely wonderful people.