roof tops, Louis CK, and dilemmas.

I love days like this… I covered a lot of ground in one day. Story time!  After doing a quick head shot of my aunt & uncle for a movie project, I went to the gun range for a little target practice.

Before....

....after

Shooting is an interesting exercise. Accuracy comes from mastering a few fundamentals that I’m just barely getting to know. A huge part of the problem with shooting a gun like my .45, is that it has a lot of recoil and it’s very loud. It’s easy to be scared of it and to flinch just a split second before you anticipate the firing pin falling on the bullet. Breathing in deeply, then exhaling while slowly pulling the trigger back is the method – the key is to focus on the exhale and to almost ignore the gun. Stay on target, but try to focus on the exhale and let the discharge of the gun be a surprise.  AND – stay on target. It’s all about smooth technique, consciously ignoring the “danger”, and steady follow through. Something tells me there is an important life metaphor in there somewhere.

After shooting enough rounds to make my hands tired, I stopped by the mall to pick up a few things.  I need a new black skirt forno-pants-weekends, and I’m curious if there are any good hosiery finds to be had.  I have been invited to the birthday party of one of my clients. The party is on the roof of the American Towers, and I know there’s a hot tub / pool up there.  In the party invite, she mentions to bring a lawn chair and a bathing suit. I’m torn – I would love to hit the water with all of these beautiful girls that will inevitably be there… but I also want to dress up for the evening.  After all, it’s Thursday and Metro is my jam on thurs night. And I almost never wear pants there.  I decide to buck the dress code and rock heels, pantyhose and some super short shorts with a white linen shirt. It works okay, I believe.  I find what I’m looking for at H&M, including some 10 Denier semi-shiny tights.

They are only $5, so even if they aren’t good – it’s little money wasted.  AND, it’s a new style to review for www.hosieryreview.net, so I score a pair.  (sadly, they developed a big hole in them the second I put them on later in the evening).

Several weeks ago, I got a new client, Naartjie Kids.  They are a clothing line with stores all around the world.  They hired me to shoot their Fall Transitions catalog photos.  I was super nervous: This is the first time I have worked with Naartjie. This shoot had a lot of firsts for me, actually.  First time hiring an assistant, first time using a huge 6′ x 8′ scrim, first time working in a catalog shoot setting.  I was so nervous about the shoot, that I only slept for 1 hour the night before the shoot.  Though it did go very well, there were some imperfections in the shoot.  I don’t know how visible they were to the client, but I was painfully aware of them.  While I was at the mall, I walked past the Naartjie Kids store. I look in the window, and there it is:

One of my photos!  BLOWN UP HUGE!   I’ve had my work printed on billboards before, in national publications – but the satisfaction of seeing your work at work in a store window never gets old.  I went in and chatted with the ladies in the store, and they all had glowing things to say about the shoot.

I.

WAS.

RELIEVED.

Of course, this does not mean I’ll be getting hired to shoot for them again, but at least the images look decent.  Check out the images that they used on the website here: http://www.paulduanephoto.com/2012/06/naartjie-kids-fall-transitions-shoot/

And here’s a video of the shoot. You see me in a few places:

 

Next on the agenda: Charlynn’s birthday party. Charlynn is a recent boudoir client. She was *fantastic* to shoot.  We had loads of fun, and she was so easy on the camera.

 

She was not shy – by the end of the night, I had seen, and photographed, every last centimeter of her body.  The images were for her fiance, Hunter.  Upon arriving at the party, I made the rounds and met some new people. I met Hunter. He continued to introduce me to people as the one that did the boudoir photos of his fiance. And you know what? Somehow, it was not the least bit awkward.  None of that “Uhmmm… yeah, you’ve seen my fiance very, very naked…”   Maybe a man in a skirt, heels, and pantyhose is somehow less threatening. Who knows.  I was pleased to discover that I did not even HAVE this thought until after I left the party.

Hell, for that matter – another guy at the party was trying to talk his girlfriend into posing nude for me. Like, really, really lobbying hard for her to do it.  “Fine – you pay him, and I’ll go in and do a nude shoot”, she eventually acquiesced.

I love my job.

But really, the best part of all this, is that Charlynn has become more than a customer – she is an awesome friend. I’m sure there will be more fun parties to come this summer.

After leaving the roof top party, I went to Metro. It’s business as usual there -  gay people, straight people, in between people, and everyone is having a great time together.  At one point, a guy comes up to me that I’m fairly well acquainted with. We’ll call him Bill. Whenever I run into him, he’s with another friend of mine, who’ll we’ll call Sue. They seemed to be dating, so I kept my advances on Sue to a minimum.  Tonight he was with a different girl. We’ll call her Lucy.  He introduces me to her, mentions that I do photography, and then she asks the question I hate most:  “What kind of camera do you have?”  Usually, the people that ask this are the hack “photographers” that still think that gear is more important than vision.  I roll my eyes and start giving her shit for even asking me that question.  Soon this gives way to some other chat. I try to add her on Facebook right in front of this guy she’s seeing.  My phone’s internet is slow, and she drops an obscure line from Louis C.K. about getting impatient with technology:

Immediately we launch into a volley of Louis C.K. fan – geek banter.  This girl is FUN!  Photography, comedy… yeah!  Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that I’m super attracted to her. She’s beautiful.  Anyway, we keep going on about different Louis C.K. bits, laughing and raving over it all.  At one point, Bill says, “Geez, maybe I should leave you two alone!”   I’m thinking this is a fabulous idea. There is obvious chemistry going on here.

I bump into them again at one point. I’ll spare you the details, but essentially, he pulled me aside and fed me a bunch of compliments, and said a few things that made it feel like he was asking – almost pleading – that I don’t pursue his girl.  He never came out and said it explicitly, but it just felt like that’s what he was getting at.   I’ve never had a guy do that before. I’ve had guys stalk me, physically threaten me, etc, for taking their girlfriend away, but this was different.  I have mixed feelings about it. I feel bad for him.   Things got even worse / (better, haha) when I find out that she is a drummer, and LOVES the band RUSH! And she loves Porcupine Tree. And Puscifer.  Good lord.  A girl that I’m super attracted to, that loves photography, comedy, and has the same favorite bands as I do.   OH, and she commented on my outfit and how sexy it was.  I meet a lot of hot girls every week, but beauty alone doesn’t phase me.  It’s all this fun talk that’s got me going.

Bill, I don’t know how to say this, but… dammit dude. I can’t promise that I’m not going to act on my attraction.  It’s nothing personal. I really like you. The thing is, I tend to go for what I want, and this probably won’t be an exception.

Lucy – now you’ve read about my publicly declared crush: Yes. I am totally crushing on you, but don’t take it too personally.  First things first – coffee.  I need to know that you aren’t a crazy psycho disguised as a really cool girl before we spend much time together.  ;-)

If we go out for coffee some time, I think the chances of us having a fantastic time are very good.

And if we don’t go for coffee – my world will keep turning, undisturbed.

But I hope that we do.

But if we don’t it’s okay.

But it would be awesome.

But if not – it was fun meeting you that once.

But if we do, I’ll be kind of stoked.

I’m not gonna lie.

But really, it’s okay if we don’t.

….soooo are you free on Monday night?

 

 

 

 

Paul Duane

Paul Duane is a photographer, writer, and talk show host based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2 Comments

  1. Paul, it was a pleasure!  I’m so happy that….
    1.  I met you
    2.  I got naked
    3.  we are friends
    4.  you came to the party!
     
    You are seriously one of the coolest cats I know and I’m looking forward to spending time with you again soon!  Thanks for everything….and you looked (almost) hotter than me on that rooftop.  
     
    XOXO – Charlynn

    •  @CharlynnHamaker The feeling is mutual on all counts :-)  You are good people, Char. I do believe summer 2012 is going to be awesome. 

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