I now know I have a dirty mind. Sure, I’d like to think it is no more than an average male’s imagination, but after recent events, I can say with confidence that even my passing thoughts could make a sailor blush. My perception has shifted, almost like a lens that is changing focus, and if there is one thing that I can speak about with confidence it’s that perception is indeed everything. It can change the simplest meanings of the most simple things. Red becomes crimson. Sweat becomes tears. Or sex becomes incest.
Maybe a more accurate term would be filthy mind? It’s all just semantics, really. Just one point of view much like that of a photograph, which is appropriate really, for that is indeed my profession. Though it wasn’t until recently that this darker side, this id as Freud would call it, started seeping into my work, subconsciously controlling what I shot and how it was viewed. What’s really funny is that the origins of this dark journey were so innocent too.
You see, photography for me was really a hobby that turned into something greater. A camera was a part of our lives growing up for my family. We had more photo albums lying around the house than books. Every single major life event, and even the minor ones, had visual documentation to mark its importance. Everything from my sister’s first steps to my graduation, Birthdays, Holidays, and Family Vacations sealed in cellophane in binders on shelves. My Dad was always the one behind the lens, snapping away any chance he got. Sometimes I think he missed the experience of these moments viewing it all through a lens instead of with his own eyes. Don’t get me wrong, he was incredibly talented, but it’s funny thinking back because most of my childhood memories of my father include the sound of something clicking and flashes of light.
Regardless of what apprehension that may imply, photography was ingrained in my day-to-day and became part of my life. I guess I inherited my father’s eye, because the moment I laid hands on a camera, I was a natural. Lighting, framing, everything was all second nature. So much so that when I got my first SLR at the age of 16, I stayed up all night memorizing the manual. ISOs, F-Stops, Shutter Speeds, it all made perfect sense to me. So, naturally, this became my calling. Even when the world turned digital, I evolved right alongside, though my passion stayed with film.
As the years rolled on, I graduated college with a degree in photography and instantly started selling my services freelance. It wasn’t easy at first, but I had a great head start thanks to a couple of my projects in senior year being published in a several local, and one national magazine. And with that, I moved out of my parent’s house just outside of San Francisco and moved into the City. Fortune kept rolling my way and I had a great flat large enough to double as a studio and home. So, as you can tell, it appeared I had all my ducks in a row, but of course, every now and again things can throw you off course.
Every Sunday was Family Dinner night. It was something that we have maintained in my family for years now. The four of us were there, scrambling to set the table and pleasant chit-chat carried from one person to another. I was pouring the wine while joking with Dad about my recent photo shoot when I overheard my mother.
“Have you told your brother yet?” she asked Kelly as she set down the pasta.
“Mm-Mmm.” Kelly shook her head looking at me.
“One sec Pops.” I turned to my sister. “What’s up?”
She rolled her eyes as we she took our seats. “Well, I was going to wait until after dinner so thanks Mom. Kinda’ let the cat out of the bag there.”
“What’s going on?” I asked again.
“Your sister had a little bit of an opportunity,” said my dad as he began to serve himself.
“Let her tell him, Charles.” My mother took a sip of her wine as she settled in.
Kelly took a big breath and turned to me. “You know how I have been dabbling in designing clothes? Well, I’ve been having a great time at it and I’ve been getting some great feedback. It’s kinda like you and photography; I’m a natural. I’ve got a great eye for style while keeping it flirty and kinda fun; especially for women with bodies like Mom and me.”
“Something for girls with curves,” Pops chuckled as he raised his glass.
“Charles!” Mom smacked him with her napkin causing Dad to flinch.
Regardless of how it was taken, Dad’s comment was pretty spot on. I hadn’t really studied their figures before, at least not on purpose, but both my mother and sister were shapely gals. They were in no way what you would consider thick, thanks to yoga, but both have curves where men like to look. Some credit due to their regimen and some to genes.
“So anyway, like I was saying, I’ve been really diving in deep on this, and last week one of my professors passed on a few photos of my work to a contact of hers and they loved it! They asked to see more and I want to really blow them away.”
“Holy crap, Kelly! That’s awesome!”
“I know, right!” She was ecstatic. Her green eyes sparkled as her grin stretched across her face. “Right now, they’ve only seen a couple of my pieces. A summer dress, a couple tops and shorts, and a swim suit. What I want to do next is show off what I can really do and step it up a notch both in style and presentation. Soooo… Jason.” She started to push her silverware around her plate. “I was wondering…”
“You want me to be your photographer, don’t you?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll totally pay you. It would mean a lot to me and you are the best photographer I know.”
“Sis, don’t worry about it. We’re family; I got your back.” I laughed. “So what you thinking? Day shoot, night shoot, studio?”
“You know I was thinking something like at the beach. I figured it’d be the best way to show off a spring and summer look. It’s just an idea.”
“No, I like it.” I smiled. “Have you thought about models yet?”
Her eyes went wide. “Oh shit, no I forgot.” Her eyes went wider as she covered her mouth. “Sorry Mom! I keep swearing around you.”
Mom waved it off. “Honey, I keep telling you; you’re twenty-one. You’re an adult.”
“I know. It’s still weird.”
“When did you want to do it?” I asked, straining to get back to the topic.
“What?” Kelly turned to me. “Oh, I was hoping by the end of next week. I don’t want the offer to grow too cold, you know?”
“Gotcha,” I said, deep in thought. “I don’t know who I can grab with that kind of notice. How many girls do you need?”
“Just one. I want to keep it simple.”
“What about you?” Dad asked Kelly. “It’s your line. You’re a pretty girl. Couldn’t you do it?”
“Personally I don’t have any issue doing it. Hell I wear the clothes anyway but isn’t that a little tacky to showcase your own line like that?” asked Kelly.