I Am Not a Kid!!! And the Fall of a Mentor...

I should be working and prepping for the photo shoot I have this afternoon… But I am not. I am having arguments with myself in the shower that I win. I am fighting mad and on the verge of tears for the last solid 24 hours for numerous reasons and I am honestly fed the F*** up with it!

(Climbs atop soapbox the size of Nevada, drops repelling gear at my feet, puts on a skull emblazoned tee shirt, swipes pink hair dye in her hair, puts on heavy eyeliner and red lipstick, lights a cigarette and cracks open a huge can of Monster- slurping a mouthful back hard before grabbing her rhinestone encrusted microphone)

Number one- first and foremost. I am an adult. I am a 35 year old woman who has been standing on her own two feet since the age of 19. Were bad choices made? Of course! It’s called life, people. I also call that my first marriage- it last 6.5 years. However. I have grown and learned from that major mistake to become what I am today. I am a creative person! I am an artist, a photographer, a writer. I am the wife of over 7 years to the most wonderful man. Loving and proud sister to my brother. Aunt to my two gorgeous nephews. Loving daughter of the most wonderful- inspiring parents. I AM A DAMN ADULT!!! Why, why is so hard for people I do not know, some that I consider even keel and amazing fellow professional photographers… Why, all of a sudden are they treating me like a child that is stumbling about aimlessly thru life with no grasp of reality and things associated with that? “ … I hope you didn’t ask so-and-so to be a model for (insert photo event name here)…” “Why? Whom said something ill of so-and-so? I need more to go on then heresay and cryptic messages before I am even out of bed in the morning. Why not? Explain this statement to me…” **user is offline. They will see your message once they log on again** THAT’S super professional!!!

I understand I am new school photographer. Most of the people I work with are still old school. They want their models bare skin to be free and empty and easy to photo shop. No piercings, no ink… nothing! Well- newsflash!!! (imagine a hundred bright popping and sparkling flashbulbs) That isn’t it anymore! That isn’t your “film days, no computer, no digital photo shop or photography” norm anymore!!! Wake up!!! Appreciate the art of a models tattoos!!! See the beauty in this piercing or that piercing. Don’t piss and moan because it’s hard to completely edit out her chest piece!!! Women today are loud, proud, and know when to drop an F bomb to get the point across. I, myself, am an avid curse work enthusiast!!! I also get irate when after doing what I do for over a year now as far as model search wise- people are “attempting” to reign me in and tell me what I can and cannot do by way of childish, cryptic messages that don’t ACTUALLY tell me the issue!! We’re adults, act like one!!! Do not involve me in some pissed of eight year “You broke my GI Joe and I’m still pissed!!” game!!

Yet- I am being treated like the child. That was a theme yesterday. At work- my head boss guy repeatedly told me only what he thought I was doing wrong- not giving me props on things I did right, or quickly, or dealing with a difficult customer with a smile plastered to my face when I would rather throat punch them, or even a simple “good job on signing people up for blah-de-blah…” no. Instead I got scolded and seriously told “Get your hair out of your eyes- you’d work faster and more efficiently…” But- that is the standard of the person this all came from. You never actually do anything right or good in his eyes- it’s more fun for him to demean you, treat you like a child, and smirk as he walks away from yelling at you for changing the rules on you. Whatever. Do what ya gotta do to earn money. Someday he will retire and everyone in the store will be happy.

But… Am I a child? I drink a lot of Monster (where my elders drink coffee); I despise milk in my cereal- I eat it dry or mixed into yogurt; I listen to Fallout Boy and Jason Derulo and Meaghan Trainor- not Barry Manilow and Lawrence Welk; I like dying parts of my hair pink because it makes me feel like me and more creative; I wear sweatshirts covered in tattoo-like-art because I like it! If I wanted your respect, I’d show you why I deserve it! I will show you how hard and dedicated I am to my craft(s). I wouldn’t ask for it- I would F***ing earn it! Don’t treat me like a damn kid because you learned to shoot on a film camera and have degrees out the poopchute!!! I bought a camera, learned how to use it- no degree necessary and I take amazing pictures that I am not afraid to show the model/client still in the camera!! Untouched!!! Dear gawd!!! (the crowd gasps for air) WITHOUT PHOTO SHOPS’ BRIGHT AN SHINY BLESSSINGS!!!

Treat me like the adult I am or GTFO of my life!!! 
(Drops microphone and stomps away, chugging a Monster inhuman speed)

No- wait! I’m not done yet… (Picks microphone back up and collects her thoughts before speaking again)… 

Yesterday I was thrust into the harsh reality of what happens when a mentor falls from grace. When someone I looked up to, considered an amazing teacher and friend falls hard from his own bad choices. I know both parties involved in the legal proceedings and have conflicting emotions because of that- however- this does actually tie in the with treating me like an adult rant.
When a woman says no… IT MEANS NO. It doesn’t mean, maybe. It doesn’t me “eh… she asked for it, she’s a model”. It doesn’t mean turning on your selective listening and ignoring the situation at hand to get what you want. IT. MEANS. NO!!! There are a lot of rumors spinning. There is a lot of he said/she said/ the court demanded talk- none of which I will go into deeply as I am not party to this case or incident. I only know what he said happened, what she said happened, and in the long run- what the court decided.

Years and years ago I was  nude model. I liked it. I learned a lot form it. And I think that previous history has helped me immensely in my photography. I know how to pose and photograph the female form! And I know what makes that model comfortable with herself when posing nude. A photographer that I nude modeled for way back in my youth (and when I say youth- I was of legal 18 years old) and that I considered a good friend- has been ordered to stop being a photographer. To quit what has been his life’s desire because of a bad judgement call, and worse- unprofessional behavior. Do I know what happened for certain? No. I was not there. This photographer knows that I have been working with and photographing this particular model for a while now and felt the need to demean me, insult me, and tell me what trouble I face if I persue photographing her- “Because she’ll do it to you too!!” Um… no. No she won’t. Because I will not do, what you “did” in any way, shape, or form!!! I am a professional, I know what I am doing, and do not insult my intelligence by treating me like a clueless little twerp with a point and shoot camera fetish!!! I have signed paperwork from that model. I have a personal friendship with that model and her awesome boyfriend (whom wasn’t there when the incident in question happened)- as I do with all my “girls”.

I have their backs! I am the “rented pitbull” for them if they want someone to go on shoots with them. I do research and feel out the other cameraperson in the room and when I feel things are fishy- I make sure they don’t work with that person alone! More than that- I become great close friends with my models. I love them all like sisters… And this coming from a person that never had female friends in school- is a huge fucking deal!! I love them! I will stand up for them! And I will throat punch any asshole photographer that thinks they can push the envelope or situation during a shoot to get their rocks off!!! I am a model mommy- actually paid to perform that job. So if you screw with my girls- I break your face!!!

I understand that he was upset, he’d just left the court and no doubt was still hashing out everything in his head. Emotions were running high. I was already having a bad day at work. I was being professional friendly to him when he came through my check-out lane. I’m not an idiot- I knew he had court that day. My friend told me. What didn’t need to happen was him insulting me. Telling me that I am doing everything wrong, that the same will happen to me! He didn’t need to make me question myself and my choices!!! It’s hard seeing someone you considered a friend and mentor go through this.

Call it “gender identification”, whatever you want to…. But I believe her! I refuse to go into why, just know that I trust her. Believe her. I have my reasons. I didn’t need this to happen in my place off work. I was shaken up, upset, and wanted nothing more than to curl up in my Hubby’s arms and cry! But I couldn’t. I had no coverage to get off the sales floor and gather my shit- I had to press through it and do my job. Rattled to the core as I was. Even if emotions are running at full tilt- you do not unload on someone when they are punched in. You call them, leave a message- “Hey, we need to talk. Call me ASAP.” Professionalism was damned for sure yesterday…

(Takes deep breath, puffs out cheeks and exhales… Places microphone back where she found it. Puts repelling gear back on and climbs down of gigantic soapbox…)

So now…. I think I am done. I have vented, ranted, and gotten shit out of my system and off my chest. It’s time for me to finish cooking dog chicken, put laundry away, and prep my camera gear for my awesome photo shoot later this afternoon. Plus- I am now out of Monster and need to make some coffee. Ya know.... Grown up stuff...

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