a.k.a. Behind the Scenes and Outtakes!
Both of my shoots (photo and video) for Swimsuit Season were long and involved. I must have shot almost a hundred test shots for the photoshoot before I was even ready to begin the shoot proper. Things like testing different angles, changing the mirror placement, setting up the curtain, and picking an outfit for pre- and post-fitting. And that's after I moved half the stuff out of my closet and that corner of the room, in order to get a clean shot!
I thought the video shoot (which I did on a different day) would go faster, since I could just shoot each take and not have to obsess over every little detail, but I clearly underestimated my perfectionism. Still, I couldn't work on it forever, so I had to settle for what I could get in a reasonable amount of time. Choreographing the pink outfit was the worst. I had this brilliant/terrible idea to untie the strings at the end (because what's the fun of a string bikini if not the suggestion that just a little tug can undo all your efforts at maintaining that last shred of modesty?).
Great for the viewer, but a nightmare to pull off. The strings didn't always cooperate, and I didn't want to look like a dork tugging at them in vain. Plus I had to retie them after every take (and the way my anatomy is makes it extra difficult - I usually leave them tied and just slip them on and off). And, naturally, this had to occur at the end of the take, so I wouldn't know if it was a wash until I'd done everything else in the take first...
Anyway, this is one of my test shots, with me standing in place to get a feel for the angle of the light and the framing (plus the position of the mirror - behind me, which obviously didn't work out). The starkness of my nudity (which is my usual household attire, whenever possible and practical), especially in contrast to the clothing I'd be wearing for the shoot, stood out to me in this shot. Call me crazy, but it still gets to me, after all these years.
Without so much as a hint of clothing (if you can forgive my corrective lenses :p), it's just so raw. I love it. Of course, it helps that I've cultivated a rather attractive appearance, if I may say so. I don't mean to contribute to anyone's anxiety about how their bodies look, but I just can't deny the sensational effect that a fit and trim body has on my aesthetic sensibilities. The truth about beauty and all that.
And here I am modeling the "proper" way to wear a grass skirt - sans any undergarments. I hope that's not offensive to any tribal/tropical cultures - I say this only in jest, as a play on the common trope of wearing Scottish kilts and Japanese kimonos "commando" style, coupled with the suggestive implication that grass skirts are far less opaque a covering. Sadly, many cultures take offense to anything that could be construed as "sexualization" (and even nonsexual nudity is often dragged in to this), considering it disrespectful - as most cultures, and particularly the religions they're influenced by, include many sex-negative doctrines.
Well, I simply don't feel that way. Adding an element of eroticism to anything is a celebration of life - literally, a celebration of the fundamental process that has the power to create life. And even if that is not the goal of any particular act of eroticism (as for many of them it's not), it's still a celebration of pleasure - i.e., feeling good. I don't care how sadistic your god is, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I had considered including a hula outfit in my bikini fashion shoot, but I don't have any coconut tops to pair it with, and I actually forgot about it until the end, at which point I was exhausted and eager to finish up the shoot already.
Out of all the outfits I put together for the shoot, something about the flag bikini just happened to get me excited. It's not necessarily my favorite swimsuit, or even the sexiest (although there's not one in the group that I don't like, or think is sexy). It could just have been a matter of timing, or the fact that, out of the whole group, that outfit involved the most undressing (which, sue me, is a titillatingly suggestive action); or, you know, it could just have been the pressure of the shorts and the friction caused by peeling them off over the course of several takes. I would have expected to have gotten this excited over the pink string bikini (which would have been problematic, given how precarious it holds together as is), but the frustration I was feeling at trying to get the strings to behave precluded that for sure.