Because sometimes the current one sucks
Watch This First
I was admittedly seething with anger as I drove home after this photoshoot. We were working in an area I’ve shot at dozens of times over the past 15 years without incident. The only problems we’ve ever encountered were mud and high water. But this time, a woman jogging nearby saw our model and assumed she was underage and possibly there against her will. So, she called the police. The police proceeded to claim that we were on private property (we weren’t) and double-check that the model was of legal age (she’s 21 if you’re wondering and I have the requisite proof of age).
Once I calmed down a bit, I had to consider that what happened was a direct result of a reality with which I’m not directly involved. In the runner’s reality, the age gap between myself and the model was suspicious. In the runner’s reality, the model couldn’t be more than 12-14 years old. In the runner’s reality, the model had to be in danger. Therefore, in the runner’s reality, it was her responsibility to call the police.
Our realities are not shared. In my reality, I was shooting with a friend, someone I’ve shot before, someone who was excited about what we were doing. In my reality, the age gap was never an issue because there was no intention other than getting the best photos we possibly could. In my reality, we were having fun. In my reality, we both spoke to the runner as she passed, a greeting that was friendly and not the least bit aggressive or creepy.
So, as I struggled with how to capture all the emotions I still feel in looking at these pictures, the idea of creating a separate reality, a reality void of any ill intent on anyone’s part, a reality of music and love and peace, seemed appropriate. The result is a unique set of images that are unlike any I’ve shot in that location.
I do lament the loss of shooting there again. Given that we were watched all the way back to our vehicles until we both left, I’m not inclined to ever return to that area for any reason. While the area is one of the most beautiful in town, I don’t need the potential harassment. This is the last set of images I’ll shoot along the White River.
And so we move on to a new reality, one created by new experiences and understanding. Whether it is better than the old reality remains to be seen.
Enjoy the photos.