The question at the Ten Thousand Questions blog today asks about your attitude toward being photographed. Funny they should ask that today, because this weekend I was photographed in a rather unusual way.
To clarify: it wasn't an unusual way for a photographer to take a picture; it was an unusual way for me to have my picture taken. You see, my darling sister is taking a photography class, and I was visiting her this weekend.
"Can I take photos of you?" she asked me.
"Sure!" I said.
At which point she added, "--naked?"
As it turned out, "naked" meant 'shirtless but covered with a shawl.' So it wasn't the scandal she initially phrased it as. My innocent little sister, talking about naked photos and asking her subject if she was ready to strip...
We were in the studio at 10pm on a Saturday, after watching an artsy and quite lovely show on campus ("Dead Man's Cellphone"). The little college was quiet, and the first door we tried for the arts building was locked. When we did get inside, S. flicked on lights as we walked between walls covered in photographs, paintings, prints. In the studio, she turned on the lamps like giant flowers, unrolled a black backdrop, attached the camera to the tripod. Shirt off, scarf on; door latched, overhead lights off. It was cold, the air on my bare back. The black scarf was softer than I expected, and it draped nicely. I couldn't see too clearly with my glasses off, and perhaps oddly, this half-blindness made me feel more naked than my half-dressedness.
So I clutched the scarf, and peered around, watching my sister fiddle with the camera, and not quite being able to see what she was doing. Click, click, click. "Turn... Can you... Oh, right there." Click. Click. The studio and the set-up were foreign, but my sister with a camera? Entirely familiar. So, shirtless and scarf-wrapped, a camera capturing my naked back, in the winter studio, I was still at home. S. was taking pictures, and I was just the subject. The photographs would not be about me, but about the pictures they portrayed.