Other than doing the Back to School fashion show when I was 17 years old, I never pictured myself as being able to model. I remember when I first moved to California and I wasn't yet working. I had never been happy with a single photo of myself and I couldn't ever figure out why that was. I joined Myspace after watching a tv show with Leo Laporte on it, talking about the new website that was slowly growing. They had somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 users at the time and talked about how they expected it to be an up and coming website; the next Youtube. They talked about Friendster as well, but by far Myspace had better reviews. I decided to join the site and see what happened. I didn't have any friends in California yet and didn't really know how to go out and meet new people in a strange state with a thick southern accent. Myspace seemed to be the answer I was looking for.
I hadn't been on the site for very long with my horrible pictures when several photographers approached me on the site asking if I would model for them. Most of them scared the daylights out of me, but a couple of them seemed to be real people with real portfolios. I couldn't imagine why they would want to take pictures of me, but finally one day I accepted.
The photographer told me that I should do whatever it takes to make myself feel safe. He would travel to my location so that I would be at home and he would be out of his comfort zone. Since I lived really close to the beach he suggested bringing a swim suit. I refused and told him really all I wanted were decent pictures to put up on Myspace, so people would see me in better shots rather than the crap photos I had up at the time. We agreed, I picked out my best green shirt and newest jeans, and made an appointment for meeting at the beach near my place.
We spent the afternoon shooting photos in the sand and on the rock jetty near my new home and at the end of the day we got a lemonade at Hot Dog on a Stick on the Redondo Beach Pier - later on to be the location of several more photoshoots in my flash of a modeling career. I had so much fun on that photoshoot that I knew in my heart that it wouldn't be the last. We made a deal that he could use the photos in his portfolio and I could use them for any purpose but anything I would make money on. It seemed like a good deal to me. He said he would mail me a CD of the photos as soon as he downloaded them. That was that. He left and I went home.
This photo is the only photo I have remaining from that first shoot. What happened with the others, with that cd, I may never know.
I don't even remember the photographers name anymore, but I believe it may have been Christopher. I got a message from Christopher saying that he would like to hand me the cd personally and maybe take more photos, this time with a swim suit. Again, I refused. He emailed this and a couple of other photos to me to show me how they turned out, and I was overjoyed. I never had decent photos before. I asked him again to mail the cd and again he refused. He said that if I didn't want to do another photoshoot that was fine, he would just take me out to lunch. Again, I refused. Something didn't smell right to me.
Christopher kept insisting that he see me again. In prior conversations I had concluded that he lived more than an hours drive time away from me. Why then did he want so badly to hand me the cd personally if he told me that he would mail it in the first place? Why would he drive so far out of the way just to give me a cd? Having been through one kidnapping experience before, I was wary of anything fishy and very distrusting of strangers. Once more I refused. We severed contact at my insistence and I never saw the other photos from the shoot. As small as this photo is, it is the highest resolution of the photo I ever had.