Perfect model


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

I have a knack for sounding like Jethro’s third cousin while conducting interviews, which is the main reason you won’t be able to obtain a bootleg copy of “The CKS Files” on iTunes after I die. This is also why you’ll never be allowed to accompany me on a story — not as an assistant, not as a companion, not even as a designated driver after the inevitable drowning of sorrows in purely hypothetical Makers Mark.

I’m worse with portraits. I mumble obscure things about “testing the light,” mutter to myself about lenses and batteries, and give a pretty good demonstration of “This is Your Brain on Drugs.” Except my brain is in all likelihood drug-free. Which means I have approximately one molecule of seratonin left and you’re standing on it. Your best bet would be to nod, smile, and pray the pain ends quickly.

And it usually does. I don’t dig torture, and having to shoot portraits is a special form of misery reserved for the seventh circle of hell. Today’s images were made for a project I’m doing about architects. My subject was thankfully good-natured.

Real-life dialog:

Yeah, okay. Just a minute. We’ll get started soon. I’m looking for just the right thing. (Rummaging helplessly through my bag.)

Is the light okay?

Light? Um. Hmm. Yeah. Sure.

Are you sure? I can bring in some lamps.

Lamps? Oh. For light. Um. No, that’s okay. We’re good. 

Okay then. So where do you want me to stand?

Stand. Yeah. There is good.

Like right here? You don’t want me to turn or anything?

Ummmm. Sure. Yeah. Turn. If you want. It’s kind of dark in here.

Do we need more light?

Uh. No. I don’t think so. I mean maybe. We’ll see. I think you should sit.

Okay. Like this?

Um yeah. Well no. Not JUST like that. But sort of like that, yeah. Well, okay, no not. Well. If you want. Maybe you should just stand back up.

Would you like a model?

A model? Oh. A MODEL. Like cardboard. Yeah. Sure. Would you like one? That’s a great idea. Thanks!

Is the model okay? Should I turn it to face you?

Oh. No, it’s okay.

Are you sure, because it’s backwards and doesn’t seem to be in the picture.

Hmm. Yeah. You might be right. Let’s try going to another room.

Uh. Okay. Should I bring the model?

Hmm. Do you WANT to bring the model?

Yeah. I think it adds a nice touch.

Well then. Let’s do that. Let’s definitely bring the model. Okay then. This is great. So. Yeah. Can you do something with your hands? No not that. Well, yeah yeah. That! Well, not JUST LIKE THAT. Sort of like that.

Is the model okay?

Sure. You’re fine. You’re doing great. Oh. The MODEL. Yeah. It’s kinda not working for me. You got a lamp?

Music: Youth of a Nation by P.O.D. (lyrics)

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