This wasn’t the first time I was meeting Jacob. I have Skyped a few times with him, just to get a better idea of what he was like before I decided to go and shoot with him. We went over ideas, wardrobe, themes, and decided to go with an American Apparel type feel of a shoot. So yes, this was the first time I was going to meet him physically in person, but I wasn’t shy. Just a little reserved at first, as I usually am.
When I arrived in Harlem, he was just like I remembered via webcam. Tall, broad shoulders, curly hair, glasses, with a great wide smile that made you go, “Wow.” He was a naturally tan Latino; Puerto Rican, born in Dominican Republic, and raised in Texas. That little bit of information was enough to inform me that traveling was something he enjoyed. The fact that he modeled professionally before deciding to dabble in photography was interesting considering the fact that I was only a beginner, a freelancer, doing this to just become more acquainted with my body, cameras, and practice for some exposure. I was looking forward to learning in this shoot.
We talked a little about my trip on the Number 1 train to Spanish Harlem that morning and gave each other a little insight on each other as we walked up his Brownstone town-home to his third floor studio apartment. It was very retro with a slight modern touch. White couch, full sized bed with white sheets, dark wooden cabinetry where his 45 inch plasma stood, a large rug that varied in neutral brown tones, his windows undressed, his walls black, and a huge picture frame of a photo taken of him a few years back when he was modeling hung from the wall. Something about his simple, small yet cozy black and white studio allowed me to become immediately at ease. I put my bag down and started to get comfortable.
“There’s the mirror,” he said pointing to the obvious mirrored closet in front of me. “Would you like something to drink; water?”
“Yes, water is fine; thank you,” I said as I started to take my makeup out and apply my foundation. “You said you wanted a very natural face right?”
“Yeah, very natural, almost no eyeliner at all, none of that blush stuff. I saw your work and that makeup was extreme. We’re going for a lot simpler today. Let me see what you’ve got,” he said as he went toward my bag. He started pulling out a few shirts and jeans. “I like this.” He began dividing the clothes into piles of what he wanted and didn’t want.
I continued my makeup. I made sure to do my hair beforehand, considering how long it usually took me.
All I could think was how exciting this should be, how I ought to think about poses, but I had to admit to myself, it was fucking hard to think about all of that when there stood this beautiful man, barefoot, white tank, shorts, beautiful bare feet, beautiful, curly hair, and that fucking smile for fucks sake! I don’t know what it was; maybe my period was about to come or the fact that I haven't had sex in months, but the only thoughts that continued to cross my mind was all the ways I wanted to fuck this six foot four gorgeous man.
“That’s good,” he said interrupting my thoughts. “I don’t want too much eye makeup, it won’t be necessary, and you’re so much prettier in person, naturally anyway. I want to keep that.” He smiled, encouraging comfort from my silence. “Oh and please remove all your jewelry.”
I was done. Natural makeup, shoulder length dirty blonde hair, and golden eyes. Clean. Fresh. “What would you like me to put on first?” I asked as he was moving the couch out of the way to reveal more of his one white wall in the room. He laid a white sheet on the ground. “Um, we’ll go with the blue jeans and green shirt, I like that. You can change in the bathroom if you want.”
I picked up my Levis jeans and green plaid shirt and walked to the bathroom. Even his bathroom was all white. What was it with this man? He needed some color in his life. I pulled down my pants and took note of his translucent shower curtain. I remembered the conversation over Skype about shooting in the tub.
“So let’s talk about this, um, shower thing,” I said trying to contain my laughter from his previous comment.
“I don’t want to be uncomfortable, you know. It’s going to be implied nudity. Obviously, you’re going to be naked in the shower, and I want to capture that water effect, and put you in a T-shirt or button down while the water hits you. Here, I’ll send you some ideas of what I want. Do you mind getting your hair wet?”
“Okay, well I would rather not because it took me awhile to blow it out, but if you want it wet, I’ll wet it, after all, you’re paying me.”
“Well how does it look wet?” he asked and I couldn’t help but laugh as my subconscious thought: pun intended.
“It’s super curly, but I guess it’ll work, I’ll send you something.”
I browsed through a couple of my photos on my laptop in search of something where my hair was curly because I was too lazy to blow it out. I finally found one and clicked send.
“Oh, it’s not bad at all, very natural, and cute; that’ll work.”
“Okay,” I nodded.
As I came out, dressed in outfit number one, he motioned me toward the white wall to take position. I stood there, waiting as he tested lighting and all that stuff photographers do. When he was done, he looked me up and down. Then he walked over to me and dropped to his knees. My heart skipped a beat as he brushed his hands over my leg. He pulled up the jean cuff and folded it. He then pulled the other up a bit and left it as is.
“There, that’s better,” he said with a smile as he stood up and took a step back. He picked up his Nikon, and snapped a shot. “Whenever you’re ready,” he said with his camera to his face.
I posed for about fifteen minutes in that, and he stopped shooting. “Here,” he said throwing me a white cut off t-shirt. “Put this on, no bra.”
I removed my shirt, faced the wall as I took off my bra, and put the white shirt on. When I turned around he was glowing. He was at his knees again, in front of me, tying a tie around the hooks of my jeans as a belt. What an interesting use of fashion. He tugged the tie around, making me sway this way and that. And then he was up again. It made me feel beautiful, the way his eyes appreciated my curves. I was confident again, and we took some more shots. Then he tied his tie around my neck and ordered me to play with it, so I did. It was a little fun, teasing the camera, teasing him.
Next, the jeans came off, and I was in a bold, bright, red pencil skirt that hugged my ass, thighs, and hips. I took some shots from behind, from the side, showing off my sexy curves. Then it was just striped underwear he purchased at H&M, casually pulling them off, revealing the crack of my ass. Eventually, I found myself at ease, comfortable and having a great time.
“You’re pretty good, a natural,” he complimented me. “Your body is amazing, I must say.”
I giggled. I never giggle. What the fuck?
“Shall head to our second set?” he asked.
He led out a hand, “After you Rachel.”
We walked to the bathroom. He turned the water on. “I’ll give you a moment. You can test the water; see if it’s to your liking. I’ll be back with my camera; you should be in the water. Just relax.” And with that he was out the door.
Here we go. I took a deep breath and slipped out of my underwear and t-shirt. I climbed into the tub and the hot water soothed every muscle in my body. It was nice, relaxing even. I sat in the tub with my eyes closed trying to appreciate this moment to myself. I ran my hands all over my body, my breasts, my thighs, slowly with my eyes still shut, taking deep breaths. I’ve never posed nude before, yet here I am, about to let a man I hardly know take naked photos of me, for what, experience? It hardly seemed like the right thing to do, yet my body was always inclined to do what was wrong. Maybe it was just for the adrenaline rush I felt that swept through my body when I did something that was unexpected, something others would claim to be bad.
A knock on the door, and my moment to myself was over. “The water okay?” he asked, looking deep into my eyes.
“Yes, it’s great,” I said, managing a smile.
“I want you to put this all over your body,” he said giving me a bottle of baby oil. I looked at it then at him saying nothing.
“It creates small bubbles of oil when the water hits it, like little grains. I want to see that on film,” he explained seeing I must've looked confused.
“I know. I just can’t put this on.”
“Why not?” he asked like it was something out of the ordinary.
“I have a phobia to oil,” I said flatly.
“What?” he laughed. I scowled at him. “Sorry, but did you say phobia?”
“Yes, and it isn’t funny. I just can’t touch oil. It freaks me out. I found out while I was in High School. I cried when I came into contact with it. It was scary,” I explained slightly drifting to my high school memories of beauty classes.
“I see. So what do you want to do?”
I stood up handing him the bottle. “You can put it on. I trust you.”
He took the bottle and went to squirt the oil on my skin when I quickly flinched; my eyes shut tight, my hands up in defense.
“Whoa.” His face was alarmed.
“Yeah, you’re going to have to put it in your hands first. Even that would throw me off.”
He put the oil in his hands and began to work at my back, my neck, and my arms. I turned to give him access to my front. His face hid a little smile.
“You’re enjoying this, huh,” I said smirking.
“Well, what man wouldn’t? You have a great body,” he said caressing oil over my breasts. “I’m a very lucky man right now.” We laughed. He worked the oil over my ass, my legs and washed his hands when he was done. I sat back down in the water.
“Cool. So you can do what you’re doing now, relax, enjoy the water, play with it if you want, but eventually I’m going to ask you to move around. Then we’ll get this shower head on.”
He snapped a few photos of me relaxing, with my eyes shut, touching my body lightly. Then I was on my knees and standing up, posing as I heard Rihanna singing in the background. I swayed against the white tile, slowly, sexy, with passion. I was dancing in the shower to a man I hardly knew with a camera, and I was completely okay with it.
“Put this on,” he said giving me a large white men’s button down shirt.
I put it on and the water seeped through the fabric immediately, clinging to my body. I watched him as he watched me, smiling, yet focused. Clicking away, moving to get a better angle, picture after picture. He was strictly professional, but I knew he enjoyed this. I mean, I enjoyed it too...
I was lied out on his bed, exhausted from a long shoot, wearing shorts and a tank.
“Would like some pizza?” He was sitting on his couch, beginning to upload the photos.
“Yes, that would be awesome, I’m hungry.”
“I’ll order Dominos. Anything in particular?” he asked as he pulled up their website on his computer.
“Plain please. I like my pizza plain, just cheese.”
A few minutes passed by with my eyes shut and the silence was interrupted with his soothing deep voice a lot nearer than before.
“Can I give you that body massage?”
My eyes flung open and found him standing right over me.
I was hesitant. “Umm, yeah, I guess. My body needs it.” My response was a lot more relaxed than it sounded in my head. My body was tense.
He walked over to his bathroom and came back with a bottle of Vaseline Moisturizer.
Stay tuned for part two ;)