Why is he one of my faves? Well, aside from his excellent eye for light, and his amazingly subtle editing skills…he was the first ever photographer I shot nudes with!
This was back in the summer of 2008. I had been modeling for about 6 months, but was super shy about doing anything risque or sexy — let alone any nakeys! Then, two things happened: first, I broke up with my long-time live-in boyfriend, who was very square about such things. After we broke up, I basically went buck wild and started running around like a madwoman, doing all the crazy stuff I felt I couldn’t do when I was with him.
Right around that time, I was chatting with a photographer friend about various photogs in town, and Shutterbug came up. “He won’t shoot with you unless you’re 5’10″ and have double Ds,” my friend claimed (this is a kind of negative friend who often says shit like that to bring me down…but still a friend).
“Oh yeah?!” I took that as a challenge, and went straight home to my computer to look up Shutterbug’s site. On it, he had a casting call posted looking for nude models. I figured he might deign to shoot little old flat-chested me if I was NAKED…so I submitted my info.
He had me come over to his home studio and shoot some test shots…and I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive. I was still fairly new to modeling, so going up into some guy’s house and getting naked was a big deal. Still, I’d been to a nudist resort before, and had actually posed for one shitty implied nude photo back in the day (2000)…so I wasn’t *that* freaked out.
Basically, all he wanted to do at this test shoot was make sure I didn’t have three nipples or any weird birthmarks, tattoos or scars. Upon confirming the virginal nature of my skin, he agreed to shoot me for a coffee table book he’s working on, and we made plans to travel out to a secret location of his in the desert south of Vegas.
Now that I’ve been modeling nude for a few years, I’ve gotten lazy — but back before that first shoot I was on TOP of it! I didn’t eat ANYTHING for two days before the shoot, so my stomach would be nice and flat…and I washed the hair on my head, and shaved all other hairs from my person. Then, the morning of the shoot, I did 300 crunches to tighten up my abs just an extra bit more. Whew!!
So the day of the shoot, I went over to the photog’s house — and I must admit, I was still a bit apprehensive about traveling into the desert with a virtual stranger — especially a 6-foot-plus, steely-eyed, crew-cut militia-man-type who looks like he’s about to go postal at any moment!! Seriously! I have since become really good friends with him, and have come to learn that he’s a softie and a true artist…but going by looks alone, he’s kind of a scary badass!
Anyhoo, we packed up all our equipment (camera gear, Pepsi and cigarettes for him; not much needed for me) into his Jeep and headed out to one of his secret locations. The thing with Shutterbug is, he could shoot you in a Motel 6 dumpster and make it look beautiful — he’s THAT good with light. So this “secret location” wouldn’t strike you as anything special if you saw it yourself…it just turns out to photograph extremely well!
I was still kinda nervous and not sure what to do, but Shutterbug helped with my posing and stance: “Suck it in HARD!” “Pop the butt out!” “Stretch on your toes as high as you can!” Shooting nude is a LOT harder than shooting clothed…because there’s nothing to hide any flaws. All you can do to look good is flex and twist in just the right way, using your musculature to shape your body… just like a lump of clay.
At this first shoot, I hadn’t realized the importance of tanning in the nude…so I had a really bad tan line on my butt. Worse, it was crooked…my bikini bottom had ridden up my asscrack on one side, so the tanline was uneven, which Shutterbug gave me no end of grief about. I learned my lesson and from that point forward I have always tanned in the nude….but still, the crooked tanline didn’t seem to stop that from being one of my most popular photos! (See below left.)
Anyhoo, we got a lot of really cool shots that day…and I have since shot with him on several occasions. He enjoys exploring the desert, and has the 4WD Jeep to do it in, so we make a good team. One time we went on a 2-day expedition out into the Mojave Desert, just taking weird turns and seeing what was at the end of different lonely roads. We discovered a LOT of strange stuff out there, including this compound built from old tractor-trailers and shipping containers that was only reached by driving waaaaaaay out down this road that runs through a shooting range (yikes). We drove up to the compound, which had a big “NO TRESPASSING” sign in front, but that didn’t stop my militia-man friend from cruising into the yard to see what was up. A toothless Native American crackhead came shambling up, surrounded by no fewer than FIFTY pit bull puppies, at which point we turned around pretty quick and got the hell out of there! Who KNOWS what that guy was up to way out there?! Meth was likely involved, and we weren’t trying to get mixed up in all that!
Anyway, this past Sunday we just went out in the desert near Pahrump, out to this weird old abandoned religious shrine in a canyon. We shot there for awhile, and then went exploring in the surrounding desert, which form a distance looks flat and boring. But up close, we found all kinds of cool stuff!
An abandoned airfield, a little community of trailers, a mannequin’s arm and a bunch of burned-out, busted up houses… that desert was better than Disneyland! We shot in and among the houses for awhile, until three rednecks rolled up in a pickup truck with a bunch of shotguns, and started blasting away doing target practice RIGHT NEXT TO US. Really, guys?!?! There’s a whole big desert out there, and you have to do your shooting right next to us??? It was kinda cool though, because the staccato noise from their shotguns synced up perfectly with the clicking of the shutter…so it sounded like Shutterbug was literally blasting away!
Anyhoo, as mentioned Shutterbug is one of my all-time faves…but since him, there’ve been many more. But BEFORE him, as mentioned, there was only one time I ever posed for a nude photo…back in 2000, when I was toiling as a data entry droid at Adobe Systems back in San Jose, CA, right before I blew town and moved to Vegas.
I used to share an office with this young perv from Mexico City who was ALWAYS trying to get in my pants. We’d ride the elevator together, and the second the doors shut he’d be grabbing at me, moaning “Me encanta esto culito” and demanding “besitos.” Well, I took it in stride and actually thought it was kind of funny, and we became pretty good friends. I used to go over to his apartment on our lunch break and watch his extensive library of UFO sightings on VHS tapes, which apparently he (and the rest of Mexico City) are obsessed with. Good times!
Then I started my old blog — only this was 2000, before the word “blog” was even in use! I used to call it my “web diary” and it was great… but I needed some salacious photos to put up, so people would actually read it. My pervy officemate was only too happy to shoot some amateur pics of me in various slutty getups…and then he cajoled me into posing for one implied nude, which I am publishing here for the very first time in history!!
Now remember, this was 2000 technology, so the resolution is SORELY lacking… but here it is:
Shortly after this photoshoot I got fed up with the stupid, boring corporate life and quit my job, bought a pink 1986 Lincoln Town Car, packed up all my clothes and martini glasses and moved to Vegas. And I’ve been here ever since… it just took me another 8 years to get into modeling
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