Pretend there's a standard disclaimer here. If you're under 18, you shouldn't be reading this. Well THIS is OK, but not the dirty stuff down below.
If you can't name the farm where Woodstock happened, you're not old enough. If you went to school in Tennessee you probably can't read this anyway. If reading this is illegal where you live, STOP. This means you, sailor.
I've been fooling around with cameras since high school, when I saved up and bought my first decent one. You know, a 35mm job with two interchangeable lenses. I mean, it was always just a hobby, I never thought I had enough talent to make my living at it, which is why I became an accountant. Yes, just a boring accountant for a large CPA firm. Still, the 9-to-5 hours and decent pay make for a good life, except in March, when everybody throws their taxes at me at the same time.
Anyway, I was showing my neighbor Bob some of my outdoor shots - it was fall and the leaves were turning - when he began quizzing me more intently about my photography.
It seems that he had just spent $200 for one of those "glamour" sessions for his wife Krystal, and had been very disappointed with the results. He had wanted some "sexy" pictures of her, and what he got back left a lot to be desired. Krystal is shy by nature; I know because I see them socially from time to time. But these photos made her look positively dowdy. The photography was competent, to be sure, it's just that she was dressed like a 1930's schoolmarm. And that was a shame, because Krystal is a nice looking woman. She's about 5'6" tall, has a really nice figure, and cute, if slightly boyish face. If anything I thought she was a little bit skinny, although she had good sized boobs.
I explained to Bob that I rarely photographed people. That was true; I spent most of my time on nature shots, although I had done a couple of weddings and kids' birthday parties, mostly as favors to friends. I didn't know if I would be able to do anything decent or not. After some pestering, he finally convinced me at least to at try, and said he would pay for the film and processing. Of course since I had my own small darkroom in the basement, that wouldn't amount to much. He also tried to get me to accept some money for my time, but I couldn't take it, especially not knowing if anything would come of it. Bob said he would check with Krystal, and let me know. Two days later he called.
"Well, to be honest, she's not wild about the idea, but she'll give it a try. I had the same trouble when I bought her the other photo session for her birthday, but after it was over she said it was fine. She's just a little shy."
"Why don't you just get a Polaroid and take what you want yourself?" I asked. "I'm sure she's not shy around you."
"Actually I've already tried that, but I'm all thumbs when it comes to a camera. Everything I took is too dark, too light, has my thumb over the lens, or just looks crappy. No, I want some nice pictures, good quality, you know?" Bob answered.
"Well, I'm not so sure about what I can do, but I'll give it my best," I told him. "When do you want to do it?"
"You know, I think I'll leave that up to Krystal," he said. "Why don't you give her a call later in the week and set it up. Whenever and wherever is OK with me."
We hung up, and I thought about it. I wondered if I had the right equipment. After all, I was used to driving into the country and taking pictures of trees. I had never done any portrait work, and didn't really know what to do. The next day I went to a local photo shop and asked for some advice. $200 later I was struggling to the car with a set of lights, reflector panels, and a book on portrait lighting and make-up. What had I gotten myself in for? On Wednesday I called their house, and Krystal answered. "Hi Krystal, this is Mike. I guess Bob told you I'd be calling."
"Oh god, yes," she said. I could hear the dread in her voice.
"Listen," I said. "If you don't want to do this, we don't have to. I'm a little uncomfortable with it, myself."
"Really?" she asked. Now she seemed interested. "Why?"
"Well, I'm not sure I know what I'm doing. I mean, I've been taking pictures since high school, and I'm pretty good with a camera. I just haven't had much experience doing this sort of thing. I'm mostly into nature and stuff like that," I explained.
"Oh." There was a pause. "Well, I'm a little reluctant, myself. You know Bob got me this so-called 'glamour' session for my birthday, and I tried, I really did. But the guy was a geek, and all he kept saying was 'look sexy look sexy' and I was soooo self conscious. By the time it was over I couldn't wait to get out of there. So I knew Bob was disappointed, and frankly, so was I."
Boy, talk about pressure. Even if she hadn't known about how insecure I felt about this, she was loading it on. Then she said "The guy was such a geek. I mean at least you're not a geek."
"Gee thanks," I said, sarcasm dripping from my voice.
She heard it. "No no, I mean, you're nice looking, and I like you. This guy was, ugh, well, anyway, I couldn't be sexy in front of him. Yecch! It makes me shiver just to think about it. I mean, I'm not sure what I'll be able to do with you. But I'm willing to give it my best shot."
We continued talking for a few minutes during which I assured her we wouldn't do anything she didn't want to do. She assured me that she would really try. We set up the date for Friday night at my house. I asked to talk to Bob. When he came to the phone, I told him that we were all set for Friday night, and suggested that he be there, to help relax Krystal relax. I also knew that way he would be able to tell me what he wanted and I would be more likely to deliver his expectations than if I just randomly shot roll after roll of film. He thought it was a good idea.
Friday night rolled around. Bob and Krystal showed up at the front door about 9:00. I'd been expecting them an hour earlier, but it was no big deal since I didn't have anything else to do anyway. Krystal was carrying a sports bag, apparently with some changes of clothes inside. At least I hoped so. She was dressed in a dark blouse buttoned to her chin and a pair of baggy shorts that hung to her lower thigh. Glamorous she was not! Bob came in, waving a bottle of wine. "Good idea," I thought. In fact, I had one of my own chilling. Not only did I think it would calm her nerves, it might damn well help mine!
Bob popped the cork and poured three glasses. Krystal drank hers down in two big gulps. I wasn't far behind. With Krystal seated at the kitchen table, I took out one of my smaller reflexes and snapped a couple of pictures. FLASH. FLASH. "See? Simple," I said. I snapped a couple more. The flash was a distraction from the calm of the rest of the room, but otherwise we continued drinking and talking. I didn't really expect these first pictures to amount to anything; I was just doing it to get everybody used to the idea of the cameras and the process. In fact I was working with a small camera that I hardly even used anymore.
After 20 minutes of wine it was time to get started. Bob told Krystal to go change into something sexier. She grabbed her little bag and went into the next room. Bob called around the corner, "Krystal, put on the blue top that I like. I think Mike will like it too."
She reappeared, dressed in a low-cut blue tank top and beige micro skirt. The top covered her shoulders, but then plunged straight down on both sides before cutting square across the bodice. The swell of her breasts was visible, but the effect was to be sexy, not slutty. The material hung down over her breasts, and had just a trace of white lace frill at the bottom edge. There was no elastic on the bottom, so the material just hung by force of gravity with just that little frill adding some weight. Mike liked it. A lot. So did I. The skirt was shorter than women were wearing, at least in the last 20 years or so. In fact the last time I had seen one like it was in the 70's. Krystal's gorgeous legs were bare, as was her midriff.
"I feel practically naked," she said, reaching for her wine glass.
"Don't be silly," Bob said. You're completely covered, practically."
"Yeah," I added, "practically. Except for your legs and chest and belly-button." I paused. "Just kidding."
She giggled, but I could tell she was self conscious, especially the way she was sitting so perfectly upright with her knees pressed tightly together.
"Have a little more wine," I suggested.
"We're out," Bob said.
"No problem. I have a bottle chilling in the fridge," I answered. Bob went to the icebox and took out my bottle. It wasn't a great vintage or anything, but it would do. He poured three more glasses. Krystal grabbed for hers.
As she twisted to reach the glass one of her bra straps became visible at the edge of her top. She poked it back under. Bob said "Hey you shouldn't be wearing a bra. Take it off." Krystal protested briefly, but then gave in. She told me to turn my head. I did. When I turned back, she was holding the bra in her hand. She still had the sexy blue top on, and she was preparing to toss the bra over onto her sports bag on the other side of the room.
"Wait!" I told her. "I've always thought it's sexy to see a woman with her lingerie. Hold on to it. In fact, here..." I walked over to her and put my hand on her back, putting a little pressure on her to lean forward. She did so, putting her elbows on the table. As she bent over, I was treated to a view down her blouse. I could see the beautiful beginnings of the swells of her breasts and the deep valley between them. She held the bra in one hand, and I told her to flip it over her shoulder. She did.
.... There is more of this story ...