Every girl dreams of being a model, and I am certainly no exception. What could be more glamorous than being the center of attention while wearing custom-made clothes and making theatric faces into a camera? Not only that, but modeling is usually a free pass for being extremely dramatic, something for which my family claims I have developed quite a knack.
It was only obvious that my answer would be yes when my friend, Hannah, asked me to model for a photography project. She wanted me to represent “Spring” in a series of photographs she was taking to depict each season. I immediately began to imagine myself as Lady Spring… the wind sweeping through my hair, flowers tucked behind my ear, the sun shining down to form a halo on my head.
Things only got better when Hannah informed me that:
A. I would wear hair extensions.
B. She was designing a dress specifically for Spring to wear.
C. The photo shoot would not only be in a stream, but it would involve me lying down in the water, hair extensions, dress, and all!
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the escalating drama. I began to practice my facial expressions in the mirror. Was Spring reserved? Cautious? Cheery? Innocent? Sullen? I mastered every turn of the eye, flare of the nostril, lift of the mouth to a T.
This past Saturday the day finally came for the grand event. (You know you live in Michigan when you can’t take a spring-themed photo shoot until July.) I arrived at Hannah’s house a clean slate, eager for the work to begin, but it didn’t take long to realize that, perhaps, modeling isn’t quite as glamorous as I had once thought.
First of all, did you know that hair extensions add weight to your head? It’s funny how I never thought of that while daydreaming about a Rapunzel-like mane, but I certainly did think about it when I felt a square foot of carpet get temporarily installed to my skull. I didn’t know beauty could be so heavy!
After my hair and makeup were done, it was time to go to the park. Hannah first wanted to get a shot of Spring standing in the stream, and as I tiptoed into the water, clad in a pink and green chiffon dress, I made another new discovery: flowing water will attempt to get everything in its path to flow with it, including a girl in a chiffon dress. The seemingly calm brook was aggressive as it pulled and tugged at my train, pulling me downstream. When Hannah realized I wasn’t even in the shot anymore, she thought maybe it was time for the next pose.
In all honesty, I was actually looking forward to lying down in a stream. What could be more melodramatic than Spring lying in a bubbling brook, her hair cascading through the water, her train floating among the water lilies? I imagined I would be like Elaine of Astolat, floating down the river, seeking warmth to melt away the winter who had kept me in such cruel confinement.
Of course, as soon as my behind hit the cold water, I realized that Elaine had one thing going for her that I did not: a boat (not to mention she was dead and couldn’t feel anything anyway). I was surprised at how chilly the six-inch deep water was in the middle of July. I tried to relax and focus on all the romantic imagery I had played over in my mind throughout the past weeks, but for some reason I kept coming back to how much I hated the feeling of wet underwear. As I listened to the snap of Hannah’s camera, I realized I wasn’t doing any of the facial expressions I had practiced in the mirror, and, instead, was probably visually reflecting my aforementioned thought. I called out to her,
“How does my expression look? Anything I need to change?”
“No, it looks fine,” Hannah called back.
Well, maybe Hannah was happy, but as I looked up into the sky, I still tried to take my mind off of soggy undergarments, if nothing else but for the sake of artistic decency. If you want to get an idea for how it looked here you go, though the “two thumbs up” makes it a bit less dramatic.
When Hannah had taken all the shots she needed, I went to stand up, only to find that my feet were tangled in a wad of wet fabric. As I wobbled back and forth in the middle of the stream, we decided it would be best to just take the dress off instead of stumble to shore. As you can see, I was throughly confused as to how to dismantle the garment, and it took quite a while to detangle all the wet fabric. (May I also note how amused Hannah seems at my obvious distress??)
Everything considered, I had a wonderful day and I am SO excited to see the final product! Once Hannah has completed her project, I’ll be sure to let you know how you can see it, too. I have already seen her final photographs for Autumn and Winter, and they are awesome! I have complete confidence that Spring and Summer will be just as amazing. And as far as my dream to be in front of a camera, I think this past Saturday fulfilled some of my longings, as well as taught me that modeling isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems, though the unexpected certainly does make it more interesting!