For all the people who request full-body shots. (Photo by Mayumi)
I completely gave up on just posting one Mayumi shot a week: the feedback I’ve gotten from these shots has just been too good to wait, and honestly I’m too proud to just keep them to myself, to tell you the truth. I love this shot, which Kraka calls Assume the Position. He had to explain what that expression meant to me, and the fact that it’s a little bit of a joke on “ass,” too. I hope you think it is as funny as he did.
I will say that, jokes aside, the name does evoke something of the way I felt during this shoot. It turns out that being a model for a confident photographer with a vision is a lot like submitting sexually. You really have to completely trust the person, not just with your nudity and sexuality and physical vulnerability. Much more scarily, you have to trust them with your image.
It’s hard to explain if you’ve never posed nude. But think of it like this: we all have that one friend who can take a great picture, and someone in our family who always takes a bad picture, and we always let the one take our picture, and always try to avoid letting the other shoot us. And that’s just for shooting our faces and our bodies wearing clothes. Some women I know will only ever let most people take a picture of them from the boobs up, they are so terrified of pictures that make them look fat. And that’s wearing clothes. So, yeah, shooting nude. Kind of scary.
But, if you’ve worked really hard to get yourself into the shape that you want to be in (whatever that may be!) and you can find a photographer you can trust it can also be incredibly rewarding. Of course, no one is ever really in the shape they want to be in; I think that’s some sort of Platonic ideal or something. I don’t know about guys, but I feel like women, at least will never be satisfied with their selves. But you can certainly get yourself into a condition that you can be proud of–even if it’s just “better than I was last year.”
That’s where I am. I look at these pictures and I think they are beautiful, because Mayumi is a wonderful artist. I don’t see the me in them as being particularly beautiful, but I am very satisfied and very happy when I look at them, because I know that a year ago I wouldn’t have looked nearly this good in them. I know how many hours they represent at the gym: how many early-morning, late-night and weekend workouts. I know how much care and effort went into eating right, too.
As Within, So Without
It goes far beyond the gym and diet, too. When I look at the pictures, I know how much work it was to take care of myself better than I did the year before. Getting more sleep. Going to the doctor and facing my health fears. Making peace with my family. Facing problems at work. Starting therapy. Even writing my thoughts down here, on Rikochanpornstar. All of these things come together both inside and outside. I know, in a way that no one else can, that my physical improvements are also a mirror for my mental improvements, for my well-being as a whole. So when I look at the pictures, I don’t look at the flaws; I look at the improvements. And I feel satisfied. And happy.
The other thing I feel when I look at them is determination. When I post another set of pictures I shoot with Mayumi at the end of 2014, I’m determined that that I will have made real progress in all the things that I mentioned above, and furthermore in all sorts of things that I avoided addressing in 2013. I’m determined that when I look at those pictures, they will represent a physically healthier me that is the outward manifestation of a mentally healthier me, as well.
I’m sure I can get there. I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey.
PS: I also uploaded all four pictures for my Jamaica progress pictures set
Rikochanpornstar: FBB Friday (Saturday Edition). Non-nude, sorry, but still kind of fun: posing in a bikini!