Rushing through breakfast that morning, time was of the essence. The famous photographer was going to be at the beach at 9am sharp, and I just had to be in this shoot. The beach was a mile away, I had no car, no bike, so it was going to be walk or hitch hike. Could I walk a mile in 10 minutes? I couldn’t risk it, I’ll hitch hike. I stood at the exit of the retreat center – stuck out my thumb and hoped for the best. The first car stopped. The driver asked where I was going and said they were headed to the same beach. I got lucky, I’m going to make it.
I started to make small talk with the couple who picked me up. “Are you guys going to the photo shoot at the beach too? There is going to be a famous photographer there to do a nude photo shoot. I forgot his name, but everyone was talking about it and said I should go.” The man driving turned back to look at me for a moment, “Hi my name is Spencer, I’m the photographer who is doing the shoot today.” “What? Are you serious? That is too funny! Yay, I guess I am not going to be late then, hahah.” We made more small talk, mostly me being slightly fascinated with him and his work, and feeling grateful that I get to be immortalized in one of his pieces.
The shoot was long and hot, and again I was fascinated and inspired at how he handled a hundred nude humans who came out that day to participate. Some of his photographs have thousands of nude people, thousands. Each one is so unique while simultaneously keeping the same message – bodies are just bodies, nudity isn’t shameful or weird or wrong, it’s just a freakin body, get over it.
A few months later, as promised Spencer Tunick sent me a copy of the photograph that became the “chosen one” of that shoot. It was beautiful and perfect in every way.