As promised, my entry below is not "dark" YA. It's no opus (I didn't have time to revise 127 times), but I hope it makes you laugh a little.
The Photo Shoot
“Are you frickin’ kidding me?” I yelled as the photographer messed around with the lights for the four hundredth time in the past hour. “Do you even have the first clue how uncomfortable this position is? Not to mention the dried grass that has made its way up my dress and into my butt crack.”
What was with this shot anyway? Seriously. The watch? The boob-enhancing dress? The vacant gaze toward absolutely nothing?
Bogdon, the photographer, had said he was going for contemporary Salvador Dali. Really? Snort.
“Sorry, Katrina,” Bogdon answered in his thick accent. “Just one more minute. Okay, I think I got it.” He stepped back and the entire light fell sideways.
Obviously, my mom had employed a total idiot. I should have known no good would come from finding a photographer in a mall. But she assured me his portfolio was stellar and truthfully, with a budget of $250, beggars can’t really be choosers.
The modeling had been my idea. After Dad bailed on us, leaving a closet full of shirts and a mountain of debt from some dubious investments he’d made, my mom had been forced to ransack my college fund to pay for the house. Yes, we could have sold it and found a cheap apartment to rent, but honestly, the whole Dad thing was traumatic enough in the first place. Neither mom nor I were super psyched about losing the house we’d lived in for sixteen years.
People have always told me I could be a model. I have a decent body and pretty clear skin. Before we lost our money, I didn’t really consider it because it seemed pretty shallow and lame. But I’m not a good enough student to get any sort of academic scholarship and sadly, I’m not so awesome in soccer that a college is going to throw money at me to play for them, which left modeling. I’d read an article in a fashion magazine about this girl who paid for college just by doing a bunch of catalogue work. I figured: how hard could it be?
Except no one told me you have to have a portfolio of modeling shots before they’ll consider you at any sort of reputable agency. What the hell? Isn’t that what a modeling agency is for? To take pictures of you? Evidently not. So after three embarrassing interviews at agencies, I told my mom we were going to have to make a small investment in building a portfolio.
Enter Bogdon, the mall photographer.
While Bogdon readjusted the light, his assistant Jake walked over and offered me something to drink. He had on jeans with paint specks on them and a black shirt that said “I See Dumb People” across the front. Funny. His dark hair was too long and I’ve never been into guys with goatees, but still he was good-looking. And sort of sweet to offer me a bevie.
“Thanks, but I’m not supposed to move.”
He walked over to the small cooler and table Bogdon had set up. He returned holding a cup of water with a straw sticking out of it and positioned it in front of my mouth. Bliss.
“So how long have you worked for Bogdon?” I asked.
“About three months. I go to the U and he asked my Photography prof if any of his students were interested in assisting so…”
I liked the way his voice sounded, strong and sure of himself. I grinned at him. Maybe…wait, what the heck was wrong with me? I was flirting with Bogdon’s assistant? Clearly the lights and the dried grass were getting to me. I took a sip of water and waited for him to walk away. He didn’t. Huh.
“So does he do a lot of modeling photo shoots?” I asked, looking toward Bogdon kicking the light stand.
“As far as I know, this is his first. He mostly does weddings. He has a portrait studio in the mall, but that’s for families and little kids.”
I closed my eyes. Worse than I thought. Bogdon was like one of the Sears Family Portrait Studio photographers. I started to hyperventilate.
“He’s pretty creative, though,” Jake added, sensing my impending breakdown.
I took another sip of water.
“So you’re trying to be a model, huh? That’s cool.”
Okay, now he was sucking up.
“No, it’s really not. Listen, you don’t have to be nice to me because you feel bad about Bogdon. It was me and my broke mom who hired him.”
My mom had walked over to Bogdon and held the front of the light while he tightened something on the back. She whispered to him, but I could tell from her hissing she was questioning her “great photographer find” as well.
“I’m not being nice to you because of that. I was making small talk,” Jake said and squatted in the fake grass next to me. He smelled lemon-y. Yum.
I shifted my position and Bogdon looked up and gave me the don’t move a muscleglare. My arm had officially fallen asleep. I couldn’t even feel the watch anymore.
“Small talk, huh?” I said and slid my legs an inch to the right. Bogdon’s head snapped up. Geez, superhero hearing. “So do you live on campus?”
“No, I live in Richfield with my parents. It’s cheaper.”
I’d have to go that route too, especially since I obviously wasn’t going to be getting a modeling contract any time soon.
“And what do you do for fun when you’re not in class?” I was not hitting on him. Well, maybe just a little.
He smiled and my breath caught. Holy crap. Dimples. Game changer.
“Well, I converse with wannabe models and try to talk them into giving me their phone numbers.”
I looked over at a now cursing Bogdon and stifled a laugh. What a train wreck. My gaze shifted back to Jake’s dimples. Maybe the day wouldn’t be a total bust after all.
“Do you have a pen?”