I Feel Pretty. Oh. So. Pretty.

Photo credit: Mike Parker, 2015

Photo credit: Mike Parker, 2015

Where to start?

My friend Laurie lives in an artist’s co-op, and every once in a while she puts together these shows in their gallery space. It was at one of these I met Mike Parker, who went to the same high school as Laurie and I.

OK, got all that?

So I reach out to Mike on Facebook, and every now and again he puts something up, and I put something up. It seems we have similar political views.

Years go by.

Then, in August, he puts up this pretty cool pic, of a girl, nude, in a cardboard box.

She had braided hair, and you could see a couple of tattoos on her forearms. (I only mention the braids for layout purposes. 🙂 )

Raymi the Minx. Photo Credit: Mike Parker, 2015

Raymi the Minx. Photo Credit: Mike Parker, 2015

I recognize the girl. (OK. I recognize her name.) I’d met her, about 6 years ago, at a Net Neutrality event at the Gladstone Hotel.

So we start commenting back and forth. It turns out he’s got a whole series of these; about twenty-some-odd. He wants to do 99 of them, and then he’ll be the hundredth.

And I say, only half-jokingly: “So, Mike, when am I getting in a box for you? I’ll even braid my hair.” And that’s how I ended up being part of his collection.

It took about a month to get organized. He wanted me to find my own box, and get in it at home to get the feel for it, and find poses I liked.

So I did. And had Yvonne take pictures. I sent him the test shots. He was blown away by the enthusiasm.

Finding the box was not easy. The first one was too large. (BBQ from Dickson’s Hardware. Thanks guys.) The next one was too small. (Home Hardware. I paid for that one. Thanks for nothing guys.) It turns out the Goldilocks one was waiting for me in our garage.

When we finally nailed down a time to do the shoot, I got an email from Mike’s wife, advising me to bring my box, flip-flops, and a housecoat. She also suggested not wearing any tight clothing for about an hour before the shoot, to prevent marks on the skin.

Sure. I get it. I’ve seen Calendar Girls. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

So the day arrived. I left work a little early. Got a hair cut. Drove to the studio, which is very close to where I live, and got there about 30 minutes early.

Mike was there by himself in the studio. He totally put me at my ease. We chatted a little about Lindsay Place High School. He pointed me to the washroom, where I changed. And then came the big moment. Which was oddly anti-climactic.

I climbed into the box. Mike had already setup the lighting, so he just started shooting. We continued chatting while he shot, which was a problem, because he was hunched over a PC, to the left of the camera. So when I looked at him, I wasn’t looking into the camera. But I quickly got accustomed to the geometry of the situation.

Afterwards we went over the shots on his computer. He was very complimentary.

The whole thing took less than an hour.

Do I feel pretty? Not exactly. I’m thinking this picture will help motivate me to get back into shape. But I do believe it’s a beautifully executed image. Perhaps I’ll have another done in a year or two, with a lot less of me. It could happen.

And, by the way, if you’re up for it, Mike’s looking for another 75 or so models. And, as I clearly demonstrate, you don’t have to look like a model.

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