You can find the pictures at Ryan McGinley
Okay, so, imagine you are 19. You just got back from Afro Punk, one of the best days of your life and you see email that says an art photographer wants to work with you. This photographer has worked with a Beyonce, Purple Magazine, Lady Gaga, Pharell, and many more. But the catch is it's a completely nude photo shoot. What do you do? Well, I'll tell you what I did. I took that opportunity and ran with it! But don't get me wrong, coming up with that decision was one of the hardest I every had to do.
Making my mind up about this shoot was so hard because I have always been a modest person when it came to clothes. I am also strongly connected to my family and don't want to do anything that was going to dishonor or embarrass them.
After I read the email 50 times, my spirt went from excited to worried. I had to tell my parents that I got this amazing opportunity but it was also a nude shoot. My mind was spinning. I told my Gabriel Reignbow. He replied by saying he would do it if he had the opportunity. So reluctantly I called my mom and told her. The thing that was the most shocking is that she was completely understanding. She asked me questions about it and I told her what I knew. After she got home we went over everything and it seemed as if doubt and second guessing was starting to creep into her mind. It was very hard to hear anything negative about the shoot because I really wanted to do it. Modeling and fashion have been something that I have loved since I was 11. I knew in my heart that I could not pass up this opportunity.
After long conversation and full disagreements they finally said yes to the shoot, but it came with a catch. As a mother she wanted to protect her child, so she had me as them a series of question; at the shoot would I be able to wear nude underwear to match my skin just in case I felt uncomfortable and many others that I would rather not say.
My Mom, Dad, and I traveled to New York. We drove around the block at least 3 time before we realize where his studio was. My Mom and I went up to his studio. We were greeted by a really friendly woman that happened to be his casting director, she was the woman who scouted me.
They were running a little behind, she asked me for my cell and she would text when they were just about ready. As my mom and I walked back to the car I was sweating my balls off it was so exciting to know that I was about to work with a photographer that has work with so many other amazing artist that I am a fan of. I expressed my feelings to my mom, but like a mom she was very skeptical.
Once I got the text my mom and I headed back to the studio. The studio was very small but it was also just as nice. Halloween was right around the corner so they had holiday decor up. There was this massive wall full of book and computers everywhere.
The casting director came over and went over everything(I will not say because I have no Idea if I can lol). Then this short woman came out and called for me. She introduced her self, which I did the same and we walked to the back room. My mom stayed behind because "there wouldn't be enough room for her" which was honestly the truth.
Once I got into the back room I met Ryan McGinley. I had an idea of what he looked like because prior to the photo shoot I did my resource on him but once I actually saw him he was nothing like I actually thought. He was just a tall as me (6'3") and he was very polite. There were 2 other people in the room but I didn't meet them.
He told me that I can take off my clothes right over there, it was a chair on the side of the back drop. As I took off my clothes they started to speak to me. As I finish they as me a brunch of questions, from the most basic to the omg how do you know this about me! They were so surprised that my parents came with me and that my mom was in the studio with me. They kept saying that my parent are really supportive. Which was a really big eye opener for me because at that time I never really notice that my family was always there for me, I just thought that all families worked like that.
As we shot they ask more questions and made me fell really comfortable around them. I asked them questions and we had some great conversation. They turned on music and we danced to time away. I realized very early in the photo shoot that Ryan likes to catch the moment, he does really like to much posing.
After we finished the photo shoot Ryan asked for my Instagram and he followed me. I followed him back as well. They talked about my Ig pictures and he showed me how and when he shot Beyonce. Once I walked out with the Luisa, she turned to my mom and said it was a pleasure meeting you son, he made my day."
After that shoot my mom said she felt really comfortable in the room and that they were very nice.
The next day Gabriel Reignbow come over and told me that Ryan McGinley followed him too!
I didn't here anything from them for 3 months and then they emailed me about Stern Mode, if you want to read about that click here.
Flash forward a couple months and Ryan tagged me in a video on Instagram of his opening his Body Loud exhibit in the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery and I saw a picture of me on the wall!
I hope you enjoyed this story and if you have any questions let me know.