Feb 21, 2009

close encounter of the...err...awkard kind?

cropped outtake from "far away" (femme vérité cinemascape series)

Found myself at a wonderful isolated (not like many places up here aren't) spot this evening for a new shot from the new femme vérité cinemascape series and was confronted by an issue that I am going to have to get used to.

Out in the middle of nowhere on this desolate snow covered road at dusk I set up my camera, crawled back into the warmth of my truck (there is no shoulder) and proceeded to get into character. Which as some of you may already know involves dressing like a total female... As I'm pulling up the ultra tight jeans I notice a subaru in my rear view mirror pulling over behind me. At this point my bra and breasts are on, belly shirt and pants as well. No time to switch back. So I flip the wig on and get out of the car and pretend to fidget with my camera bag. The driver of the car was another photographer. An older gentleman of the fine art landscape variety. He laughed and said he thought he'd be shooting alone tonight. I sort of laughed and was thinking to myself "I sure as fuck was hoping so!".

I found myself not being able to really make conversation or much eye contact at all. I froze up. I just mumbled a bit and went about pretending to rummage through my gear. He eventually assumed he was interupting my "space" or something and said he was going down the road a bit to a different spot, to which I mumbled some thing like "yeah, looks nice down there". Then he left and drove on.

I'm not exactly sure how to handle that situation in the future? An assistant could probably break the ice or distract, but alone, I wasn't sure what would have been more uncomfortable... facing him and in my normal manly voice just say "hey, how's it going man?" and then somehow mention how he might think it odd coming across a crossdressing photographer in the middle of nowhere, but I'm actually in costume for my misc-en-scene style photography? Or actually try to pretend I'm a girl and try to put on a female voice, which I'm sure would have been the dumbest idea of the two and would have made things all the more ridiculous.

Either way, I should get used to the idea of interacting in my new role when in costume and figure out the best immediate approach to take to the situation?

Lesson learned.


Andy Frazer said...


You could have asked (in a deep voice), "Are you here for the upstate New York cross-dressing meet-up, as well?" I bet he would have high-tailed it out of there real fast.

Aaron said...

that would be priceless andy! if I only had the cojones.

jimmieknuckles said...

The crossdressing is for the photos right? Not the lifestlye. Don't try to interact in character, and if you're forced to, make your intentions known. You got a pretty mouth, and I'm not sure how the backwoods boys might take it the wrong way.
Nice bag

Aaron said...

strictly for the photos knuckles. you are correct sir. The backwoods boys in the Adirondacks are probably more articulate, friendly, and interesting than most big city "blue collar" folk...so I'm not concerned much about that.

The purse is pretty sweet right? it's a Warhol, so it fits in the mood.

Steven said...

"Some chick with a mustache and goatee was up the holler takin' selfies. Homely broad. She'll need lots of photoshop. Hope she has the glam filter. Ulllll."

Dave MacIntyre said...

This is gonna be awesome dude!

Andreas said...

Sure does not sound like a lack of cojones to me. Boy, that's a pretty fine artistic endeavor. I sure as hell know that I wouldn't have the nerve. Neither the looks, I might say, with my current 110kg of body weight:)

I think this is an absolutely awesome project. But really, why not let someone assist you? Sure, you may hate to have someone around while you're working, but on the other hand, you may feel more relaxed when someone else handles such encounters. Probably these two things weigh up against each other?

Steven said...


Aaron said...

Andreas wrote:
"Neither the looks, I might say, with my current 110kg of body weight:)"

all I have to say is...


I will have my wife come along when she can. I actually need a female assistant for these shots. She was at the first few shots adjusting my breasts and hair. I'm might be experienced, but I'm not an expert on breast location and grooming women's hair. ;)

I can also deal with having her watch more than a random assistant. It all depends on when I get the idea for a shot and if she is available.

Emily said...

ooh ooh ooh.
hire me as your boob adjuster/hair girl.
I'll work for cheap, i'm doin' it for the thrills.

Aaron said...

em... I can only pay in American dollars. Are they worth anything in Toronto?