‘Hi, Connor,’ Mel said, ‘Lovely to meet you. Stacy’s kept you quiet, but don’t try to keep us from still meeting or I won’t be her bridesmaid.’
‘Great to meet you too, Mel,’ he said, ‘Stacy’s always going on about you.’
The evening passed pleasantly with no further mention of Jamie to embarrass Mel, but she hoped that no one else was going to put two and two together and make five.
Early September, 2015
The negotiations with the magazine were now complete and plans had been laid and agreed for a trip to Buttermere in the English Lake District. Mel’s brother had given her a lift up from Codmanton. Overnight Accommodation had been booked for the three participants at a hotel on the edge of the lake to make it possible for everyone to leave before sunrise to begin their photography.
Mel and Sean Haggerty, the pro photographer had scouted the surrounding area after an evening meal with Barry the photojournalist the previous night to select the viewpoints they each wished to use. They informed the Barry of their choices and where to find them – to interview them and to photograph them as they worked.
Mel had taken an almost instant dislike to Sean. He was handsome in a craggy way and his voice had an attractive Irish lilt. His polo-necked shirt had some sort of designer badge on and his chino trousers were narrower in a style that she’d seen more usually on far younger men. Even his chukka-boots looked expensive for a lakeside photo-shoot. He obviously though a lot of himself.
He had an impressive record of exhibitions, book and online publications. But from the moment they’d been introduced to each other, however, she’d sensed his eyes mentally undressing her, flicking up and down but rarely looking straight at her eyes as they talked.
It had been only shortly afterwards that he’d asked her whether she’d ever done any modelling and, when she said that she hadn’t, he’d asked outright whether she’d be willing to do some modelling for him.
She’d seen some of his boudoir photographs, and the thought of him photographing her like that nauseated her. She declined but managed to hold back an insulted response for the sake of the work she had come to do.
She regretted that she’d arrived in her normal smart working clothes. She hadn’t known whether there would be any photographs taken of her on the eve of the shoot. On reflection, she realised that a man like Sean would still have simply seen her as a challenge to overcome.
Barry, the photojournalist, had witnessed the exchange and later, told Mel that Sean had a reputation as an opportunist with attractive women.
‘Yes, I could see that he’d have preferred me to have been naked when we met. Sexist, misogynist – he made my skin crawl.’
‘Don’t worry about him, Mel,’ he’d said, ‘tomorrow you’ll be working independently, and I’ll be always working with one of you at a time to record what you’re doing and to do a mini-interview with each of you. He won’t get a chance to try anything on.’
Mel was relieved but ensured that her door was locked from the inside before she undressed for bed.
The following morning, before sunrise, the hotel provided a simple, self-service continental style breakfast including fruit, cooked meat, bread, butter, croissants and coffee. At that time in the morning, the dining room was almost empty except for staff. Sean still managed to stand behind her at the table laid with the food, so as to lean over her and help himself to a dish for his fresh fruit, brushing his body against hers as he did so. She managed to dig her elbow sharply into his chest as she turned to give him daggers with her eyes.
‘Don’t try anything like that again,’ she warned him, ‘I can be terribly clumsy when I have a pot of hot coffee in my hand.’
Another photo today from my Saturday afternoon foray into Liverpool to try my hand at street photography. The outing didn’t quite turn out as I expected. Today I’m posting the third and final image of a fashion shoot that I chanced upon near the Beatles statues at the Pierhead area of the city. It looked as if the models were enjoying the experience – and they didn’t seem to mind my joining in, but I bet that the photographer wouldn’t have been too pleased. I didn’t ask.
I I used my Pentax KP 24 MB cropped sensor camera with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The shutter speed was 1/800seconds at f/5.6 and 39 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was handheld and post-processed in Lightroom.