Journal - 01/28/00
Magazine Photoshoot

Click on any of the small pictures for full-sized shots.

It's snowing again...whaddahell? This is the fifth snowfall in North Carolina in the past 9 days. A record 20.3 inches fell the other night. The kids have been home from school for 14 of the past 15 days, there's ice on the roads, it's 30 degrees, and I just feel like ridin'. On top of that I am told I can come pick up my new '99 Ultra anytime...yeah right! I can hardly get out of my driveway with the car!

Lookin at the weather forecast for much of the east, I see there's a lot more than just me all pissed off about it, too. So tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna dig out some of the old pictures from a photoshoot I went on a while back helping out a friend of mine do a layout for one of the big-name (you've heard of 'em, trust me) biker-type magazines. If you've not been to a professional model shoot, this'll be a kick. Who knows...maybe you can figure out from flippin through the old rags which shoot it is, too. Lets just hope I don't get into any trouble doing this, huh?

September of 1999

I get a call from a riding bud of mine named Hatchetman. He's been shooting covers and centerfold pictures for the big rags for years and is kind enough to ask if I'd help him out again with this shoot. Ya know, at first he paid me some to spend the day helping out, but after two or three shoots, spending the day in his studio with these lovely naked ladies, I stopped even asking for any money and figured I may have to, someday, pay him to come over and help...Most of these photos are, I'm afraid, with tops on to keep my WebServer from tossing me off their servers.

Anyway - I started out just doing oddball stuff, like helping setup the backdrops and lighting, worked my way up to the hairlight guy - keeping the hair spotlight on the back of the models hair so you get that backlit halo effect - to the official Nipple-Tweaker. Hey, you don't think those things STAY at attention all day do ya? I kinda stumbled onto that job on one shoot where the model was holding up a large, heavy sword over her head, and we needed to, uhhh, well...tweak 'em a little bit for the next shot. The model looked over at me on the sidelines adjusting the hair light and said to "come on over and tweak 'em for me." The job position was mine from then on. Of course, we do tease the bike owners from time to time that if they are good boys and don't get in the way, they, too, might be promoted to Nipple Tweaker before the shoot is over. Amazing how many really don't jump at the chance.

Hatchetman, (check out his WebSite here), has developed a reputation for some of the best photography in the motorcycle industry, gracing the covers of all of the major magazines, most of them several times, and countless inside articles and photolayouts. Often a bike owner who just finished rebuilding their dream bike will contract Hatchetman to do a spec layout on the new bike and submit it to a magazine for approval, with a very impressive success rate.

To look at the magazines and glance at the pictures, you wouldn't think it too the better part of a day to do the photography for one of those articles. I ride the 60 miles early in the morning and get there just as the model and make-up artist arrives, about 8:30am. While they are making their magic happen, parading their various outfits for approval...(hey - we gotta make sure the thong doesn't clash with the bike - after all, its the BIKE we're all looking at huh?)... the bike owner usually arrives with his pride and joy in a trailer, unloads it into Hatchetman's huge studio and spends another 20-30 minutes in final polishing and tucking drain tubes out of the way for the shoot.

I've learned after a couple of these shoots that it is best to let the owner and his guys to do all that work, including the manhandling of the bike into different positions. By the time 9:00 am comes around we're all ready for action. Funny how some of these guys react to a near naked model walking around the studio...well...kinda like I did the first time I suppose, but I have found it pleasant to stay out there and engage the girls in conversation. It must be awkward to be sitting on a bike in the middle of the studio, half-clothed with several guys off in the dark corners watching while the photgrapher is fooling with the film and lenses and stuff... Just the fact that I am standing just off camera with the hair light makes it almost my job to keep the ladies comfortable and having fun. A job I don't seem to mind at all.

Today's shoot involves a local Exotic Dancer from Greensboro, NC named, appropriately, Harley. Thats me with her at the end of the shoot. She dances at The Platinum Club. Hatchetman is going to submit this shoot to Easyriders Magazine, so keep an eye out for Harley in an upcoming issue. In order to get some of those poses you guys see in these magazines, the model is often put in what I can imagine is painful contortions. Even getting into these positions look tough. But the outcome sure looks good, huh?

After three hours of outfit changes, and moving the bike to different angles (the camera has to sit in the same spot all day because of lighting and backdrops), we break for lunch. I gotta tell you, sitting around Hatchetman's studio on couches eating lunch with some of these girls is a kick. Some put on a robe some don't. A fun day was had by all. Despite your sick minds, though, nothing ever happens other than a little good natured teasing. After lunch it's back to work. And after a day long shoot, you feel like it really was a long day at work. Naked women or not, its a long day.

The magazines themselves are changing a lot, too. Some have softened up their pictures quite a bit, requiring bottoms on all pictures and tops on most. While we're at it though, many of the girls ask for some shots for their publicity portfolios. Now those can get quite interesting!

Let me know if you like this kinda stuff in-between my rides. I'll remember to take more pictures next time. Who knows? We may have to put out an ad for the next official Nipple Tweaker!


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