Is it nice work if you can get it?



One of Ninja’s favorite watching options is Studio C, a sketch comedy group that brings us some good laughs. Recently he watched a segment that featured a male model standing around looking gorgeous. Ninja does almost as much wondering about what he should do for a career as┬áhe does about wishing home school weren’t so hard, so of course he began to consider whether modeling might be an option. It looks pretty easy, and he hears it pays well. Although he might not have been thinking this, it seems like it would fit well with teenage Center-of-the-Universe-hood.

Leaving aside the question of how hard it would be to get that kind of work, I told him I have a friend who had done a fair amount of modeling, and I’d also been around some photo shoots, and it wasn’t as glamorous or easy or fun as it looked. Little did I know that I would soon find out how right I was.


Date Night reminder note attached to a calendar


The calendar says Friday is Date Night, but El Guapo and I are often bushed by that time, and we’re a couple of homebodies, international travel notwithstanding. There was a concert in town we considered, but we decided we were fine just staying home and watching an old Doctor Who episode with Ninja (he’s trying to catch up with Loquita, and she’s had a long head start).

I was surprised, then, when El Guapo asked me afterward if I wanted to go on a date. We’d already done a little Latin dancing (my favorite form of exercise), but I was game. As it turns out, I was in for some modeling on the roof.

I did not feel like a supermodel. I felt more like Igor, assisting the Master in his creation. El Guapo set up his tripod and camera, told me to back up, and a little more, and a little more (there was a chest-high wall that kept me from backing up too much). Now profile, now pick a pose and hold it. And hold it. A little more holding. Yes, it would be better without the jacket–you shouldn’t get too cold. Now hold it. And again.

He’s working on light painting. In addition to the normal camera gear and paraphernalia, his supplies include a clear plastic tube designed to hold fluorescent light tubes, a powerful little flashlight, some red cellophane, and a victim model. There were several different effects he wanted to try, so we went through the drill a dozen times or so, but my part was always the same: wait while he reviewed previous shots, talked to himself, arranged cellophane, then pick a pose I could hold still in, and then hold still.

Between shots, I could let my mind wander, and gaze around at the city at night. I could let my mind wander during the shots, too, as long as I held still. While the actual process of the date didn’t do much in the Building Closeness department, the product has more to commend it. El Guapo got some shots that will serve as examples of various light painting techniques for his upcoming classes.* And I got some interesting pictures to share.





I’m not sure that Ninja is a likely candidate for male modeling. I’m fairly certain that he’d be better off not even looking like one. And I have hopes that he will find something to do for a career that will relate to his skills and interests more than to his appearance.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to do light painting, I know a guy who can give you some tips.


*If we’re keeping score (a perilous thing to do in a marriage, I know), then I guess it’s my turn to choose a date activity that only has to be interesting to one of us. I’ll hold onto this card, because I’ll probably need it sometime, and El Guapo’s a good sport.

[Images: Young Frankenstein (youtube),, El Guapo]




4 thoughts on “Is it nice work if you can get it?

  1. Funny! The pictures are cool, but I agree that it wouldn’t be my idea of a fun date. I’m becoming more and more of a homebody (and I was always a bit of one). I’m wondering if I’m on the way to becoming a recluse.

  2. It’s a fine line, I think–I say to myself that I’m glad when I’ve made the effort to get out and do social stuff, but often spending the time at home would have been just as fun. In terms of date night, the location isn’t so much an issue as the level of connection and engagement, don’t you think?

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