Magnum or Blue Steel?
Over the summer I had been in touch with Josh Campbell (of Josh Campbell Photography) about doing some work with Level Renner. It was in the pages of Runner’s World where he first got my attention and I immediately reached out to him. If Josh’s name isn’t familiar to you yet, then some of his work might be. I believe he won an award for that picture in the RW link. It’s very exciting to have yet another extremely talented photographer eager to work with Level Renner.
I must say though that I was fairly surprised when Josh reached out to me via email, asking “Would you want to shoot some running photos with me this weekend?” Would I? Initially my response was ‘of course I would!’, but then I wondered if I even could. I haven’t actually gone for any runs yet on my surgically repaired hip. This raised more questions: How would my attempt at running look? Would it be a waste of time for him? Could I handle living life as a model?
That last question needed to be given serious thought. I don’t know anything about the world of modeling aside from what I’ve learned from Zoolander, seen on the internet or television, or just made up in my head. I don’t speak French, I’ve never done cocaine, and have never been in an orgy. As far as I know all three of those things are prerequisites to be being a good model. I guess I can brush up on the French I learned in high school (Voulez-vous les miserables merci beaucoup bonjour croissant-moi?) That’s easy enough, the other two are more of a challenge. I don’t think I’d be any good at cocaine or orgies or (gasp) cocaine-fueled orgies. I mean, would someone who says ‘good at cocaine’ be the type to use it? Alright, so it’s obvious that I can’t handle the lifestyle.
That would lead to a downward spiral. One day you’re fighting for that modeling career, but before you know it you’re working at Hooters while desperately trying to cling to the dream. You keep your head up, but after a while desperation leads to you letting drunk business men (who claim to be agents) bump rails off of your chest in the bathroom, followed by an unheralded entry into the porn industry. It’s a fall from grace I’d rather not experience. Plus, I’m a dude so there are several things wrong with that. What’s the male equivalent of waiting tables at Hooters? Applebee’s? Oh God, it’s worse than I thought. Let’s take a look at some other rigors of the job, just to be sure.
When it comes to running in front the camera, I’m at ease since running is a natural thing to me. However, there are other skills needed in order to sustain a successful career in modeling. I imagine it involves walking a runway, striking poses and wearing ridiculous outfits. None of that interests me. Besides, although I’m fairly certain I can turn left, would I be able to under pressure? I was never put on the spot but I could feel my motor skills deteriorating as the shoot went on.
In all seriousness it was a cool experience. At first I wasn’t sure where to look or how to carry myself but that passed quickly. When we did the portrait-type shots I felt really awkward initially. The feeling didn’t last long, mainly because I was familiar with some of Josh’s work and was confident that he would do a good job. After seeing the results, I think he did. The area we were in (North Bank Bridge, Paul Revere Park, Zakim Bridge) offers plenty of options and I think Josh made the most of them that day.
Like I said earlier, I haven’t been running much and when I do, I tend to avoid downhill running. Most of the shoot was done on a bridge and required downhill running. I’m not sure if it was the running itself or coming to a stop, but by the end I was very sore. Seeing these shots of me in action has increased that competitive itch I’ve been feeling. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time now before I get to line up again with my teammates.