For reasons that may not be immediately obvious, this may be my favorite Creek Shoot this year.

Misha, 2019

Sometimes shoots just don’t go as planned. There can be a bajillion and one reasons why that might happen, and they’re often not foreseeable.

A few years ago, at my very first Sex Geek Summer Camp, I learned a new phrase. Victoria, someone I’d just met but who has since come to be someone I value deeply, said to me something like, “When someone says no, and lays out a boundary, we often say, ‘Thank you for taking care of yourself’.”

I’ve come to adore this phrase in a multitude of situations, including around shoots. It tells a person that I appreciate their setting a boundary that feels good to them, and that I value them as more than just a model/subject/client. And I think it helps build trust, and understanding that I’m not upset by their boundaries.

I’ve taken to explaining my photography consent policy as exactly the same as my sex consent policy:

I need enthusiastic, ongoing, informed consent to take someone’s picture, regardless of any waivers or agreements in place. “No” is always an appropriate answer. “No” is a complete sentence, I don’t need a reason, no one needs to think up “a good excuse”. Consent yesterday or five minutes ago does not compel consent right now. If someone just isn’t feeling it right this second, I don’t want to take their photo. And of course, everyone is always welcome to bring a friend. 🙂

That’s just a set of rules that help me take care of myself. They help me feel good about the photos I’m taking. And frankly, if someone isn’t feeling the photo op, that’s going to show up in the photo anyway, so what’s even the point?

Anyway, Misha and I had an appointment to do a shoot. We met up and walked off, in search of a place on the grounds that really spoke to her. It turns out that she wasn’t really feeling it in that moment, and she expressed that to me. We took a few headshots she wanted and called it done.

And that’s why this shoot means so much to me. Misha took care of herself that day, and that’s more important than anything.

Thank you, Misha, for taking care of yourself.