Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 22:22:59 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Photo 16 Photo by: dnrock(email@example.com) 16: Making A Living "Derek Smyth and I went to graduate school together at North Western, you must remember him, a tall fellow, blond hair about my age with a big booming voice, he is always smiling." "He and his wife," I could not remember her name so I paused to let Plato remind me. "Gloria." "Visited a lot until about three years ago." "Right, Gloria passed away and Derek has not visited since. Aphrodite and Gloria were friends too. I think her death took a lot out of Derek. Anyway he wants you to work on a project or two for his consulting company. His sons John and Robin will fly up and take you back to Vancouver." "I remember John he is about 4 years older than me but I though he had an older sister, not a brother?" "He does, she lives in Seattle, has a Ph.D. in English. Robin is about 18, Derek adopted him just last year." "If I recall Dr. Smyth is a good amateur photographer why does he need me?" "I guess he recognizes your talent, Derek was always good at spotting peoples talents and abilities. I suppose he just does not have the time either. At any rate the sons are flying in his 185 and will meet you and Brad at the airport in the morning. I will go out with you and John to advise on some of the subjects. Derek is also very good at getting friends to help with his projects. Oh, one of his new clients is Jason Adonis and he will need you to accompany him and his crew to Yellowknife in July." "Yellowknife, NWT, Canada?" "Yes, I guess Jason is thinking about purchasing a diamond mine and has hired Derek's firm to evaluate it." "I would love to visit Yellowknife but they don't need me for that kind of work and my July is booked kind of solid and....and I suppose Jason requested Dr. Smyth to add us to the team..." Plato smiled, "when your good your good and besides you do need to get some income over the summer, perhaps Jason realizes that. Derek also wanted my expertise on his geological team, so I get to work with my son on two projects," he said with that proud self satisfied smile only fathers know how to exhibit, especially when they are proud of their children. "You know you must keep this diamond mine stuff confidential don't you?" "Yes, I figured that as soon as Jason Adonis' name was mentioned." "It gets better son, more convoluted that is, if you think the Adonis family is complex the Smyth's are as bad or worst." I was going to say something about being the only normal people around but I thought better of it. First, we are not normal by most standards, all these earth science people seem a bit nuts anyway and it would only prompt Plato to go off on one of his dialogues; into some deep philosophical discussion of normal and frankly I am just not in the mood right now. ............. The 185 taxied up to the flight service center waiting room and two tall blond and handsome young men climbed out. I recognized John Smyth more mature then I remembered but then so am I. I took it the other young man was Robin. John approached my with a broad smile. "Apollo it has been a long time and you have grown, it must be four years since we played chess. Robin this is Apollo Bidis, the photographer I was telling you about." After embracing me John stepped back and Robin extended his hand. "Robin Smyth," he announced. I shook his hand and before I could introduce Brad. "Hi, I'm Brad Sumewalt, Apollo's assistant." While the plane was serviced John filed his flight plan. Robin, Bard and I drank coffee and chatted. I was immediately struck with Robin's outgoing personality, physical beauty, large blue eyes and clear complexion. Over all he was very photogenic. He and Brad seemed to hit it off and could see they would be fast friends in no time at all. Robin was also an amateur photographer like his dad. I was hopping someone would fill me in on how Robin came to be adopted by Dr. Smyth, I just could not bring myself to ask. Brad and Robin began trading stories and backgrounds. After Brad told Robin about how we met up and how he came to be living with the Bidis' in Bellingham, Robin related his adventurous story of meeting Derek and being almost kidnapped and how Derek's friend Sam Snipe, from the FBI, helped them out. "Sam and dad grew up in the same small Illinois town." John informed me. John just takes all this in stride like doesn't everyone in the whole country know each other and we are all family anyway. I like his chutzpah, I like Robin's too, but John is just so laid back I don't think anything would phase him. I wondered just how small a world this is. Does everyone know each other. The flight to Vancouver was filled with chatter on the intercom. Robin took the controls and John the right. Bard and I were behind. The 185 is a lovely plane to fly and I hoped to get a chance at it someday. John mentioned that his older sister Liz, "you remember her", would be with us polishing up the text and road log, Robin was stuck in school as was Brad. The flight seemed all to short but I was glad of that, since we had a strong onshore breeze that was bouncing us around quite a bit, as we headed south along the coast. I also realized that both Brad and I wanted flying lessons even more than before. The Smyth household was something short of a madhouse, Brad and I would both very much like an invitation to return, never the less. Dr. Smyth, Derek is a bit older then Plato, but not much. He is very tall and graying, with a long rugged face and a killer smile. I want to do his portrait some day, that face just exudes character. John and his wife and child live not to far away but spend a lot of time with Dad. Liz and her partner Alice live in Seattle but were visiting that weekend. Robin was attended by his girlfriend Angela, a tall, thin Chinese girl. Fred and Freda 13 year old twins that Derek had recently adopted and a house manager Walter, who is a 60 something gay man, that keeps the place running. There were other visitors coming and going the entire time we visited. I only vaguely remembered the Smyth place as we did not visit Vancouver as often as the Smyth's visited Bellingham. It is a very large house with wonderful gardens. The twins were all over Brad and I, asking about Jonas and Shelley, I guess word was spreading through the deaf community already. It turned out some of their class mates attended the State School for the Deaf, which is just down the street from the campus of St. Andrews' the privet school they, Robin and Angela attend. Fred and Freda were learning to sign so Brad and I were asked to try communicating with them in ASL. God were these beautiful children and did I want to take their pictures some day. Derek had a lot of my work on his walls all LTD's too. The twins were even more impressed when the realized this Apollo was the same one that made those images. Derek reviewed his photographic needs and showing me pictures and slides he and others had taken over the years. We critiqued them and I made notes about what changes in view or prospective, lighting and so on would be need. Between John, Plato and Liz I would have all the direction needed. We did not have budget for helicopters but John would have the 185 and between that and my Hummer we should be able to get all the shots needed. He wanted a good mix of the usual Rainier, St. Helen's, Hood, coast lines, beaches, road cuts, mines, dam sites and so on. Liz and Chuck would also produce a CD and his staff would do a web site. Plato would reformat the text and illustrations into a series of lectures to be used at both the high school and university levels. I could keep the copyright on the images. Robin and Brad became instant buddies just as I predicted. Brad and Linda were invited to attend Robin and Angela's wedding which corresponded with their graduation. Ronnie and I would be tied up but they would try and attend along with Plato and Aphrodite. This was turning out to be a very busy spring and summer. Very busy. This is an interesting family for sure. I thought I recognized a closer relationship between Robin and Derek then father and son. Derek and John were like Plato and me. John and Robin were much like I imagined two brothers would be. The twins were closer then I thought fraternal twins of opposite sex would be too. I examined how I relate to Jonas and how Jason relates to Ziggy, I have not seen him and Drew together yet. I get the feeling men who have boys and boys who have men share something special. Something that can be recognized only by other men or boys in the same kind of relationship. Brad and I are lovers, Bob and I are lovers, the Adonis brothers are all lovers but this is slightly different. The dynamics of sexual tension between men and their boys is different. I think strong but different, probably because it is not between equals. When I watch Brad or Robin looking at their ladies their eyes tell a story. When I watch Robin or Jonas looking at Derek or me I see a different story. We started taking pictures from the air on our flight back to Bellingham. Over the course of the next 10 days we covered Washington and most of Oregon from one end to the other. Plato gave me the biggest surprise. He not only kept up with us young people, he usually set the pace for our 12 to 14 hour days. Liz wrote and edited on her laptop and I just kept the film flowing to the lab. The Digital back for the Hasselblad came in very handy since the quality is almost as good as film and the results are right now. Oh, we had some unfavorable weather but managed to work around that. I sure learned a lot about geology too, between John and dad, I think everything I photographed got explained several times over. I was beginning to wonder if I should go back to school myself. John was thinking about it but with a young family he was not sure. Plato's advice was, you can't have enough education but even he admits, it does not all need to be formal. After interacting with Derek as a professional not the child of an old friend and working with dad on a professional level, not as his son, I sure came away with a different prospective. I could see why they were friends and why they had remained friends for so many years. Never once did either of them talk down to me, John or Liz. I could see why they were both popular professors as they made complex scientific systems understandable and damn interesting. The most important thing was their respect for each other and for everyone else's humanity. I know Plato has little patients for fools or incompetence. I'm sure Derek feels the same way. Plato always made us feel like he was along to coach, inspire and just for the ride. Liz indicated that was her dad's approach to things too. "My mom was the one who never let you forget your last screw up or the 10 before that. With dad you are always starting from a clean slate and as long as you try the results are, well the results." My parents are like that too, come to think of it. I was impressed by John and Liz. Never once, while we were working, did they treat each other with anything but respect and understanding. The brother-sister bantering was good natured or put aside until after the day's work was done. From their view Robin and the Twins were just short of perfect and Angela was perfect. I guess I know how they feel because Brad can do no wrong either. I know my parents feel the same way about Brad and Bob both. I was hoping that we would need some images from the Missoula and Columbia Falls areas but my catalogue filled the bill. Liz sure liked my Hummer she wanted to drive it at every opportunity. John, let me take the 185 controls when I was not taking pictures out of the open window, that is. Plato had lots of Derek stories from graduate school days to keep us entertained, we wondered if Derek had Plato stories to tell, I'll bet he does. Over all the 10 days went all to fast. Things don't just happen in some kind of smooth planed sequence. within hours of each other I got calls from three clothing manufactures for Brad's and my services, ASAP. Two were repeat customers from Chicago one was a new client that Gary had shown our samples too. I just hoped none wanted exclusives but only the new client wanted me to model. They All wanted us at about the same time and in three different places, New York, Chicago and San Diego. ............. "But, Mrs. Bidis we not only like Brad's and Apollo's work but we feel that some continuity in models and photographers will be an important element in our current and future campaigns. This would mean a lot of future work for them. We are prepared to double our previous fee." "Yes, Ms. Sanderson I appreciate that but we just can not react on such short notice. Apollo has other commitments and Brad must complete his exams. Since they will both be in Chicago on other business in two weeks why can't it wait until then?" "This campaign must be launched in the next two weeks it is critical from a competitive point of view." "Then let me make a suggestion Ms. Sanderson, why not fed-x your materials here and we can set up a digital link to your Chicago office. You can have all the artistic input you need and Apollo can give you digital proofs over the internet and have the color separations you require, delivered within 24 hrs. Not only will that meet your time but it will save you money too. Now if you want to take that saving and enhance their fees I'm sure my boys would be most appreciative." "That is highly creative and I guess it is worth talking about, have you ever done this before, I haven't?" "Well no not a model shoot but we have done this kind of video conference and data transfer before for wildlife. In fact, we regularly send digital proofs followed up with hard media. That is exactly how the Apollo's Golden Eagle series was created. He controlled the creative process from the field. Give me the name and phone number of your technical people and Chuck will arrange it with them." ............. "Three jobs in 4 days." "Yes the hard part will be flying to San Diego in the morning for a location shoot and returning the next afternoon." "Three jobs in 4 days, who would a thought. Can we do it Apollo?" "Why not, just another challenge and this one does not even require us to climb any mountains. We will do it Brad. We need the money. If we have a good plan, I think it will work out." I sure hoped it would anyway. Mother got the Chicago and New York groups to go along but the San Diego company wanted a location shoot on the beaches near by. All three companies were rushing out additional summer stuff. Shorts, tops and swim ware. These were limited additions to their current lines. The Chicago and New Your people were national the San Diego client is southwest only, so recognizable locations are important to them. It makes a kind of sense when you think about it. Chuck arranged the video conference type arraignments and we downloaded directly, to their computers digital proofs using their ftp server. The Chicago people wanted color slides so I drove up to Vancouver, BC for rush processing and after inspecting the results sent them off by Fed-X. By using a light blue seamless background in the studio they would be able to sub in any background the art director wanted. Brad performed naturally as the art director told him to stand this way or that look sad, happy, to the left or right. I used my medium format and Bob shot over my shoulder using the digital 35. Bob had just returned from University. Was I glad of that. Both he and Veronica were now Graduates but since they had hitched their wagons to my star at least for the summer it would take a while for that to sink in. Bob did not want to attend his ceremony and Veronica's parents could not get away from their seasonal business to attend hers. For the location shoot we went strictly digital using my Hasselblad and our laptops to edit on the spot. By the time we boarded the commercial back to Bellingham we had one very satisfied customer. I owed one to Gary for the introduction. I kind of liked performing for the camera. This was a new experience for me. It was a thrill to know millions of people would be looking at my body and my, I am told, handsome face, not just my art. It was a bit of a thrill to be on the editing side too. Looking at the images of Brad, myself and the other models and selecting the best poses and expressions. Bob was so good in his role as photo assistant. He seemed to know just how to get our attention and give us those subtle instructions capturing exactly what the art director wanted to see. For the shots I was in Bob would stand in while I set up, we would change places and Bob would make it happen. Brad was also outstanding being Brad. He made sure the art director saw some of the Jonas and Shelley pictures. Not the ones from the book but some of the shots that were more appropriate to child's clothing or advertising modeling. "They are part of our extended family, and Aphrodite handled their assignments like she does mine." The art director noted this client did not make children's clothing but she did have other clients that could use child models. "We will e-mail you a small portfolio of them." He made sure that was done and I noticed that Linda and Veronica were included in some of the pictures too. I don't quite know how he managed to study, have sex with Bob and I, and write those exams, get top marks and keep up with everything else in his life but the boy did. All I know is every time I saw a new shot of Jonas my penis twitched and my heart felt empty. I had never considered how wonderful it would make me feel to know there was a boy, my boy who's presence or absence would be a meaningful or as powerful in my life as my adult male and female lovers. Somehow I too found the time I needed to take care of those interpersonal things one needs to do. I prepared a pair of large black and white prints as wedding presents for Robin and Angela, which mom and dad would take with them. I also made up large portraits of Bob and Veronica as graduation gifts for them. In truth more for their parents as either one had apartments of their own to hang them in. I was going almost 24/7 in the run up to the book launch in Spokane. June 1 was fast approaching and I was feeling uneasy about the whole thing. Kind of like stage fright, I think. I wanted to be with Jonas and Shelley again. I sure wanted to be with Veronica again. I figured I must be in love. This was not like any feeling I had experienced before. I sure knew what sexual desire was and I had that for her, no question. I knew what it was like to miss your object of desire and I sure had that too. This time I felt some kind of emptiness deep inside my gut a loneliness in the crowd. What was most disturbing about it I was not alone. I was with people who loved and respected me, people I loved and respected, but something was still missing. Bard and Bob were both sleeping with me at every opportunity. We fucked and sucked, fondled and kissed at every possible moment; and my love for them was as strong animated as ever, still something was missing. Her touch, her kiss, her head on my shoulder, yes but more. I missed her presence. I missed Jonas too. I missed my boy. I longed to hold him and receive his little boy kisses. I longed to fondle his little boyhood. I longed to see his reaction, his dry orgasms as my fingers worked on his prostrate, my mouth on his penis. Most of all I missed his joy at being in our presence, at being one of the boys. I know Brad and Bob missed that too.