Trevor had told me the shoot for today was with a juggler. It was a very cold day. He was clearly nervous. We all ignored the fact that he’d ridden to the office on a unicycle. For some reason I felt confrontational. I really don’t know why. I started the shoot by standing very close and taking shot after shot of his face. In between shots I’d reach out and gently adjust his hair. It smelled like peppermint.
I asked if he’d brought anything that he juggled. He pulled these balls out of his bag. We played with lots of static poses as he shifted the balls hand to hand nervously. I asked about the piercing in his nipple. He said that he’d done it himself after being inside a robot costume for 12 hours. “I needed to reconnect with being human.”
I have no idea why I did it, but I picked up this toy car and put it between his legs. And out of the blue I said “Tell me about your relationship with your father.” He paused for a while, held the little car and said “He died when I was three. He was killed in a car accident.” I was shocked.
I said “I’m sorry.” And something melted and he completely relaxed. He moved the little car between his feet. We were all quiet and I took lots of shots of his beautiful body. I had him stand again and I got close for more face shots.
The mood was completely different now than it had been at the beginning of the shoot. I felt as though I was seeing him for the first time.I moved down to take shots from this vantage point. He asked Trevor to give him his glasses. As he watched me I felt as intimately connected with him as I’ve ever felt with a man. It was a remarkable moment for me. He’s straight and, it turns out, extraordinarily intelligent. He graduated from an Ivy League college but decided that he wanted to be in a circus, to entertain children. As he talked about himself, I opened his legs, rested on his calf and shot this.
I asked Trevor to hand him the juggling balls again. I asked why he enjoyed juggling and he said “It makes a complex moment simple. You think with your body.”
We were at the end of the shoot. He was extremely good at juggling and it was a real pleasure to watch him so happy and absorbed. I looked at Trevor and he and I were both grinning. I turned back and snapped this, the last shot of the session.
I have to stop falling in love with every man I meet.